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By LARRY VAUGHT
Ben Standig blogs about the Washington Wizards, Redskins and the D.C.area college basketball scene for CSNwashington.com.
He has been breaking down possible draft picks for the Wizards, who have the third overall pick in the upcoming NBA draft and are considering Kentucky’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with that pick.
Kidd-Gilchrist lost a total of 10 games in his past four seasons at Kentucky and St. Patrick High School in Elizabeth, N.J., and has won a state high school title, a gold medal at the FIBA Under-17 world championships and helped lead the Wildcats to an NCAA title as a freshman.
Kidd-Gilchrist said at the recent NBA combine that he felt the Wizards would go from a losing team to a “playoff team” next year with him.
Standig shared these insights on where Kidd-Gilchrist might stand in Washington’s plans.
Question: What does your gut instinct tell you about how high Kidd-Gilchrist might go in the draft?
Standig: “Could he go two? Sure, but if Charlotte keeps the pick seems like Robinson makes the most sense. Washington and Cleveland need shooters and guys like Bradley Beal and Harrison Barnes are around. I can’t see MKG getting past five, but in my mock that’s where I have him. Again, anywhere two to five would not stun me. He definitely has his supporters.”
Question: Will his lack of a consistent outside jump shot scare some teams off?
Standig: “Scare off, maybe not, but shooting the ball is a major problem for some of the teams picking high in the draft. Charlotte, Washington and Sacramento were the three worst 3-point shooting teams in the league last season. Simply looking for a shooter could be short-sided though. Just depends on how high MKG’s ‘upside’ is in the minds of those teams.”
Question: His winning attitude is talked about a lot, but does that make a big difference on draft day or not?
Standig: “I definitely think that helps. The Wizards certainly lacked that aspect the last season and a half before making the deal for Nene. Still, not sure that matters the most to say a team like the Bobcats lacking talent. He’s also so young, not sure veterans will let a kid lead, not right away anyway.”
Question: How would he fit with the Wizards and former UK star John Wall, the draft’s top pick in 2010?
Standig: “Talk about a dynamic duo in the open court. Wall loves going up tempo and MKG showed he can do damage on the break. Again, Wizards need shooters. Wall shot 7.1 percent from 3-point range last season (not a typo). Looking at a likely starting five with Kidd-Gilchrist, the only knockdown shooter for Washington is Nene and you’re talking free throw line and in. Could be great in open court, but the half=court offense could be problematic.”
Question: Would the way Wall has played have any impact on the Wizards taking another UK player?
Standig: “ I don’t think so. They also worked out Darius Miller last week and I can see Doron Lamb being a good fit.”
* * *
You can read Standing’s draft analysis on Kidd-Gilchrist at http://www.csnwashington.com/basketball-washington-wizards/wizards-talk/NBA-Draft-profile-Michael-Kidd-Gilchrist?blockID=722850&feedID=10376 and can follow him on Twitter at @BenStandig