NBA Draft Lottery Simulator: Daniels or Washington at No. 11? originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
The Wizards are back in the NBA draft lottery, set for May 17, which means we at NBC Sports Washington are rediscovering the fun of Tankathon. It’s a great website that has many features, but one in particular that is especially addicting. You can simulate the lottery, all with the click of a button.
It’s so much fun we thought we would turn it into a series on the Wizards and run through all of their draft lottery scenarios. There are essentially seven different ways the ping pong balls could fall for Washington. They have the 10th-best odds, which gives them a 13.9% chance of picking in the top four and 86.1% odds of selecting 10th, 11th or 12.
We will go through each scenario one by one and today we’ll move on to the scenario where the Wizards land the No. 11 overall pick…
Lottery simulation results
It took us eight tries on Tankathon’s lottery simulation to get the Wizards the No. 11 overall pick. While they had poor odds to make the jump into the top-four, picking 11th was the second-most likely outcome for Washington at 19%, behind staying put at 10th. In this scenario, the Rockets and Magic remained at the top with the Pelicans jumping to third and then the Hornets going from 13th to fourth, which bumped the Wizards down a spot.
The point of this exercise is to create a hypothetical board for the Wizards and evaluate the first two true point guards of the class.
Lottery simulation mock draft
1. Rockets – Jabari Smith Jr. (Auburn)
Any one of the three in Jabari Smith Jr, Chet Holmgren or Paolo Banchero could be taken first overall based on each team’s evaluation process. Of the three, Smith brings the right balance of upside to become a future star and current skill/ ability to be the safest bet. Houston has mobilized their youth and Smith would be a great contributor to a Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green backcourt.
2. Magic – Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga)
Every lottery selection Orlando has taken over the last handful of years has had an eye toward versatility. Bringing in a unicorn with Holmgren is another player that has a ton of upside and could be the focal piece of a young talented squad. Just imagine a lineup of Cole Anthony, Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner and Holmgren – that’s tough to guard four playmakers.
3. Pelicans – Paolo Banchero (Duke)
Eventually, Zion Williamson has to come back right? Well if he doesn’t or if New Orleans isn’t willing to pony up a long-term contract in the next year, Paolo Banchero could be plugged right into an up-and-coming roster.
4. Hornets-Jaden Ivey (Purdue)
Charlotte’s depth behind LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier is nonexistent. And where the Hornets were originally drafting wasn’t an ideal spot to find a contributor right away. Jaden Ivey would be a perfect combo guard as the first man off the bench for the duo.
5. Pistons – Keegan Murray (Iowa)
The Pistons lose out in the lottery and take the best remaining player on the board in Keegan Murray. Still a ton of question marks on how the roster progresses forward.
6. Thunder – Shaedon Sharpe (Kentucky*)
What better landing spot to take a relatively unknown prospect than Oklahoma City. The Thunder actually has positioned themselves well at the guard position. Sharpe is just the next high draft pick joining the roster where he won’t have to prove himself early.
7. Pacers – Johnny Davis (Wisconsin)
Indiana has a bunch of playmakers on its roster already, but there remains a need on the wing. Davis won’t have to move far staying in the Midwest.
8. Trail Blazers – AJ Griffin (Duke)
There isn’t a better 3-point shooter among the lottery selections than AJ Griffin. Shooting 44.7% from deep last year on 4.1 attempts, any team would be pleased to add him to their rotation.
9. Kings – Benedict Mathurin (Arizona)
Moving Tyrese Haliburton opened up the door for the Kings to bring in another skilled playmaker. On a roster that needs to win now, Mathurin brings a good balance of athleticism and upside where Sacramento can compete now but look to the future.
Related: Jabari Smith remains top pick in NBA Mock Draft
10. Spurs-Jalen Duren (Memphis)
Not many teams will be wanting to take Duren because of fit, rather he’ll be taken because of his skill. That’s where Greg Popovich comes in. San Antonio needs a rim protector and a presence down low.
11: Wizards – Dyson Daniels (G League Ignite)
Not moving up in the lottery allows the Wizards to factor in need rather than just going for the best player available. There are two hypothetical options at the most important hole in the Wizards roster at 11. A perceived gap between the top 10 prospects and the rest of the lottery grouping also allows flexibility with who they pick.
There’s TyTy Washington who was a combo guard at Kentucky and put up solid shooting percentages 49.6%/ 35.0%/ 75.0% but lacks the true all-around playmaking ability to be a lead guard. Sometimes he forces the issue a little too much but he has a quick first step as his only tool to gain separation.
Then there’s the lengthy Dyson Daniels at 6-foot-6. With G League Ignite he did an outstanding job of playing the facilitator role to a group of high-volume players. Plus, his versatility from him on defense as a disruptor would ideally boost the team’s defensive efforts.
Both are legitimate options if the Wizards should fall down from the 10th pick. At least one of the two should be available. Daniels, 19, is the pick here just because he’s more of a true point guard that wouldn’t have to play up to a position. Immediately, he could contribute to a Bradley Beal-led offense.
12: Knicks – TyTy Washington (Kentucky)
This may be a case where the Knicks both get to draft for positional need and best player available. Fellow Kentucky guard Immanuel Quickley has stood out, but certainly, the door is open for another option.
13: Thunder – Tari Eason (LSU)
Oklahoma City has a ton of talented guards and through the years drafted some interesting post players into their system. After the jump Eason made his sophomore year, he’s showing an exciting trajectory that could be in the mix for a starter’s spot.
14: Cavaliers – Ochai Agbaji (Kansas)
Cleveland has nicely put pieces in all the right places to become a playoff contender once again. As the Cavaliers have to soon make contract decisions with much of their backcourt and wing position, Agbaji can jump in right away and be an impactful playmaker.
What would it mean for the Wizards?
For those rooting for the Wizards to draft a point guard, not moving up and staying around the original odds position leads to a more likely scenario to find a general floor.
The point guard position is a problem. Ever since John Wall’s injury, the team has tried to piecemeal the position. Spencer Dinwiddie was thought to be the answer last year, but that ended up being short-lived and just a bad fit for everyone involved.
Daniels is intriguing for the Wizards because he’s more of a passer to initiate the offense rather than score for himself. But, ideally, that’s what Washington needs when everyone is healthy with Beal, Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis. Those three don’t need someone to do all the work, just someone to carry the ballhandling burden and bring the ball up the court.
Is Daniels a Day 1 starter? Not likely but that does not mean he doesn’t have what it takes to grow into that role by season’s end. Pair him with a veteran in either Ish Smith or Raul Neto and it gives the Wizards two different paths at the position.
Plus, coming off the bench would provide much more speed in a Deni Avdija, Corey Kispert and Rui Hachimura second unit.
Where he can carve a role early with the Wizards is in his transition game and on the defensive end. Daniels has phenomenal vision to push the ball on advantage opportunities. Athletically, he would be a big boost for a team needing electricity in the open floor. Jumping the passing lanes and generating steals is also a huge area of need for the team.