• The Washington Wizards are led by the high-scoring Bradley Beal 
  • The Wizards are currently ninth in the Eastern Conference
  • The Wizards have USC freshman Onyeka Okongwu as a suitable draft option

The Washington Wizards are fighting for a final postseason slot as they’re climbing their way out of the lower portion of the Eastern Conference Standings. They’re ninth in the conference with a 22-38 record. They’re a couple of games behind the eighth-seeded Orlando Magic who are at 27-34.

Ever since John Wall sustained multiple injuries, including a torn Achilles, the Wizards have been led by high-scoring sensation Bradley Beal. Beal has been on a tear lately as he’s averaging 30 points an outing with 6.1 assists per game.

He’s tallied back-to-back 50-point games this season where his 53 and 55 fell short with losses on the team’s end. Unfortunately for the Wizards, they haven’t reached the same success when Beal and Wall were healthy on the court together.

As the team fights for a playoff spot, they also have a chance to pick up good talent in the upcoming NBA draft. One option on their radar is Onyeka Okongwu, the freshman center out of the USC Trojans men’s basketball program.

Okongwu is a versatile big man who can move fluidly on the defensive end. He’s scouted to have elite footwork and has the capability to finish out of the pick-and-roll. His explosive first step leads to strong cuts to the basket. The athletic six-foot-nine rim protector also has an upside offensively with the ability to fight his way inside the paint.

He is averaging 16.2 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. To add to these he is also swatting 2.7 blocks per outing. Okongwu was already a familiar figure as he played in the heavily covered Chino Hills high school basketball program. The team was highly scouted with the Ball brothers suiting up for the squad.

His athleticism and incredible low post scoring ability can complement the Wizards in the coming year. Anticipating the return of Wall next season, the combination of the former All-Star guard playing with a caliber of Okongwu can be positive for the Wizards. Wall can feed the big man inside the paint, as Okongwu is a strong finisher around the basket.

2019 NBA Draft Board
The first round draft board is seen during the 2019 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on June 20, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Getty Images/Sarah Stier