Wizards Coach Randy Wittman called Bradley Beal from the golf course about an hour before Tuesday’s NBA draft lottery and had one simple message: “Don’t screw it up.” Beal delivered, as the Wizards hurdled five teams to enter a more hopeful draft position at No. 3. Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld received several handshakes and dozens of congratulatory phone calls and text messages after his team was one of the two teams to move up in the lottery – Cleveland jumped two spots to claim the No. 1 overall pick. Grunfeld sported a wry smile and even joked around with Beal at Disney/ABC Times Square studios, amazed by his most fortunate lottery appearance since the Wizards earned the right to draft John Wall first overall in 2010. But even with the exciting move, the Wizards will still have to wait and see what the teams ahead of them decide to do before they get attached to one player. Georgetown sophomore forward Otto Porter Jr., UNLV freshman power forward Anthony Bennett and Indiana forward Victor Oladipo are options for the Wizards if Kentucky center Nerlens Noel and Kansas shooting guard Ben McLemore go first and second. Porter is currently preparing for the June 27 NBA draft at McDonough gym at Georgetown and will likely work out for the top three or four teams in the lottery. At 6-feet-8 and with a 7-1 wingspan, Porter stands out as an obvious choice at No. 3 for Washington. He would fill a need small forward, has local ties and a skill set that would mesh well with Wall and Beal. But there is a possibility that Porter, arguably the most NBA-ready player among the top prospects, might not be around when the Wizards pick third. A source with knowledge of the Cavaliers’ thinking said Porter is under consideration to go No. 1. “I definitely see myself up there,” Porter said last week in Chicago, adding that he believes he can flourish at the next level. “My versatility. I think that’s definitely going to show when I get to the NBA. My ability to rebound, bring it up the court, make something happen or set up the play. Anything that it has in store for me, I think my versatility is going to carry over.”
Wizards move up but could still miss out on Otto Porter Jr.
Washington Post | May 24