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2023 NBA Draft Lottery Simulator: At No. 9, Cam Whitmore could be steal for Wizards

Lottery simulation: What if Wizards get No. 9 pick? originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

With the Wizards set to have the eighth-best odds in the May 16 NBA Draft Lottery, we at NBC Sports Washington are running through the different scenarios. The idea is to simulate what the draft board could look like when they are on the clock on June 22 and examine the decisions they may have to make.

Here is a look at the possibility they get the ninth overall pick...

Lottery simulation results

It only took two tries using Real GM's lottery simulator to land the Wizards the ninth overall pick. The first draw gave them the third pick. Ninth is the second-most likely scenario for the Wizards, as they hold 31.1% odds of selecting there, just behind their 32.9% chance to pick eighth.

The big winner in this simulation was the Bulls, who jumped up from 11th to third, which would mean they keep their draft pick because it is owned by the Magic, but top-four protected. The Wizards at ninth are right behind the Magic and Pacers and ahead of the Jazz in 10th.

Here's how the board played out...

Lottery simulation mock draft

1. Spurs: C Victor Wembanyama (France)

The Spurs enjoy the dream scenario of getting the No. 1 overall pick in a year where a generational prospect is available. Wembanyama would jumpstart their rebuild.

2. Pistons: G/F Brandon Miller (Alabama)

Detroit likes players with high athletic ceilings, so they would have to take a long look at Scoot Henderson, but Miller would be a better fit alongside Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey while still providing plenty of upside.

3. Bulls: PG Scoot Henderson (G League Ignite)

The odds of the Bulls moving up into the top four and keeping their pick are just 8.5%, but in this case, they get Henderson who has been compared to Derrick Rose. It would help them address a sudden need due to Lonzo Ball's unfortunate injury saga.

4. Rockets: G/F Amen Thompson (Overtime Elite)

The Rockets would take a chance on another athletic player with sky-high upside, now entrusting Ime Udoka to teach their young guys how to win.

5. Hornets: G/F Ausar Thompson (Overtime Elite)

Ausar is expected to go after his brother, Amen, though it is splitting hairs deciding between them. In this case, the Hornets get more athletic by adding Ausar to run the floor with LaMelo Ball.

6. Trail Blazers: F Jarace Walker (Houston)

Walker can do a variety of things well on both ends of the floor and he has an NBA-ready frame. He should be able to help the Blazers right away as they aim to return to the playoffs.

7. Magic: PG/SG Anthony Black (Arkansas)

The Magic have made some smart draft picks in recent years with Franz Wagner and Paolo Banchero. That trend continues with Black, who could be a Josh Giddey-like connector.

8. Pacers: SF Gradey Dick (Kansas)

Indiana adds one of the best shooters in the draft to play alongside Tyrese Haliburton and add space for Bennedict Mathurin to attack the paint.

9. Wizards: SF Cam Whitmore (Villanova)

In this hypothetical, the Wizards would probably have a tough decision between Whitmore and Cason Wallace, as point guard is a long-term vacancy and Wallace can defend. There would also be a case for Taylor Hendricks as the best player available. Whitmore, though, would address a position of need (Deni Avdija has one year left on his contract) while bringing tons of upside and two-way versatility.

It may be wishful thinking to have Whitmore fall this far. While plenty of mock drafts have him going late lottery, he seems like the type who will ultimately be picked closer to fifth than 15th. He has a lot to offer as a small forward with size (6-foot-7, 232 lbs.), bouncy athleticism, an advanced dribble package, hard-nosed defense and a competitive edge that should help him reach his potential. Those traits are likely to stand out in pre-draft workouts.

That Whitmore is from the D.C. area would be an added bonus. He grew up in Maryland and went to Archbishop Spalding before heading north to play at Villanova.

10. Jazz: PG Cason Wallace (Kentucky)

The Jazz won't complain if Wallace falls past the Wizards, as they need point guard help and could land a defensive cornerstone in Wallace as they move through the early stages of their rebuild.

11: Knicks (from Mavs): F Taylor Hendricks (UCF)

Hendricks would help the Knicks address their defense, which lags behind their offense. He's one of the more versatile defenders in this draft, as a four who can switch in both directions.

12: Thunder: G Rayan Rupert (France)

The Thunder have plenty of players who overlap with Rupert, but his long-term developmental upside fits their line of thinking.

13: Raptors: SG Nick Smith Jr. (Arkansas)

Smith Jr. is one of the draft's biggest wildcards as a highly-ranked high school recruit who had his freshman season affected by injuries.

14: Pelicans: G/F Maxwell Lewis (Pepperdine)

Lewis is not projected to go this high by mock drafts, but players will rise in the next month-plus and he seems like a good candidate to do so. He's versatile and has an excellent feel for the game, which is consistent with recent Pelicans' draft picks.

What would it mean for the Wizards?

The Wizards have picked ninth overall in two out of the last four years and they had the 10th pick last June. Selecting in that range has produced mixed results, but this year they are likely to still find plenty of value left on the board at positions of need.

In this case, they found Whitmore, Wallace and Hendricks all still available. In Whitmore, they selected a player who could help immediately at the three, either in the first or second unit. Over time, the hope would be he develops into a primary scorer who also brings value on the other end as a switchable, physical defender.

In addition to filling a position of need, Whitmore would bring skills and intangibles the Wizards could use more of. He can create off-the-dribble, he is an explosive athlete and plays with an aggressive mindset that could be contagious. They have plenty of players who can score with skill and finesse. He would bring tone-setting power and force.

Certainly, the Wizards will hope to pick higher than ninth, but if they fall in that range they could still find some excellent options, Whitmore among them.