2023 NBA Draft Lottery Simulator: Wizards would have good problem with No. 2 pick
Scoot Henderson or Brandon Miller at No. 2? 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 second overall pick...
Lottery simulation results
It wasn't easy getting the Wizards the second overall pick using Real GM's lottery simulator. It took 26 tries, enough to require a quick break for a sip of coffee. Before we landed on No. 2 overall, the Wizards got the first pick once, the third and fourth picks three times apiece, plus the eighth pick nine times, the ninth pick six times and even the 10th pick three times.
Washington has a 7.0% chance of getting the second pick. Combine that with their odds for the No. 1 selection (6.7%) and it's a 13.7% likelihood they pick in the top two.
Here's how the board played out...
Lottery simulation mock draft
1. Hornets: C Victor Wembanyama (France)
Charlotte makes the jump from the fourth spot in the lottery to form a potential legendary League Pass duo with Wembanyama and LaMelo Ball.
2. Wizards: PG Scoot Henderson (G League Ignite)
My colleague Tyler Byrum had the Wizards drafting Henderson with the third overall pick in our last lottery simulation and he noted how fortunate it would be if Henderson was still on the board in that scenario. In this case, the Wizards would get all the luck they need on lottery night. With Wembanyama off the board, they go with a prospect some evaluators believe would be worth a No. 1 overall pick in other drafts.
The Wizards would have to consider Brandon Miller, the Thompson twins and Cam Whitmore. But Henderson would immediately help them address a positional need while also raising the overall ceiling of their roster considerably. Henderson would likely start right away, but if he wasn't ready then Washington would have the point guard depth to give him a longer runway. Monte Morris and Delon Wright both have one year left on their contracts.
Henderson is an explosive athlete at 6-foot-2 with the ability to blow past defenders and finish above the rim. He has an advanced dribble package to match his physical traits and the combination allowed him to cut through G-League defenses like a hot knife through butter. He is also unusually strong for a point guard his age, so there is reason to believe his physical advantages will translate quickly to the NBA level.
3. Jazz: G/F Amen Thompson (Overtime Elite)
Danny Ainge provides the first surprise of the draft by taking a player who has some parallels with his former draft pick in Boston, Jaylen Brown.
4. Pistons: G/F Brandon Miller (Alabama)
Much like last year with Jaden Ivey, Detroit is happy to take a player who falls a spot or two lower than many expected.
5. Rockets: G/F Ausar Thompson (Overtime Elite)
Houston lands one of the best athletes in the draft, hoping Ime Udoka can lay the proper foundation to maximize his potential.
6. Spurs: SF Cam Whitmore (Villanova)
Whitmore's intangibles and physical defense would fit what the Spurs usually seek in young players.
7. Blazers: F Taylor Hendricks (UCF)
Portland helps fix their struggling defense with one of the more versatile defenders in this class, while also replacing Jerami Grant with a player who has been compared to him.
8. Magic: PG/SG Anthony Black (Arkansas)
Orlando would likely be thrilled if Black was still on the board at eighth overall, as he could be a super glue guy to help turn their burgeoning young roster into a winning formula.
9. Pacers: SF Gradey Dick (Kansas)
Indiana is already an above-average 3-point shooting team, but they could double down in that area with one of the best shooters in this class.
10. Mavericks: PG Cason Wallace (Kentucky)
The Mavs go with a physical defensive guard in Wallace to complement Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.
11: Magic (from Bulls): F Jarace Walker (Houston)
Walker may not fall this far in the draft, but if he did he would mesh well with what the Magic already have while adding more physicality to their forwards group.
12: Thunder: PF GG Jackson (South Carolina)
Jackson has the athleticism to be a really good NBA player. OKC could take their time as he develops his raw offensive skillset.
13: Raptors: G Rayan Rupert (France)
Rupert is an intriguing prospect for his size and versatility. Toronto could bet big on his long-term potential.
14: Pelicans: G Jalen Hood-Schifino
Hood-Schifino is a solid player on both ends of the floor. His tough-minded defense and feel for the game on offense fit with what New Orleans covets in the draft.
What would it mean for the Wizards?
Anything in the top four would be a major victory for the Wizards, but moving up all the way to No. 2 would be a massive development, as they haven't selected that high since 2010. The fact the second-ranked prospect plays a position of need is an added bonus.
Barring a change of course (new front office leadership pending), they hope to have Bradley Beal, Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis back next year. Henderson would give them a potential star who would complement them well both from a positional perspective and with his skill set. They want more dribble drives next season and that is Henderson's specialty. His lightning-quick first step, sharp handle and strength should allow him to get to the second level with regularity.
Now, there would likely be some growing pains initially. Henderson struggles with his 3-point shot and that is already a relative weakness for the Wizards. It might require some shuffling in other areas of the rotation to offset that shortcoming, as the Wizards do not want to take a step back in offensive efficiency. It would also be important he develops into a ball-stopping defender, as Washington needs to improve on that end of the floor as well.
But the long-term upside of Henderson would make the Wizards very happy to land him in the draft. He would come in and right away help lift their team alongside Beal, Kuzma and Porzingis while installing himself as the future of the organization. At only 19 years old, he would ideally develop into their franchise player by the end of his rookie contract.
More lottery simulations
Cason Wallace could be good fit at 10th pick
Will Cam Whitmore be there if Wizards pick ninth?
Anthony Black checks off lots of boxes at No. 8
Amen Thompson's athleticism is enticing at No. 4