2023 NBA Draft Lottery Simulator: Cason Wallace an ideal fit at 10th pick

Lottery simulation: What if Wizards get No. 10 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 10th overall pick...

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Lottery simulation results

The odds of the Wizards picking 10th are relatively slim, at just 6.6%. For instance, they have a higher likelihood of picking first overall (6.7%). To achieve this scenario, we had to run Real GM's lottery simulator 19 times and during those initial tries landed the No. 1 pick twice, the eighth pick seven times and the ninth pick six times.

In this particular example, the Blazers moved up from fifth to get the No. 1 pick. The Wizards would have to select right behind the Hornets, Magic and Pacers and just ahead of the Jazz.

Here's how the board played out...

Lottery simulation mock draft

1. Blazers: C Victor Wembanyama (France)

This would obviously be a very fortunate turn of events for the Blazers, who could pair Wembanyama with Damian Lillard to possibly become a much better team right away.

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. Raptors: PG Scoot Henderson (G League Ignite)

Toronto would make the biggest jump of any team in this scenario, all the way from 13th. Henderson would be a no-brainer at three.

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

This would be another jump, as the Mavs move up from 10th. Though they may be tempted to pick a player who can help Luka Doncic right away, they instead can't pass up Amen's long-term star potential.


5. Rockets: PG/SG Anthony Black (Arkansas)

The Rockets have some young pieces including Jalen Green, Jabari Smith Jr., Alperen Sengun and Tari Eason. Black would help tie it all together as a versatile guard who impacts the game on both ends.

6. Spurs: SF Cam Whitmore (Villanova)

The Spurs would be quite disappointed with this lottery result, but Whitmore would be a nice consolation prize with traits the Spurs covet. He has the athleticism to be a star with a versatile, two-way skillset and winning intangibles.

7. 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.


8. Magic: F Jarace Walker (Houston)

Orlando goes with a best-player-available approach in taking Walker, even though he would be yet another versatile forward and they have needs at other positions.

9. Pacers: F 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.

10. Wizards: PG Cason Wallace (Kentucky)

The Wizards would be disappointed to move back in the lottery, but the positive is that this is a deep class at positions of need. In this scenario, they see the top two point guards (Henderson and Black) get drafted ahead of them, yet still find tremendous value in Wallace. Even though he's not the top-rated point guard, he is exactly the type of player they could use.


Wallace has good size (6-foot-4) for the position and he's a tough, physical defender. He has a knack for forcing turnovers and plays with a competitive fire that should suit him well in the long run. Wallace would be an excellent defender to put alongside Bradley Beal, as he has the size to switch onto bigger guards.

On the offensive end, Wallace is a pass-first floor general with an impressive feel for the game. He would be able to set the table for Beal, Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis without needing a lot of shots. The Wizards could begin with Wallace on the bench behind Monte Morris and develop him into a long-term starter.

In this case, the Wizards would have to consider Taylor Hendricks as possibly the best player available, even though he would have some overlap with Kuzma. Nick Smith Jr. and Rayan Rupert would also likely intrigue them based on long-term upside. But in Wallace, they would check off a lot of boxes both initially and down the road.

11: Jazz: F Taylor Hendricks (UCF)

Utah might be unhappy that Wallace is gone given their need at point guard, but Hendricks would be hard to pass up in this range because of his well-rounded game and polished skillset.


12: Magic (from Bulls): 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. Orlando can take a chance by having two lottery picks.

13: 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.

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?

This would be the second consecutive year the Wizards picked 10th overall and the fourth time in five years they picked either ninth or 10th. So, it's familiar territory for them, even if they will hope for much better luck on lottery night. If they did fall to 10, naturally a few players they would probably love to have would be out of reach. Black and Whitmore, for instance, would be great fits in Washington if they were available.

In the likely case they wouldn't be, the Wizards may find themselves hoping Wallace falls to 10. In this scenario he does and the Wizards land their long-term point guard. Ideally, he would develop into a Jrue Holiday-type who can make a major difference on the defensive end while serving as a competent secondary scoring option on offense.

Wallace would find himself in a good position if he were drafted by the Wizards, as the door would be open for him to make an early impact. In order to do so, he would have to adjust quickly on defense and at least not be a liability as an outside shooter. The perfect point guard for the Wizards would be able to make threes, but everyone in the draft enters the league with something to work on.

Wallace would have the track record of Kentucky guards possibly working in his favor. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Devin Booker, Tyler Herro, Tyrese Maxey and Immanuel Quickley were all slept on in the draft before becoming really good players. John Calipari has a track record of finding high-level NBA talent, even if it isn't obvious while they're in Lexington. On a related note, Wallace would be the first point guard drafted by the Wizards in the first round since John Wall in 2010.