2017 NBA Draft - Wizards focus on the development of young core
Scott Brooks talk with the media following the completion of the first round of the NBA Draft
As one of the deepest Drafts in the last 10-15 years approached, the Wizards found themselves with the 52nd pick and a roster that needed improved depth. Washington finished the season 47-35 and fell in seven games to the Boston Celtics where fatigue due to a lack of depth,was as much an obstacle as the shooting of the Avery Bradley and Kelly Olynyk. While most saw Washington using the pick on an experienced well seasoned player from the college ranks, they bypassed that and traded the pick to the New Orleans Pelican for point guard Tim Frazier.
Wizards GM Ernie Grunfeld discuss the future of the team after the end of the NBA Draft
While for some, the move raised eyebrows for the Wizards organization however for others who knows Frazier's game, it was an ideal move. "He (Frazier) gives us another player that fits what we need," said Scott Brooks. "He's a winner, a tough kid, gritty and knows how to play." Frazier averaged 7.1 points, 5.2 assist and 2.7 rebounds in 65 games (35 starts) last season for the Pelicans and provides an immediate quality back-up not just for John Wall but at times depending on the match-up, Brad Beal. With a rookie at 52nd, it would've been a period of growth the Wizards would've been forced to endure, with Frazier you have someone that's ready to contribute immediately which speaks to the Wizards looking to improve NOW and become a contender in the near future.
Tim Frazier triple double (14 points, 11 assist and 11 rebounds) performance against the Phoenix Suns last season
Although the Wizards entertained calls from various teams, no moves were made outside of the acquisition of Frazier. And that may not have been by accident. Washington has a talented young core that the team is excited about. Tomas Satoransky, Sheldon McClellan, Kelly Oubre all have a ton of potential and Scott Brooks is looking forward to helping guide them to maximizing their potential. "I love this part of the process of developing young players," Brooks says. "Making sure that they put the work in because you don't get better by just wanting to be a better player, you have to put the work in. You have to get after it in the gym, in the weight room on the track with conditioning. So I'm excited for our young group of guys."
Look at the top three teams from last season, Warriors, Cavs and the Spurs and their key players were players that they drafted and developed. Although it may take time, it eventually pays off as you now see with the champs Golden State. Brooks has a proven track record of developing young players into major contributors in the NBA, the two NBA MVP favorites Russell Westbrook and James Harden both got their foundation under Brooks tutelage, as well as the improvement in John Wall, Brad Beal and Kelly Oubre last season. Focusing on developing their young core is ideal and may be their only option at this point for improvement without seriously compromising the promising future of the team. If last season is an indication, then the Wizards could very well be on their way to being a contender sooner than later.
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