SNIDER: Why does life hate the Wizards?

Rick Snider
May 15, 2019 - 11:43 am

The Redskins are not the team supposedly cursed in this town. It’s not even close.

The Wizards had little chance of not picking among the top eight when the NBA lottery balls fell on Tuesday. There was even a respectable nine percent chance of getting No. 1 overall for Zion Williamson to revive the team.

Naturally, they drew No. 9. After all, there was only a 0.4 percent chance of picking 10th, so it’s not like the worst-case scenario occurred.

Yeah, the Wiz are cursed.

Washington really needed a game-changing player in this draft on June 20. Aside Williamson, any of the top handful of picks would have helped. Instead, New Orleans gets Williamson. Memphis probably takes Ja Morant and R.J. Barrett goes to New York. Virginia’s De'Andre Hunter likely heads to the Los Angeles Lakers at No. 4.

So let’s see – two awful franchises that desperately need a big star indeed get them, and then the two major markets follow. No conspiracy there, folks.

What can Washington get with No. 9? Well, knowing who’s the general manager might provide a better guess. At least it’s not exiled Ernie Grunfeld, who could never find a decent player past No. 4.

Best guess might be Texas center Jaxson Hayes. The Wiz could definitely use a big man. Some projections say Hayes needs some seasoning. Well, Washington isn’t going anywhere this season anyway, so it’s a good learning ground.

Washington has only five players currently signed, plus injured John Wall. It’s basically Bradley Beal going for 30 points every night, but having a 7-feet-1 center sure helps.

Plan B in the trade-happy league would be to drop back to gain a second-rounder and pick up Maryland center Bruno Fernando later in the first round. Fernando would sell tickets as a local star while giving the Wiz a frontcourt presence.

Luck didn’t go the Wiz’s way. It seldom has in a generation aside getting Wall as the No. 1 pick in 2010 and his persistent injuries have tainted his reign. Washington needs to make its own luck and go find someone who can help this downtrodden team.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks