What they're saying about the Wizards’ Draft

1st Round: Troy Brown Jr., Oregon

Jerry Brewer, Washington Post: “In today’s NBA, there is no such thing as having too many wings. Positional duplication doesn’t really matter as long as all of the players are multidimensional. It’s most important to have options, and on many levels, the Washington Wizards increased their options Thursday night…Who is Brown? He’s more of a playmaker on the wing. The Oregon freshman, who doesn’t turn 19 until July 28, must improve as a shooter. He made just 29.1 percent of his three-pointers, but he was a young player who took questionable shots. His strengths are defense, basketball intelligence and versatility. He isn’t Porter or Oubre. He gives the Wizards a new dimension on the wing. He gives them another player who can create offense for others… Imagine the Wizards playing more small ball with Porter or Oubre at power forward. Imagine stealing minutes with Satoransky, Brown, Oubre and Porter playing together with a big man, and they’re all virtually the same size, and Satoransky and Brown possess lead guard abilities.”

Candace Buckner, Washington Post (Twitter): “The #Wizards drafting a wing and going with Troy Brown Jr., who zoomed up draft boards, says a lot. Brown competed against Zhaire Smith in three separate workouts and shined.”

Jerry Brewer, Washington Post: “Brown gives the team another facilitator, a playmaker who doesn’t have to do it from the point guard position. Brown is uncommon because he’s a one-and-done prodigy with a game that isn’t all about athleticism. His upside is his skill and basketball IQ. He needs to spend more time working on his body and trying to get a little more athletic than he does learning the nuances of the game. He already has a great feel, and he’s a mature player despite his age. His savvy can make the Wizards better, provided he tightens up his shooting and takes advantage of NBA training.”

Tim Bontemps, Washington Post: “One of the youngest players in this class, Brown gives the Wizards another long wing player who can defend multiple positions. That’s a formula Washington employed with success three years ago in drafting Kelly Oubre Jr., and the team will hope it happens that way again here with Brown.”

Matthew Giles, Washington Post: “What (Brown) did well, though, was a bit of everything. His assist rate — 19 percent — ranked second on the squad, and he converted more than four two-point field goals per 40 minutes, showcasing an ability to ably score in the half-court (59.5 percent at the rim). Brown’s jumper is still evolving — he made just 16 threes in Pac-12 play — but the freshman most often shined on the defensive side of the ball, swiping more than two steals per 40 minutes, which he accomplished while committing a scant two fouls per 40 minutes. Brown has the speed and length to disrupt opposing ballhandlers, and possesses a high level of anticipation, which helped transform Brown one of the best on-ball defenders in DI.”

Jay Bilas, ESPN: “Troy Brown Jr. is another guy who has long arms, 6'10.5" wingspan. He's really versatile. He can do it all. He knows how to play at a very good skill level. He passes it well. More of a right-hand driver that's pretty good at pick-and-rolls. He improved his shooting throughout the course of the season under Dana Altman and a solid defender. I wouldn't call him super athletic on the NBA level but a good athlete. He needs to improve his efficiency, but his versatility is really his calling card. He does everything pretty well.”

Chauncey Billups, ESPN: “To me, he reminds me of a lot of Andre Iguodala. Swiss army knife. He can do it all out there. Not going to be a high-volume shooter. Will defend, will make other guys better. I think this is a very good pickup for this team.”

Chase Hughes, NBC Sports Washington: “Brown offers versatility on both ends of the floor. He is an adept rebounder and passer for his size at 6-foot-7. And his agility and 6-foot-10 wingspan allow him to guard a multitude of positions on defense. Brown's versatility goes beyond his physical attributes. The Wizards see a player well beyond his years in terms of basketball IQ. He is the son of two Nevada state correctional officers, which suggests a level of discipline. He speaks with maturity beyond his years. Adding Brown gives the Wizards depth and options and those are always good things.”

Benjamin Hoffman and Marc Tracy, New York Times: “A member of the heralded 2016 FIBA U-17 World Championship team, Brown is a do-everything wing who has the potential to be a two-way standout. His numbers don’t leap off the page, but his success in any role Oregon put him in makes him a versatile option in the mold of Andre Iguodala. He would benefit from landing on a team that is willing to use his versatility to its advantage. Could he be the glue guy that fixes what has been missing in Washington? He doesn’t have to be a go-to scorer with John Wall and Bradley Beal in town, so the Wizards may be a team that lets Brown do all of the other little things he excels at, which is probably ideal at least in the early portion of his career.”

Will McCollister, Sports Illustrated: “The Wizards opted for Brown here, with his versatility and fit alongside John Wall and Bradley Beal serving as key selling points. He can play on the ball, can defend multiple positions, and is still young for this draft class, suggesting there is untapped upside. Brown isn’t a great shooter and will require some refinement as a scorer, but won’t have to shoulder much of that load in Washington. Adding a young wing who has a variety of pathways to being successful is a sensible decision.”

Ricky O’Donnell, SB Nation: “Brown was raised as a point guard his entire life before moving to the wing when he got to Oregon. He’s a versatile defender who has retained his passing and ball handling ability from all those years spent playing lead guard. This is a solid pick.”

Aaron Fentress, NBC Sports Northwest: “He has elite level length – 6-7 with a long wingspan...he can defend multiple positions. He’s not overly athletic, but he’s athletic enough. He’s a pretty good passer and he’s a conscientious passer, so he’s not a ball-hog. Give him two-three years to develop his jump shot to become better from three-point range. If he can become an outside shooting threat, now you have a legitimate starter. At the very least, he’s a good rotation player.”

Michael Singer, USA Today: “Brown Jr. is a Swiss army knife of talent. While not necessarily a reliable scorer, the switchable wing checks many other boxes, including rebounding, physicality and athleticism.”

Jonathan Tjarks, The Ringer: “Brown slipped under the radar while playing for a disappointing Oregon team, but it’s not surprising that a player with his combination of size (6-foot-7 and 208 pounds, with a 6-foot-10 wingspan), ball handling, and passing ability wound up right outside the lottery.”

Spencer Davies, Basketball Insiders (Twitter): “If you're a team looking for a point forward that can play and guard multiple positions, Troy Brown is your guy. Wizards get a "Mr. Do It All" in Troy Brown.”

Kevin Sheehan, ESPN 980 (Twitter): “I like Troy Brown...defense will remind of Ariza. Shooting will be fine.”

Andrew Nemec, Oregonian (Twitter): “Troy Brown Jr. was a joy to cover as a HS recruit - engaging, well-spoken, thought-provoking and an easy smile. Wish him the absolute best at the NBA level. High character guy that Washington will find easy to root for.”

2nd Round: Issuf Sanon, Ukraine

Charlie DiSturco, NBC Sports Washington: “Sanon is a defensive-minded combo guard that is not expected to be ready for the next few years. However, he thrived defensively, allowing just 0.471 points per isolation possession, according to the NBA. That ranks in the 92nd percentile. In the past two seasons in Ukraine’s second division, Sanon averaged 4.6 steals per game. The biggest area of improvement for Sanon is developing his offensive game further. Sanon’s strength comes in transition and his 6-4 frame helps him when slashing to the rim.”

Jeremy Woo, Sports Illustrated: “After participating in the NBA’s Global Elite Camp, Sanon opted to declare for the draft and is one of the youngest players available. A native of Ukraine, Sanon made his name at the 2017 U19 European Championship and joined Olimpija in January, establishing himself as one of the better teenage prospects in Europe. Rangy, athletic combo guard who plays both ends of the floor. Puts pressure on the rim. Likes to get downhill and attack the basket. Shows flashes in transition. Lots of natural talent. Leaper who can finish above the rim and throw it down. Prefers to elevate off one foot. Good change of direction off the dribble. Handle still developing. Hard to stay in front of with a full head of steam. Competes hard defensively. Motor isn’t in question.”

Mike Schmitz, ESPN (Twitter): “What a year for Issuf Sanon. Went from relative unknown to a top-45 pick. Blew up at the U18s, moved to Olimpija in Ljubljana, balled at the global camp. Enjoyed our visit in Slovenia earlier this year. Ultra-confident and competitive. Nice stash given Sanon's age + situation.”

Jeremy Woo, Sports Illustrated (Twitter): “FWIW, Issuf Sanon is my favorite non-Doncic international in this draft. Will end up surprising people.”

Evan Daniels, 247 Sports/Fox Sports 1 (Twitter): “Saw Issuf Sanon at the u18 European Championships last summer. Competitive and plus athlete at the guard spot.”

Nick Tuths, Get Up!, ESPN (Twitter): “A weird name to keep an eye on later is Issuf Sanon. Interesting physical profile. Has sneaky end to end speed. Got REALLY confident in the last 4-6 months, and started pulling up on teams, and they were completely taken aback by it. Definitely a draft and stash project. But fun.”

Jake Pavorsky, EV Hoops: “Favorite draft picks from last night: Wendell Carter at 7, Knox at 9, Lonnie at 18, Brunson at 33, Trent at 37, Khyri at 38, Issuf Sanon at 44, Devon Hall at 53.”

Ian Evans, Locked on Wizards (Twitter): “Wizards finally have guys for a “great defense/switch everything and run” lineup. Multiple lineups, honestly. Issuf Sanon will be a good defender from day one. So will Brown. And both guys have lots of upside. Promise I’m not crazy - I like this draft for Wiz.”

NEXT UP:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter