3 Best Washington Wizards Draft Picks

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John Wall of the Washington Wizards during the Philadelphia 76ers versus Washington Wizards game on March 3, 2013.
(Wikimedia Commons/Keith Allison)
Anatoly Pimentel @AnatolyPimentel Nov 16, 2023, 11:29 PM
  • Here’s a list of the best Washington Wizards draft picks in franchise history.
  • Earl Monroe leads the list of players Washington selected through the draft.
  • Other notable players include Wes Unseld and John Wall.

The Washington Wizards joined the league in 1963 as the Baltimore Bullets, and the franchise made four trips to the NBA Finals, where they won one title in 1978. Washington avoided the list of the 11 NBA teams that have never won a championship, and part of that success was due to drafting players that greatly boosted their NBA championship odds.

A few notable players that the Wizards were able to draft were Gus Johnson, Walt Bellamy, Juwan Howard, Jeff Malone, Manute Bol, and Bradley Beal. However, three Washington draft picks stood out, making them the best picks in team history. Find out the top-three players below.

Earl Monroe

In 1967, the Baltimore Bullets selected Earl Monroe as their second-overall pick in the draft in the hopes of consistently contending in the league and eventually winning a championship. The 6-foot-3 guard out of Winston-Salem State instantly led the team in scoring in his first season with averages of 24.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 4.3 assists. Because of these remarkable numbers, Monroe captured the Rookie of the Year honors in 1968.

“Earl the Pearl” continued and maintained his stellar play in the next four seasons, as he helped the team qualify for four straight playoffs, including an NBA Finals appearance in 1971. Unfortunately, they were swept by the Milwaukee Bucks. Before his infamous trade request in 1971, Monroe racked up a career average of 23.7 points, 4.6 assists, and 3.7 rebounds in 328 games across four-and-a-half seasons with the Bullets.

Wes Unseld 

In 1968, the Bullets were again awarded the second-overall pick in the draft and used it to select Wes Unseld. Since the team already had a scoring machine in Monroe, the Louisville standout focused on crashing the boards and led the team in rebounding. Unseld’s double-double output of 13.8 points and 18.2 rebounds with 2.6 assists in his first year was enough to win him the Rookie of the Year award and the league MVP award in 1969.

But unlike Monroe, who requested a trade from the team, the 6-foot-7 center stayed with the Bullets and played all 13 seasons in the NBA with them. This loyalty was rewarded as they won a championship in 1978, where he also won NBA Finals MVP. Apart from leading the franchise to the promised land, Unseld also represented them in five NBA All-Star Games, and he finished his career with averages of 10.8 points, 14.0 rebounds, and 3.9 assists.

John Wall

John Wall was one of Washington’s few first-overall picks in the NBA Draft, and he immediately became a key member of the franchise when they selected him in 2010. The Kentucky product quickly became the Wizard’s leading playmaker, producing a rookie average of 16.4 points, 8.3 assists, and 4.6 rebounds. Although Wall couldn’t secure the Rookie of the Year award in 2011, he was named to the All-Rookie 1st Team.

The 6-foot-4 point guard kept up  his fine play, and because of his consistency, he was named to five straight NBA All-Star Games from 2014 to 2018. His explosiveness was his primary weapon when scoring and setting up his teammates. Before “Optimus Dime” suffered multiple injuries that derailed his career, he accumulated 19.0 points, 9.2 assists, and 4.3 rebounds in 573 games for the Wizards across nine seasons.

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About the Author

Anatoly Pimentel

Read More @AnatolyPimentel

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.