Anybody who watched the Wizards over the entire 2016-17 season knows they need a backup solution behind John Wall. Badly.
And one look at the NBA’s attendance rankings reveals Washington could use a boost putting bodies in seats.
Neither reality means the Wizards should or will use their second round selection in the 2017 NBA Draft on former Maryland star Melo Trimble.
But for both of those angles, it sure would be interesting if they did.
The All-Big Ten performer participated in the Wizards’ first formal pre-draft workout Tuesday afternoon. Several media members from D.C. and Baltimore, the kind rarely at a generic pre-draft workout, joined the usual contingent of Wizards reporters at Verizon Center. The larger-than-normal group of reporters weren’t there for the five other prospects. They wanted a look at the former All-Met Player of the Year.
The intrigue from Washington’s perspective is clear as well.
The Wizards acquired another former Big Ten standout, Trey Burke, last July with the idea he’d serve as Wall’s primary backup. That plan never worked, to the point Wizards head coach Scott Brooks during the season said Burke isn’t really a point guard.
Washington later signed free agent Brandon Jennings after the NBA trade deadline. Some productive moments couldn't hide defensive and shooting struggles.
Brooks played Wall and Bradley Beal heavy minutes all season, but especially in the decisive Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Boston Celtics. The star guards filled the stat sheet, but wore down late in the season-ending loss.
The Wizards, who traded their first-round pick last February for Bojan Bogdanovic, put Trimble and the other prospects through a workout designed in part to gauge their basketball fitness.
"It went well. A lot of running, which you expect at workouts," said Trimble following his third NBA pre-draft workout. "They made it tough on us to see if we were in shape. During the game, you have to make shots when you’re tired. We did a lot of that … it was just a good workout for me from start to finish."
Trimble said he’s spent the past several weeks working on his perimeter shot with other prospects in Las Vegas. Just a 32 percent 3-point shooter last season, Trimble hopes growth in that area shows during his workouts.
Tuesday’s workout had a truly local feel. Along with Trimble, the group included Kethan Savage (Episcopal H.S., George Washington), Daniel Dixon (William & Mary), D.J. Fenner (Gonzaga) and Jamel Artis (Baltimore).
The most likely draft pick from that group is Trimble, who tested the NBA Draft waters following his sophomore season before returning to Maryland. He made his decision this time with clarity and conviction.
The Wizards don’t have a clear backup point guard plan, though holdover Tomas Satoransky might be the solution in his second NBA season. Armed with professional experience after several years playing overseas, the 6-foot-7 guard impressed at times with his passing and focus. Deficiencies with ball handling and 3-point shooting limited his role. Even with Satoransky’s ample potential, adding another point guard option is wise.
Perhaps that backup becomes Trimble. Washington owns the 52nd overall selection in the June 22 draft. DraftExpress.com, a prominent NBA Draft website, projects Trimble outside the 60 selections in the two-round draft. Even if they pass on the passer in round two, realize the Wizards had three undrafted rookies on their roster much of last season.
Also, realize the Upper Marlboro native and former Bishop O’Connell standout stated he wouldn’t shy away from the extra pressure of playing professionally in his hometown.
"I would love to play for the local team to represent where I’m from," Trimble said.
Here’s the truth. It’s unlikely the presence of the local star brings in hordes of fans, even those College Park backers who fell hard for Trimble from the moment he arrived on campus. Don’t count on an incoming rookie, even one with three years of collegiate experience, immediately helping an NBA team with playoff aspirations.
But there are also reasons why this potential marriage has appeal. There is certainly interest in the two sides tying the knot.