NEW YORK - JUNE 24: John Wall of Kentucky stands with NBA Commisioner David Stern after being drafted with the first pick by the Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden on June 24, 2010 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
The Washington Wizards stole the show on NBA draft night, acquiring three players in the first 23 picks.
Wall was a no-brainer but the rest of Washington’s evening was far less predictable.
The Wizards began the day by consummating the first draft-day deal, ridding the Bulls of the contract of guard Kirk Hinrich and netting the 17th pick that became Seraphin.
The trade won’t be official until July 8 but Seraphin -- who was advised to take off a league-issued Bulls hat he’d been given while conducting interviews -- spent the majority of draft night talking about how he plans on helping the Wizards.
Hinrich’s presence adds guard depth to a Washington backcourt that will be led by Wall and Gilbert Arenas.
The veteran is due $9 million this season and $8 million next, a sum the Wizards took off Chicago’s hands. Washington reportedly also spent an additional $3 million for the 17th pick, meaning that the Wizards shelled out about $20 million to move up to get Seraphin.
Not long after Seraphin’s name was called, Trevor Booker was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves, who then traded him to the Wizards for Washington’s 30th and 35th picks.
Booker, fifth on Clemson’s all-time scoring list, is the only player in ACC history with 1,500 points, 1,000 rebounds, 200 blocks, 200 assists and 100 steals. He’s a hard-working scorer who plays with a chip on his shoulder, something the Wizards have lacked in recent seasons.
Seraphin, a 19-year-old Frenchman who goes 6-foot-9 and 260 pounds, has a chance to develop into a star performer. Still raw and considered a project, he’s been compared to ‘Nene’ of the Denver Nuggets.
But even if both Booker and Seraphin exceed their potential, Thursday will be remembered as the day Wall fell into the Wizards’ lap.
Washington had a 10.3 percent chance at winning the draft lottery last month, and they’ll probably get similar odds at making the playoffs this season.
While we wouldn’t count on the Wizards beating those odds for the second time in as many months, we’d be comfortable predicting that the days of watching boring basketball in Washington are coming to a close.
Wall’s going to change that -- and he’s got two new colleagues to help him rejuvenate the basketball scene in Washington.