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Should The Washington Wizards Draft This Serbian Superstar?

The Washington Wizards (15-65) fell to the Minnesota Timberwolves (55-25) 130-121 on Tuesday night to drop its 65th game of the season. Washington this season has lost the most games in a single season in franchise history. As the season wanes, it’s time for the Wizards to focus on the looming NBA draft in June. The Wizards need to improve in multiple aspects and the upcoming draft includes a plethora of talented prospects which features Serbian star guard Nikola Topic. Should the Washington Wizards draft this Serbian superstar?

Should the Washington Wizards Draft This Serbian Superstar?

Who is Nikola Topic?

Nikola Topić is a 6-foot-6, 200 pound point guard with supreme length and size that could create mismatches for defenses. Topić is also accredited for his high basketball IQ and for creating opportunities to score for himself. The 18-year-old guard is a current member of Crvena Zvezda and formerly Mega Basket of the Serbian League, ABA League, Adriatic League, and the EuroLeague. Topić averaged 18.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 6.9 assists per game while shooting 52.4% from the field while playing for Mega Basket in 13 games. Topic was called up to join Crvena Zvezda during the season due to his impressive level of play. As of now, Topic is sidelined due to a knee injury.

Furthermore, Topić’s length allows him to make long strides and be extremely effective while he’s going downhill (fast break situations) and exhibits solid finishing at the rim.

The downside to Topić’s game is his inconsistent shooting ability from distance. The Serbian point guard shoots only 28% from beyond the arc, respectively. Topić will need to improve in that aspect in a three-point, long-distance shooting-heavy league such as the NBA. Otherwise, Topić’s playmaking, passing ability, finishing at the rim, awareness, and straight-line speed are attributes Washington should focus on.

How Would Topic Fit in Washington?

Topić’s upside at his stature and skillset gives him the opportunity to be one of the NBA’s best players after maturation. As of now, Washington currently has Tyus Jones and Jordan Poole on its roster as the top guards that run the system. Jones is on an expiring contract after this season and Poole hasn’t lived up to his expectations as a leader nor production-wise on a consistent basis.

However, the Wizards have a strong, young wing core that features Bilal Coulibaly, Deni Avdija, and Corey Kispert. Coulibaly, a rookie, has shown flashes of being a solid perimeter defender and exhibited aggression on the offensive end before having suffered an injury. Avdija’s improvement over the course of the season has been one of Washington’s bright spots in an otherwise dim campaign. The 202o first-round pick’s statistics have improved in a plethora of categories by shooting 50.7% from the field (career-high), 38.1 percent from three-point range (career-high), 7.2 rebounds per game (career-high), and 14.6 points (career-high) per game, respectively. Kispert has been a solid contributor off the bench for Washington, as he averages 18.4 points per game over the last 12 games.

The Wizards have its cornerstone pieces going forward, but adding Topić to the mix would be a smart choice for Washington to consider. Furthermore, Topić was recently named the ABA League Top Prospect as voted by journalists and coaches who closely follow the ABA.

The Last Word on Should The Washington Wizards Draft This Serbian Superstar?

Topić’s upside as a prospect is enough for Washington to select him in the first-round. The 6-foot-6 point guard brings a strong feel at the position and his play style would mesh nicely with the current crop of young players Washington currently has on its roster.

If current interim head coach Brian Keefe isn’t at the helm next season (he should be), the Wizards should look for a coach who has a track record of developing young talent during the franchise’s rebuild phase.

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