Wizards select Congolese center Yannick Nzosu with No. 54 pick in 2022 NBA Draft


The Washington Wizards selected center Yannick Nzosa from the Democratic Republic of the Congo with the No. 54 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.

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The pick was one the Wizards acquired from Dallas in the deal that sent Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans to Dallas for Kristaps Porzingis back in February. It was Top 45 protected, but as the Mavericks made the playoffs and avoided the lottery, the pick came to DC.

Nzosa, 18, stands at 6-foot-11 and has spent his first two pro seasons with Unicaja in Spain’s Liga ACB, averaging 3.5 points and 2.4 rebounds over 11.5 minutes per game in 68 contests between league play and the 2020-21 EuroCup.

From his NBA Draft Room scouting report:

At 6-11 with good length he’s got the size to defend in the paint and has great instincts and timing as a shot blocker. His quickness off his feet is really special and is overall athleticism shows up in plays around the rim (or above the rim) and in his ability to defend guards on the perimeter. He projects as an ultra-switchable big at the next level. He also has great hands and deflects a lot of passes. He’s super active in the passing lanes and a great team defender.

He is likely a draft-and-stash for the Wizards, as he is just 18 and still has three years remaining on his deal with Unicaja. The Spanish team was able to prevent him from attending the NBA Combine, and while his deal does have an out clause for him to come to the NBA, it would require the Wizards to pay a buyout of roughly one million Euros.

Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroWFAN