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2017 NBA Draft: Targets for Wizards In Round Two


2017 NBA Draft: Targets for Wizards In Round Two

This shouldn’t be breaking news, but for those unaware, the Wizards do not have a first round pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

That selection went to Brooklyn in the trade deadline deal for Bojan Bogdanovic, who might not return as the perimeter threat enters restricted free agency.

The back half of the Washington’s roster could look rather different next season – and it should, especially in the backcourt where the Wizards never could find consistent backups for John Wall and Bradley Beal. It’s also likely that Washington breaks up the expensive center tandem of Marcin Gortat and Ian Mahinmi.


All of this is prelude to the real big news: The Wizards retained their second round selection.

Fine, that setup is more jokey than anything seeing as any player selected with the 52nd overall pick likely won’t be a future X-factor. Based on history of players taken in round two, he might not even make the team. Perhaps this mystery man just gets sent overseas until the end of time. Then again, the 2017 class is rather deep, meaning the chance for someone useful falling increases. Seeing as three undrafted rookies made the roster last season, why not No. 52?

Here’s a look at names worth considering when the Wizards eventually are on the clock on June 22.

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Wizards flip the script on late game collapses, road woes

Wizards flip the script on late game collapses, road woes

ORLANDO -- The opening stretch of the season needed a rewrite. Not just because the Washington Wizards only won five of 13 games, but also the repetitive narrative. Wizards take a healthy lead. Wizards fall behind. Wizards lose. Then factor in the monotonous and gloomy road angle. Washington had yet to win away from Verizon Center entering Friday's rematch at Orlando.

Perhaps the final 6:05 of the 94-91 victory over the Magic will serve as a catalyst for a team still seeking an identity. If nothing else, there's a new chapter and one worth repeating.

The Wizards led by 19 points in the first quarter, but only 72-68 entering the fourth. When Magic guard Evan Fournier's 3-pointer was followed by D.J. Augustin's 3-point play, the Wizards trailed 80-76. The home crowd inside the Amway Center roared, just as they did on Nov. 5 when Washington was outscored 27-16 in the final period of an 88-86 loss.

"The biggest thing was our intensity and our defense," guard Bradley Beal said of the difference between the two games. "We were physical and played hard for 48 minutes regardless of what the score was. That's the biggest difference."

This time, Washington made the winning plays. Otto Porter's two 3-pointers sandwiched a deep shot by Augustin. Marcin Gortat layups accounted for Washington's next two field goals and put the Wizards up for good. 

Yet what truly fueled the victory occurred when Orlando had possession. After Augustin's 3-pointer, the Wizards held the Magic without a point on five straight possessions. Combined with the Porter 3-pointer's, the Gortat layup's and John Wall's, late game wizardry, Washington held on. 

"I thought our guys did a good job of competing," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. "In order to win on the road, you have to win on the defensive end. I thought we did that throughout the game."

That was especially true early -- Washington led 26-7 in the first quarter and Orlando had 15 turnovers in the first half -- and late. 

"In the first quarter we had a big lead -- and it started to go away," Wall said. "In the third quarter...we were not making shots or playing well. We still defended at a high clip."

Is Orlando a miserable offensive team, one that entered ranked 29th in scoring? Yes, but the Miami Heat labor in that area and yet put 114 on the scoreboard during a win in Washington. 

Are the Magic a playoff contender? Probably not but who cares at this point, especially after recent losses to the Heat and Philadelphia 76ers, two of the five straight foes with losing records faced by Washington. The Wizards (5-9) just need some momentum. Going 3-2 over their last five helps the cause heading into Saturday's meeting against San Antonio. 

Did the Wizards simply win this game with the Magic because Wall played after sitting out the previous meeting? Obviously, that helps. That Wall is also moving closer toward peak conditioning after coming off two knee surgeries cannot be ignored. 

This road win gets dismissed if Washington reverts back to the previous narrative. Perhaps it won't be fair judging the outcome against the title-contending Spurs, but wins can't just come against teams headed to the next draft lottery. If the Wizards combine resolve and effort going forward regardless of any momentum changes, then perhaps this regular season ends with an uplifting conclusion. For now, Washington takes the win and flips the road woes page. 

"It was a big win altogether whether it was at home or on the road," Porter said. "That is two in a row and we are just trying to take it one game at a time."

Cliches equal bad writing. That approach works just fine for a team seeking positive momentum.

[RELATED: Takeaways from the Wizards' first road win at Magic]

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Wrist injury latest twist for Wizards rookie

Wrist injury latest twist for Wizards rookie

ORLANDO -- Wizards rooke Danuel House hasn't received much playing time yet this season. It appears that won't change for now.

The 6-foot-7 forward was unavailable for Friday's game at Orlando after suffering a right wrist inury during a recent practice. He will have the injury "re-evaluated Monday and then we'll make some decisons," coach Scott Brooks said before the Wizards faced the Magic for the second time this season.

One of three undrafted rookies on the roster, House has only played in one game this season. He recently returned from a stint in the D-League.

The most notable aspect of the injury is pure depth, especially during a stretch when starters Markieff Morris (ankle) and Otto Porter (hip) are dealing with ailments that kept them out of the second half of recent games. Morris and Porter are starting against Orlando.

Center Ian Mahinmi (knee surgery) remains out, but "he will be back soon," Brooks stated. Mahinmi began working with teammates on-court last Saturday.