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NBA Mock Draft 5.0: Jahlil Okafor or D'Angelo Russell?


NBA Mock Draft 5.0: Jahlil Okafor or D'Angelo Russell?

The 2015 NBA Draft takes place two weeks from Thursday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Perhaps by then we'll have a better sense of the Wizards thinking, not to mention the selections from the fourth pick on. While Kentucky center Karl-Anthony Towns, Duke big man Jahlil Okafor and Ohio State guard D'Angelo Russell are seemingly set for the top three selections in some order, chaos reigns from there. 

Based on various levels of homework including speaking with folks around the league, boning up on team needs and watching video on the international prospects, here's my stab at ranking the top 30 prospects. More thoughts on most of these players occurs inside Mock Draft 5.0. But first:

  • One month ago I narrowed down the Wizards' options at No. 19 to eight players. Overall, those choices remain strong, though it might be time to consider dropping UNLV forward Christian Wood, who was the longest shot on the board. The athletic but raw big man's value appears to be trending the wrong way. Regardless, Washington needs immediate help for a shot at the Eastern Conference Finals. If we take out Wood, we need to add another name and just one because eight is enough (Thanks, I'll be here all week). Wisconsin forward Sam Dekker, Kansas freshman wing Kelly Oubre Jr., Utah point guard Delon Wright, UNLV guard Rashad Vaughn and Arizona forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson are in consideration. Update to follow. 

[CLICK HERE: To view the full Mock Draft, click here]

Top 30 2015 NBA Draft prospects (CSNwashington.com links added)

1. Karl-Anthony Towns, C, Kentucky

2. D'Angelo Russell, PG, Ohio State

3. Jahlil Okafor, C, Duke

4. Emmanuel Mudiay, PG, China

5. Justise Winslow, SF, Duke

6. Kristaps Porzingis, PF, Latvia

7. Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky

8. Mario Hezonja, SF, Croatia

9. Myles Turner, C, Texas

10. Stanley Johnson, SF, Arizona

11. Devin Booker, SG, Kentucky

12. R.J. Hunter, SG, Georgia State

13. Frank Kaminsky, PF, Wisconsin

14. Bobby Portis, PF, Arkansas

15. Cameron Payne, PG, Murray State

16. Jerian Grant, PG, Notre Dame

17. Trey Lyles, PF, Kentucky

18. Montrezl Harrell, PF, Louisville

19. Tyus Jones, PG, Duke

20. Kelly Oubre Jr., SF, Kansas

21. Sam Dekker, SF, Wisconsin

22. Kevon Looney, PF, UCLA

23. Rashad Vaughn, SG, UNLV

24. Justin Anderson, SG, Virginia

25. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, SF, Arizona

26. Robert Upshaw, C, Washington

27. Delon Wright, PG, Utah

28. Terry Rozier, PG, Louisville

29. Christian Wood, PF, UNLV

30. Cliff Alexander, PF, Kansas

[CLICK HERE: To view the full Mock Draft, click here]

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Wizards vs. Sixers: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

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Wizards vs. Sixers: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre, Jr. and the Washington Wizards battle Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, J.J. Redick and the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch:


Where: Capital One Arena
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (coverage begins at 7 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Another test

The Wizards continue their difficult stretch coming out of the All-Star break against a very dangerous Sixers team. Philly has proven to be very streaky this season, but right now they are rolling. They come to Washington having won their last seven games dating back to Feb. 6 when they beat the Wizards at the Wells Fargo Center. The Wizards are also playing well, having won eight of their last 11, despite their loss to the Hornets on Friday.

The Sixers are currently seventh in the East and appear on track to make the playoffs. If they keep rising the standings, they could meet the Wizards, who are currently fourth, in the first round. 


Season series

Speaking of the playoffs, this game could end up looming large for postseason seeding. The Sixers have won two of the three matchups between these teams this year. If they win on Sunday, they will take the season series and own the tiebreaker over Washington.

If the two teams tie head-to-head and end up with the same record at the end of the season, it will then come down to conference record. The Sixers currently have a better record against East teams than the Wizards. But if they can beat Philly this time, the Wizards will have a chance to secure the conference tiebreaker down the stretch of this season.


Sixers are tough to guard

The Wizards have found out the hard way this season just how difficult it can be to match up with the Sixers, who are led by two emerging stars in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Embiid is 7-foot-1 with rare abilities to stretch the floor and beat opponents off the dribble. Simmons is 6-foot-10, yet can lead the fastbreak with rare speed and vision to find his teammates with crisp passes.

The mobility for their size is almost unmatched and it has not been easy for the Wizards to answer. In their last meeting earlier this month, Simmons had 15 points, eight assists, six rebounds and three steals. Embiid had 27 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks. The Wizards have to try to limit those guys while also dealing with other challenges like Robert Covington, Dario Saric and J.J. Reddick.


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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

Instead of visiting the White House when they come to Washington this week to play the Wizards, the defending-champion Golden State Warriors plan to hold an event with D.C.-area kids.

Their invitation was rescinded by president Donald Trump following a back-and-forth between the two sides last year. After the Warriors won the title, they openly questioned whether they should follow the tradition given many of the players and coaches disagree with his policies. Trump took the opportunity away before they came to a final decision.


The Warriors' event will be closed off to the media and held at an undisclosed location. It is set for Tuesday, the day before they play the Wizards at Capital One Arena. The Warriors had the option of holding a ceremony with other politicians in the Democratic party, but decided that would send the wrong message. 

"It's their championship. They got disinvited to the White House, so it's up to them what they wanted to do. So they made their plans," coach Steve Kerr said. "I want the players to have a good day and to do something positive and to enjoy what they're doing."

The Warriors are the first NBA team to make this choice since Trump was elected president. Last season, the Cleveland Cavaliers held their celebration with president Barack Obama in November. They did so just days after Trump was elected and LeBron James questioned at the time whether he would visit the White House with Trump in office.


Sports teams visiting the White House goes back to the mid-1800s. The first World Series title team to visit was the 1924 Washington Senators. By the 1960s, NBA teams were going and by the 1980s NFL and NHL teams made it a tradition.

Entire teams snubbing the White House is unusual, but many players have turned down the opportunity. In the NBA, some famous cases include Larry Bird in 1984 and Michael Jordan in 1991, according to Rolling Stone.

Perhaps the Warriors start a trend, or maybe it will be a one-off thing. Regardless, the alternative they chose is a respectable one.