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Same NBA dream, yet different future paths for Wells, White

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Same NBA dream, yet different future paths for Wells, White

Aaron White lived the dream. Only 60 players had their names called during the 2015 NBA Draft. The Iowa forward with the perimeter game was one of them.

Dez Wells was not. Yet of the two Big Ten products, both members of the Washington Wizards' Summer League roster, it's the undrafted guard from Maryland with arguably the better chance of reaching the NBA this season.

White, Washington's second round selection, and Wells visited Verizon Center last month for pre-draft workouts. The pair returned Monday for the first day of mini-camp ahead of the upcoming Las Vegas Summer League.

Of the 16 players currently on this roster, only first round pick Kelly Oubre Jr. is a lock for the real Washington Wizards roster, which as of Monday night has but two open slots.

Clearly the Wizards have interest in White after selecting the senior forward 49th overall.

One week before the June 25th Draft, the 6-foot-8 White visited Chinatown.

"The first time I was here I didn't really know what to expect, if they liked me," White said. "Obviously, they see me as some part of their future. Definitely a good feeling. Just excited to get to work."

By virtue of drafting White, the Wizards own his NBA rights. Cold or not, his value as an asset arguably trumps his chances of making the 2015-16 roster. Washington could use another stretch-4 option. That's White's game, but if his game needs more seasoning, better for the Eastern Conference-contending Wizards that occurs overseas. His rights remain theirs and another player can join the club next season.

White understands the scenario, but hopes his performances during practices and Summer League changes minds.

"I know that they saw something in me that they liked," White said. "Depending on how the roster shakes out, I'd love to play for them this year. If not, I just want to become the best basketball player I can become. Whether that's taking a year overseas or whatever it is, I'm (up) to do (it). My goal coming in is to try and play (in the NBA) this year."

Wells has the same goal, but a different path. Because he wasn't drafted, John Wall's childhood friend could weigh different offers.

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"It's all perspective," Wells said about not being drafted. "Depends on if you just want to hear your name called just so you can celebrate with your family. At the same time, if you want to pick your team that you choose to play summer league with, it's better for you."

The Wizards, who received a closer look at Wells during a June 11 workout, made it clear they hoped the power-packed guard would choose them. 

"They were very interested in me. Even before the draft was over with they called me," Wells said.

After doing some homework in addition to consulting with his with his family and agent, Wells chose to stay in the DMV. The news broke shortly after the Draft's conclusion.

"I played around here. I know this area really well. Have good relationships with some of the players. I know the coaching staff," Wells said. "Just with the roster, I feel like my talents here, I can have a good impact this year if they pick me up."

Speaking with a certain friend who doubles as the Wizards' leading man helped with his decision.

"[John] reached out to me during the draft. He called me and we talked a little bit. I asked him what he thought about this fit here and he was all for it. That had something to do with my decision," Wells said.

The decision on whether White or Wells make the Wizards' regular season roster or even have a chance to attend training camp will not be up to White and Wells.

"Obviously that's in other people's hands," White said. "I'm going to work as hard as I can and prove I can be an asset on the floor and for the team."

The ex-Terp shares the same dream.

"I just want to play in the NBA," Wells said. "Show is not over. Still got a lot of chances left."

Notes: The Wizards expect to rotate their Summer League head coaching duties among their current assistance. Former assistant Sam Cassell,, now with the Clippers, served as SL coach in recent years.

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Remember Ramon Sessions? Wizards bring back familiar face, sources confirm

Remember Ramon Sessions? Wizards bring back familiar face, sources confirm

For the Wizards, with a tough stretch coming and with John Wall still sidelined, depth and health is of the utmost importance.

With the team set to begin the second half of the 2018 NBA season on Thursday night against the Cavaliers, Scott Brooks and company decided to make a move to shore up their backcourt depth, a commodity the team cannot have enough of.

Veteran guard Ramon Sessions, who spent the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons in Washington, D.C., has been signed by the Wizards to a ten-day contract, NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller confirms.

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The news was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN . Sessions played in 110 games for the Wizards over the course of his two seasons, playing in all 82 games during the 2015-16 season.

He joins the Wizards again having been waived by the New York Knicks on Jan. 13. Sessions averaged 12.8 mpg in 13 games for the Knicks.

Sessions is rejoining a former team for the third time in his career, having played in Milwaukee and Charlotte on two separate occasions.

 

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Wizards at Cavs: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Wizards at Cavs: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre, Jr. and the Washington Wizards battle LeBron James, George Hill, Larry Nance, Jr. and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night.

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

WASHINGTON WIZARDS AT CLEVELAND CAVALIERS

Where: Quicken Loans Arena
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
TV: TNT (pre- and postgame coverage on NBC Sports Washington Plus)
Live stream: TNTdrama.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Back in action

The Wizards return to the court after a week-long layoff due to the All-Star break. Add in the fact that they had three days off before their last game and this will be just the second game for the Wizards in the last 12 days. What is this, football?

The Wizards will try to overcome the rust to keep their momentum going. They entered the All-Star break having won seven of their last nine games. Though the time off was needed due to a wide array of injuries, the Wizards had a good thing going and will aim to recapture that against a good Cavs team.

PODCAST: BIGGEST STORYLINES COMING OUT OF ALL-STAR BREAK

Tough stretch

The Wizards come back with a game against the Cavs, a difficult first assignment after such a long layoff. But this is just the beginning of what will be a very difficult part of their schedule. In their next 17 games, the Wizards will play 15 times against teams currently holding playoff spots. That includes the Warriors, Celtics, Spurs and Raptors.

The schedule is tough beyond their opponents. Four times in the next three weeks they will play back-to-back games and they have five games in the next seven nights. Hopefully the players recharged their batteries because it won't be easy.

RELATED: BEAL IMPRESSED BY LEBRON AT ALL-STAR GAME

New-look Cavs

The Wizards and Cavs have played twice this season already and Cleveland took both of those matchups. However, that was all before the trade deadline when the Cavs overhauled their roster. They have won all three of their games since and look rejuvenated with younger players.

Now surrounding LeBron James are a host of new faces like George HIll, Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance, Jr. It will be interesting to see how the Wizards match up with this new group.

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