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Wizards 2017 NBA Draft prospect profile: PG Monte Morris, Iowa State

Wizards 2017 NBA Draft prospect profile: PG Monte Morris, Iowa State

The Washington Wizards hold the 52nd overall pick in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft. Who will they take? Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects projected to be picked around where the Wizards will select. Check back for more as we continue to get closer to the draft...

Name: Monte Morris
School: Iowa State
Position: Point guard
Age: 21 (turns 22 on 6/27)
Height: 6-2
Weight: 170
2016/17 stats: 16.4 ppg, 6.2 apg, 4.8 rpg, 1.5 spg, 46.5 FG%, 37.8 3PT% (1.5 3P/4.1 3PA), 80.2 FT%
Projections: DraftExpress 52nd, NBADraft.net 53rd


5 things to know:

*Morris was a solid floor general for four years at Iowa State and can do a little bit of everything. He was seventh in total assists this season among all college players, all while protecting the ball with just 1.2 turnovers per game, and also grabbed 4.8 rebounds despite being a 6-foot-2 point guard. That was all in addition to his 16.4 points per game, which led the Cyclones in a season they made the NCAA Tournament's second round.

*One knock on Morris is his three-point shooting. It's not terrible, as he hit 38.1 percent in his career, but it's also not great. For a point guard of his size and style, developing an outside shot will be important for him to carve a niche in the NBA. He actually shot a combined 40.1 percent as a freshman and sophomore, but on only 2.1 attempts per game.

*Right now Morris is projected to be taken by the Wizards at 52nd overall by DraftExpress.com. NBADraft.net has him going 53rd to the Celtics.

*Morris was scheduled to participate in the Wizards' first predraft workout, but had an issue with his flight and couldn't make it. That shouldn't prevent the Wizards from drafting him. They could very likely take someone that didn't visit them, as has been the case in years past.

*Morris was recruited by current Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg and played for him for two years before Hoiberg jumped to the NBA. Morris was Mr. Basketball in the state of Michigan in 2013. That award has a strong NBA lineage between Glen Rice (1985), Chris Webber (1991), Shane Battier (1997) and Jason Richardson (1999).

Fit with Wizards: Morris could fill their void at backup point guard as a four-year starter who could make an impact sooner than later. He projects as a sound point guard who will be able to distribute the ball and add some scoring. The question would be how high his ceiling is. He didn't stand out among point guards at the NBA combine in May. 

RELATED: What type of career can we expect from pick No. 52?

Best highlight video:


Frank Mason III, PG, Kansas

Tyler Dorsey, SG, Orgeon

Josh Hart, SG, Villanova


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Justin Timberlake shows he has game at Wizards practice court

USA Today Sports Images

Justin Timberlake shows he has game at Wizards practice court

Apparently Justin Timberlake is also good at sports. The pop star showed he has a pretty decent jumpshot while playing on the Wizards' practice court on Sunday ahead of his concert at Capital One Arena.


Timberlake knocked down a halfcourt shot and then two three-pointers in a row. It was all shared on video through his Instagram account and then tweeted by the Wizards.


Wizards owner Ted Leonsis was among the many to attend Timberlake's concert and he put out a series of pictures and videos on social media:


Timberlake is also, of course, an NBA owner himself. He holds a minority stake in the Memphis Grizzlies. No wonder he's good at basketball. He can use their practice court any time he wants.

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It's hard to tell after three games how the Wizards and Pacers would match up in the playoffs

It's hard to tell after three games how the Wizards and Pacers would match up in the playoffs

The Wizards crossed off an important goal on Saturday night by beating the Indiana Pacers and therefore securing the season series. If the teams tie with the same regular season record, the Wizards will get the higher playoff seed. As of today, that would mean home court advantage in the first round.

Though the Wizards have beaten the Pacers in two of their three matchups this season, we only know so much about how they would match up in the playoffs. The first game between them didn't feature Pacers All-Star Victor Oladipo and John Wall didn't play in any of the three games. The Pacers were without both Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis on Saturday night.

Given the Pacers underwent so much change over the summer, there is no real data to go off of from before this season. They are a completely different team with Oladipo leading the way and Paul George now in Oklahoma City.


There are reasons to believe, however, that the Wizards would fare well against the Pacers over the course of a seven-game series. For one, they figured out how to slow Oladipo and his teammate Bojan Bogdanovic on Saturday night. Both had killed the Wizards in previous matchups.

Oladipo was held to 18 points, over five points below his season average of 23.5. He had four turnovers, shot 7-for-16 (43.7%) and finished a -18 in a game the Pacers lost by seven.

The Wizards had some success with Tomas Satoransky guarding Oladipo. Satoransky is 6-foot-7 with long arms. He was able to recover on several occasions to alter Oladipo's shots.

Satoransky and Bradley Beal also did a good job keeping pace with Oladipo on the fastbreak. The Pacers had only four fastbreak points in the game. Oladipo is especially dangerous in the open court.

“We just made sure that we were aggressive with him and made sure he saw a lot of bodies in the paint," Beal said. "The last game, he got a lot of easy ones in transition. We just made sure that we got back on the shot, loaded to the ball and forced the other guys to attack.”

For Bogdanovic, it was about limiting open shots from the perimeter. Bogdanovic had 11 points, three below his season average and had four turnovers. Beal and Otto Porter stripped Bogdanovic for steals and Marcin Gortat took a charge on one play in the third quarter.


But it was all about taking away the outside shot. Bogdanovic only hit one shot in the first half and it was a three. The only reason he got it off is because Kelly Oubre, Jr. lost his balance backing up. That gave Bogdanovic the window he needed. Otherwise, Oubre helped frustrate the former Wizards small forward. So did Gortat and Ian Mahinmi, who did a good job covering their teammates off screens.

The Pacers are an average offensive team, ranking 16th in points per game and 14th in offensive rating. They are better defensively, ranking ninth-best in opponents points per game and 12th in defensive efficiency.

If the Wizards can limit Oladipo and Bogdanovic, the Pacers' two leading scorers, they should have a good shot at beating the Pacers in the playoffs. Beyond them, the Pacers are thin in the scoring department. Turner only averages 13.6 points and no one else beyond him can consistently make an opposing defense pay for mistakes. Conversely, several Wizards players have given the Pacers major trouble through three games this season.

Gortat, who had 18 points and eight rebounds on Saturday, has averaged 13 points and eight rebounds on 57.7 percent shooting against Indiana. Kelly Oubre, Jr., who had 16 points in 18 minutes, has averaged 15.5 points and is shooting 50 percent from the field.


In addition to those guys, Markieff Morris, Porter, Mike Scott, Mahinmi and Satoransky are all shooting over 50 percent against the Pacers. Satoransky is shooting 71.4 percent through three games.

The Wizards have the pieces to counter what the Pacers do best. Indiana is seventh in three-point percentage, but the Wizards are the best team in basketball in opponents three-point percentage. The Pacers are built around an All-Star guard, but the Wizards have two All-Star guards. The Pacers have a collection of talented wing players, but so do the Wizards.

"Hypothetically, I do like Indiana," Beal said. "I like how we match up with Indiana and I feel like there is a lot of stuff that we can take advantage of. In a lot of categories, I think we can win them."

Add it all up and the Wizards have every reason to feel confident if they see the Pacers in the posteason. Keep that in mind because they very well could meet up in the spring.

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