Quick Links

Wizards take closer look at UConn's Andre Drummond


Wizards take closer look at UConn's Andre Drummond

As Andre Drummond readied himself for questions from the local media following his workout with the Wizards on Monday, Washington assistant coach Gene Banks momentarily stopped the process. Banks, himself a rugged, albeit undersized power player during his college days at Duke, put his arm around the physically imposing center before proceeding to smile andjoke his way through a statement about Drummond being his long lost son.If the 6-foot-11, 278 pound Drummond truly carried some of that Banks high-effort DNA, there would be no question about who the Wizards would take with the third overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. Actually, in that scenario, they would not even have a chance on June 28 seeing as how there would be no way Drummond makes it past the Bobcats at two. It certainly would not be a foregone conclusion like it is now that Kentucky shotblocker Anthony Davis is the overall number one pick.
Alas, that part of the 18-year-olds big man game he turns 19 in August - remains in question. That and whetherDrummond's truly raw offensive skill set will develop in rapid enough fashion for a team ready to make a move toward the playoffs and away from its perpetual draft lottery status.Other likely candidates for the Wizards first selection, including Kansas Thomas Robinson, Floridas Bradley Beal and Kentuckys Michael Kid-Gilchrist, have recently been put through the paces by Wizards coach Randy Wittman and his staff. Now it was the Connecticut freshmans turn.It went really well. Its a great day for me today, Drummond said following his session on the Wizards practice court, his third to date with an NBA team. Im definitely starting to come around. The workouts are good, real good. Im working well the coaching staff. Everything is going real good for me right now."Drummond, who averaged 10.0 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocks last season for the Huskies, also has scheduled upcoming visits in Charlotte and Cleveland. His mock draft projections range from number two down to the middle of the lottery teams. While these individual team sessions are said to be only a small portion of the overall evaluation process, it provides the player a chance to show what they have going on.That I can be an all-around player that can definitely defend the hoop, block a shot, grab rebounds, but also put points on the board. I can run the floor real well, Drummond said of what he hoped to show the Wizards and other inquiring teams.He didnt mention shooting ability. That is because right now, his is not on the positive side of the assessment ledger.Though Drummond finished his one college season as 54 percent shooter, most of his attempts came on dunks or looks within proximity of the basket. Out at the free throw line, Drummond clanked at an astonishingly low 29.5 percent (26 of 88). During the small window of time the media watched his workout on Monday, Drummond uncomfortably missed three of four free throws with at least one errant toss finding only the side of the rim.Good thing for Drummond its his size and physical skill set that attracts NBA teams. His shot blocking ways could help a team in year one even if his offense remains a work in progres. In preparation for the draft, Drummond said he has lost 22 pounds since the season ended.From the Wizards perspective, will they want to take on another big man project after going through the slow process with another physically gifted big man (though in different ways), JaVale McGee. Since Drummond is not ready to be a contributor and may not be for another year or two, the Wizards may find themselvessimply grooming him so he can go play elsewhere once his rookie contract is up. That would also lead to a similar financial debate like the one that just took place over McGee. In addition, Washington currently employs two wide body types on the roster - Nene and Kevin Seraphin- that figure to eat up most of the center minutes.The teams primary needs lie on the perimeter, in terms of bodies and shooters. Clearly, Drummond cannot help in those areas. Whether his upside outweighs those current concerns is what the Wizards must decide either at No. 3 or as a trade down option.

Quick Links

Wizards Tipoff podcast: Phil Chenier tells stories ahead of his jersey retirement

Associated Press

Wizards Tipoff podcast: Phil Chenier tells stories ahead of his jersey retirement

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, host Chase Hughes was joined by Bullets/Wizards legend Phil Chenier ahead of his jersey retirement set for this upcoming weekend on March 23.

Chenier looked back on his playing and broadcasting career and told great stories. He also shared some memories of the 1978 championship as the franchise gets ready to honor its 40th anniversary.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!

Quick Links

Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue stepping away from team to deal with health issues

USA Today Sports Images

Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue stepping away from team to deal with health issues

An undiagnosed illness has convinced Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue to step away from the team indefinitely, the team announced on Monday. Assistant coach Larry Drew will take over in the interim.

Lue, 40, is hoping to address his health issues in time to return before the year is out. According to a statement on the team's website, he has been under the weather for quite some time.


Here is what Lue said on the matter in a press release:

I have had chest pains and other troubling symptoms, compounded by a loss of sleep, throughout the year. Despite a battery of tests, there have been no conclusions as to what the exact issue is.

While I have tried to work through it, the last thing I want is for it to affect the team. I am going to use this time to focus on a prescribed routine and medication, which has previously been difficult to start in the midst of a season. My goal is to come out of it a stronger and healthier version of myself so I can continue to lead this team to the Championship we are all working towards.

That is scary stuff and certainly much bigger than basketball. But the surprising news happens to come at a crucial time in the Cavs' season. They are currently third in the Eastern Conference with only 13 games remaining before the playoffs.


The Cavs are just a half-game ahead of both the Wizards and Pacers in the standings. They will also have to reincorporate All-Star Kevin Love, likely sometime this week. 

That is a lot for Drew to deal with while Lue recovers and it adds another wrinkle to a Cavs' season that has been characterized by change.


NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!