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Jahlil Okafor finally traded, as Sixers strengthen bench

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USA Today Sports

Jahlil Okafor finally traded, as Sixers strengthen bench

The years-long saga of trade rumors for Jahlil Okafor has officially come to an end, as the Sixers traded the former third overall pick to the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday.

Okafor, still only 21 years old, goes to Brooklyn along with guard Nik Stauskas and a second round pick for veteran forward (and former Wizard) Trevor Booker. The Sixers didn't get much for Okafor, considering how far his stock had fallen in just two years, but they did strengthen their bench with a capable forward who brings value on both ends of the floor.

Okafor, meanwhile, gets a much-needed second chance. He will team up with D'Angelo Russell, the second overall pick in the same draft, to give the Nets two intriguing young players to build around. Okafor, though, is a free agent after this season.

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Okafor has seen his minutes dwindle in the past two seasons, but as a rookie in 2015-16 he averaged an impressive 17.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. Those stats earned him a spot on the All-Rookie team.

The Wizards play the Nets twice in the next few weeks. They see them in Brooklyn on Dec. 12 and at home on Dec. 22.

The Nets are taking the longview while the Sixers are going for a move that can help them win now. They needed depth at small forward and Booker is an excellent option off their bench to go alongside Justin Anderson, who is out right now due to injury.

The Sixers weren't using Okafor anyways, so they got deeper with Booker. Keep that in mind if the Wizards see them in the playoffs.

[RELATED: PROJECTING WALL'S RETURN ON THE PODCAST]

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

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

John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter and the Washington Wizards battle Kemba Walker, Dwight Howard, Nic Batum and the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday 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 CHARLOTTE HORNETS

Where: Spectrum Center
Tip-off: 7 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (coverage begins at 6 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Online with no cable TV: fuboTV (try for free)
Radio: 1500 AM

Three things to watch...

On the road again

The Wizards have played eight of their last nine games at home, but that is all about to change. Wednesday night's game against the Hornets will begin a five-game road trip and a stretch where 10 of their next 13 games are out of town. This will be a good test for the Wizards who have won six of their last nine, but still struggle to find consistency from game to game.

The Wizards' troubles against losing teams have been well-documented and this stretch will be an opportunity for them to right some wrongs. They begin with the Hornets, who beat them in their last meeting on Nov. 22. They will also see the Mavs and Hawks soon, two teams that pulled off upsets against them earlier this year.

PODCAST: BRADLEY BEAL ON HIS GROWTH AS A LEADER

Otto needs to get going

The Wizards could use more from Otto Porter who over the past year-plus has proven a capable third scoring option, but has not been providing much in that sense lately. Over his last seven games, Porter is averaging just 8.9 points on 37.7 percent shooting from the field and 20.8 percent from three. He's doing other things well, but the Wizards need more from him on offense.

Porter said he's trying to get his legs back after missing the team's game against the Bucks on Jan. 6, and only so many plays are run for him, but head coach Scott Brooks thinks there is more Porter can do to get himself opportunities. Brooks would like to see Porter get open and shoot more often. He wants Porter to be more aggressive and John Wall said pretty much the same. We'll see how Porter responds in Charlotte.

PODCAST: MIDSEASON AWARDS FOR MVP, BEST WIN AND MORE

Hornets are playing better

It hasn't been a great season overall for the Hornets, who are 17-25 and currently 11th in the Eastern Conference, but they have been playing better lately. The Hornets have won four of their last six games including victories over the Pistons and Jazz. They also beat the Warriors and Bucks in recent weeks.

Kemba Walker has been leading the charge, per usual. Over his last 11 games, Walker is averaging 23.1 points 5.5 assists and 1.5 steals. Four games ago he dropped 41 points on the Mavericks. He will be a handful for Wall, but Wall is also playing very well lately with averages of 25.3 points and 11.0 assists per game in his last eight appearances.

PODCAST: BREAKING DOWN JOHN WALL'S SHOE DEAL

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Scott Brooks feels good about John Wall and Bradley Beal's All-Star chances

Scott Brooks feels good about John Wall and Bradley Beal's All-Star chances

Voting for the 2018 NBA All-Star Game's starters is now closed and though they have not fared well with fan ballots, the chances Wizards guards John Wall and Bradley Beal are picked as reserves seem good.

The All-Star reserves are chosen by NBA head coaches and Wizards head coach Scott Brooks thinks the Wizards should have two representatives.

"They're definitely both having All-Star years," Brooks said. "I can't vote for either one, but they are definitely in my mind two of the best guards in the East."

Wall, 27, is averaging 19.9 points and leads the Eastern Conference with 9.3 assists per game. He also leads all NBA guards with 1.1 blocks per game.

Bradley Beal, 24, is seventh in the East with 23.7 points per game and third among Eastern Conference guards. He is averaging a career-high 4.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game.

[PODCAST: MIDSEASON AWARDS FOR MVP, BEST WIN AND MORE]

The 25-19 Wizards are currently in the playoff picture, which should help their cause for two All-Stars. But there is a lot of competition at the guard position.

Beal has done plenty to make the case he should be a first-time All-Star. He leads the Wizards in points and has played in every one of their games.

What could hold Wall back is that his numbers are down from last season and the fact he missed 11 games due to injury.

Brooks, though, thinks he should be in there and that it shouldn't be all that close.

"I think John is the best point guard in the East," he said.

Wall is certainly up there among the best point guards in the conference. His competition would be guys like Kyrie Iriving, Kyle Lowry and maybe Ben Simmons. Wall is a more versatile player than Irving and has better numbers than Lowry or Simmons.

The All-Star starters are announced on Jan. 18 and the full rosters will be revealed on Jan. 23. We'll see if Wall and Beal make the cut.

[PODCAST: BRADLEY BEAL ON HIS GROWTH AS A LEADER]