Wizards

Quick Links

Pros and cons: who should Wizards choose to start at power forward?

usatsi_10034810.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Pros and cons: who should Wizards choose to start at power forward?

The biggest storyline for the Wizards as they prepare for the 2017-18 regular season remains who will start at power forward for the first several weeks while Markieff Morris is out rehabbing from sports hernia surgery. Morris will leave a big hole on offense, as a rebounder and in what he brings as a leader and tone-setter. 

Fortunately for the Wizards, they have a few desirable options. There are several ways head coach Scott Brooks can go. Here is a look at the most likely candidates as we pass the halfway point of preseason.

Jason Smith

Pros: With a developing three-point shot, Smith could be a nice complement to Marcin Gortat the power forward position. He's not a big-time rim protector, but would certainly help the cause next to Gortat, who isn't a big shot blocker. Smith and Gortat would make a very strong pair of screen-setters and Brooks could put that to use with John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter.

Cons: Smith could end up as the primary backup power forward and by promoting him to the starting lineup, the Wizards would give him less time to gel with the second unit. Given Ian Mahinmi missed 51 games last season, he and Smith will still need time to develop a chemistry. Brooks will weigh that in his decision. Also, Smith and Gortat may have trouble with certain frontcourts. Smith has turned himself into a stretch-4 of sorts with his ability to knock down some threes, but can he guard stretch-4s? That's one of the things Morris brings to the table.

Quotable: "Jason is going to play with toughness and that brand of physicality that we need. We always say that when Jason isn't on your team in practice, you hate it because he's going to set screens and do all the little things that you're supposed to do. He never complains. He's one of the most professional guys that I've ever played with, even when he's playing or not playing. He brings the toughness that we need on both ends of the floor." - John Wall

[RELATED: PODCAST - KARA LAWSON ON JOINING THE WIZARDS BROADCAST]

Mike Scott

Pros: Scott has had a strong preseason so far. We know he's tough, we know he can play very good defense when healthy. And, as he has shown this preseason, he can score in a variety of ways. He is a big body, who can bang down low and he can also stretch the floor with confidence from three-point range. By elevating him to the starting lineup, the Wizards could ask Scott to do much of the same things Morris does when he's on the floor: play an inside-out game and be ready to mix it up if the other team wants to start something.

Cons: Ideally, whomever Brooks picks to start at power forward will play a good amount of minutes and right now that is at least a minor concern for Scott. Brooks keeps referencing Scott's history of ankle injuries. He didn't play in their open scrimmage during training camp and spent the first half of their first preseason game mainly on the exercise bike. He is considered healthy, but they have to monitor his ankle and that is worth factoring in.

Quotable: "Another person that can spread the floor, shoot the ball. Good thing is if they switch and put smalls against him, he can score on the post. He showed that and his toughness. He backs down from nobody and that is something we need on our team.” - John Wall

"He can give you the inside game or outside game. I always call him Mr. Efficient because he's a bucket. I played him in college before too so he's just automatic. I love his drive and focus in the game. He's all about his teammates and being locked into the game. He can score. He can score in a variety of ways. He can shoot threes, give it to you in the post, put it on the floor, he's a great pick and roll player too. he's everything that we need him to be. He's proven it." - Bradley Beal

Otto Porter, Jr.

Pros: Porter is certainly an option to start at power forward given the success the Wizards found last year with him playing alongside Kelly Oubre, Jr. Porter gained about five pounds this summer and has the length to guard some power forwards, especially in today's NBA which is trending smaller and more athletic down low. The appeal for Porter and Oubre playing together alongside Wall and Beal is that they can switch from position to position on defense. Given their defensive issues last year, it would't be surprising if Brooks wants to go with this group and Morris' absence could give him an excuse to ride that lineup heavily early in the season.

Cons: If Porter and Oubre are both in the starting lineup, that limits Brooks' options at the small forward position on his bench. Unless both play super heavy minutes, who would take their place is not an easy decision. The Wizards would love to see Tomas Satoransky develop some positional versatility, but he doesn't seem ready for that task, to play the three alongside Tim Frazier and Jodie Meeks. Scott can play some small forward, but he is going to be needed at the four with Morris out.

Quotable: “We’ve done it last year, we were pretty successful with Otto playing the four. That is something we will consider but you don’t want to overextend guys’ minutes. We’re going to be cognizant of all our guys’ minutes and we want them to feel fresh throughout the season. Otto definitely has the ability to play four. The league is so, so much — it’s a smaller league in a lot of different spots. In the ’80s or ’90s, Otto at the four probably would not have been a decision but now, with all the shooting fours out there, I think he can step in and play that role, whether we need him to start at the position or be that position throughout the game." - Scott Brooks

[RELATED: BEAL, WALL DECIDE ON NICKNAME FOR CAPITAL ONE ARENA]

Quick Links

Best 2017 Black Friday gift ideas for the Wizards fan in your life

screen_shot_2017-11-21_at_8.45.36_pm.png
USA TODAY Sports

Best 2017 Black Friday gift ideas for the Wizards fan in your life

Looking for a Black Friday gift for that special Wizards fan? We’re got you covered.

Well they may not be that special, you may just be stuck with them in your gift exchange group. Believe it or not, some times sports’ fans are the hardest to shop for around the holidays. With Black Friday later this week there are going to be plenty of deals to find the perfect gift for any Wizards fan on your shopping list.

Here are a few ideas:

1. John Wall Jersey

Price: $69.99

Where to Buy: NBA Store

Why They’ll Love It: This is pretty self-explanatory. If they don’t have one, they need one. If they do have one, they can always use another. Attached is the link for the Men’s jerseys but they also have Women’s and Kids sizes as well.

2. Washington Wizards New Era Cuffed Knit Hat with Pom

Price: $23.99

Where to Buy: NBA Store

Why They’ll Love It: Everyone needs their go-to winter hat/ beanie once the temperature drops outside. This one can be that beanie. And as a guy I know this is not an easy find. Fits perfectly with any outfit.

3. Washington Wizards Brown Pilsner Beer Gift Set

Price: Sale -- $99.99

Where to Buy: NBA Store

Why They’ll Love It: Granted this gift is not for everyone and if they do not have other alcohol memorabilia you might want to think twice before getting this gift. If they do, and if they like their adult beverages, then you will strike gold with this gift.

4. Washington Wizards Team Lanyard

Price: Sale: $9.99

Where to Buy: NBC Sports Shop

Why They’ll Love It: Keeping it simple is sometimes the best option. There is never a time you could go wrong with a team lanyard and like unlike other Wizards lanyard options, this one looks pretty good.

5. Washington Wizards Candy Cane Sweater

Price: Sale -- $69.99

Where to Buy: NBC Sports Shop

Why They’ll Love It: Just click on the link and you’ll know why.

6. Men’s Washington Wizards Fanatics Navy Static Long Sleeve

Price: Sale -- $29.99, Regular -- $39.99

Where to Buy: NBA Store

Why They’ll Love It: Brush stroke designs are all of the rage these days and this item is the ideal sports t-shirt that isn’t too much. It’s simple, sleek, and lightweight.

7. Washington Wizards Logo Fathead

Price: Sale -- $69.99

Where to Buy: Fathead

Why They’ll Love It: Fatheads are not just for kids anymore, and if you do have a kid you should check out their full collection. The Wizards Logo Fathead is a requirement for any Wizards’ fan cave out there. And if you are unsure about getting them a poster, this is the best start before you go with a life-size John Wall poster.

8. Washington Wizards Plush Santa Hat

Price: Sale: $14.95

Where to Buy: Rakuten.com

Why They’ll Love It: Not all gifts have to wait until Christmas, here is a chance to get a unique item they you KNOW they will use at least one day out of the year.

9. Washington Wizards New Era Navy 2017 Draft Cap

Price: Sale -- $29.99, Regular -- $39.99

Where to Buy: NBA Store

Why They’ll Love It: Another necessity for any Wizards fan, like the John Wall jersey. Better yet, odds are they do not have this hat yet. If your Wizards fan is a hat wearer, you cannot go wrong with this as their gift.

10. fuboTV Subscription

Price: $19.99/month for 2 months

Where to buy: fubotv.com

Why they'll love it: What better gift than the games themselves? Perfect for the cord-cutting Wizards fan on your list, fuboTV offers 80 streaming channels from sports to news to movies and more. Watch on all of your favorite devices including Roku, Apple TV, Amazon FireTV and AndroidTV or take it anywhere with the fuboTV app, available for both Android and iOS. If you're on the go, take advantage of fuboTV's cloud-based DVR service to record your favorite programs and watch them wherever you'd like. Even better? There are no hidden fees or long-term contracts and you can cancel anytime.

Quick Links

Star NBA draft prospect Michael Porter, Jr. likely out for season with back injury

usatsi_10424731.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Star NBA draft prospect Michael Porter, Jr. likely out for season with back injury

There was a potentially major development in the 2018 NBA Draft on Tuesday, as news broke that star Missouri freshman Michael Porter, Jr. will undergo back surgery that could keep him out for the rest of the season.

Porter, 19, will have a "microdiscectomy of the L3-L4 spinal discs," according to the school.

Porter played in just one game, and for only two minutes, after entering this season as one of the top recruits in the nation.

PODCAST: MARKIEFF MORRIS GOES IN-DEPTH

A 6-foot-10 forward, Porter is projected by most mock drafts to be a top five pick. He is highly skilled for his size with the ability to shoot and handle the ball.

It's too early to project how much this will affect his draft status, but injuries this serious often cause players to slide.

Nerlens Noel tore his ACL as a freshman at Kentucky and was picked sixth the following summer despite once being considered the top prospect in the draft.

Joel Embiid suffered a back injury as a freshman at Kansas, yet was still taken third in a what was a deep class. It depends on the injury and the potential of the player.

There's a chance Porter returns this season. He has a recovery timeline of three-to-four months, which means he could be back in March. But with hopefully a long NBA career ahead of him, it wouldn't seem wise to risk it.

RELATED: BEAL'S 700 THREES MILESTONE, BY THE NUMBERS