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Wizards know Sixers' former 1st overall pick Ben Simmons presents unique threat

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Wizards know Sixers' former 1st overall pick Ben Simmons presents unique threat

The Philadelphia 76ers, amazingly, will have not one but two No. 1 overall draft picks making their NBA debuts on Wednesday night when the Wizards host the Sixers in their regular season opener at Capital One Arena.

Markelle Fultz is getting much of the hype and understandably. He was the most recent top pick, is from the D.C. area and the Sixers had to trade up to get him. But Ben Simmons is also ready to debut and the Wizards aren't about to overlook him.

Wizards head coach Scott Brooks has already watched some of the limited film available on the 2016 top pick and he likes what he sees.

"He's a problem. He can do a lot of good things on the court. He has great size and strength. His athleticism is off the charts," Brooks said. "He has size, he has length, he has jumping ability. He's going to be a heck of a player for a long time."

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Simmons, 21, is 6-foot-10 but has the mobility of a guard. At the NBA Draft Combine in 2016, he recorded a 41 1/2-inch. max vertical leap, equal to Zach LaVine and higher than Aaron Gordon. His agility test time was better than Stephen Curry and Chris Paul.

Athletes like Simmons don't come around often. He's a difficult player to match up with, regardless of his inexperience and reputation as a poor shooter. Size and speed are two things that can't be taught.

Whom the Wizards throw at him will be interesting. Perhaps Kelly Oubre, Jr. or Otto Porter will get the nod. Brooks, though, insists it won't be up to one player.

"We have the versatility on defense where we can match up with different players. That can help us guard players like that. But you're talking about a guy who can put the ball on the floor and get to spaces and spots that normally a 6-10 guy doesn't. Your team defense has to be locked in," Brooks said.

Simmons missed all of last season with a foot injury, but was impressive this preseason. A player who can pass like this at 6-foot-10 is a serious anomaly:

[RELATED: SIXERS WON'T START FULTZ VS. WIZARDS]

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' tough loss to Bucks including John Wall's circus shot

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USA Today Sports Images

5 must-see moments from Wizards' tough loss to Bucks including John Wall's circus shot

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Wizards' 104-95 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday afternoon...

1. John Wall came out swinging in the first half with 22 points, 16 of them in the first quarter alone. 

This was one of his best plays. Wall split two defenders and then flipped it in off the glass:

Wall finished with 27 points, nine assists, four rebounds, three steals and two blocks. 

2. Kelly Oubre, Jr. led the Wizards' bench with 19 points, five rebounds and a block. He missed on this play, but nearly dunked on Giannis Antetokounmpo. That would have been something:

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

3. Oubre did get this one to go down. He popped a three at the buzzer to end the third quarter:

4. Wall had some nice passes including this alley-oop lob to Tomas Satoransky. Sato got way up there:

Satoransky also threw down this alley-oop pass earlier thrown by Bradley Beal:

5. This last play was by the Bucks and it was not something you see every day. Antetokounmpo fired an assist through his legs like a longsnapper:

The Wizards lost a close one. Now they head to Charlotte to begin a five-game road trip.

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

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On MLK Day, John Wall wonders what King would think about race relations under President Trump

On MLK Day, John Wall wonders what King would think about race relations under President Trump

John Wall spoke at length over the summer about race relations in the United States following the violence in Charlottesville in August orchestrated by white supremacists.

Following the Wizards' game against the Bucks on Martin Luther King, Jr. day on Monday, Wall was asked about the subject again.

Wall does not believe improvements have made in the last few months with President Donald Trump in office and he wonders how King would react if he were alive to see the current state of America.

"I think he still wouldn't be satisfied. We're still dealing with it. I think it got better for a little period of time, but with the new president we have I think things are going backwards. We've been dealing with it the last couple of years. There are some things we still need to figure out," Wall said.

PODCAST: MIDSEASON AWARDS FOR MVP, BEST WIN AND MORE

The Wizards play on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day every year and Wizards players cherish the tradition. It is not lost on Wall that he plays in Washington, D.C. where King made his famous 'I Have A Dream' speech and led the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963.

“That’s just an honor and a blessing," Wall said.

"We are all still sticking to what he had with this dream, and we are just trying to get everything to be right with it. To be able to play in this city is an honor."

RELATED: WHO IS WINNING THE NBA MVP RACE?

Wall says he tries to embody King's dream in his own life. King helped lead the civil rights movement that paved the way for equal rights and Wall, an African-American, has much to thank for those who fought. Every American does.

Wall says he wants to make King proud.

“I just hope that he appreciates what I’m doing. I’m doing myself very well. I hope he’s thankful for what I’m doing. I’m striving to be a better African-American athlete, and just as a person first of all – I think that’s the most important thing," he said.

MORE WIZARDS: BRADLEY BEAL ON HIS GROWTH AS A LEADER