Wizards

CSN to offer full coverage of three Wizards Summer League games

ap_685903900615.jpg

CSN to offer full coverage of three Wizards Summer League games

LIVE GAMES TO BE AVAILABLE TO AUTHENTICATED SUBSCRIBERS ON CSNWASHINGTON.COM AND NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA

KELLY OUBRE JR. AND AARON WHITE EXPECTED TO MAKE WIZARDS DEBUTS

Bethesda, Md. (July 7, 2015) – CSN Mid-Atlantic will provide live coverage and primetime encores of the Washington Wizards’ three preliminary-round games of the 2015 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas July 11-14. The live games will also be available to authenticated subscribers on CSNwashington.com and NBC Sports Live Extra. 

CSN’s schedule will tipoff with live coverage of the Wizards opener against the Phoenix Suns on July 11 at 6 p.m., which will be presented as an encore in primetime at 8 p.m. The Wizards’ second game will feature the D-League Select team as the opponent, which will be presented by CSN live at 4 p.m. and as an encore at 7 p.m. on July 12. On July 14, CSN will provide live coverage of the Wizards matchup with the Dallas Mavericks at 3:30 p.m., which will re-air at 7 p.m.

Kelly Oubre Jr., acquired by the Wizards from Atlanta after the Hawks selected him with the 15th overall choice in the 2015 NBA Draft, and the Wizards’ second-round pick in this year’s draft, Aaron White, are expected to make their Wizards debuts during the NBA Summer League.

CSN’s Wizards TV beat reporter Chris Miller will host the network’s game coverage from the studio. Wizards Insider J. Michael, who will be reporting from Las Vegas, will contribute and provide daily content to CSNwashington.com. Fans can follow the coverage on Twitter at @CSNWizards and join the conversation by using #WizardsTalk.

CSN’s Wizards Summer League Schedule:

Day/Date                    Opponent                              Live                  Encore

Saturday, July 11       Phoenix Suns                         6 p.m.               8 p.m.

Sunday, July 12         D-League Select                     4 p.m.               7 p.m.

Tuesday, July 14        Dallas Mavericks                    3:30 p.m.          7 p.m.

All times Eastern

CSN Mid-Atlantic, part of NBC Sports Regional Networks, is the official sports network of the NFL’s Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens, NHL’s Washington Capitals, NBA’s Washington Wizards, MLS’s D.C. United, Atlantic Coast Conference and Colonial Athletic Association. CSN Mid-Atlantic – the leading multiplatform sports media organization serving the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia – delivers more than 500 live events per year, along with Emmy Award-winning news, analysis and entertainment programming, to more than 4.7 million homes. Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic’s digital media portfolio, highlighted by CSNWashington.com and CSNBaltimore.com, is the region’s top online source for written, video and interactive sports content. Follow Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic on Twitter at @CSNMA.

NBC Sports Regional Networks, part of NBC Sports Group, consists of 10 regional networks that deliver more than 2,200 live sporting events annually, along with award-winning breaking news, comprehensive analysis, digital content and original programming to more than 43 million homes. The NBC Sports Regional Networks are: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Comcast SportsNet California, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, which serves Baltimore and Washington D.C., Comcast SportsNet New England, Comcast SportsNet Northwest, The Comcast Network, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia and SportsNet New York. For additional information, visit ComcastSportsNet.com. For more information on NBC Sports Group properties, including press releases, photos, talent and executive bios and headshots, please visit NBCSportsGroupPressBox.com

www.CSNwashington.com

www.CSNbaltimore.com

Quick Links

Though not a big man, first round pick Troy Brown fills several needs for Wizards

Though not a big man, first round pick Troy Brown fills several needs for Wizards

The Wizards' selection of Troy Brown of the University of Oregon with their first round pick has been met with a strong reaction among fans, many of whom argue he doesn't play a position of need, that it was a luxury pick when other areas could have been addressed, most notably in their frontcourt. Big man Robert Williams of Texas A&M, for example, was still on the board. 

The Wizards, though, did address needs by picking Brown. And really, they arguably filled more pressing needs in the short-term than those at power forward and center.

Though the Wizards clearly need some help at big man in the long-term, as both of their starting bigs are on expiring deals, they need help immediately at both shooting guard and small forward. Brown, though he is only 18 years old and offers no guarantees to contribute right away, can play both of those positions.

Shooting guard is where he can help the most. The Wizards have one backup shooting guard in Jodie Meeks and he is due to miss the first 19 games of the 2018-19 season while serving a suspension for performance-enhancing drugs.

Even when Meeks was available this past season, he only helped so much. He shot just 39.9 percent from the field and 34.3 percent from three. Head coach Scott Brooks often chose to rely more on starter Bradley Beal than go to Meeks as his replacement. As a result, Beal logged the fourth-most minutes of any player in the NBA.

More depth at shooting guard will help relieve Beal of some of that workload. That would be great for keeping him fresh throughout the season and help him be at his best when they need him most in the playoffs.

The Wizards also have some urgency at small forward. It is their strongest position in terms of one-two on the depth chart, but they have no logical third option. That was magnified in the playoffs once Otto Porter got injured. They were left with Kelly Oubre, Jr. and had to trot out Tomas Satoransky, who has limited experience at the position.

Brown can play both shooting guard and small forward, giving them much needed depth. If he can play well enough to earn a rotation spot, the emergency situations the Wizards encountered last season could be avoided in 2018-19.

The Wizards still need to find long-term solutions at power forward and center, but they were going to need to find answers at shooting guard and small forward as well. Both Meeks and Oubre have one year left on their deals. Brown helps solidify the long-term outlook at wing.

Now, there's no denying the Wizards already had considerable talent at both shooting guard and small forward with Beal, Porter and Oubre. That begs the question of how much Brown can offer particularly in the first year of his career. But the Wizards would like to play more positionless basketball and to do that requires depth at wing.

The Boston Celtics have helped make positionless basketball famous and their roster shows that the one player-type you can't have enough of is similar to Brown. Boston has Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Morris. All are around 6-foot-7 or 6-foot-8 and offer versatility on both ends of the floor.

The Wizards also now have four players of that size and with positional versatility in Brown, Porter, Oubre and Satoransky. They can roll out different combinations of those guys and possibly have an advantage on defense with the ability to switch seamlessly on screens.

In the age of positionless basketball, players of Brown's ilk have become major assets especially for teams that have many of them. There is such a thing as having too many point guards or centers because they can't coexist on the floor. Versatile wings, in most scenarios, can play together in numbers.

It's different but in a way similar to certain positions in other sports. In baseball, you can have too many catchers but you can't have too many talented pitchers and utility players. In football, you can have too many running backs or tight ends, but you can't have too many defensive linemen. 

Brown gives them options from a roster perspective in the long-term. Oubre has one year left on his contract and if he continues his trejectory with a strong 2018-19 season, he could price himself out of Washington. Brown could move up the depth chart as his replacement one year from now. The Wizards also now have the option to consider trades at the position given their depth.

The problem, one could argue, with drafting Brown over a Williams-type is that it limits their options at center in particular. Drafting Williams would have made it easier to trade Marcin Gortat, for instance, because they would have had depth to deal from. Now, it's more difficult to trade Gortat, whom they have shopped on and off for months, without a plan to replace him. Finding a Gortat substitute in free agency with the limited resource they have would not be easy.

But big man wasn't their only need and in Brown the Wizards may have found a solution at other areas where they clearly needed help.

MORE 2018 NBA DRAFT COVERAGE:

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Quick Links

Wizards' second round pick Issuf Sanon will take time, much like Tomas Satoransky did

img_4776.jpg
NBA

Wizards' second round pick Issuf Sanon will take time, much like Tomas Satoransky did

The first round of the NBA Draft played out expectedly for what the Wizards had planned for the night. In Troy Brown, they clearly got the guy they wanted all along, seeing as there were many interesting prospects they passed on to choose him.

The second round was a bit more chaotic. Team president Ernie Grunfeld said there were a few players picked just ahead of them at No. 44 that they had their eyes on. They contemplated trading up, but no perfect deals were presented.

So, they decided to think long-term, like really long-term. In choosing Ukrainian point guard Issuf Sanon, the Wizards understand it may be years before he plays in the NBA.

"We hope to have him developed in a few years," Grunfeld said.

Sanon, just 18, plays for Olimpija Ljubljana in Slovenia. He may stay in Europe into his 20s before he comes to the United States.

The Wizards have utilized the draft-and-stash model with other players. Their 2015 second round pick, Aaron White, has been playing in Europe for the past three seasons.

Sometimes those players never convey and contribute for the Wizards. But sometimes they do and Grunfeld pointed to a player already on their roster as a model to consider.

"We drafted Tomas [Satoransky] at an earlier age, he went overseas [and] he played at the highest level and it got him ready for the NBA," Grunfeld said.

The difference between now and then is that the Wizards have a G-League franchise starting this fall, the Capital City Go-Go. Because of that, it seemed more likely going into the draft that the Wizards would use the second round pick on a guy who can play there right away. 

Grunfeld, however, opted for roster flexibility. By keeping Sanon in Europe, the Wizards can have another open roster spot. They could either fill that spot, or leave spots on the end of their roster open as they did for much of last season.

"We want to preserve a roster spot, so just because you draft someone in your second round, if you sign him, he still has a roster spot even if you let him play for the GoGo," Grunfeld said.

Sanon may have a bright future. He is a 6-foot-4 point guard with impressive athleticism who doesn't turn 19 until October. He said he models his game after Russell Westbrook, as a guard who can score the ball. More will be known about him once he plays for their summer league team in July.

The Wizards passed on several interesting prospects to pick Sanon. Still on the board were Keita Bates-Diop of Ohio State, Hamidou Diallo of Kentucky and Svi Mykhailiuk of Kansas, three players they brought in for pre-draft workouts. But instead, they went with a long-term investment, hoping they found the next Satoransky.

MORE 2018 NBA DRAFT COVERAGE:

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!