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2012 Media Predictions: Beyond the answers (part 2)

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2012 Media Predictions: Beyond the answers (part 2)

This week I posted results from 15 questions about the Wizards upcoming campaign yours truly and other media members answered. While I wouldn't task those doing me a solid for detailed responses, I thought I'd share my work as it were on each response and what the questions and answers suggest about the just started campaign. My answers are in parenthesis following each question. Click here for questions 1-5 and you can find all media responses here.

6) What percentage will Jan Vesely shoot from the free throw line? (63.7)

Whether you trashed the Wizards for using the sixth overall pick in the 2011 draft on an international player not ready for prime time or saw enough positives athletically and instinctively during the 6-11 forward's rookie campaign to justify staying positive, everyone can agree on this: that shot needs fixing. The form looks solid enough, but somewhere between the ball sliding off Vesely's fingers and clanking off its intended target, things went awry. And yet, I saw Vesely sink multiple 15-footers during the Las Vegas Summer League. Very recently I witnessed him drain 10 consecutive attempts from that distance during practice. He can make shots outside of dunks and putbacks. Can he when the lights come on is the question. Because of his ability around the rim and as a fast break finisher, Vesely's field goal percentage - 53.7 last season - will remain high likely regardless of whether his touch from further out. However, there is no hiding at the free throw line. Another 53.2 percent outcome like lasy year will have the doubters saying I told you so.

7) What percentage will Martell Webster shoot from 3? (39.8)

Last year the Wizards lacked consistent perimeter shooting from those in the primary rotation. Outside of Bradley Beal, one question entering training camp centered on whether any of the other shooters added over the summer would find their way onto the court with regularity. Webster, a 41.7 percent from beyond the arc during the 2010-11 campaign before back injuries slowed him last season, took care of that with arguably the best preseason on the team. He did so without the benefit of a speedy passing point guard feeding him open looks or a low post big man who's well-versed in the art of inside-out basketball. If preseason counts for anything, the player whose game screams of "I get it" is poised for a knockdown jumpers kind of year.

8) How many points per game will Bradley Beal average? (12.8)
9) What place will Bradley Beal finish in the Rookie of the Year race? (Third - Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard)

Las Vegas set the over/under on Beal's per game point total at 12.5. That's the same number for Jordan Crawford, which makes sense because both wing guards figure to play prominent roles and yet circumstances could greatly alter how and when both players are used. The rookie Beal started the season opener after a strong preseason where frankly the sweet-shooting kid earned the gig. However, right now defenses are coming hard at the kid and frankly they should considering the Wizards lack other consistent scoring threats on the court right now. Part of the poised Beal's appeal is that he doesn't force the action on the court even though his textbook jumper screams "fire away." That approach also leans on others to help set him up for open looks and right now, those type of playmakers are not around. If Beal's confidence survives the early stretch of the season and Randy Wittman keeps him in the starting lineup, 12.8 might be low. If Wall and Nene don't return when expected, Beal could be moved to a reserve role for his own protection.

10) Rank in order based on who will start the most games: (Seraphin, Booker, Crawford, Price)

Could make the case for any of the four - though the one for Price involves Wall missing more than the 10 or so games currently expected and nobody wants to imagine that right now. Both Booker and Crawford are perfectly designed as energy and high-confidence guys coming off the bench. If allowed, this is how Wittman will ideally utilize them. That leaves Seraphin. With Nene out, he's easily the Wizards top interior scorer. We saw in the opener Wittman not being afraid to use anyone in tight spots while at the same time sit those with fat contracts. Seraphin's improvement over the second half of last season so impressed me that I still believe he won't be pigeon holed into a pure reserve role. Nene's injury creates some starting opportunity. We'll see if Seraphin's development and Wittman willingness to look beyond contracts when it comes to minutes does as well.

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Wizards 2018 NBA Draft prospect profile: Aaron Holiday

Wizards 2018 NBA Draft prospect profile: Aaron Holiday

The Washington Wizards hold the 15th and 44th overall picks in the 2018 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects projected to be picked around where the Wizards will select...

2018 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Aaron Holiday

School: UCLA
Position: Point guard
Age: 21 (turns 22 in Sept.)
Height: 6-1
Weight: 187
Wingspan: 6-8
Max vertical: 33

2017/18 stats: 20.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 5.8 apg, 1.3 spg, 0.2 bpg, 46.1 FG%, 42.9 3PT% (2.7 3PT/6.2 3PA), 82.8 FT%
Player comparison: Darren Collison
Projections: NBC Sports Washington 19th, NBADraft.net 24th, Bleacher Report 23rd, Sports Illustrated 23rd

5 things to know:

*Holiday played big minutes in all three seasons for the Bruins. As a junior, he broke out as an elite scorer, averaging 20.3 points while also dishing 5.8 assists per game. Holiday scored in a variety of ways, including at the free throw line where he averaged 5.8 attempts per game and knocked them down at 82.8 percent.

*He is a terrific three-point shooter, one of the best in this draft class based on his college numbers. He hit 42.9 percent of his shots and on 6.2 attempts per game. Holiday shot 42.2 percent from long range in his three-year college career and never shot below 41 percent in a season. He had some games where teams just couldn't stop him from long range. He made four threes or more in 13 college games. Twice he went 5-for-5 and he once made six threes against USC.

*Though he has the skillset to play off the ball as a shooting guard, his size will limit him at the NBA level. Holiday is just under 6-foot-1 in shoes and doesn't have the vertical leap to make up for it. He does, however, have a plus wingspan. At this point, Holiday seems to be solely a point guard, though as long as he's good at the position there is nothing wrong with that.

*Holiday worked out for the Wizards at Capital One Arena. He was part of their first week of predraft workouts and by all accounts had an impressive visit. He hit a lot of shots and fared well in the interview process.

*Holiday has two brothers currently in the NBA. Jrue is a former All-Star who starts at point guard for the New Orleans Pelicans. Justin is a shooting guard for the Chicago Bulls. His sister-in-law, Lauren, is a former member of the U.S. women's national soccer team.

Fit with Wizards: The Wizards already have a point guard in John Wall, so Holiday would have no long-term path to starting. That said, he would shore up a need the Wizards have been trying to address for years.

Backup point guard has been a real void for the Wizards for most of Wall's tenure. This past season they tried out all sorts of options between Tomas Satoransky, Tim Frazier, Ramon Sessions and Ty Lawson. Though Satoransky remains on the roster, the Wizards don't appear content with their depth at the position.

Holiday's ability to hit threes is very attractive to the Wizards who could conceivably play him off-the-ball alongside Wall, or even Satoransky. Given Wall (6-4) and Satoransky (6-7) are taller than most point guards, they could theoretically guard shooting guards on the other end.

Holiday would add smarts and shooting to the Wizards' bench in the short-term. In the long-term, he could help lengthen Wall's career by taking some of his workload away and also give the Wizards more options once Wall enters his 30s.

Best highlight video:

More draft prospect profiles:

Kevin Knox, PF, Kentucky

Miles Bridges, SF, Michigan State

Robert Williams, PF/C, Texas A&M

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky

Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech

Landry Shamet, PG/SG, Wichita State

Gary Trent, Jr., SG, Duke

Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami

Anfernee Simons, PG/SG, IMG Academy

Khyri Thomas, SG, Creighton

Chandler Hutchison, SG/SF, Boise State

Kevin Huerter, SG, Maryland

Mitchell Robinson, C, Western Kentucky

Troy Brown, SG/SF, Oregon

Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Villanova

Moritz Wagner, PF/C, Michigan

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Wizards 2018 NBA Draft prospect profile: Moritz Wagner

Wizards 2018 NBA Draft prospect profile: Moritz Wagner

The Washington Wizards hold the 15th and 44th overall picks in the 2018 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects projected to be picked around where the Wizards will select...

2018 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Moritz Wagner

School: Michigan
Position: Power forward/center
Age: 21
Height: 7-0
Weight: 241
Wingspan: 7-0
Max vertical: 34

2017/18 stats: 14.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 0.8 apg, 1.0 spg, 0.5 bpg, 52.8 FG%, 39.4 3PT% (1.6 3PT/4.1 3PA), 69.4 FT%
Player comparison: Mehmet Okur
Projections: NBADraft.net 33rd, Bleacher Report 29th, Sports Illustrated 40th

5 things to know:

*Wagner is one of the best shooting big men in this class. He measured in at just about 7-feet at the NBA Combine, yet he shot nearly 40 percent from three this past year in college on 4.1 attempts per game. He projects to be a stretch-4 or stretch-5 at the next level and those guys are increasingly valuable in today's NBA.

*He had a decorated college career at Michigan as the best player on the 2017-18 team that reached the NCAA Tournament final game. They lost to Villanova, but Wagner was a driving force of one of the best years in school history. He averaged 15.0 points per game while shooting 38.5 percent from three in their six tournament games. That earned him All-Tournament honors.

*Wagner is a capable rebounder, though not a dominant force on the glass. He averaged 7.1 boards as a junior and 4.2 as a sophomore, his first year with extended minutes for the Wolverines. It doesn't seem like Wagner will be an elite rebounder at the next level, at least early on. He has the size and mobility to get boards, but will need to develop other skills to average double-digit rebounds.

*His weaknesses would include rim protection, free throw shooting and passing. Despite his size, Wagner only averaged a half-block per game this season. Though he can knock down threes, he only made 69.4 percent of his free throws. And despite being a big part of Michigan's offense, he averaged less than one assist per game. Assists aren't a major category for big men, but that is remarkably low. Marcin Gortat, for instance, averaged 1.8 assists per game in the 2017-18 season. Big men can make a significant impact with their passing if they commit to the craft and Wagner isn't exactly Nikola Jokic when it comes to setting up his teammates.

*Wagner is originally from Berlin, Germany and idolized Dirk Nowitzki growing up. It's easy to see in watching Wagner play how he has modeled parts of his game after the Mavs legend. They are of similar size and Wagner can stretch the floor with a smooth outside jumper.

Fit with Wizards: The Wizards like Wagner a lot. He impressed in his workout at Capital One Arena and would give the Wizards several things that they don't currently have.

Wagner is a mobile big man who can run the floor fairly well and has good footwork moving without the ball on the offensive end. Though he doesn't have a huge vertical leap, he can get up there and finish with power at the rim.

Most importantly, Wagner can stretch the floor and the Wizards do not have a player his size who can do that consistently. If he played center, the Wizards could roll out lineups of five players that can hit threes.

More specifically, Wagner could add a pick-and-pop element that the Wizards haven't really had in John Wall's tenure. He has had pick-and-roll partners, but no one has been able to set a screen and then reliably step out to knock down threes.

It would be a brand new dimension and it could make Wall even more dangerous, not to mention the shooters they have in Bradley Beal and Otto Porter who would then have more space to operate off the ball.

The only problem in terms of fit for Wagner and the Wizards is that he is likely to fall somewhere in between their two draft picks. They pick 15th and 44th and he is expected to go late first round or early second round.

Best highlight video:

More draft prospect profiles:

Kevin Knox, PF, Kentucky

Miles Bridges, SF, Michigan State

Robert Williams, PF/C, Texas A&M

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky

Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech

Landry Shamet, PG/SG, Wichita State

Gary Trent, Jr., SG, Duke

Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami

Anfernee Simons, PG/SG, IMG Academy

Khyri Thomas, SG, Creighton

Chandler Hutchison, SG/SF, Boise State

Kevin Huerter, SG, Maryland

Mitchell Robinson, C, Western Kentucky

Troy Brown, SG/SF, Oregon

Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Villanova

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!