Talk about your inevitable situations. Like other sports leagues in this country and around the globe, the NBA will help patch up its financial situation by placing small ads on uniforms.The WNBA does it. Major League Soccer does it. European soccer really does it, but the initial NBA talk is on 2 x 2 ads, not turning the entire uniform into one. More from the Associated Press.Commissioner David Stern met with the media Thursday after the Board of Governors held their annual summer meeting.He said the league is looking to add possibly 100 million in revenue by permitting small advertising patches on uniforms starting in the 2013-14 season."The view is, that the teams would need a significant time; one, to sell the patch; and number two, for Adidas to manufacture the uniforms, because the patch that would be on the players' uniforms would also appear on the jerseys at retail," said Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver, who is handling the uniform change.Some years back I might have balked at such a move, but these are the financial times we live in. The real question is which ads will land on the uniforms for each teams. Yeah, we could have some fun with this game for the Wizards, though I'm pretty sure any ad promoting Lapdance Tuesday is out of the mix.
The Washington Wizards will have the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects who could fall around where the Wizards will select...
2019 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: KZ Okpala
Max vertical: 37 in.
2018/19 stats: 16.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.0 spg, 0.5 bpg, 46.3 FG% (5.9/12.7), 36.8 3PT% (1.1/3.0), 67.1 FT%
Player comparison: Kyle Kuzma, Gerald Green
Projections: NBC Sports Washington 25th, NBADraft.net 23rd, Bleacher Report 27th, Sports Illustrated 29th, Ringer 41st
5 things to know:
*Okpala is a tall, lanky wing who loves to drive from the perimeter to the rim. He made the All-Pac-12 team this past season after improving his scoring average from 10.0 points as a freshman to 16.8 points as a sophomore. He also increased his rebounds per game average from 3.7 to 5.7.
*He is arguably one of the most athletic players in this class. At 6-foot-10 in shoes, he has great size for a wing player and measured at the NBA combine with a 7-2 wingspan. He also has an impressive vertical leap of 37 inches which would be good even for a point guard. He is also fast in the open court. Teams will be enticed with his ceiling on both ends of the floor.
*Okpala scored a lot in college but has a raw offensive game. He isn't fully there as a ball-handler and has an improving, but still inconsistent outside shot. The fact he made a leap from his freshman to sophomore year as a three-point shooter was a very good sign. His 36.8 three-point percentage on three attempts per game is encouraging but does not offer any guarantees that he can stretch the floor at the next level. His 67.1 free throw percentage doesn't help his cause.
*He is just the third player from Stanford to leave for the NBA before his junior season, joining the Lopez twins, Brook and Robin, who were first round picks in 2010.
*Okpala is the son of two Nigerian immigrants. He had a 4.4 GPA in high school.
Fit with Wizards: Okpala would fill a need for the Wizards in that he is a forward and they don't have many of those under contract for next season. He would also give them a young player with high upside, something they currently lack.
But Okpala also seems to offer decent bust potential. Ever since Kevin Durant came into the league, there have been a lot of players like Okpala to come along, ones that are tall enough to play inside but prefer to work on the perimeter.
Sometimes that can work, like with Giannis Antetokounmpo or Brandon Ingram (sort of). But for every success story, there seem to be a lot of guys like Perry Jones and Thon Maker.
Okpala seems very much like boom or bust, and the Wizards may not be able to afford taking a chance like that.
Best highlight video:
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- Draft Prospect Brandon Clarke: Getting to know the Gonzaga forward
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After Tim Connelly decided to re-join the Nuggets rather than take the Wizards' vacant front-office position, Washington has been forced back to the drawing board.
The Wizards have interviewed Thunder assistant general manager Troy Weaver, former Hawks general manager Danny Ferry and Wizards interim team president Tommy Sheppard.
In addition to those names, NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig reported the team could have interest in Trail Blazers president of basketball operations Neil Olshey.
That option was eliminated Friday when Olshey signed an extension to remain with Portland.
Neil Olshey has been signed to a new multi-year contract extension. Congrats, Neil!— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) May 24, 2019
With Connelly and Olshey off the table, there are fewer high-profile candidates left for the Wizards to consider as replacements for Ernie Grunfeld.
Standig noted that Warriors assistant general manager Larry Harris could also draw interest from Washington.
The franchise is running out of time to find their new front-office leader with less than a month remaining before the NBA Draft.
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