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After 'devastating' news, Wizards prepare to play without Wall


After 'devastating' news, Wizards prepare to play without Wall

The dynamic of the Wizards' series with the Atlanta Hawks has changed drastically after Thursday's revelation that point guard John Wall could be out for the postseason with five non-displaced fractures in his left hand and wrist. The team should have a definitive answer soon. 

"There's no timetable for something like this is the best way I can put it," coach Randy Wittman said with Game 3 at Verizon Center on Saturday. "We got to be prepared as a team to play without him. Our guys are doing that. Knowing John, if there's a slight chance to get in, he's holding out for that. That's the type of kid he is."

Wall had X-ray at Phillips Arena after Game 1, when he had a hard fall in the second quarter of a 104-98 victory for the Wizards. He said then as well as after a 106-90 loss in Game 2, when he sat out, that there were no fractures or structural damage shown in the tests. Wednesday, however, it was evident that something was amiss with such bad swelling. 

A non-displaced fracture occurs when there is a crack or break in the bone but the bone itself remains aligned. That makes it tougher to diagnose initially and Wall's swelling compounded the matter. A displaced fracture results in a shift in the bone from its original position.

"A step at a time. The toughest guy I've been around. We just got to let this play out the way it's going to play out. I can't give you what that is," Wittman said. "Swelling and stuff has a lot to do with it. Who knows how long something like that is going to stay. That would've been true today even if we didn't have the report back of the broken bone. His hand is so big he can't handle the ball, he can't control anything. ... Let's get that swelling out there, see where we're at and move forward from there."

Wall had 18 points and 13 assists in the win vs. Atlanta. He averaged 12.5 assists per game in a first-round series sweep of the Toronto Raptors. Paul Pierce has played a big role in their postseason success as well, and now he'll have to do even more.

"It's definitely difficult for the team but I'm sure it's more devastating for John," Pierce said. "He worked so hard to get to this point in his career, to play so well throughout these playoffs to hear that type of news it's devastating. I'm more hurt for him than anything. I know how bad he wants to be out there so my prayers go out to him and his family right now."

Ramon Sessions practiced with the first unit for the first time and had 21 points in Game 2 which was a playoff career high. Garrett Temple and Will Bynum also could factor into the game plan off the bench.

"It's definitely got to come from me and a number of other guys who have the opportunity now to step up," Pierce said. "By no means do we feel like this series is over or our goals change. We're going to continue to go out there, reach for our goals and continue to fight each and every night. ... It's up to everybody to rally around one another, use this as motivation and go out here and try to win these games especially for John.

"Ramon has been a starter in this league. He understands his role. He's not John Wall. He's not the guy to go out there and get you 25 and 13. We just ask him to continue what he needs to do. Attack, when the shots are there take them, move the ball, play steady defense, it's not going to come from one person. One guy cannot fill John's role. It's going to have to be collectively whether its him, Garrett Temple, Will Bynum, not only from the point guards but other guys, too. Hopefully these guys are motivated. Nobody picked us in the first round. Nobody is picking us in this round. Nobody expect these guys to go in there and to do the job. We in this locker room, we expect to."

[RELATED: Beal's shot distribution takes wrong turn]

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Wizards working out Kentucky's Hamidou Diallo another sign the two sides might be a good fit

Wizards working out Kentucky's Hamidou Diallo another sign the two sides might be a good fit

The University of Kentucky was well-represented at the Wizards' first pre-draft workout on Tuesday at Capital One Arena, as All-Star point guard John Wall sat courtside to watch a young player who could join him next season in Washington.

The Wizards hosted Kentucky guard Hamidou Diallo just days after interviewing him at the NBA Combine in Chicago, Ill., another sign the 19-year-old is a legitimate option for their second round pick, set for 44th overall in next month's draft.

Diallo, who is originally from Queens, NY., said he is friends with Wall, as the two have crossed paths due to the Kentucky connection. 

"I feel like he knows what I'm capable of," Diallo said.

He now hopes the Wizards front office understands what he can do. Diallo is a defensive-minded wing who measured 6-foot-6 (with shoes) at the combine and with a 7-foot wingspan. He had the fifth-best max vertical leap at the combine, coming in at 40.5 inches. He was also the 12th-ranked player in the class of 2017 out of high school.

The measurables and pedigree are impressive, but Diallo's potential has yet to be realized. He didn't play a game despite attending Kentucky in the 2016-17 academic year. He tested the NBA Draft waters last summer before returning to Kentucky to average a modest 10.0 points and 3.6 rebounds.

Diallo has already worked out for the Chicago Bulls and will meet with plenty more teams, but is currently projected by most mock drafts to be a second round pick. This time he hired an agent and will definitely be making the leap.

"It feels good this year going through it with both feet in. It's been a great process," he said.

The Wizards like Diallo's defensive ability, his speed and awareness in the open floor and his potential to improve as a shooter. Diallo shot 33.8 percent from three on 2.1 attempts per game in the 2017-18 season.

"I hope to show my athleticism and how that plays a big part on the defensive end," Diallo said of his goals in pre-draft workouts.

"[The Wizards] are a team that wants to play fast and they have a fast point guard that needs players to keep up with him. That's what I tried to show in this workout, to show how fast I can play and show how composed I can play."

If the Wizards deem Diallo worth taking a chance on, he would provide a nice fit positionally. Though their second round pick could spend much of next season in the G-League, Diallo plays shooting guard and they have a need behind starter Bradley Beal. 

The Wizards see Tomas Satoransky as a possibility at backup shooting guard and Jodie Meeks is expected to return next season on a player option. But those guys were on the roster in 2017-18 and couldn't fill the void behind Beal, who logged more minutes than all but three players in the league. Meeks is also set to begin the 2018-19 season serving a suspension.

Diallo played at a big-time program and has the athleticism to compete at the NBA level early on. He could help a team improve long-term at guarding the perimeter, an area the Wizards have made strides in but still have a ways to go. That was seen in their playoff series against the Raptors when Toronto averaged 11.0 threes made per game and shot 41 percent.

Though it's early in the draft workout process, the Wizards have made it clear they are interested in Diallo.

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Wizards' second pre-draft workout to feature possible first-round pick, NCAA star

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Wizards' second pre-draft workout to feature possible first-round pick, NCAA star

The Wizards will have some recognizable names at their second pre-draft workout on Wednesday including potential first round pick Aaron Holiday of UCLA, NBC Sports Washington has learned.

Here is the list with some notes on each player...

Aaron Holiday, guard, UCLA (6-1, 185)

The brother of two NBA players (Jrue and Justin), Holiday played three years at UCLA and averaged 20.3 points, 5.8 assists and 1.3 steals as a junior. He also shot 42.9 percent from three on 6.2 attempts per game. He registered a 6-8 wingspan at the NBA Combine.

Potential fit with Wizards: possible first round pick, likely won't be there in second round; would solidify backup point guard position

Devonte' Graham, guard, Kansas (6-2, 175)

The Big 12 player of the year, Graham averaged 17.3 points and 7.2 assists as a senior. He posted a 6-6 wingspan at the combine. His uncle played for the Cincinnati Reds in the 1990s.

Potential fit with Wizards: second round pick; would provide backup point guard depth

Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, forward, Kansas (6-8, 195)

A big-time three-point shooter, Mykhailiuk shot 44.4 percent from three on 6.6 attempts per game as a senior. He averaged 14.6 points and 3.9 rebounds.

Potential fit with Wizards: second round pick; could be a three-point threat off the bench

Moritz Wagner, center, Michigan (6-11, 241)

Originally from Germany, Wagner was a standout in the NCAA Tournament as the Wolverines went all the way to the final. He averaged 14.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.0 steals as a junior. He also shot 39.4 percent from three and measured at nearly 7-feet in shoes at the NBA Combine.

Potential fit with Wizards: second round pick; could develop into a capable stretch-five

Johnathan Williams, forward, Gonzaga (6-9, 225)

Williams began his career at Missouri before transferring. He averaged 13.4 points and 8.5 rebounds as a senior. 

Potential fit with Wizards: undrafted free agent; possible G-League forward

Zach Thomas, SF, Bucknell (6-7, 228)

Thomas was the Patriot League player of the year with averages of 20.5 points and 9.1 rebounds per game as a senior. He shot 40 percent from three for his college career.

Potential fit with Wizards: undrafted free agent; possible G-League forward

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