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After two difficult years, Mike Scott looks forward to fresh start with Wizards

After two difficult years, Mike Scott looks forward to fresh start with Wizards

LAS VEGAS — Based on his season a year ago, Mike Scott realizes he's fortunate to even be in the NBA.

He had knee and ankle issues that led to the worst season of his career and that was compounded by a legal issue.

"I wasn't healthy for the most part. Trying to fight through injury with knee and my ankle, going back and fourth to the D-League," he said of his fifth season with the Atlanta Hawks. "I sucked. I wasn't healthy. Right now I'm 100 percent. I have no other issues."

Scott had left ankle surgery last July and overcompensated for it to the point he aggravated his left knee, too.

RELATED: GET TO KNOW MIKE SCOTT

He had to undergo platelet-rich therapy treatments and rehabiliate it but it never responded until after he was traded by the Hawks to the Phoenix Suns only to be wavied.

Scott, who signed for the veteran minimum of $1.3 million, had surgery to the same ankle during his senior year at Virginia.

This all was on top of a legal matter that had been hanging over his head since July 2015. The courts, however, vindicated him. Scott was a victim of a shakedown by rogue law enforcement.

In May, a Superior Court judge determined that Scott and his brother, Antonn, were targeted in a racial profiling scheme when they were pulled over in a rented SUV.  

The judge found Scott's version of events more credible.

"Last year, it was a bad year for me. I'm grateful for the opportunity," said Scott, who had career lows of 18 games played, 2.5 points and 14.8% three-point shooting. "It wasn't looking good for me. Off-the-court issues, injuries, it's a great opportunity for me to have a brand new start. I really want to play. I'm healthy."

Then-teammate Thabo Sefolosha had his leg broken in an incident with law enforcement in New York in 2015. He was paid $4 million in a settlement and donated a large portion to a non-profit that trains public defenders. Scott has different plans.

"I'm going to flush it. Put it behind me," he said.

"I said the same thing to my little brother. ... Start brand new, start fresh and leave everything behind me."

RELATED: FROM IRAN TO THE NBA SUMMER LEAGUE

Scott has been working out in full since May 2. He's a reserve who can be brought in behind Otto Porter, who he said he already has talked to, or Markieff Morris at the other forward spot. 

He battled against the Wizards' core of Porter, John Wall and Bradley Beal in 2015 in the East semifinals won by the Hawks in six games. 

"It starts with John. He plays all-out and is competitive. It goes down the line," Scott said of his recollection of that series when the Hawks were in danger of being upset as the No. 1 seed.

"No one is afraid of the other team. It's a toughness. I play with that same toughness as well, John running down the floor and getting the shooters open. I know for sure my teammates will see that as well if they dont know that (already about me). I want to compete, play hard and win."

RELATED: NEVER-TOO-EARLY 2018 NBA MOCK DRAFT

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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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