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Ariza’s offensive struggles continue

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Ariza’s offensive struggles continue

Trevor Ariza's transition with the Wizards to date let's call it bumpy. Or clanking. Let's just not call it smooth, not yet.
 
Against the Knicks in Thursday's preseason game, Ariza missed six of seven shots including all three inside the 3-point arc and finished with seven points. Through two games, Washington's current starting small forward is 3-for-15 from the field with seven turnovers, though six came in the opener at Charlotte.
 
Ideally, the 27-year-old serves as a complimentary player within the starting unit - primary wing defender, fast break partner for John Wall. With the current lineup missing Wall and others, Ariza's tasked with not only being the experienced hand - his eight NBA seasons top the seven combined by Washington's other starters against New York - but also a primary threat.
 
"He’s, I think, trying to fit in," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said following the 108-101 loss to New York. "What he’s doing is determining plays in his mind no matter what the defense is doing, and he can’t do that. He’s got to do a better job."
 
The career 32 percent shooter from 3-point range also must do a better job in his coach's estimation of taking the opportunities presented through the play execution.
 
"I thought one of the first possessions of the game, he had a wide open three, and he turned it down and drove it into three guys and tried to get a shot off," Wittman said. "It’s hard in this league to get an open jump shot, and if we pass up an open jump shot, the next shot is going to be a bad shot, guaranteed."
 
With Wittman and the coaching staff still learning how best to use their many new pieces, both starting and rotational roles are still in flux (at least for those not named John Wall, Nene and likely Emeka Okafor). The coach hinted at changes for Saturday's starting lineup at Cleveland. Regardless of whether he is on court for that opening tap or not, Ariza likely hasn't shot himself out of the first team mix when the games turn real. Still, it would be nice if he could turn those numbers around, like

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

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USA Today Sports Images

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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2018 NBA Mock Draft: What's changed after the combine

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USA TODAY Sports

2018 NBA Mock Draft: What's changed after the combine

Something that used to be a rare occurrence has now happened four years in a row.

The Phoenix Suns had the best odds of winning the NBA lottery, and they did, landing the number one pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. 

Over the last four years, the team with the NBA's worst record has landed that top spot each year. Before this stretch though, dating back to 1985, only four teams that had the worst record still won the lottery.

Nine teams have also jumped at least five spots to get to No. 1 during that period as well.

Now the order is set (until any trades of course) and teams have had a chance to check out many of the top players at the combine.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST 2018 NBA MOCK DRAFT 

This draft is loaded with big man prospects too, from DeAndre Ayton, Jaren Jackson Jr., Marvin Bagley, and Mohamed Bamba, along with countless others likely going in the top-14. 

There's also the very intriguing Luka Doncic, who most still believe won't go back to Real Madrid, even with him leaving the door open. 

A few names jumped into the first round since the last mock draft, which is something we always see after the combine. 

As for the Wizards, we know they need an athletic big man, and sitting at pick No. 15, they may just get one, although he brings a lot of mystery. 

CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST 2018 NBA MOCK DRAFT