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Beal a long-term fave of NBA GMs

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Beal a long-term fave of NBA GMs

Today the folks over at NBA.com published results from their 11th annual NBA general manager poll, 57 questions about players, teams, rookies, offseason moves, etc, etc. Because the Wizards are not league favorites like the Heat or Lakers (Miami is the projected champion, knocking off Los Angeles in the finals), neither the team nor the players were on the minds of the GMs when answering the bulk of these questions, except for the following:

Which rookie will be the best player in five years?

1. Anthony Davis, New Orleans -- 86.7%
2. Bradley Beal, Washington -- 6.7%

Also receiving votes: Damian Lillard, Portland; Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto

* Beal received no votes in the 2012-13 Rookie of the Year question, but four as a long-term play. I essentially offered the same take here, that Beal's poised demeanor and un-flashy game would not sway voters looking for the next big thing now, but most everything else about his game screams legitmate building block.

Which international player is most likely to have a breakout season in 2012-13?

1. Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto -- 17.2%
2. Ricky Rubio, Minnesota -- 13.8%
3. Nikola Pekovic, Minnesota -- 13.8%
4. Goran Dragic, Phoenix, Danilo Gallinari, Denver, Donatas Motiejunas, Houston, Kevin Seraphin, Washington, Alexey Shved, Minnesota, Mirza Teletovic, Brooklyn -- 6.9%

Also receiving votes: Christian Eyenga, Orlando; Evan Fournier, Denver; Enes Kanter, Utah; Tiago Splitter, San Antonio; Jan Vesely, Washington

* During training camp Seraphin mentioned winning the league's Most Improved player award as one of his personal goals. If his growth trajectory from year two to three mirrors the upward trend from his rookie to sophomore campaign, then Seraphin's got a legitimate shot. As for Vesely, not exactly sure what a breakout season would entail, but improving his jumper would go a long, long, long way toward having one. There are signs of improvement, like his Summer League performance or knocking down two clutch free throws in Saturday's win over Milwaukee. (Also woth noting, among non-international players deemed headed for a breakout season, Javale McGee also picked up a vote).

Which player is the fastest with the ball?

1. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City -- 36.7%
2. Derrick Rose, Chicago -- 23.3%
3. Rajon Rondo, Boston -- 13.3%
4. Ty Lawson, Denver -- 6.7%, John Wall, Washington -- 6.7%

Also receiving votes: Aaron Brooks, Sacramento; Darren Collison, Dallas; LeBron James, Miami; Tony Parker, San Antonio

*NBA All-Star weekend idea - Line these players up on one end of the court, race to the end other end while dribbling. Make it back and forth of you want. Ready. Set. Go!

Which team will win the Southeast Division?

1. Miami -- 96.7%
2. Atlanta -- 3.3%

*Only stunner here is that one general manager voted for a team other than the Heat. If Wall and Nene each play at least 70 or more games and Josh Smith over does it with the shooting thing in Atlanta now that Joe Johnson has moved on, the Wizards have a shot for second place. First? Um, no.

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2017-18 Wizards roster review: Markieff Morris

2017-18 Wizards roster review: Markieff Morris

To wrap up the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we evaluate Markieff Morris' season...

Player: Markieff Morris

Position: Power forward

Age: 28

2017-18 salary: $8 million

2017-18 stats: 73 G, 27.0 mpg, 11.5 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.9 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.5 bpg, 48.0 FG%, 36.7 3P%, 82.0 FT%, 53.6 eFG%, 116 ORtg, 112 DRtg

Best game: 12/1 vs. Pistons - 23 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, zero turnovers, 10-for-16 FG, 2-for-3 3PT

Season review: It took quite a while for Markieff Morris to get healthy in the 2017-18 season. He was sidelined to begin last offseason with the ankle injury he suffered against the Celtics in the playoffs, then in September had surgery on both his abdomen and groin. The sports hernia surgery was known, while the groin procedure was revealed once the season was over.

Morris only missed nine games in the entire season, but took time to find his rhythm early. He averaged just 9.0 points and 4.4 rebounds in 14 games in the month of November. He picked it up after that, though he never quite reached the level we saw from him in 2016-17 in terms of volume production.

Morris played less minutes, took less shots, scored fewer points and grabbed less rebounds than the season before. On the other hand, he was more efficient than ever. Morris shot 48 percent from the field, his best since 2013-14, and posted career-highs in three-point percentage (36.7) and effective field-goal percentage (53.6). 

The Wizards could use more scoring from Morris moving forward, especially at times when one of their primary options is injured, as was the case in 2017-18 when John Wall missed 41 games. An active and engaged Morris changes everything for the Wizards. 

When Morris scored 15 points or more this season, the Wizards went 15-8. The season before, they went 22-9 when he got to the 15-point mark. 

It's a bit difficult to project Morris' role for the 2018-19 season at this point, given the fact he's entering a contract year and the most logical area for the Wizards to make significant changes (if they choose to) is in their frontcourt. Also, as Morris discussed in his exit interview, he knows more time at center in small-ball sets could be in his future.

Regardless of what happens with the team, it's a huge summer for Morris individually. If he sets himself up well for a big year in 2018-19, he could earn a nice payday in what might be his last long-term contract given his age.

Potential to improve: Rebounding, screens, scoring

More player season reviews:

John Wall, PG

Bradley Beal, SG

Otto Porter, SF

Kelly Oubre, Jr., SF

Marcin Gortat, C

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2017-18 Wizards roster review: Marcin Gortat

2017-18 Wizards roster review: Marcin Gortat

To wrap up the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we evaluate Marcin Gortat's season...

Player: Marcin Gortat

Position: Center

Age: 34

2017-18 salary: $12.8 million

2017-18 stats: 82 G, 25.3 mpg, 8.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 1.8 apg, 0.5 spg, 0.7 bpg, 51.8 FG%, 67.5 FT%, 51.8 eFG%, 112 ORtg, 107 DRtg

Best game: 10/18 vs. Sixers - 16 points, 17 rebounds, 3 blocks, assist, 7-for-12 FG

Season review: Marcin Gortat is self-aware enough to know that what happened to him in 2017-18 was inevitable in many ways. He even publicly called it before the season.

He was one year older, with Ian Mahinmi healthy and in the rotation, and with the NBA continuing to move towards small-ball and big men who can play on the perimeter. As a result, Gortat saw his role in the Wizards rotation pared down noticeably.

Though he still started all 82 games, his minutes went down from 31.2 per game the year before the 25.3. Kelly Oubre, Jr., who played the majority of the season coming off the bench, logged more minutes than Gortat, though he was a starter.

Gortat's minutes were his fewest since the 2009-10 season, when he was a 25-year-old bench player for the Orlando Magic. His numbers this season followed suit. Gortat's points and rebounds per game were both the lowest since that 2009-10 campaign.

Gortat averaged a career-best 10.4 rebounds per game in 2016-17, but the minutes had a direct effect on his volume of boards. He pulled in 2.4 less per game this season despite his rebound percentage (17.0) being close to his career average (17.5). That career average, by the way, is 30th-best all-time an eighth among active players.

Not getting the same opportunities he had in years past, plus public misunderstandings with teammates, combined to make for a frustrating year for Gortat. He said on the Wizards Tipoff podcast midseason it was the worst year of his career. Gortat, though, did continue to make an impact setting screens for the Wizards and he rallied to finish relatively strong.

He had several solid outings in the playoffs, including his 16 points in Game 3 and his 12 rebounds in Game 5. The question is whether that is the last time we will see Gortat in a Wizards uniform.

Washington has played with the idea of trading Gortat for a while now. He popped up in rumors around the trade deadline in February, but remained on the roster. Now he has an expiring contract working in his favor, making it a bit more likely he gets dealt.

Gortat knows his future in Washington is uncertain, though he said following the season he would like to stay. It would not be surprising to him or anyone if he were traded this summer. If not, he's got one year left with the Wizards and could very well have his role decreased even more.

Potential to improve: Rim protection, midrange shooting, free throw percentage

More player season reviews:

John Wall, PG

Bradley Beal, SG

Otto Porter, SF

Kelly Oubre, Jr., SF

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