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Beal a long-term fave of NBA GMs


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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Jeff Green 'would love to come back' to Wizards, add stability to journeyman career


Jeff Green 'would love to come back' to Wizards, add stability to journeyman career

With six different teams in the past five years, Jeff Green has become one of the NBA's most itinerant journeymen.

Including his early-career move from Seattle to Oklahoma City, when the franchise transitioned from the Sonics to the Thunder, Green has played in eight different cities. Among active players, only Ish Smith (10), Marco Bellinelli (nine), Shaun Livingston (nine) and Anthony Tolliver (nine) have played for more teams.

Being in Washington this past season, though, was different. That's because Green is from the area, having grown up nearby in Maryland. He starred at Northwestern High School in Hyattsville, then at Georgetown University in Northwest D.C.

At 32 years old (he turns 33 in August), Green does not prefer being a basketball nomad. He would like to stay with the Wizards this summer as he aims for a new contract in free agency.

"I would love to come back," Green said. "Great set of guys on this team. I loved playing with Brad [Beal], John [Wall]."

Green also mentioned playing for head coach Scott Brooks, for whom he played in Seattle and Oklahoma City. Brooks was an assistant on the Sonics staff when Green was a rookie, then took over as head coach in the middle of Green's sophomore season. Green left the Thunder after his third season and, 10 years later, was reunited with Brooks in Washington.

The biggest draw for Green to the Wizards, though, is the fact it is his hometown team. Though playing at home is a drawback for some players, Green found major benefits in being around family and in the town where he played college ball.

"Being in front of family every night was great for me. It allowed me to see my daughters more than a couple of times a year, which was great," he said. 

"Being in a familiar setting from my Georgetown days was great. Being able to go up to Georgetown and watch the guys get better, it was great. [Those are] things I haven’t been able to do since being in the league."

On the court, Green found individual success with the Wizards amid a disappointing season overall. He averaged 12.3 points and 4.0 rebounds while setting a career-high in effective field goal percentage (55.5). 

He did all of that while making the league minimum of $2.4 million. On a Wizards team that was in some ways defined by bloated salaries, Green proved a bargain. 

Hoping to come back to the Wizards was a familiar refrain from impending free agents during the Wizards' media exit interviews. Bobby Portis, Jabari Parker, Thomas Bryant and others all suggested they would like to return. 

But with a new front office leadership structure set to be installed, certainty isn't offered for anyone. For Green, the Wizards' new general manager will need to evaluate whether he was part of their problems. 

While Green probably exceeded expectations this season, he was on the floor when the team struggled to rebound the ball and defend just like his teammates were. The Wizards were 27th in the NBA in defensive rating this season at 112.8, according to NBA.com. Green's defensive rating was 112.6.

The Wizards and Green may ultimately not prove a fit in the eyes of the new GM. If that is the case, Green could move on to play in a new city, the ninth of his career. 


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Former Wizards Mike Scott, Jared Dudley deliver the drama in Sixers-Nets Game 4


Former Wizards Mike Scott, Jared Dudley deliver the drama in Sixers-Nets Game 4

The 76ers-Nets playoff series has been wild from the start, but the trash talk and physical play reached the next level in the Sixers' Game 4 victory Sunday. 

The contest featured two ejections as well as a game-deciding shot with 19.7 seconds left in the fourth quarter. In the middle of it all? None other than Jared Dudley and Mike Scott, who played for the Wizards in 2015-16 and 2017-18, respectively. 

Tensions between Dudley and the Sixers had been simmering since he slammed Ben Simmons in the media after Game 1.

With 7:42 left in the third quarter Saturday, Joel Embiid committed a flagrant foul on Jarrett Allen under the basket. An incensed Dudley shoved Embiid, prompting Jimmy Butler to push Dudley away.

When Simmons to try to separate the two, he and Dudley got tangled up and tumbled into the front-row seats. Both Dudley and Butler were ejected on the spot. 

The Nets held a 67-61 advantage when Dudley and Butler were tossed, but that lead dwindled to one point with under a minute left to go. 

Brooklyn made the mistake of leaving Scott open in the corner, where Embiid set him up for a go-ahead three-pointer with 19.7 seconds remaining.

A pair of Tobias Harris free throws sealed the Sixers' 112-108 win, putting them up 3-1 in the series. Scott and company can finish off Dudley's squad in Game 5 on Tuesday. 

In the meantime, listen as Scott goes 1-on-1 with Chris Miller in the latest Wizards Talk Podcast.