Quick Links

Could Lamb satisfy the Wizards' wing craving?


Could Lamb satisfy the Wizards' wing craving?

Later this month the Washington Wizards will take part in the 2012 NBA draft. Currently the owner of picks 3, 32 and 46, the franchise could go in almost any direction with those selections. The prevailing belief is upgrading the team's perimeter weapons and small forwardwing guard depth is a must this offseason, but few would knock more interior help even with the intriguing core of Nene and kids. Between now and the draft, were going to identify some of the players the Wizards might target in both the first and second round. Up next in a trade down scenario - Connecticut shooting guard Jeremy Lamb. Check below for a running of list of all our draft profiles. Also, note the NBA draft combine will take place June 7-8 in Chicago and the draft will be held on June 28 in Newark.Jeremy Lamb
ConnecticutDraft Express overall ranking: No. 10HeightWeight: 6-5, 185 lb (pre-combine numbers)Key stats: 17.7 points as a sophomore in 2011-12; averaged 16.2 points and shot 69.2 percent (36-52) percent from the field during 2011 NCAA Tournament.The player: Silky smooth perfectly describes the 19-year-old wing guards game, which includes touch from distance, offensive versatility and smart use of his athletic gifts. Lamb gained notice as a freshman for his shooting prowess during UConns title run and after Kemba Walker turned pro, he took on a larger scoring role last season. Has ideal size for the two-guard spot and go-go gadget arms to boot. The overall package includes a placid demeanor, which makes it difficult at times to gauge Lambs level of competitiveness.The fit: Adding size, scoring and most of all shooting to their backcourt mix is a must for the Wizards and Lamb possesses all three attributes. The quiet nature and off-the-ball aspects of his game should blend nicely if paired with the athletically gifted John Wall and the never lacking for confidence Jordan Crawford. Though rather young, Lambs been through plenty during his two years playing for a UConn program that tasted both extreme highs and lows. Unless he blows away the Wizards decision-makers at some point during the workout process, likely would not land in D.C. unless Washington trades down in the first round, perhaps in the 7-13 range.The issue: Team chemistry gone bad punctuated Connecticuts 2011-12 campaign as new players joined those learning new positions and the formula led to frequent on-court dysfunction. Lambs game at time suffered. His laid-back manner led to frequent disappearing acts as others commandeered the offense. At other times, the Georgia native hoisted up ill-advised shots (33 percent on 3-point attempts) as if he feared it could be his last. Based on his freshman season, you can probably chalk up the basketball indiscretions to what was going on with the team but Lambs expressionless visage offered few clues. The analysis Rob Dauster, Pro Basketball Talk (interview with CSNwashington): "I think his game works very well at the next level. Hes good at coming off screens. Hes a really a good shooter. Has the length and athleticism you look for, can be a playmaker defensively. Has a good mid-range game, hits a lot of floaters. The concern I have is hes not all the demanding of the ball. Kind of wanted to see him be less passive on the court (last season). Thats kind of part of who is. Thats not necessarily a bad thing, but its definitely a concern given how much UConn struggled last year and he didnt really step up and fill the leadership void that Kemba Walker leftDraft Express: "While Lamb did show progress in some areas as a sophomore and was UConns leading scorer, his team's disappointing season will likely be a concern to scouts, as Connecticut's team chemistry appeared to be very poor. Lamb didn't do much to alleviate some of the questions we've outlined previously regarding his questionable shot selection and passive demeanor on the court. From a physical standpoint, Lamb has nice size for an NBA shooting prospect at 6-5, which he combines with a freakishly long wingspan, smooth athleticism and solid explosiveness.The summation: The summation: Lamb ranks behind Floridas Bradley Beal and North Carolinas Harrison Barnes among the shooting wing options in this draft. How much of that is based on skill and upside versus Lambs play in an awkward situation is the question for scouts. If the Wizards believe the UConn guards understated game is simply being overlooked and some team is willing to make a trade down worth their while (especially if that means taking on Rashard Lewis or Andray Blatches contract) maybe Lamb joins the Verizon Center denizens. Based on his dazzling performance in the building during the first two games of the 2011 NCAA Tourney, we know he likes the place.More draft profilesAndre DrummondThomas RobinsonHarrison BarnesBen Standig blogs about the Redskins, Wizards, Hoyas and the D.C.area college basketball scene for CSNwashington. You can reach him by email at bstandig@comcast.net, follow him on Twitter @BenStandig and catch his musings at the D.C. Sportalist.

Quick Links

Texas A&M big man Robert Williams likes potential fit with Wizards, John Wall

Texas A&M big man Robert Williams likes potential fit with Wizards, John Wall

In terms of the needs on their roster and the guys most likely to be available when they are on the clock at No. 15 in the first round, few players in this draft class seem as obvious a fit with the Washington Wizards more than Robert Williams of Texas A&M. So, it was no surprise that he not only visited them in Washington on Monday, but received the only individual public workout they have held during this year's predraft process.

Williams could be the answer to their longstanding quest for an athletic big man. No need to bring in five other guys for the usual six-player workout when Williams deserves a longer and more extensive look than most prospects they are considering.

The 20-year-old was put through a variety of drills Monday afternoon, just days before the 2018 NBA Draft. He likes the fit with Washington, if that's how things end up sorting out.

"I definitely feel like they could use a big like me, a defensive-style athletic big like me. I definitely see myself fitting here," he said.

Williams is one of the best big men in this year's draft. He is 6-foot-9 and 240 pounds with a 7-5 wingspan. He used that length to dominate in the paint at the college level.

Williams averaged a modest 10.4 points for the Aggies in 2017-18, but also 9.2 rebounds and 2.6 blocks. That was his sophomore year. He averaged 8.2 rebounds and 2.5 blocks as a freshman.

He was a shot-blocking force the day he stepped on campus and believes those skills will translate to the professional ranks. In the NBA, Williams believes he can thrive because his defensive versatility will be even more valuable in a day and age where switching is paramount.

"I feel like I can guard all positions. That’s one of my biggest attributes," he said. "It’s just about embracing it, having fun stopping a guard. Once you’re comfortable with it, you can do it."

Williams may adapt to the NBA quickly on the defensive end and that's where the Wizards need help the most. They haven't had a consistent rim-protector in years. Last season, point guard John Wall led the team in blocks per game.

Offense is where the questions lie with Williams. He wasn't a big scorer in college and does not have much of an outside shot. The fact he shot just 47.1 percent from the free throw line this past season suggests he has a lot of work to do before he can stretch the floor.

Williams will need to find a niche offensively, likely as a rim-runner off pick-and-rolls. He sees a lot of potential in a possible pick-and-roll pairing with Wall.

"He’s an elite passer and an elite guard. Coming off a pick-and-roll, you have to pay attention to him as well as have to pay attention to me as well. It’s a win-win situation," Williams said.

Williams believes his offensive game will open up with more space at the NBA level. The Wizards have Wall surrounded by three-point shooters in Bradley Beal, Otto Porter and Markieff Morris. Toss Williams into the middle and he could go to work in the paint doing the rest.

If Williams were drafted by the Wizards, he could look at Clint Capela of the Houston Rockets as a model to follow. Like Houston, the Wizards have two All-Star guards. An athletic big man who doesn't need plays run for him could be the perfect complement.

No one needs to tell Williams that, he is well-aware. He said that at nearly every stop during the predraft process Capela's name has come up.

"I knew that’s what you were going to say," Williams said to a reporter (raises hand) who asked about the Capela comparison.

Williams continued to say they are different players and it's not entirely fair to compare them. That exchange showed Williams has an edge to him, sort of like Morris. He's clearly not afraid to be honest when some players would not.

Despite downplaying the comparison, Williams can see what makes Capela successful.

"I’ve watched him. He’s a great player," Williams said. "He is around the right people. He just plays his role. He runs off a lot of screens. He gets up there and does what he has to do."

Williams is gearing up for Thursday's draft and trying to decide who he will walk the stage with, as the NBA has introduced a new tradition of each player walking with two people. He said it will likely be his mother and sister. Perhaps by the end of the night he will also walk that stage wearing a Washington Wizards hat.

For more on Williams, check out our extensive draft profile on him.

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Quick Links

Former Wizards forward arrested on armed robbery charges after stealing $100,000

USA Today Sports

Former Wizards forward arrested on armed robbery charges after stealing $100,000

Former NBA player J.J. Hickson faces charges of armed robbery after breaking into a home near Atlanta, stealing $100,000 from the house, and physically assaulting a teenager who was inside, authorities said Monday, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Hickson, who played eight seasons in the NBA with four teams before his brief appearance in Washington, is currently being held in Coweta County Jail without bond. 

He is currently affiliated with the Lebanese Basketball League but played 15 games with the Wizards during the 2015-16 season. Hickson averaged 4.6 ppg and scored a season-high 15 points against the Nets in the penultimate game of the regular season. He has not played professionally in the United States since.  Hickson played just one season at North Carolina State before being selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the No. 19 pick of the 2008 NBA Draft.

Jimmy Yarbrough, the sheriff's spokesperson in Coweta, said that while at least two people were involved in the invasion, only Hickson is being held and charged.

According to authorities, Hickson entered through a side door, armed with a knife and his face and head covered. He was initially apprehended by another department and later transferred into the custody of Coweta County law enforcement. 

At this time in the investigation, very little detail is publicly available.

The teenage victim, whose name remains private, received medical treatment for several broken bones and is fortunately in good condition.