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Crossing halfcourt with Team USA Pt. 1

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Crossing halfcourt with Team USA Pt. 1

Eight-second count: crossing halfcourt with Team USA's pursuit of gold...1) Team USA's leading scorer will be...:Yeah, have you seen the proximity of international basketballs 3-point line compared to its NBA brethren and the way Kevin Durant shoots from distance? Factor in Durants the best and one of the few true distance shooters on Team USA - and that LeBron James can let his inner facilitator freak fly with the varied offensive options on this squad and the Thunders stunner lights up the London scoreboard brightest. (For the record, after Durant on the scoring list comes LeBron with Kobe Bryant third. James Harden's beard edges out Anthony Davis' unibrow in a hair-owing close race for 12th.2)Justify My Love (as sung to Deron Williams by Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov):Williams received plenty of attention - and eventually money during his free agent courtship that ultimately ended with him sticking it to, oops, sorry, I mean with the Nets. Recently I heard famed NBA writer Bob Ryan declare Williams overrated, at least from a max-contract, best player on a title team standpoint.I rather agree with the retiring scribe and while the Olympics have little to nothing to do with future NBA success,Im intrigued to see how Williams produces in London. Granted, the Nets paying big bucks for Williams (and trading for the trulyoverpriced Joe Johnson)has as much (or more) to do with selling tickets and establishing an identity in a new city. Still, I'm wondering if thepoint guard can surpass the position standard-bearer Chris Paul, which Williams has arguably done during the tune-up tour, or does the physically freaky Russell Westbrook speed past him on the playmaker hierarchy. In terms of the latter thought, Prokhorov and his tiny giraffe (or so I imagine) better hope not.3) Meet Mr.Indispensible When Tyson Chandler, the only true center on the roster, sits with foul trouble or simply for a breather, folks notice. By folks, in this case I mostly mean the players and coaches on Spain, a squad led by NBA bigs Serge Ibaka and the Gasol brothers, Pau and Marc. Even on a team loaded with scoring stars and high flyers, Chandlers rebounding and defensive presence is obvious and missed when absent. The U.S. can win and survive without Chandler on the court, but it would sure be a lot easier with him.4) Ghosts of Wizards draft picks past Spain wont have the stylish passing of injured guard Ricky Rubio leading its offensive attack. Thats a lament Wizards fans have made ever since the team traded the fifth overall pick in the 2009 draft to Minnesota, a pick that turned into Rubio while the Wizards end of the deal turned into mush (I know if the Wizards take Rubio they likely never get John Wall. Still). Helping to pick up the slack in Rubios absence, veteran Juan Carlos Navarro, the Wizards second-round pick in 2002 and a key cog in Spains attempt to survive the never-ending wave of lengthy U.S. perimeter defenders. After shipping Navarros rights to the Grizzlies for a future first round pick, Washington returned the unused selection to Memphis in a deal that brought future guns-in-the-locker room participant Javaris Crittenden (and Mike James) to town. So, theres that.Then there is the aforementioned Pau Gasol, the third overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft or the guy picked two slots after Michael Jordan decided Kwame Brown was No. 1 overall worthy (of course the man selected between the two, Chandler). This is old news and hopefully everyone tormented by said decison has moved, but...Yeah, kind of hard watching Spain if youre a Wizards fan. Since there are noWizardson Team USA, maybe D.C.s own Durant can make amends for the moves gone awry with a gold medal winning beat down. Meh, whatever. Oh, wait, Nene and Brazil face Spain in group play. Nene's already cleaning up the Wizards present. Might as well take care of the past as well.Part 2: Passing theAlpha Maletorch and who takes gold.Ben 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, catch his musings at the D.C. Sportalistand his fantasy football thoughts on the FFToolbox podcast.

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Wizards 2018 NBA Draft prospect profile: Jerome Robinson

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USA TODAY Sports

Wizards 2018 NBA Draft prospect profile: Jerome Robinson

The Washington Wizards hold the 15th and 44th overall picks in the 2018 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects projected to be picked around where the Wizards will select...

2018 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Jerome Robinson

School: Boston College
Position: Shooting guard
Age: 21
Height: 6-5
Weight: 188
Wingspan: 6-7
Max vertical: N/A

2017/18 stats: 20.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.3 apg, 0.9 spg, 0.1 bpg, 48.5 FG%, 40.9 3PT% (2.3 3PT/5.7 3PA), 83.0 FT%
Player comparison: Danny Green
Projections: NBC Sports Washington 29th, NBADraft.net 16th, Bleacher Report 19th, Sports Illustrated 17th

5 things to know:

*A three-year player at BC, Robinson developed into a big-time scorer before making the leap to the NBA. He averaged 18.7 points as a sophomore and then 20.7 points as a junior while improving his shooting percentages across the board. He went from 42.3 percent from the field as a sophomore to 48.5 in 2017-18.

*Robinson turned himself into an excellent three-point shooter. After shooting just 33.3 percent as a sophomore, he got that up to 40.9 percent as a junior and on 5.7 attempts per game. That trajectory bodes well for Robinson's chances at the next level.

*He has a quick release on his jumper, giving him the ability to be effective on catch-and-shoot plays off screens. Robinson could develop into a reliable scorer who doesn't need the ball in his hands as a primary focus of the offense. He also showed the ability to throw down some powerful dunks and finish with creativity at the rim. He didn't record a vertical leap at the NBA Combine, but playing above and around the rim didn't appear to be a problem in college.

*Though it didn't show in his last season at Boston College, Robinson was adept at forcing turnovers in his first two years. He averaged 1.6 steals per game across his freshman and sophomore seasons and 16 times in his career had three steals or more in a game.

*Questions for Robinson would include his versatility and speed. Some draft evaluators wonder if he will be able to get separation off the dribble at the NBA level. Also, he put up decent rebounding and assists numbers in college but didn't exactly stand out in either category.

Fit with Wizards: Robinson would give the Wizards depth at the shooting guard position and they need that. He could help Bradley Beal pare down his minutes and offer a scoring punch off the Wizards' bench. The Wizards could use a reliable shooter to help space the floor for Kelly Oubre, Jr. and others in the second unit.

The problems with Robinson's fit would be his lack of positional versatility and what appears to be a relatively low ceiling. He's not the freak athlete that some of his counterparts are at shooting guard. If the Wizards are choosing between Robinson and guys like Zhaire Smith and Lonnie Walker IV, they could view the latter two as more enticing because of their potential. Robinson would represent a safer pick while others could pay off big-time and have a greater impact on the franchise in the long-term.

Best highlight video:

More draft prospect profiles:

Kevin Knox, PF, Kentucky

Miles Bridges, SF, Michigan State

Robert Williams, PF/C, Texas A&M

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky

Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech

Landry Shamet, PG/SG, Wichita State

Gary Trent, Jr., SG, Duke

Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami

Anfernee Simons, PG/SG, IMG Academy

Khyri Thomas, SG, Creighton

Chandler Hutchison, SG/SF, Boise State

Kevin Huerter, SG, Maryland

Mitchell Robinson, C, Western Kentucky

Troy Brown, SG/SF, Oregon

Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Villanova

Moritz Wagner, PF/C, Michigan

Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA

Keita Bates-Diop, SF, Ohio State

For more on the NBA Draft, check out our latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast:

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Draft prospect profiles on Moe Wagner, Michael Porter, Jr., Grayson Allen and more

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USA TODAY Sports

Wizards Tipoff podcast: Draft prospect profiles on Moe Wagner, Michael Porter, Jr., Grayson Allen and more

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes was joined by Nick Ashooh and Stefon Marquis to talk NBA Draft. 

They broke down five prospects and their potential fit with the Wizards: Moe Wagner of Michigan, Michael Porter, Jr. of Missouri, Grayson Allen of Duke, Collin Sexton of Alabama and Omari Spellman of Villanova.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!

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