Wizards

Quick Links

CSN Summer Series: John Wall is finally getting the attention he deserves as a superstar

CSN Summer Series: John Wall is finally getting the attention he deserves as a superstar

On Thursday, July 13 CSN will air specials on John Wall (7 p.m.) and Bradley Beal (8 p.m.). Part of CSN's 'Summer Series,' the hour-long shows will look at the impact each has made on the Wizards following the best season for the franchise since the 1970s. To help preview Wall's special, here is a look at his road to stardom with the Wizards...

The honor of All-NBA should’ve come a couple of seasons ago, when John Wall was beaten out by Kyrie Irving by virtue of the LeBron James coattail effect, but the voters got it right after last season.

The Cavs were again the best team in the East, though they were a No. 2 seed, but Wall wasn’t overshadowed. He led the Wizards to their best season in four decades with 49 wins and came one victory shy of the conference finals.

The numbers tell part of the story: Career-highs in points (23.1), assists (10.7), steals (2.0) and field-goal accuracy (45.1%).

Then Wall took it to another level in the playoffs by exceeding his previous highest scoring average by almost 10 points. He put up 27.2 points in those 13 games and didn’t sacrifice his distribution (10.3 assists) or overall shooting accuracy (45.2%).

[RELATED: CSN Summer Series: Beal's development as a star worth the wait]

He did all of this coming off double knee surgery four months before training camp.

The Wizards began 2-8 but they picked it up when Wall committed more on the defensive end. When he was able to stop the ball, combined with the offensive potency around him in three-point shooters Bradley Beal and Otto Porter, they were a juggernaut.

That led to a 17-game home winning streak to turn everything around and secure them a No. 4 seed.

After many failures, Wall finally made a game-winning shot in the last five seconds of a game to beat the Chicago Bulls on Jan. 10. He hit the winning three on a broken play in Game 6 vs. the Boston Celtics of the East semifinals to force Game 7.

[RELATED: John Wall's jersey ranks as one of the most popular in the NBA]

Though Wall still laments the lack of respect he gets nationally, he’s at least trending upward. His 50 double-doubles got him on the third All-NBA team behind Isaiah Thomas who had five. He was third in the other receiving votes category for the All-Defensive team though Wall has played better than he did this past season on that end.

In the high-profile games, most notably the last two meetings with the Cavs, Wall torched Irving on both ends. He went at Steph Curry in a win at home over Golden State and despite his more workmanlike output (12 points, 19 assists, six rebounds) he did the job defensively.

Wall will never be Curry when it comes to shooting threes, but Curry can never be Wall when it comes to defensive ability. Wall also proved he can be a scorer without the three-point volume. He bested his career-high of 47 points with 52 vs. the Orlando Magic.

He set a new career-high by getting 20 assists in a March 17 win vs. Chicago.

It’s no longer a conversation of where Wall belongs among East point guards. He’s the best of them all with the possibility of getting even better.

The new conversation is where he ranks overall among the best players. If Wall can be a better defender for longer stretches with the strides he has made offensively and as a leader, he’ll keep climbing.

[RELATED: Beal on him and Wall: 'We are the best backcourt in the league']

Quick Links

2020 NBA Draft: Isaiah Stewart would give Wizards rebounding, but overall fit is questionable

2020 NBA Draft: Isaiah Stewart would give Wizards rebounding, but overall fit is questionable

The Washington Wizards are likely to have a lottery pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects who could fall around where the Wizards will select...

2020 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Isaiah Stewart

Team: Washington
Position: Forward/center
Age: 19
Height: 6-9
Weight: 250
Wingspan: 7-4

2019/20 stats: 32 G, 32.2 mpg, 17.0 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 0.8 apg, 0.5 spg, 2.1 bpg, 57.0 FG% (6.0/10.5), 25.0 3PT% (0.2/0.6), 77.4 FT%

Player comparison: Jae Crowder, DeJuan Blair

Projections: NBC Sports Washington 21st, Sports Illustrated 16th, Ringer 27th, NBADraft.net 26th, Bleacher Report 26th

5 things to know:

*One of the strongest built players in this draft class, Stewart is a bruiser on the boards and on the block. He was a force in college, bullying his way to the rim with little resistance. His game is currently best-suited for the interior, as he lacks an outside shot. But he has been effective at every level of basketball so far playing that style, and his high motor will help his chances in the NBA.

*Stewart is one of the best rebounders in this class, averaging 8.8 per game including 2.8 on the offensive end. He was a bit inconsistent in that area, however. Seven times he grabbed five or fewer rebounds in a game, while 10 times he had 11 or more. He had 19 boards in a game against Oregon in January.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE WIZARDS TALK PODCAST

*Stewart was also a standout rim-protector, averaging 2.1 blocks per game. Whether that will translate to the next level, however, is unclear given his height and the fact he does not appear to be an explosive leaper. He would have to rely on his length and instincts. Draymond Green makes that work, but few others have been able to.

*He hasn't shown many signs he can become a reliable outside shooter, but there are some. The fact he made 77.4 percent of his free throws is a positive. Also, he displays solid touch in the midrange. But given he didn't make many outside jumpers at all in college, he will be docked for his shooting in the pre-draft process.

*Stewart was a big-time recruit just one year ago. A McDonald's All-American and the high school player of the year, Stewart was ranked second in his class by Rivals and third by ESPN. The only player rated higher than him by Rivals was James Wiseman of Memphis.

Fit with Wizards: There are some things to like about Stewart's fit with the Wizards, especially the fact his two biggest strengths - rebounding and rim protection - happen to be arguably their most glaring weaknesses. His high energy and physical style of play would also be a nice change of pace on their roster.

If the Wizards drafted Stewart, he would likely slide into their bench as a back-up to Rui Hachimura and Thomas Bryant. He could play the four alongside Moe Wagner or the five in small-ball lineups, perhaps with Davis Bertans at the four, if Bertans indeed re-signs.

The fact Stewart is a committed rebounder and rim protector would give head coach Scott Brooks some lineup flexibility, though it's questionable how Stewart would fit alongside Hachimura given neither would be able to stretch the floor consistently. If Hachimura develops a more potent three-point shot, then they could better co-exist.

Given where Stewart is projected to go in this draft, though, it seems unlikely he will be a fit for where the Wizards are going to pick. He doesn't have the athleticism or well-rounded game to be a top-10 selection. Unless he slipped to the second round, or the Wizards made a trade, the two sides probably won't line up on draft night.

But if he were to somehow slip to them in the second round, Stewart could make a lot of sense for the Wizards. Given his NBA-ready strength and motor, he could be a high-floor type of player with a good chance of becoming a solid rotation piece.

Best highlight video:

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE PROSPECT PROFILES:

Quick Links

NBA engaged in conversations for a late-July return at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

NBA engaged in conversations for a late-July return at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

The NBA appears to be on the path to a return.

The league is in significant talks with the Walt Disney Company about restarting the 2019-20 season in late July, with Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando as the lone site to resume the games.

News first reported that Orlando emerged as the clear frontrunner on Wednesday, and NBA Chief Communications Officer Mike Bass confirmed such in a league statement.

"The NBA, in conjunction with the National Basketball Players Association, is engaged in exploratory conversations with The Walt Disney Company about restarting the 2019-20 NBA season in late July at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida as a single site for an NBA campus for games, practices and housing," Bass said.

"Our priority continues to be the health and safety of all involved, and we are working with public health experts and government officials on a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that appropriate medical protocols and protections are in place," the statement concluded.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE WIZARDS TALK PODCAST

The league was also considering both Las Vegas and Houston as potential sites to resume action, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. However, the NBA is reported to prefer the Orlando location due to it's closed campus and ample hotel options. Commissioner Adam Silver has said he doesn't believe the NBA will need to have a closed-off, "bubble-like" environment at the resort when teams do return.

Earlier this week, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the NBA was expected to release guidelines near June 1 for how its teams can recall out-of-market players to return. Wojnarowski called this the "first step toward a formal ramp-up for the season’s resumption."

The NBA season has been paused since March 11 when Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus.

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS: