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Explosive Rockets to provide Wizards intriguing test

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Explosive Rockets to provide Wizards intriguing test

LAS VEGAS -- Much of the intrigue surrounding the Las Vegas Summer League comes from seeing the hyped rookies or reliving NBA and college days gone by with a cavalcade of the vagabond names from yesteryear. Then there are the individual matchups. Against Houston on Saturday (10 pm ET), all the Wizards top players face tests against a Rockets squad loaded with five recent first round picks plus rising star Chandler Parsons.Start in the backcourt where Bradley Beal, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, squares off against former Connecticut star Jeremy Lamb. Beal, who tallied 22 points against Atlanta in the Wizards summer league opener, already faced a fellow first rounder in John Jenkins. Whereas the former Vanderbilt product is largely a one-dimensional threat, the 6-foot-5 Lamb brings length, scoring versatility and like Beal, plenty of offensive subtlety.Many considered the silky smooth Lamb the top shooting guard in the months leading up to the draft. However, a combination of UConns lackluster season, questions about Lambs passion and the rise of Beal, Dion Waiters and Austin Rivers bumped him outside of the top 10. Depending on the lineup, Chris Singleton and Jan Vesely could face any number of NBAplayers or toutedincoming options. The Rockets small forward choices include the leaping Parsons and the physically gifted Terrence Jones, a member of Kentuckys national title winning squad. Singleton and Parsons, named to the NBA All-Rookie second team last season, both started at small forward when the Rockets visited the Verizon Center in January. Parsons went for 8 and 8 that night and scored 16 points on Friday. Singleton, whoscored six points in that meeting, scored 17 of his 20 points in the second half against Atlanta.The 6-foot-9 Jones scored 17 points in Houstons 93-81 win over Toronto on Friday.
Arguably, the Rockets top performer in the previous win was Lithuanian Donatas Motiejunas, who is making his way to the NBA after being selected in the first round last season. The 7-footer with range sank 11 of 13 shots include both tries from beyond the arc for a team-best 25 points.Royce White, the Rockets other 2012 first rounder, and former Kansas star Marcus Morris are also part of a truly deep roster that will send waves of talented bodies at Singleton and Vesely.Shelvin Mack and Tomas Satoransky dont exactly get off scot-free. Houstons point guard tandem consists of Courtney Fortson, who played sparingly for the Rockets last season, and Ionas Scott Machado, the NCAA leader in assists this past season.

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Wizards' first pre-draft workout to feature Kentucky's Diallo, UMBC's upset hero

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USA TODAY Sports

Wizards' first pre-draft workout to feature Kentucky's Diallo, UMBC's upset hero

The Washington Wizards will hold their first pre-draft workout on Tuesday at Capital One Arena and the group of six players features some familiar names. 

Included in the mix is guard Jairus Lyles, who starred for the Unversity of Maryland-Baltimore County and helped lead them as a 16-seed over top-ranked Virginia in the NCAA Tournament. It was the first 16-over-a-1 upset in the tournament's history.

Here are the six players with some notes on each one...

Chris Chiozza, guard, Florida (6-0, 175)

Chiozza played four years at Florida and finished as the school's all-time assists leader. He averaged 11.1 points, 6.1 assists and 1.9 steals per game as a senior.

Hamidou Diallo, guard, Kentucky (6-5, 198)

Diallo redshirted in 2016-17 and played one season for the Wildcats. He averaged 10.0 points and 3.6 rebounds while shooting 45.8 percent from the field. Diallo measured 6-foot-6 with shoes at the combine and boasts a 7-foot wingspan.

Tiwian Kendley, guard, Morgan State (6-5, 190)

Kendly was a big-time scorer at Morgan St., averaging 21.0 points as a redshirt junior and 26.1 points as a senior. He took a lot of shots, however, averaging 18.2 field goal attempts on 45.3 percent from the field this past season. Kendley starred at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Maryland before joining the college ranks, first at Lamar Community College.

Jairus Lyles, guard, UMBC (6-2, 175)

Lyles was the leading scorer for the Retrievers this past season as they became the biggest underdog Cinderella in NCAA history, defeating the No. 1 Virginia Cavaliers in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. He averaged 20.2 points and shot 39.0 percent from three on 6.1 attempts. Lyles began his college career at VCU and played high school ball at nearby DeMatha.

Doral Moore, center, Wake Forest (7-1, 280)

A three-year player at Wake Forest, Moore had a breakout season as a junior with averages of 11.1 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. Moore played with Sixers star Ben Simmons in high school.

Ray Spalding, forward, Louisville (6-10, 215)

Spalding played three years at Louisville and averaged 12.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 1.5 steals per game as a junior. He posted a 7-5 wingspan at the NBA Combine. Spalding played with Jazz star Donovan Mitchell in college. 

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2017-18 Wizards roster review: Mike Scott

2017-18 Wizards roster review: Mike Scott

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

Player: Mike Scott

Position: Power forward

Age: 29

2017-18 salary: $1.7 million

2017-18 stats: 76 G, 18.5 mpg, 8.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.1 apg, 0.3 spg, 0.1 bpg, 52.7 FG%, 40.5 3P%, 65.8 FT%, 59.0 eFG%, 109 ORtg, 111 DRtg

Best game: 12/9 at Clippers - 22 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 9-for-11 FG, 3-for-4 3PT, 28 minutes

Season review: The 2017-18 Wizards season was full of unpredictability and the most positive surprise had to be the comeback of Mike Scott.

The Wizards signed Scott to a veteran minimum contract last offseason after a workout at Capital One Arena. This came just months after he had felony drug charges dropped in the state of Georgia, he lost 25 pounds and rehabbed a leg injury. That spring he had wondered, and justifiably, if his NBA career was over.

Scott overcame all of those odds to not only return to the NBA, but re-establish himself as a productive player off the bench. No one was more consistent start-to-finish in the Wizards' second unit than Scott was.

Scott earned a significant role in head coach Scott Brooks' rotation out of the preseason and stayed there. He reached double-figures in 31 of his 76 games, second only to Kelly Oubre, Jr. on the Wizards. 

Scott's primary value was on offense. He scored inside and out and got his points with remarkable efficiency. He led the Wizards and was tied for 11th in the NBA in effective field-goal percentage. He was second on Washington in field goal percentage and third in three-point percentage. 

Scott closed the season strong, reaching double-figures in scoring in seven of the last nine regular season games. He carried that over into the playoffs with 46 points through their first three games against the Raptors. 

Now comes the question of how much money Scott earned himself with his comeback year and whether the Wizards can afford keeping him. Since they are in the luxury tax, they will have little money to spend this summer. 

The way to keep Scott would be to use the remainder of their taxpayer mid-level exception, but that figures to be only about $1.9 million, not much more than what Scott made in 2017-18. Given how well he played this season, it would not be surprising if he earns much more than that.

Potential to improve: Free throw shooting, forcing turnovers, ability to guard bigs

More player season reviews:

John Wall, PG

Bradley Beal, SG

Otto Porter, SF

Markieff Morris, PF

Marcin Gortat, C

Kelly Oubre, Jr., SF

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