Nene was a no-no in Brazil's final preliminaryround game of the men's basketball tournament -- and not because he begged off to watch Alex Morgan and the U.S. women's soccer team or he needed extra shopping time at Harrods.The Wizards center sat out the contest against Spain on Monday because of "foot soreness, according to theAssociated Press.Previously in this tournament Nene had a reoccurance of plantar fasciitis that plagued him at times last season in Washington.Brazil defeated Spain without Nene and advanced to the elimination round. Next up comes Argentina on Wednesday with the winner likely facing Team USA in the semifinals on Friday.In four games Nene 6.5 points and 7 rebounds.Yes, this is a rather straightforward post, not very bloggy.We don't have many details, that's a factor. Also, seeing as I previously wrote aboutNene's foot issues and there is no point in sounding the alarm, let's just move on.
With the No. 15 pick in the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft, the Washington Wizards could go any number of different ways Thursday night.
They could bolster their frontcourt and select a big man. They could draft an uber-athletic wing and move more toward positionless basketball. Or the Wizards could take a guard to help build depth in the backcourt behind John Wall and Bradley Beal.
Enter Jerome Robinson, a three-year player at Boston College who led the ACC in three-point percentage and was second in scoring last season. He had a private workout with the Wizards on Wednesday morning, and got the chance to showcase the skill that earned him First Team All-ACC honors during his junior season.
In Washington, Robinson has the opportunity to come in without needing to be a difference-maker right away. He'd primarily be the backup shooting guard behind Beal and could push to see some minutes at the three when the Wizards go small. Though he was the go-to guy in college, he sounded ready to play alongside two stars in Washington.
"They’ve got two All-Star caliber players at the one and the two and I can also be a contributor with those guys as well," Robinson said after his workout. "[They have] a great offense and great defense as well. Also a great coach and front office."
Robinson was the only player to work out for the Wizards on Wednesday, so showing the team what he can do on the court was easy, but it wasn't the only area that drew his focus. He didn't meet with the Wizards at the NBA Combine in Chicago, so the visit also served as an introductory meeting between Robinson and team personnel, he said.
"I’m just coming in and showing them the kind of person that I am. Talking to these guys is important," Robinson said.
Over his three years at Boston College, Robinson turned himself into an excellent three-point shooter and improved in almost every major statistical category. A 40.9 percent three-point shooter as a junior, Robinson brought his average up almost seven percentage points from his sophomore season, when he shot 33.3 percent from deep. He also boosted his field goal percentage from 42.9 to 48.5 percent and his free throw percentage from 64.3 to 83 percent.
The numbers are a testament to his dedication to his craft, but also are evidence of his grasp of the game and how he fits into it. It's one thing in particular he wanted to show the Wizards.
"Just my understanding of the game. I think that’s what’s big and I think that’s something that fits into the NBA seamlessly for me," Robinson said. "Playing the right way and showing them what kind of player I am is what I go in and try to do."
There's no telling exactly which way the Wizards will go Thursday night, but if they end up picking Robinson, there may be an early level of comfort as both he and Wall are from Raleigh, North Carolina.
"It would be awesome to play with another guy from Raleigh," Robinson said. "We’ve got that same kind of grit. You’ve seen what he’s done so far and I think it would be exciting to play with him."
From Capital One Arena, he'll travel to New York to be there for draft night. Maybe by the end of the night, he'll be walking around with a Wizards hat on his head.
MORE WIZARDS COVERAGE:
Next to actually signing LeBron James himself, there is another scenario involving the NBA's best player that should sound great to Eastern Conference teams. That is if James decides to leave the conference altogether for a team in the West, and it sounds like Chris Paul is trying to make that dream come true.
Paul, according to ESPN, is actively recruiting James to join the Houston Rockets. The Rockets won an NBA-best 65 games in the 2017-18 season and fell one win short of reaching the NBA Finals.
Here is what Adrian Wojnarowski said as transcribed by Pro Basketball Talk:
Chris is going to return there. And listen, right now, Chris Paul’s focus isn’t so much on his own free agency. He’s trying to recruit LeBron James to Houston, and somebody close to him said to me he is as focused on recruiting LeBron as anything he’s done in this league. He wants to find a way.
There's no doubt Houston would give James an opportunity to contend and maybe even win championships. They were up 3-2 on the Warriors in the conference finals before losing the final two games. Paul missed the last two games of the series due to injury.
If the Rockets were that close without James, adding him would likely push them over the hump. Even with the Warriors being as good as they are, the Rockets would be a super team on a level rarely seen in NBA history. James and Rockets guard James Harden are the two frontrunners for MVP. Then there's Paul, a perennial All-NBA guard who is a surefire Hall of Famer once his playing days are over.
If James went West, that would break the streak of his teams winning the Eastern Conference playoff bracket eight years in a row. The conference would be more wide open than it has been in nearly a decade, giving teams like the Sixers, Celtics, Raptors, Wizards and others a better shot at reaching the Finals.
One alternative is James leaving Cleveland to form another titan within the East. That could happen if he goes to Philly or Boston or somewhere else with some pieces already in place. It's conceivable that James stays in the East and does so with a team that is much better than the Cavs squad he led to the Finals this past season.
On the face of it, James would probably be smart to not go to Houston. As good as the Rockets are and as stacked as they would be if he joined them, he would then subject himself to battling the Warriors in the conference finals or earlier. If winning is his No. 1 goal, he is better off continuing to dominate the East and focus on improving his chances of beating the Warriors once he sees them in the Finals.
Still, Paul can dream. And if James does go West, no one in the East will complain.
NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!