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How does Vegas view the Wizards' chances next year?


How does Vegas view the Wizards' chances next year?

Now that the NBA season is over, it's time to look ahead to the offseason and see which team will take steps toward hoisting the Larry O'Brien Trophy this time next year.  

And as you'd expect, oddsmakers have already put out their thoughts as who they think will win it all in 2016. And to the surprise of some, it's not the newly-crowned Golden State Warriors. 

Instead, the sharps in Las Vegas believe that the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team that fell in the NBA Finals to the Warriors, have the best chance to go all the way next season at 3/1. Perhaps the thinking is that if LeBron James returns along with a healthy Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, there's a better chance for Cleveland to end its long championship drought.  

But it's not like Vegas is disrespecting the Warriors completely; Golden State is listed as a close second behind the Cavs at a respectable 5/1.

As for the Wizards, a strong postseason performance wasn't enough to sway those out west. Washington is listed at 40/1 to win the title in 2016 -- tied for 14th best with the Toronto Raptors and Portland Trailblazers. We'll have to see if a strong offseason changes things. 

Here's the full list of odds, courtesy of Bovada: 

Odds to win 2016 NBA Championship

Cleveland Cavaliers                               3/1

Golden State Warriors                           5/1

Oklahoma City Thunder                          7/1

Chicago Bulls                                        10/1

Los Angeles Clippers                            10/1

San Antonio Spurs                                10/1

Houston Rockets                                  18/1

Atlanta Hawks                                       25/1

Memphis Grizzlies                                 25/1

Dallas Mavericks                                   33/1

Indiana Pacers                                      33/1

Miami Heat                                            33/1

New Orleans Pelicans                            33/1

Portland Trailblazers                              40/1

Toronto Raptors                                    40/1

Washington Wizards                              40/1

Boston Celtics                                      50/1

Los Angeles Lakers                               66/1

Denver Nuggets                                    100/1

Detroit Pistons                                      100/1

Milwaukee Bucks                                   100/1

Brooklyn Nets                                       100/1

New York Knicks                                   100/1

Phoenix Suns                                        100/1

Sacramento Kings                                 100/1

Utah Jazz                                             100/1

Minnesota Timberwolves                        150/1

Charlotte Hornets                                  250/1

Orlando Magic                                      250/1

Philadelphia 76ers                                 250/1

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Wizards' first pre-draft workout to feature Diallo of Kentucky, local star from UMBC


Wizards' first pre-draft workout to feature Diallo of Kentucky, local star from UMBC

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. 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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