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John Wall could still be available vs. 76ers; only expecting a hefty fine for Crowder incident

John Wall could still be available vs. 76ers; only expecting a hefty fine for Crowder incident

The first hurdle is almost cleared for John Wall, who had further testing on his sore left wrist and right pinkie finger and still could be available to play against the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday.

Wall didn't practice Friday but did get up shots, including free throws. He broke the same left wrist and hand two years ago in a playoff series with the Atlanta Hawks with five non-displaced fractures. 

Although there's swelling, it's near that level.

"It's just sore. It was a little swollen but sore. Nothing close to what (happened) in the Atlanta series," Wall said.

The pinkie is the bigger issue which impacted him shooting 4-for-21 in a loss to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday. In particular, it stuck to the basketball on his shots. The onset of the injury was in a win over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday.

"It affected me big-time. Every time I was trying to shoot it was like the last pinkie was getting caught," said Wall, who is right-handed but finishes often at the rim with his left. "I'm trying to find a way to stabilize it so it can stay closer into my other finger so it's (not) the last finger being caught.

"That's the main problem, just my pinkie. If I can get that to just stay stable and it don't affect myself as much as it did the other  night. It was frustrating knowing what I was going through, trying to play a good game and help our team win. Shots weren't falling." 

The answer could be putting a splint between his ring and pinkie fingers.Wall had an X-ray on both injuries Wednesday after the game. He then received an MRI on the pinkie on Thursday.

"That's what I'm trying to figure out, what splint works the best," Wall said.

The toughness quality that Wall has is as admired by Wizards coach Scott Brooks as it was by then-coach Randy Wittman. Wall returned to play the final three games of that East semifinal series with Atlanta with the broken hand and wrist and still averaged a double-double.

"My guess is he's just going to have to play with some type of tape around it or splint," Brooks said. "One thing I know about John being around him for the six or seven months now, he's as tough as they come. He's going to put himself out there. ... Everything came back clean. Nothing is broke. No tears. It's going to be sore for a while. Hopefully we can manage the pain and go from there."

Wall, however, has yet to hear from the league office which still could suspend or fine him for his altercation with Boston's Jae Crowder following the Wednesday night loss. 

"I just had a conversation with them yesterday after I went to the doctor," he said. "That's it. I'm just waiting to see what the results are."

His expectations of the outcome?

"A fat fine," he said. "A guy violates your space, you got to do what you got to do. I already know a fine should be coming  so I'm willing to accept it."

RELATED: 10 MOST MEMORABLE NBA JERSEYS SINCE 2000

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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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Cavaliers are gunning for Kawhi Leonard, though it's doubtful they have enough to interest Spurs

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Cavaliers are gunning for Kawhi Leonard, though it's doubtful they have enough to interest Spurs

With word out that Kawhi Leonard wants a trade from the Spurs, teams are lining up with offers to San Antonio and one of the NBA’s best teams has reportedly already made a call.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have contacted the Spurs about a potential Leonard trade, according to Cleveland.com. Terry Pluto wrote on Sunday that multiple teams have done the same. That is to expected, of course, as Leonard is one of the best players in the NBA. He's a two-time defensive player of the year and he's only 26.

Let's look at Cleveland as a potential destination. It should first be noted that it's questionable whether they have enough to land a player of Leonard's caliber. They have the eighth overall pick in Thursday's draft, but it may take a lot more than that to get Leonard.

They also have Kevin Love, who is an All-Star still in his prime. But if they gave him up, they would then need to seek more help to surround Leonard and LeBron James, if James decides to stay. Though James and Leonard are both top-five players in the NBA, they still likely wouldn't be able to beat the Warriors unless they had another running mate. Those two plus Love and then you're talking.

Whether the Cavs have the goods to land Leonard or not, it's no wonder why they are trying for him. Getting Leonard, a two-time All-NBA selection, would likely be enough to retain James, the best player in the game. If James were to look around the league for a top-shelf running mate, he would be hard-pressed to find one better than Leonard.

That is assuming Leonard is healthy, of course. He did miss all but nine games this past season with a quadriceps injury. That injury was central in a saga of discord between him and the team. Until he hits the court again, Leonard offers no guarantees. Still, he may be worth the risk for Cleveland, as the alternative is potentially seeing James walk. 

If the Cavs got Leonard, that would probably solidify their standing as the best team in the Eastern Conference, even if they lost Love in the process. Leonard is better than Love and they would arguably have the two best players in the East. They may not have enough to beat the Warriors, but that would likely give them the edge over the young teams like Boston and Philly that have been nipping at their heels.

Sending Leonard to the Cavs would get him out of the Western Conference and that might be enticing to the Spurs. If they send him to the Lakers, his reported preferred destination, that could come back to bite them much more often than it would if he was traded to the East. Though putting him in Cleveland would form another very good team, they wouldn't affect the Spurs directly but for two regular season games, unless they were to meet in the NBA Finals.

The Spurs haven't indicated they will actually trade Leonard, but it does seem to be heading in that direction. It sounds like Cleveland will at the very least give it a shot. 

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