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Morning tip: Breaking down Bradley Beal's chances to sneak onto All-Star team

Morning tip: Breaking down Bradley Beal's chances to sneak onto All-Star team

The injury to Kevin Love has created an opening for the All-Star Game in the East, and Bradley Beal is likely on the short list that commissioner Adam Silver will choose from for a replacement for the Feb. 19 showcase in New Orleans.

Beal is on the third-place team in the conference that has only one All-Star in John Wall. He's averaging career highs in points (22.3), assists (3.7) and overall field-goal shooting (47.2%). A recent surge in three-point shooting has Beal at 40%, just one full point shy of another career-high. 

"He's well-deserving to be an All-Star," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. "It's definitely going to happen soon. But how knows? ... I don't like to politick for him but I think his game basically  says he's right there and the way we've been playing the last two-and-a-half months says he's right  there. But if he's not he will be there soon."

Beal turned down an invitation to participate in the three-point shootout on Saturday because he didn't make the cut for the team, preferring to rest instead.

When the reserves were announced, the coaches selected four point guards: Wall, Kyle Lowry, Isaiah Thomas and Kemba Walker. The only shooting  guard on the team is DeMar DeRozan.

Love, however, is a post player and if Silver wants to balance the guard-heavy roster that would knock Beal out of the running. 

A case can be made for Boston Celtics center/forward Al Horford though his numbers don't compare (14.8 points, 6.7 rebounds). He's the second-best player on the second-best team in the East. Andre Drummond has the stats with 14.7 points and 13.9 rebounds as a center but the Detroit Pistons are four games under .500. Hassan Whiteside even has better digits for the Miami Heat (16.7 points, 14.7 rebounds) but the center's team is eight games under .500.

Although Carmelo Anthony hasn't had an All-Star season and is on the putrid New York Knicks, there's a respect factor that goes into the decision by a commissioner. Anthony, who is a nine-time All-Star, has 23.2 points and 6.1 rebounds on a team 10 games under .500.

Love's first All-Star selection came as a then-commisioner David Stern's pick in 2011 when he was with the Minnesota Timberwolves to replace the injured Yao Ming in the West.

In 2012, Rajon Rondo was named as the replacement for an injured Joe Johnson while still a member of the Boston Celtics..

In 2013, Stern picked Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez to replace the injured Rondo.

In 2014, Anthony Davis, who plays for the host New Orleans Pelicans, made his first All-Star Game when Stern chose him to fill in for the injured Kobe Bryant. 

There were four replacement players in 2015 in Silver's first year at the helm: DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings replaced Bryant (injured) for his first selection; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard replaced the injured Blake Griffin; Kyle Korver of the Atlanta Hawks made his only appearance in place of Dwyane Wade; and Davis couldn't play so Dirk Nowtizki of the Dallas Mavericks was chosen.

Last year, Al Horford, then of the Hawks, subbed in for Chris Bosh and Pau Gasol, then with the Chicago Bulls, was Jimmy Butler's replacement.

So what does all of this mean for Beal? Sometimes veterans get the nod out of respect (see Nowtizki in 2015) over a younger player who has had a better season. And just because a post player can't compete, it doesn't mean another post player will be selected instead (see Davis for Bryant, Cousisn for Bryant, Lillard for Griffin or Lopez for Rondo).

The Wizards (33-21) have one more game Thursday before the All-Star break and a decision should be made by, or before, then. 

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Wizards' third pre-draft workout to feature local stars including GW's Yuta Watanabe

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Wizards' third pre-draft workout to feature local stars including GW's Yuta Watanabe

The Wizards will hold their third pre-draft workout on Thursday at Capital One Arena, this time featuring four local standouts out of the six players attending. Highlighting that group is Yuta Watanabe of George Washington, the Atlantic-10 Defensive Player of the Year.

Here is the full list with notes on each player...

Phillip Carr, F, Morgan State (6-9, 205)

Carr averaged 13.7 points and 9.3 rebounds this past season at Morgan State in Maryland. He shot 84.6 percent from the free throw line, excellent for a big man.

Potential fit with Wizards: candidate for summer league or G-League team as undrafted free agent

James Daniel III, G, Tennessee (6-0, 172)

Originally from Hampton, Va., Daniel III played four years at Howard University in D.C. before transferring to Tennessee as a redshirt senior. He was the MEAC Player of the Year in his last healthy season at Howard. Daniel III averaged 5.6 points in 35 games for the Volunteers.

Potential fit with Wizards: candidate for summer league or G-League team as undrafted free agent

Marcus Derrickson, F, Georgetown (6-7, 250)

Derrickson hails from nearby Bowie, Md. He played three years with the Hoyas and averaged 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and shot 46.5 percent from three this past season. 

Potential fit with Wizards: candidate for summer league or G-League team as undrafted free agent

Junior Etou, F, Tulsa (6-8, 235)

Originally from the Republic of Congo, Etou went to high school at Bishop O'Connell in Arlington, Va. He is Serge Ibaka's cousin and didn't start playing basketball until he was 15. Etou averaged 15.0 points and 7.9 rebounds this past season.

Potential fit with Wizards: candidate for summer league or G-League team as undrafted free agent

Junior Robinson, G, Mount St. Mary's (5-5, 150)

The Northeast Conference Player of the Year, Robinson averaged 22.0 points and 4.8 assists this past season. He was a four-year starter at Mount St. Mary's.

Potential fit with Wizards: candidate for summer league or G-League team as undrafted free agent

Yuta Watanabe, F, George Washington (6-9, 205)

One of the best basketball players to ever come from Japan, Watanabe was a defensive standout for the Colonials who developed into a solid scorer by his senior year. This past season, he averaged 16.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. He is known in Japan as 'The Chosen One' and both of his parents played basketball professionally. NBC Sports Washington first reported he would work out with the Wizards this week.

Potential fit with Wizards: candidate for summer league or G-League team as undrafted free agent; best chance for NBA is as defensive specialist

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Wizards' second pre-draft workout highlights quest for shooting, raises question at point guard

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Wizards' second pre-draft workout highlights quest for shooting, raises question at point guard


The Wizards held their second pre-draft workout at Capital One Arena on Wednesday and the theme of this session was shooting. They hosted six players, four of which shot 40 percent or better for their college careers. Not 40 percent for their final season, like they developed a shot over the years, 40 percent for their careers.

Those four would be Aaron Holiday of UCLA, a likely first-round pick, plus likely second-round picks Devonte' Graham and Sviatoslave Mykhailiuk of Kansas, and Zach Thomas of Bucknell who may go undrafted.

One of the outliers was Moe Wagner of Michigan, who shot 39.4 percent as a junior. The other was Johnathan Williams, who shot 33.3 percent from long range in college, but impressed in the workout by knocking down more shots than expected.

Wizards executives raved about the amount of made shots in this workout and the players they chose to host help demonstrate that shooting is a need the Wizards are hoping to address. Head coach Scott Brooks said as much in his final meeting with the media following their playoff loss.

Here are some notes on the players that addressed reporters on Wednesday...

Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA

 - The brother of NBA players Jrue and Justin, Holiday said he is aiming to find the same success as them at the professional level. Both are good defensive players and Holiday said that is a big part of his game: 

"No pressure at all. I'm here to make my own name for myself... We all like to play defense... I just try to watch how they read guys and force guys into bad plays."

Holiday was informed his brother, Jrue, had just been named All-Defense. He was happy for him, of course.

"That's awesome. That's actually really good. I thought he would do it, too. Obviously, he's a great defender. Both of my brothers do well."

 - Bringing in Holiday was interesting because he is expected to be a first round pick and plays point guard. The Wizards, of course, already have an All-Star point guard in John Wall. Holiday acknowledged that fact, but believes he can play with both Wall and All-Star shooting guard Bradley Beal:

"It was obviously a question of why they would want me, but at the same time I know they need help on the backend, coming off the bench and playing high minutes and producing while John and them aren't on the court. Or, even playing with John Wall out there... with John and Bradley Beal out there, I could space the court pretty well for them."

Holiday would have no problem beginning his career as a bench player, if that's what happens:

"If the coach tells me to come off the bench, play a lot of minutes and get other people involved, that's what I will do. I also can play off the ball as well. I think I fit pretty good."

The Wizards taking a point guard in the first round is not that crazy of an idea. They have long been in need of a viable backup point guard and Fred VanVleet of the Raptors showed how much a really good backup can help.

Moritz Wagner, C, Michigan

 - Wagner worked out with the Bulls first and has the Nets up next. He said the Wizards workout was more intense than the Bulls, which is something we heard from many prospects last year. Washington apparently puts a greater emphasis on physical conditioning than other teams.

 - A native of Germany, and a seven-footer who shoots threes, naturally Wagner grew up a big fan of Mavs great Dirk Nowitzki:

"He was kind of our MJ. He was my MJ. He kind of shows you 'okay, this is possible and this is doable.' It's just basketball. He's from where I'm from, too. It gives you a lot of hope. It gives you a lot of belief and motivation."

 - Questions for Wagner surround his defense and whether he can protect the rim, as he wasn't a shot-blocker in college. Wagner said he is hoping to show teams how his mobility can help on that end of the floor:

"I think the most important thing that I wasn't able to show in college is that I'm able to switch the ball-screen. Especially with the way the league is going; switch on everything and stay in front of guards as a big guy."

Devonte' Graham, G, Kansas

 - Graham also worked out with the Bulls first. He has the Suns, Hawks, Rockets and Grizzlies up next. He expects to work out for 13 or 14 teams in total.

 - Graham is from Raleigh, just like Wall who was in attendance. Wall and Graham sat next to each other to chat after the workout was over:

"We're from the [area code] 919 and we all stick together. I hit him up last night."

 - Graham also knows Wizards forward Kelly Oubre, Jr. very well. They were roommates as freshmen at Kansas:

"He was a goofy dude. That was my boy, though."

 - Graham said he has been talking to Jazz star rookie Donovan Mitchell about the draft process, as he and Mitchell share the same agent.

MORE WIZARDS: 

- Diallo visits: Is the Kentucky star a good fit?
- Turgeon talks: Maryland coach talks 2018 draft
- NBA mock draft: Post combine edition

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