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Morning tip: John Wall's sights on All-Star Game and All-NBA team

Morning tip: John Wall's sights on All-Star Game and All-NBA team

His sixth game of 40 minutes or more in the books, John Wall finally has the Wizards where they hadn't been since Nov. 24, 2015. Keeping them with a winning record, with the second game of a back-to-back at the Boston Celtics tonight, is key to his hopes of being a four-time All-Star and first-time All-NBA performer.

"I've been an All-Star before. I've been a starter. I've never been on an All-NBA team," said Wall, who hit the game-winning shot and registered his 23rd double-double vs. the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night. "I'll be very disappointed if I don't make it this year, to be honest with you. On both."

Based on the first round of All-Star fan voting, which counts for 50% of the equation to determine starters for the Feb. 19 game in New Orleans, Wall likely won't be a starter as in 2015 when the Wizards opened that season 22-8 and played on Christmas Day when he dominated the N.Y. Knicks. They started 2-8 this year but are 19-18 after erasing an 18-point deficit to beat Chicago as Wall had a game-high 26 points, 14 assists and five rebounds. It was his 10th game of 12 more more assists.

No other conference player is in Wall's zip code when it comes to the points-assist double-double. He was just seventh in the fan voting among East guards at 87,000 -- 41,000-plus behind sixth-place Kyle Lowry and fifth-place Derrick Rose. The top two, as it stands Kyrie Irving and Dwyane Wade, will start but media and players also will vote to comprise the other 50%. Coaches will determine the reserves. The next round of fan voting comes out Thursday.

The lack of national attention and respect has long bothered Wall, who was irked at end-of-regular-season media voting that put Irving on the All-NBA team ahead of him for the 2014-15 season.

The Wizards were just 41-41 last year and missed the playoffs. Wall required surgeries to both knees May 5 but still averaged 19.9 points and 10 assists per game. Despite having to use part of this regular season to play his way back into shape, Wall is putting up career-highs of 23.4 points, 10.4 assists and 2.2 steals to go with 4.5 rebounds. He was named Player of the Month in December when he posted 10 double-doubles and set a career-high with 52 points.

"I don't know how you can start an All-Star Game and don't make an All-NBA team," Wall said of what he perceived as a slight in 2015. "I was close to averaging 20 and 10 (last year). Both of those recognitions mean a lot to me but All-NBA team is very important. I know there's a lot of great guards in this league and they're all playing well. 

"I know you don't get noticed if your team is not winning. We're a team that's back in the playoff picture. I think that should help me get over the hump from where we started early in the season. I don't know too many guys that won Player of the Month and wasn't an All-Star or made the All-NBA team. ... Got to see what happens."

MORE WIZARDS: Wall to Bulls' Valentine after dance: 'You woke a monster'

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Wizards working out Kentucky's Hamidou Diallo another sign the two sides might be a good fit

Wizards working out Kentucky's Hamidou Diallo another sign the two sides might be a good fit

The University of Kentucky was well-represented at the Wizards' first pre-draft workout on Tuesday at Capital One Arena, as All-Star point guard John Wall sat courtside to watch a young player who could join him next season in Washington.

The Wizards hosted Kentucky guard Hamidou Diallo just days after interviewing him at the NBA Combine in Chicago, Ill., another sign the 19-year-old is a legitimate option for their second round pick, set for 44th overall in next month's draft.

Diallo, who is originally from Queens, NY., said he is friends with Wall, as the two have crossed paths due to the Kentucky connection. 

"I feel like he knows what I'm capable of," Diallo said.

He now hopes the Wizards front office understands what he can do. Diallo is a defensive-minded wing who measured 6-foot-6 (with shoes) at the combine and with a 7-foot wingspan. He had the fifth-best max vertical leap at the combine, coming in at 40.5 inches. He was also the 12th-ranked player in the class of 2017 out of high school.

The measurables and pedigree are impressive, but Diallo's potential has yet to be realized. He didn't play a game despite attending Kentucky in the 2016-17 academic year. He tested the NBA Draft waters last summer before returning to Kentucky to average a modest 10.0 points and 3.6 rebounds.

Diallo has already worked out for the Chicago Bulls and will meet with plenty more teams, but is currently projected by most mock drafts to be a second round pick. This time he hired an agent and will definitely be making the leap.

"It feels good this year going through it with both feet in. It's been a great process," he said.

The Wizards like Diallo's defensive ability, his speed and awareness in the open floor and his potential to improve as a shooter. Diallo shot 33.8 percent from three on 2.1 attempts per game in the 2017-18 season.

"I hope to show my athleticism and how that plays a big part on the defensive end," Diallo said of his goals in pre-draft workouts.

"[The Wizards] are a team that wants to play fast and they have a fast point guard that needs players to keep up with him. That's what I tried to show in this workout, to show how fast I can play and show how composed I can play."

If the Wizards deem Diallo worth taking a chance on, he would provide a nice fit positionally. Though their second round pick could spend much of next season in the G-League, Diallo plays shooting guard and they have a need behind starter Bradley Beal. 

The Wizards see Tomas Satoransky as a possibility at backup shooting guard and Jodie Meeks is expected to return next season on a player option. But those guys were on the roster in 2017-18 and couldn't fill the void behind Beal, who logged more minutes than all but three players in the league. Meeks is also set to begin the 2018-19 season serving a suspension.

Diallo played at a big-time program and has the athleticism to compete at the NBA level early on. He could help a team improve long-term at guarding the perimeter, an area the Wizards have made strides in but still have a ways to go. That was seen in their playoff series against the Raptors when Toronto averaged 11.0 threes made per game and shot 41 percent.

Though it's early in the draft workout process, the Wizards have made it clear they are interested in Diallo.

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Wizards' second pre-draft workout to feature possible first-round pick, NCAA star

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Wizards' second pre-draft workout to feature possible first-round pick, NCAA star

The Wizards will have some recognizable names at their second pre-draft workout on Wednesday including potential first round pick Aaron Holiday of UCLA, NBC Sports Washington has learned.

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

Aaron Holiday, guard, UCLA (6-1, 185)

The brother of two NBA players (Jrue and Justin), Holiday played three years at UCLA and averaged 20.3 points, 5.8 assists and 1.3 steals as a junior. He also shot 42.9 percent from three on 6.2 attempts per game. He registered a 6-8 wingspan at the NBA Combine.

Potential fit with Wizards: possible first round pick, likely won't be there in second round; would solidify backup point guard position

Devonte' Graham, guard, Kansas (6-2, 175)

The Big 12 player of the year, Graham averaged 17.3 points and 7.2 assists as a senior. He posted a 6-6 wingspan at the combine. His uncle played for the Cincinnati Reds in the 1990s.

Potential fit with Wizards: second round pick; would provide backup point guard depth

Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, forward, Kansas (6-8, 195)

A big-time three-point shooter, Mykhailiuk shot 44.4 percent from three on 6.6 attempts per game as a senior. He averaged 14.6 points and 3.9 rebounds.

Potential fit with Wizards: second round pick; could be a three-point threat off the bench

Moritz Wagner, center, Michigan (6-11, 241)

Originally from Germany, Wagner was a standout in the NCAA Tournament as the Wolverines went all the way to the final. He averaged 14.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.0 steals as a junior. He also shot 39.4 percent from three and measured at nearly 7-feet in shoes at the NBA Combine.

Potential fit with Wizards: second round pick; could develop into a capable stretch-five

Johnathan Williams, forward, Gonzaga (6-9, 225)

Williams began his career at Missouri before transferring. He averaged 13.4 points and 8.5 rebounds as a senior. 

Potential fit with Wizards: undrafted free agent; possible G-League forward

Zach Thomas, SF, Bucknell (6-7, 228)

Thomas was the Patriot League player of the year with averages of 20.5 points and 9.1 rebounds per game as a senior. He shot 40 percent from three for his college career.

Potential fit with Wizards: undrafted free agent; possible G-League forward

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