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Morning tip: Not much depth in NBA free-agent pool for Wizards

Morning tip: Not much depth in NBA free-agent pool for Wizards

With the bench in dire need of a boost, the Wizards don't have many options in free agency. They'll have to wait until Dec. 15 before they can entertain any moves via trades with free agents who signed contracts this summer. Since that's a few weeks away, there are a few names out there that most teams sitting at 5-10 with playoff aspirations could consider. 

Keep in mind, the Wizards are an over-the-salary-cap team, but they're below the luxury tax. That means they have some wiggle room, and if they went the free agent route it would require them to waive a non-guranteed player (rookies Danuel House, Sheldon McClellan, Daniel Ochefu) which would be without having to pay him to leave or waive a player with a guaranteed deal. This means they'd have to pay his salary, and it would count against the cap. 

Archie Goodwin: The 6-5 guard was a first-round pick who asked for his release from the Suns before this season began, unhappy that he'd be buried on the bench again. In four NBA seasons, he averaged 6.2 points but shoots just 23% from three-point range. He'd be interested if the Wizards were in him, but so far that hasn't happened. Goodwin was released after appearing in three games for the Pelicans this season.

Rasual Butler: The 37-year-old guard/forward had a nice run with the Wizards in 2015-16, when he appeared in 75 games and was a key three-point shooter during their 46-win season that included a run to the conference semifinals. Now he's 37, but in 13 NBA seasons he averaged 7.5 points and 36.5% three-point shooting. He was last with the Spurs, who waived him late last season before the playoffs. 

Chris Copeland: A 6-9 combo forward who shoots 36.5% from three-point range in four NBA seasons, he was waived by the Pelicans before the season began. He has played for three teams and averages 5.8 points for his career. The Wizards considered him among free agents they were scouring in the summer of 2015.

Johnny O'Bryant: The 6-9 forward spent training camp with the Wizards and was among the final cuts. A 2014 second-round draft pick whom the Wizards were interested in taking before he was selected by the Bucks, O'Byrant signed a D-League deal but still can land on any NBA roster. In just two NBA seasons, averages 3.0 points and shoots less than 40% from the field (and has never attempted a three-pointer). 

Dorell Wright: The forward averages 8.4 points for his career and 36.5% shooting from three, spending most of his 10 years with the Heat. The 31-year-old was waived by the L.A. Clippers last month and hasn't played in the league since 2014-15.

Are any of these names game-changers? If they were, they wouldn't still be on the market. These are pieces to tighten up the end of a bench, not flip a 5-10 team to 10-5. Any high-impact moves will have to be made through trades, but losing teams must start somewhere to find the right chemistry.

MORE: NBA fines Bradley Beal for Wizards-Magic altercation

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2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: Nassir Little

nassir-little-unc-auburn-usat.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: Nassir Little

The Washington Wizards will have the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects who could fall around where the Wizards will select...

2019 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Nassir Little

School: North Carolina
Position: Forward
Age: 19
Height: 6-6
Weight: 220
Wingspan: 7-1
Max vertical: 38.5 in.

2018/19 stats: 9.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 0.7 apg, 0.5 spg, 0.5 bpg, 47.8 FG% (3.6/7.6), 26.9 3PT% (0.4/1.4), 77.0 FT%

Player comparison: Jae Crowder, Justise Winslow

Projections: NBC Sports Washington 11th, NBADraft.net 11th, Bleacher Report 16th, Sports Illustrated 11th, Ringer 14th

5 things to know:

*Little came to UNC as their top-ranked recruit and the sixth-ranked player in his class, but didn't live up to those expectations in his one year in Chapel Hill. There is a debate about whether he will be better suited for the NBA, given his athleticism and playing style. The team who drafts him could come away with a steal if the latter proves true.

*He is more known for his defense at this point. Little is an aggressive and physical perimeter defender who could develop into a Marcus Smart-like pest. Though he didn't force a ton of turnovers in college, Little clearly gave opposing teams problems with his energy and length. 

*There are questions about whether Little will ever be more than a dunker on the offensive end. He is excellent in transition and cutting to the rim, but he didn't do much creating off the dribble in college and needs to work on his outside shooting. He shot just 26.9 percent from three at UNC.

*Little had a strong combine with a 7-foot-1 wingspan and a 38.5-inch vertical leap. Those numbers helped his reputation as one of the most athletic wings in this year's class.

*Both of Little's parents were in the U.S. military. He had a 4.2 GPA in high school and was named Academic All-ACC.

Fit with Wizards: Little fits with the Wizards given he is a small forward and they currently have an opening there. He would also give them something they need in terms of style as a physical wing defender. Little is the type of player who could help them improve their horrid three-point defense.

But Little's raw skillset suggests he may take some time to develop offensively and it brings into question how high his ceiling will ultimately prove to be. The Wizards may be able to find someone with the ninth pick who can both contribute sooner than Little and offer a clearer road to potential stardom.

That said, if Little's game is indeed more designed for the NBA than in college, he could impress in pre-draft workouts and end up rising up the board.

Best highlight video:
https://youtu.be/oGIQDUttG8I

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2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: Bol Bol

bol-bol-oregon-usat.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: Bol Bol

The Washington Wizards will have the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects who could fall around where the Wizards will select...

2019 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Bol Bol

School: Oregon
Position: Center
Age: 19
Height: 7-3
Weight: 208
Wingspan: 7-7
Max vertical: N/A

2018/19 stats: 21.0 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.8 spg, 2.7 bpg, 56.1 FG% (8.2/14.7), 52.0 3PT% (1.4/2.8), 75.7 FT%

Player comparison: Kristaps Porzingis, Thon Maker

Projections: NBC Sports Washington 12th, NBADraft.net 18th, Bleacher Report 9th, Sports Illustrated 17th, Ringer 12th

5 things to know:

*Bol has a chance to be perfectly suited for this era of NBA unicorns. He is over 7-feet tall, yet is highly skilled for his size. He can run the floor, make plays off the dribble and shoot from outside. He is also an adept shot-blocker with the instincts to maximize his height and length.

*Bol is the son of former Bullets player Manute Bol. His father was drafted by Washington in 1985 and played three seasons with the team to start his career. He later returned to play for the Bullets in 1993 for another year. The elder Bol was 7-foot-7 and is among the tallest players in NBA history. He famously was teammates with Muggsy Bogues, who stood just 5-foot-3.

*He only played in nine games with Oregon due to a stress fracture in his left foot. A stress fracture is always ominous for a basketball player, but especially for a big man. If it weren't for the injury, Bol would probably be in the top-five range. Whichever team takes him will be going high-risk, high-reward, not unlike the Nuggets with Michael Porter Jr. last June.

*Bol unsurprisingly turned heads at the NBA Combine. He measured in about 7-foot-3 and with a 7-7 wingspan. If it weren't for Tacko Fall, those each would have led this year's class. Bol also has a 9-foot-7 1/2-ing standing reach. That means he can nearly touch the rim without jumping.

*Perhaps the most interesting stat when it comes to Bol is his three-point shooting. Though it was a small sample size, he shot 52 percent from long range and on nearly three atempts per game. For a guy his size, having any sort of three-point shot is noteworthy and to shoot at that clip is exceptional, no matter the position. 

Fit with Wizards: Bol would be a great fit for the Wizards in some regards in that he plays a position of need and would offer star potential. He also would add rim protection, which the Wizards sorely lack. And it would be a nice story, Bol beginning his career with the same franchise that his father did.

But Bol is the type of risk that the Wizards may not be in position to take. They ideally would get someone who does not have injury concerns, someone who could step right in and represent a legitimate building block for the future. 

Maybe that changes if the Wizards' medical team gives him the clear. But Bol seems more likely to fit with the Wizards if they pull off a trade to adde more picks. If they moved back from ninth and got another first round selection, taking Bol wouldn't be nearly as risky.

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