Wizards

Quick Links

Morning tip: Why now? Wizards slowed down for Pierce

pierceslow.png

Morning tip: Why now? Wizards slowed down for Pierce

The logical question for the Wizards is if this smaller, fast-paced style is so much better, why didn't coach Randy Wittman start using it sooner? The answer is pretty simple, and he said it many times without actually saying it in previous seasons: They've lacked the personnel -- until now.

Now with rookie Kelly Oubre, Jared Dudley, Alan Anderson and Gary Neal, they're better-suited to quicken the pace. And if Otto Porter is ready to be the starter at small forward and Kris Humphries, who made 2 of 4 three-pointers in Tuesday's preseason opener, can make the long ball pushes them to yet another level.

The truth is, no pun intended, with Paul Pierce (and Porter still raw) this style wasn't doable even last season. John Wall, prompted by this exact question about Pierce, weighed in after practice this week (Note: Wall was asked specifically about Pierce. He did not voluntarily bring up his name but as usual answered honestly).

"No disrespect to Paul but we wanted to kind of be a half-court team. He couldn't get up and down the floor," Wall said of the the 37-year-old who left in free agency for the L.A. Clippers after one season. "He's not the young Paul anymore. He helped us out a lot in so many other ways in making big shots and being a leader. Now this is an opportunity to let Otto exhale, running the floor, being able to create off the dribble, slashing to the basket.

"Everybody can get it. Whoever gets it off the rebound just get it and go. Gives me the opportunity to run the lane and catch the ball on the wing and can attack right away instead of coming down and defenses setting up for me. ... At times (in the past), if Otto got the ball he really didn't want to put it on the floor. Now Otto is getting rebounds and pushing the pace. (Wittman) is believing in everybody and letting those guys know they can make plays just like I can."

And when Andre Miller was traded in February for Ramon Sessions, what was Wittman's chief concern? He wanted more pace (meaning possessions) with the second unit. With Sessions getting acclimated and Porter showing that he was able to live up to his No. 3 draft pick status, the Wizards went to the smaller lineups in the playoffs and the results spoke for themselves.

Aside from conditioning of his troops this season, he'll have to eventually figure out if Humphries or Drew Gooden can handle the responsibilities defensively of a stretch four. Or maybe he'll have to go even smaller. 

RELATED: Wall: No one close to being in shape for Wizards' up-tempo

Quick Links

2018 NBA Draft: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

2018 NBA Draft: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

The 2018 NBA Draft will take place on Thursday night as the newest wave of potential superstars like DeAndre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III, Mo Bamba and Luka Doncic enter the league. Here is everything you need to know for the big night...

2018 NBA DRAFT

When: 7 p.m.
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
TV: ESPN
Live stream: WatchESPN.com
Radio: ESPN

Wizards draft picks: 15th overall in the first round, 44th overall in the second round

First round order:

1. Phoenix Suns
2. Sacramento Kings
3. Atlanta Hawks
4. Memphis Grizzlies
5. Dallas Mavericks
6. Orlando Magic
7. Chicago Bulls
8. Cleveland Cavaliers
9. New York Knicks
10. Philadelphia 76ers
11. Charlotte Hornets
12. Los Angeles Clippers
13. Los Angeles Clippers
14. Denver Nuggets
15. Washington Wizards
16. Phoenix Suns
17. Milwaukee Bucks
18. San Antonio Spurs
19. Atlanta Hawks
20. Minnesota Timberwolves
21. Utah Jazz
22. Chicago Bulls
23. Indiana Pacers
24.Portland Trail Blazers
25. Los Angeles Lakers
26. Philadelphia 76ers
27. Boston Celtics
28. Golden State Warriors
29. Brooklyn Nets
30. Atlanta Hawks

Top prospects:

1. DeAndre Ayton, C, Arizona
2. Marvin Bagley III, Duke
3. Luka Doncic, Slovenia
4. Jaren Jackson, Jr., Michigan State
5. Mo Bamba, Texas
6. Michael Porter, Jr., Missouri
7. Wendell Carter, Duke
8. Trae Young, Oklahoma
9. Collin Sexton, Alabama
10. Kevin Knox, Kentucky

Three things to watch...

Will Leonard get traded?

Last year's draft featured some big trades including Jimmy Butler going to the Timberwolves. This year, there seems to be at least a decent chance it happens with Kawhi Leonard of the Spurs. He wants a trade and they have been meeting with him in recent days, perhaps for a last-ditch pitch to remain with the team. If he gets dealt on draft night, it wouldn't be a huge surprise.

Who will the Kings pick?

A consensus has built for Ayton to go No. 1 to the Suns. After that, it's a major crapshoot and whomever the Kings select will produce a domino effect from there on down. Will they take Bagley, the safe pick, or go a riskier route with Doncic or maybe even Porter, Jr.? The best bet at this point appears to be Bagley, but nobody truly knows.

Where will Young and Porter, Jr. go?

The two most interesting prospects in this draft are Young and Porter, Jr. Young was a sensation in college basketball, but is undersized and appears to be boom-or-bust. He could flame out quickly at the next level or be some iteration of the next Stephen Curry. Porter, Jr. played only three games in college due to a back injury and now has hip issues as well. His talent is undeniable, but his injury history represents significant risk.

CLICK HERE FOR OUR 2018 NBA MOCK DRAFT

For more on the NBA Draft, check out our preview special episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast:

Quick Links

2018 NBA Draft: A list of Green Room attendees

adam_silver_draft.jpg
USA Today Sports

2018 NBA Draft: A list of Green Room attendees

The NBA officially announced a list of 20 players invited to the Green Room at the 2018 NBA Draft. Provided that all attend, here's a list of who'll be there.

  • Miles Bridges, Michigan State
  • Mikal Bridges, Villanova
  • Marvin Bagley III, Duke
  • Mohamed Bamba, Texas
  • Collin Sexton, Alabama
  • Jaren Jackson Jr., Michigan State
  • Lonnie Walker IV, Miami
  • Donte DiVincenzo, Villanova
  • Zhaire Smith, Texas Tech
  • Aaron Holiday, UCLA
  • Deandre Ayton, Arizona
  • Wendell Carter Jr., Duke
  • Luka Doncic, Slovenia
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kentucky
  • Kevin Knox, Kentucky
  • Michael Porter Jr., Missouri
  • Robert Williams, Texas A&M
  • Trae Young, Oklahoma
  • Chandler Hutchison, Boise State
  • Jerome Robinson, Boston College

There are two players each invited from Villanova, Michigan State, Duke and Kentucky.

The 2018 NBA Draft will be Thursday, June 21 at 7 p.m. at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. It will be broadcast on ESPN and streamed live on WatchESPN. The Wizards have Nos. 15 and 44 picks.

MORE WIZARDS COVERAGE