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Morning tip: Wizards consistent with firm stance on Otto Porter, trade deadline posture

Morning tip: Wizards consistent with firm stance on Otto Porter, trade deadline posture

Otto Porter is in the final year of his rookie scale contract, and while players in his situation tend to be trade chips the Wizards aren't floating him with Thursday's deadline approaching. 

He's never been available, though everyone in the league is available pending what's being offered in return. Every team in need of a small forward is going to want Porter, who is in the midst of a career season as the NBA's top three-point shooter. 

Like Bradley Beal a year ago when he wasn't given an extension to his rookie deal, Porter is in a similar position making $5.9 million this season. The Wizards will have to tender him a qualifying offer ($125%) at the end of June to make him officially a restricted free agent which gives them first right of refusal to mach an offer sheet to retain him. Or they can immediately come to terms with Porter as they did with Beal.

Why isn't Porter considered expendable?

The Wizards have one of the best starting fives in basketball. In the East, especially with the Cavs missing Kevin Love, it could be argued that they're the best in the conference. With John Wall and Bradley Beal able to dominate possession and create for others, Porter is content and most effective playing off the ball. He's shooting 46.5% from three-point range. Unless the Wizards are getting a Paul George caliber player in return, they're not putting the cart before the horse by gutting this starting five for a role player for the bench.

With the need for bench scoring, why didn't they trade for Lou Williams who was available from the Lakers?

He's on a good contract at $7 million per through 2017-18, but the Rockets gave up a wing defender in  Corey Brewer and a 2017 first-round draft pick for the short-term. At 40-18, they could grab the No. 2 spot from the Spurs by season's end. The Wizards gave up a 2016 first-round pick for Markieff Morris which made sense because they had a hole in the starting lineup and stretch players at his position are more difficult to find that high-volume shooting guards. Plus 2016 was a weak draft. The 2017 draft is much better therefore a first-round pick is more valuable. All draft picks aren't created equal. The Wizards need bench help. A second-round pick is a fair swap to fill such a void, unless the trade partner is also willing to take a bad contract.

Why hasn't anything happened yet?

Every year, the flurry happens in the last 24 hours leading up to the deadline (Thursday, 3 p.m. ET). This is what makes the Sacramento Kings making a decision so early in the process on DeMarcus Cousins more head-scratching. There are a lot of contingency plans and dominoes that will fall. It's hard to determine what the Wizards will do. A player who isn't available now might end up on the market. A "no" from an earlier conversation can become a "yes." President Ernie Grunfeld likes to put a lot of irons in the fire and let things simmer.

Who is selling?

The Lakers, Timberwolves, Nuggets, Kings, etc. See a pattern? Teams that aren't winning and willing to part with pieces to rebuild with draft picks from playoff-bound teams or teams with playoff aspirations. Mavs owner Mark Cuban recently made it public that he'd be willing to take on a bad contract for draft picks. Of course, those picks are only as valuable as they're used correctly. Draft badly and picks are a burden.

MORE WIZARDS: Report: Wizards interested in T'Wolves' forward

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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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