News and notes culled together watchingThursday's televised combine and scouring the interwebsFirst offwow, and I thought nothing happened at the NFL combine. At least with the pigskin set you get to see 300 pound guys waddle, errr, run the 40, push some metal, jump up and down and so on. On day one of the two-day event, the players that did show were almost entirely in the background during the four hours of televised coverage. You could see players running, dribbling and shooting, including Georgetowns Hollis Thompson, but there was minimal context and no recorded scores reported (player X just shot 8-of-10 from beyond the arc! Wow!!!). Apparently Friday's activity will be more of the strength and agilitydrills we have all grown to lovetolerate.There were plenty of players participating in Chicago, but not so many of the top prospects. Thomas Robinson, Bradley Beal, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Austin Rivers, Anthony Davis, Jeremy Lamb and Andre Drummond were among those on hand but not taking part in Thursdays workouts. This is more of an agent protecting their client thing than anything in most cases. Expect more universal participation on Friday, but also players will be meeting and working out with teams individually in the days leading up to the draft.Speaking of those individual team meetings, Robinson told reporters he will back in his hometown working out for the Wizards on June 13. Beal also has a workout set for next week with the Wizards, according to multiple reports. More to come.The ESPN crew devoted a solid few minutes analyzing Thompson, the Hoyas all-time leading 3-point field percentage leader (thats more that could be said for most of the players, especially those without lottery pick projections. More on him later, but ESPNs draft analyst Chad Ford said during a previous workout he was blown away watching the 6-foot-8 forward knock down shot after shot from long range.Speaking of measurements, specific on heights and weights and wingspans are starting to trickle out. For many players, this is a million dollar situation, which is probably why players are measured with socks and with shoes and socks. You never know who might be stuffing. Numbers of note for Wizards nation:- In shoes, Beal is 6 3.75. With or without shoes, the wing guard has a 6-8 wingspan- Robinson, 6 8.75 with a wow 7 3.25 wingspan- Kidd-Gilchrist measured in at 6 7.75 (nearly two inches taller with than without shoes) with a 7 0 wingspan- Drummond, 6 11.75 with a 7 6.25 wingspan. Yes, he can cover ground inside just standing still.Among the locals particpating include Thompson (6' 8", 6' 9" wingspan), his Georgetown teammate Henry Sims (6' 11.75", 7' 4" wingspan), Norfolk State's Kyle O'Quinn (6' 10", 7' 4.75 wingpsan) and Virginia's Mike Scott (6' 8.75", 6' 10.75" wingspan)One actually newsy-sounding report came from Ford regarding wing guard Dion Waiters.The Syracuse productpulled out of the combine and reportedly future interviews with teams after apparently being promised he will be selected somewhere in the mid-to-late lottery.Also receiving plenty of TV time, Sam Cassell. The Wizards assistant coach had the microphone pinned to his shirt and ESPN frequently cut in hoping to hear some of those great Sam-isms. Not sure I caught any. I blame the program's director, not Cassell. We know he's got verbal game.
The 2018 NBA offseason in just three weeks has become one of the wildest summers in the league's history between LeBron James signing with the Lakers, and all the characters that followed him, to DeMarcus Cousins surprising everyone to sign with the Golden State Warriors, to Kawhi Leonard getting traded to the Raptors.
As crazy as it all has been, two teams in the Eastern Conference stand out for so far doing very little, either by choice or circumstance. The Celtics and Sixers, the two teams most see as the favorites in the East, appear at least so far to be running it back with the same group of players.
This appears to be the Celtics' intention. After overhauling their roster last summer, they clearly see an opportunity to take a step forward as-is. Boston was one win away from the NBA Finals and will return Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving from injury. With James gone to the West, they can improve significanly just by keeping it all together.
Boston re-signed Marcus Smart and Aron Baynes. Their biggest addition this summer so far has been their first round pick, Robert Williams.
The Sixers, unlike the Celtics, didn't appear to plan on doing it this way. They wanted James and missed out. They reportedly had interest in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, but both went elsewhere. There are no stars left to sign in free agency and the trade market may be drying up.
Philly made some minor moves like trades for Wilson Chandler and Mike Muscala. They may also have a deal for Kyle Korver in the works. They also had two first round picks in Zhaire Smith and Landry Shamet.
There's a chance the Sixers got better than people think, as many of the moves they made seem smart. But they didn't reel in a big fish and will probably come back for the 2018-19 season with a team very similar to the one that made the second round of the playoffs this spring.
The fact the Celtics and Sixers may stand pat is probably a good thing for the rest of the East. Both teams may improve naturally if they are healthier and if their young players continue to ascend. But neither made a game-changing addition, one that would solidify either as an unstoppable superteam in the conference.
The West is overloaded with title contenders and All-NBA players. The East, meanwhile, is much more open and it may end up staying that way mainly because Boston and Philly have been quiet so far this summer.
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Wizards team president Ernie Grunfeld has stayed relatively busy this summer crafting his new-look lineup for the 2018-19 season.
One of the team's key additions, Dwight Howard, is set to be introduced as a member of the Wizards on Monday.
NBC Sports Washington will air the introductory press conference live at 1 p.m. while also streaming it online.
Ernie Grunfeld and head coach Scott Brooks are both expected to be in attendance.
The 32-year-old big man is coming off a 2017-18 season with the Charlotte Hornets in which he averaged 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds per game.
Since leaving the Orlando Magic after eight seasons in 2011, Howard has played for four different teams in the last six years.
Howard is an eight-time all-star and a three-time defensive player of the year.