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NBA Draft profile: Henry Sims

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NBA Draft profile: Henry Sims

Later this month the Washington Wizards will take part in the 2012 NBA draft. Currently the owner of picks 3 and 32, the franchise could go in almost any direction with those selections. The prevailing belief is that even afterWednesday's tradeforsmall forward Trevor Ariza - plus center Emeka Okafor - upgrading the team's perimeter weapons remainsa must this offseason. Few would knock more interior help even with the intriguing core of Nene, Okafor and kids.

Between now and the draft, were going to identify some of the players the Wizards might target in both the first and second round. Seeing as he worked out for the Wizards on Thursday, up next is Georgetown center Henry Sims.

Check below for a running of list of all our draft profiles. More to come before the June 28 draft in Newark.Henry Sims
GeorgetownDraft Express overall ranking: No. 65HeightWeight: 6-11, 241 lbsKey stats: 11.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.4 blocks during the 2011-12 seasonThe player: After slumbering through his first three seasons at Georgetown, thehigh-IQ big man awoke for a productive and at times standoutsenior campaignfor the Hoyas. Known as a heady passer from the high or low post - he led the Hoyas with 3.5 assists per game-, Sims showed off an array of scoring moves from those spots as well.Defensively and on the boards, the near 7-footer from Baltimore uses his impressive wingspan to cover up for not being the most athletic of frontcourt options.
The fit:Obviously the Wizards frontcourt just became a little more crowded this week, but you can never haveenough height. Plus,both Emeka Okafor and Nene havemissed stretches of games in recent years with injuries. Sims' passing mentality could makefor a nice fit in the middle off the offense especially if the Wizards bring players with a scoring knack (Jordan Crawford, Kevin Seraphin) off the bench.Also no issues froma team chemistry standpoint with the gregarious and big smiling big man.Sims on Sims(quotesfollowing Thursday's workout):(On what he hopes to show teams during the lengthy workout process): "That was in shape, that I can shoot the ball, that I can make plays."(On being afforded the opportunity to work out for teams): "It feels good to be in this position. If this had been two years ago, this wouldn't be the case. I think this is a testament to my hard work." (On specific feedback from teams): "My ability to make plays. A lot of people saw the Princeton offense. They thought it was just the offense that I was able to do that. But I can make plays, I can put the ball on the floor outside the offense. I can do a lot of things our offense didn't allow."(On his passing ability helping him standout among the prospects): "It's definitely a skill coaches like. It's definitely a skill I embrace as well, cause I like to pass the ball, I like to be a facilitator."(On what he's hearing about his draft range): :I'm not asking. We won't know until next Thursday."The analysis:NBA scout, as told to CSNwashington: "Ill give Henry Sims credit; I didnt think he could play at all up until this past season. He really improved like 100 percent over what I saw over the last couple of years. He was clumsy, unorthodox. This year he really settled into that post position. Played well, great passer. Maybe he can sneak into the second round, but I didnt think he would be a prospect at all before this year."The summation: For those prospects lackingthe high upside teams covet, being strong in at least one area is crucial. Sims' passing will get him notice and at least one analyst calls him a "sleeper" and a "potential second-round steal".Even though the Wizardsfrontcourt is now a crowded group, adding size and skillis never a bad thing. More draft profilesKris JosephTomas SatoranskyBradley BealMichael Kidd-GilchristDarius MillerFestus EzeliJeremy LambAndre DrummondThomas RobinsonHarrison BarnesBen Standig blogs about the Redskins, Wizards, Hoyas and the D.C. area college basketball scene for CSNwashington. You can reach him by email at bstandig@comcast.net, follow him on Twitter @BenStandig and catch his musings at the D.C. Sportalist.

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Washington Wizards hire assistant coach Michael Longabardi to Scott Brooks coaching staff

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Washington Wizards hire assistant coach Michael Longabardi to Scott Brooks coaching staff

The Wizards sought to add an assistant coach with a strong defensive track record this offseason and they did just that Saturday evening by hiring Michael Longabardi, according to NBC Sports Washington’s Chase Hughes. 

Longardi, 46, has spent the last three seasons as a defensive coach on the Cleveland Cavaliers' staff. He was initially hired by former Cavs' head coach Tyronn Lue in 2016 when the team claimed their first championship in franchise history. 

Before joining the Cavaliers, Longabardi held assistant coaching roles with the Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets, and most notably the Boston Celtics, in which he and Lue served under head coach Doc Rivers and Tom Thibodeau from 2007 to 2013.

Longabardi was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and attended Xaverian High School, a private Catholic school. He then went on to play basketball at Newberry College where he earned the nickname "Mr. Defense."

Just a day after reports broke that Tommy Sheppard would be promoted to a permanent general manager position, the organization is making yet another move in hopes of improving overall culture and team defense.

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Why the Wizards chose Tommy Sheppard as their new general manager

Why the Wizards chose Tommy Sheppard as their new general manager

The process took nearly four months, yet the Wizards ultimately didn't look far for their new general manager, as the team is removing the interim tag from Tommy Sheppard. The longtime NBA executive will now finally get a chance to run his own operation.

Sheppard may not have been the first choice among fans initially when it was announced he would fill in for Ernie Grunfeld, who was dismissed from his post as team president on April 2, but over the past few months he has acclimated himself well, showing in many ways he is prepared to lead a team as the top person in charge. He cleaned up the Wizards' salary cap situation as best he could, giving them some newfound financial flexibility beyond next season.

Sheppard did that while flooding the roster with young, cheap and high-upside players. And he did so by making some tough decisions, ones that helped demonstrate he can provide an organizational reset despite his role in the previous regime. 

Sheppard allowed Tomas Satoransky to walk in free agency despite being central in bringing him to the Wizards, first by scouting him overseas and then by convincing him to join the NBA ranks. He let Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker leave even though he was part of the braintrust that traded for them. And he traded Dwight Howard, again despite playing a role in bringing him to Washington.

Sheppard has operated with impartiality when the team needed him to. What he has done this offseason looks a lot like it probably would have if the Wizards had hired someone from the outside.

How Sheppard navigated the Wizards through the draft and free agency was central in why managing partner Ted Leonsis decided to elevate him to the long-term post. The last several weeks were treated as a "trial run," according to a person familiar with the process.

Sheppard worked closely with the team's ownership group, giving them written proposals for his plans that addressed goals, budget and contingencies. It was a collaborative effort to make the Wizards' roster younger, cheaper and harder working. They also set out to add more international players and accomplished that by drafting Rui Hachimura and by trading for Davis Bertans, Moe Wagner and Isaac Bonga.

Sheppard impressed Leonsis especially during the effort to re-sign Thomas Bryant. Bryant has become a favorite of Leonsis' for his consistent effort, character and enthusiasm. Sheppard and the Wizards were able to agree with Bryant on a new contract the night free agency began. It was quick and painless.

Sheppard himself will be signing a new contract, NBC Sports Washington was told. And there will be major changes to the organizational structure announced this coming week. In the basketball operations side, the team will heavily expand their investment in analytics, by "triple" according to a person familiar with their plans. They will also beef up their scouting department with an eye on Africa and Latin America.

Sheppard has done a nice job for the Wizards but the real work in many ways about to begin. Dismantling an NBA roster is not as difficult as building a contender. Now he has to find pieces to build around John Wall and Bradley Beal that can help the team win something of substance. 

Sheppard will have to do that within the constraints of Wall's supermax contract. And he will have to sort out Beal's future, which could take a turn later this month. 

On July 26, the Wizards can officially offer Beal a contract extension worth approximately $111 million over three years. But there is a long list of clues that suggest he will not take the offer.

How Sheppard, Beal and the Wizards handle the fallout in the event he turns them down would be a test in itself. Maybe they spin it simply as Beal betting on himself. If he makes All-NBA next season, he could make well over $200 million with a five-year supermax.

For Sheppard, the hard work is about to start. He is set to guide the Wizards into a new era, one he and the team hope can reach a higher peak than the last.

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