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NBA Draft profile: Keifer Sykes


NBA Draft profile: Keifer Sykes

CSNwashington.com's coverage leading up to the 2015 NBA Draft will include profiles of prospects as well as their potential fit on the Wizards. Washington currently owns the 19th and 49th selections.

Keifer Sykes, PG, Green Bay

6'0" | 167 lbs. | 21 years old

2014-15 stats:

18.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.7 steals, 35.6 minutes


Second round to undrafted


The two-time Horizon League Player of the Year is scheduled to workout for the Wizards on Monday along with Arkansas PF Bobby Portis, LSU power forward Jarell Martin and Eastern Washington guard Tyler Harvey, the top scorer in the country last season. ... Rated 94th by DraftExpress.com among players in the 2015 class. ... The speedster averaged 26 points in two games against Wisconsin during his junior and senior season. ...The Chicago native sank 1.4 3-pointers per game last season, but only shot 31 percent. ... Ranked third at the NBA combine in the three-quarter court sprint (3.13) and lane agility among those participating. ...Green Bay-based hip-hop/rap group Wisco Kidz paid tribute with the single, "Keifer Sykes."

He said it

"I know when I came to Green Bay, I wasn't thinking about the NBA. I was just happy to have a scholarship so my parents didn't have to pay for school. But I began to work hard, and things just started happening for themselves. For me, I don't really try to get too high or try to get too low. My junior year when people were saying, 'It could happen,' that just made me want to work that much harder so I wouldn't fail." - Sykes (via CSNchicago.com)

Fit for the Wizards

When John Wall sits, Washington's fast break often sits with him. At the very least there is no playmaker with the ability for attacking end-to-end pushes. That would change with Sykes, who also relentlessly attacks the rim in half-court sets. The limited size works against him as does, for now, the inconsistent perimeter touch. Those factors probably lead to no team selecting Sykes in the two-round draft on June 25. Of course, as we've seen in the NBA Finals with Matthew Dellavdeova, undrafted free agents can still make a mark, especially those that can make plays. With Ramon Session and Garrett Temple - assuming the latter opts into his player option this season - entering the final year of their contracts, the Wizards don't have backup plan behind Wall beyond this season. What they do have is some available roster space, time for grooming a young point guard and the 49th overall selection in the two-round draft along with its first round pick. They'll take a closer look Monday to see if Sykes might be worth the investment.


Bobby Portis

Kelly Oubre Jr.

Christian Wood

Sam Dekker

Cameron Payne

Tyler Harvey

Justin Anderson


Rashad Vaughn

Dez Wells

Satnam Singh

Delon Wright

Jerian Grant

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2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: KZ Okpala

USA Today Sports Images

2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: KZ Okpala

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: KZ Okpala

School: Stanford
Position: Forward
Age: 20
Height: 6-10
Weight: 210
Wingspan: 7-2
Max vertical: 37 in.

2018/19 stats: 16.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.0 spg, 0.5 bpg, 46.3 FG% (5.9/12.7), 36.8 3PT% (1.1/3.0), 67.1 FT%

Player comparison: Kyle Kuzma, Gerald Green

Projections: NBC Sports Washington 25th, NBADraft.net 23rd, Bleacher Report 27th, Sports Illustrated 29th, Ringer 41st

5 things to know:

*Okpala is a tall, lanky wing who loves to drive from the perimeter to the rim. He made the All-Pac-12 team this past season after improving his scoring average from 10.0 points as a freshman to 16.8 points as a sophomore. He also increased his rebounds per game average from 3.7 to 5.7.

*He is arguably one of the most athletic players in this class. At 6-foot-10 in shoes, he has great size for a wing player and measured at the NBA combine with a 7-2 wingspan. He also has an impressive vertical leap of 37 inches which would be good even for a point guard. He is also fast in the open court. Teams will be enticed with his ceiling on both ends of the floor.

*Okpala scored a lot in college but has a raw offensive game. He isn't fully there as a ball-handler and has an improving, but still inconsistent outside shot. The fact he made a leap from his freshman to sophomore year as a three-point shooter was a very good sign. His 36.8 three-point percentage on three attempts per game is encouraging but does not offer any guarantees that he can stretch the floor at the next level. His 67.1 free throw percentage doesn't help his cause.

*He is just the third player from Stanford to leave for the NBA before his junior season, joining the Lopez twins, Brook and Robin, who were first round picks in 2010.

*Okpala is the son of two Nigerian immigrants. He had a 4.4 GPA in high school.

Fit with Wizards: Okpala would fill a need for the Wizards in that he is a forward and they don't have many of those under contract for next season. He would also give them a young player with high upside, something they currently lack.

But Okpala also seems to offer decent bust potential. Ever since Kevin Durant came into the league, there have been a lot of players like Okpala to come along, ones that are tall enough to play inside but prefer to work on the perimeter.

Sometimes that can work, like with Giannis Antetokounmpo or Brandon Ingram (sort of). But for every success story, there seem to be a lot of guys like Perry Jones and Thon Maker.

Okpala seems very much like boom or bust, and the Wizards may not be able to afford taking a chance like that.

Best highlight video:


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Neil Olshey signs extension with Trail Blazers, off the table for Wizards job

Neil Olshey signs extension with Trail Blazers, off the table for Wizards job

After Tim Connelly decided to re-join the Nuggets rather than take the Wizards' vacant front-office position, Washington has been forced back to the drawing board.

The Wizards have interviewed Thunder assistant general manager Troy Weaver, former Hawks general manager Danny Ferry and Wizards interim team president Tommy Sheppard.

In addition to those names, NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig reported the team could have interest in Trail Blazers president of basketball operations Neil Olshey. 

That option was eliminated Friday when Olshey signed an extension to remain with Portland. 

With Connelly and Olshey off the table, there are fewer high-profile candidates left for the Wizards to consider as replacements for Ernie Grunfeld. 

Standig noted that Warriors assistant general manager Larry Harris could also draw interest from Washington. 

The franchise is running out of time to find their new front-office leader with less than a month remaining before the NBA Draft.