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NBA Draft profile: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

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NBA Draft profile: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Later this month the Washington Wizards will take part in the 2012 NBA draft. Currently the owner of picks 3, 32 and 46, the franchise could go in almost any direction with those selections. The prevailing belief is upgrading the team's perimeter weapons and small forwardwing guard depth is a must this offseason, but few would knock more interior help even with the intriguing core of Nene 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. Up next, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

Check below for a running of list of all our draft profiles. More to come before the June 28 draft in Newark.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
KentuckyDraft Express overall ranking: No. 3HeightWeight: 6-7, 232 lb (combine numbers)Key stats: 11.9 points, 7.4 rebounds in 2011-12. Shot 25.5 percent (13 of 51) on 3-pointers.2The player: Even as a freshman at Kentuckylast season, it often felt as if MKG was a man among boys, basketball maturity wise that is. That grown-up vibe stemmed from the small forwards overabundance of intangibles plus his relentless pursuit of all aspects of the game that go beyond the glory of scoring points. Were talking defense, rebounding, leadership and tracking down every loose ball like he was Liam Neesons character in Taken. Offensively especially outside of 12 to 15 feet - is where the challenge lies, though Kidd-Gilchrists rugged approach serves him well in the trenches. The fit: In case you havent noticed, the Wizards have had trouble winning games lately. Maybe not so much right at the end of last year, but you get the point. Kidd-Gilchrists spirit and knack for the hustle plays is indeed contagious; anyone that watched Kentuckys march to the national title would concur. Perhaps putting an 18-year-old (turns 19 on September 28) into any kind of leadership position is folly early on, but the others will notice the effort and hopefully act accordingly. The fact that MKG is a small forward and that position remains the most unsettled on the team, all the better.The issue: Already hinted at his lack of perimeter offense. At one point during my research process, the term broken was used to describe Kidd-Gilchrists jumper. Granted, improving ones shot is certainly doable and frankly a common trait among the games elite. However, the Wizards already have a host of players at that positions and elsewhere who struggle to knock down open mid-range or deep looks. It would be nice imagining MKG on the court with the Wizards' other recent high selections - John Wall and Jan Vesely - but that's a whole lot of clanking and not much spreading of the floor going on.The analysisNBA scout(to CSNwashington): "Kidd-Gilchrist is a three-man. You have ChrisSingleton there. You got Trevor Booker at the four. He, Vesely and Singleton are all kind of small fours, threes a little bit. Thats a logjam quite honestly. That team needs shooters. The problem with Vesely and Booker and Singleton is they dont make shots. Then it becomes redundant with a guy like Kidd-Gilchrist. Similar position, has all the intangibles, but is not a good scorer. If they want to go for a winner, hard worker, than its Kidd-Gilchrist."Andy Glockner, SI.com (to CSNwashington): " I really like Kidd-Gilchrist, but I think it has to be in the right situation NBA-wise...Hes going to some trouble scoring from the perimeter on the NBA level. I dont think his handle off the bounce is outstanding. Hes not slow, but hes not like a blow-by guy from the three. His jump shot is terrible, his form is screwy. But, hes a guy whos going to get all the loose balls, hes going to rebound, hes going to work to defend. Hes a very good teammate. Was willing to defer at times at Kentucky for the betterment of the team."The summation: Just about everyone fell in love with Kidd-Gilchrist energy during the Wildcats title run. You need players who contribute with passion regardless of whether their shot is falling or whether they are taking any at all. Its not hard to define Kidd-Gilchrists intangible qualities as what stands out compared to his peers. And yet, and yet the constant emphasis of those admirable traits reminds me of a blind date setup where the other partys personality is highlighted. Lets be clear: Kidd-Gilchrist is no ugly prospect even if his current shot is rather unsightly. As mentioned earlier, this current lot of Wizards can use all the winning mentality they can find.. Getting rid of the cinnamon twins helped. Adding Nene did as well. Add in Veselys instincts and Singletons pre-NBA reputation for defense and it seems as if many of the qualities MKG brings to the equation are already in the current mix, just not fully developed. Meanwhile the other likely draft candidates address the Wizards more immediate shooting (Bradley Beal) or rebounding (Thomas Robinson) woes.More draft profilesFestus 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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John Wall knows the decision between loyalty and money is a tough one for Bryce Harper

John Wall knows the decision between loyalty and money is a tough one for Bryce Harper

In just a few months, Nationals star Bryce Harper could become one of the biggest free agents not just in baseball history, but sports history. He will decide whether to stay in Washington with the team that drafted him and oversaw his development as a young player, or to leave for another city.

Wizards guard John Wall has twice faced the prospect of free agency and twice has decided to sign contract extensions to stay in D.C. Though the salary structures of baseball and basketball are different, there are some parallels between the two. 

Wall has a unique perspective on the call Harper has to make and gave his opinion on the matter in a 1-on-1 interview on the latest episode of our Wizards Tipoff podcast.

"Well, it’s kind of tough. It depends on if you want to do it off of loyalty, or if you want to do it to make sure you make the most money you can make. That’s the toughest decision that you can have. I have the opportunity here where I have loyalty and I can also make the money, so that was a bonus and a plus for me in both situations," Wall said. 

Wall noted how as an NBA player he can have the best of both worlds. The league's collective bargaining agreement allows teams to pay players they drafted significantly more money.

That, however, has not stopped NBA stars from changing teams. Wall in many ways is an outlier as many superstars have left money on the table to depart their original teams. LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and Paul George have all done that, to name a few. Kawhi Leonard could be next.

Harper, though, may also be able to make more money elsewhere. The Dodgers, Cubs, Yankees, Red Sox or some other team could conceivably offer more money than the Nats and there are some cities like L.A. and New York that could open up more endorsement opportunities.

There's no question it pays to be the best player on the Yankees. Look at Derek Jeter and how his stardom was boosted by that distinction.

Loyalty is also going to come into play for Harper and the past few days have shown he is a sentimental person, as he has talked about all the people he has connected with over the years and how much the Washington community means to him.

Wall took all of those things into account when he decided to stay in D.C. and not look elsewhere via free agency or trades, which have become commonplace for All-Star players in the NBA.

"It was how much what the city means to me is the reason I wanted to stay and what I want to bring here is a championship, it’s what I promise and I hope I can do that," Wall said. "My dad’s from here. Just the way they welcomed me from the first day I came here. Sticking with me through the tough times, when we wasn’t winning early on and then we started to win. The city just embraced me and I embraced the city back. It feels like home and I wouldn’t want to be nowhere else."

Though the difference in money likely won't be as drastic, Harper will have to choose how much loyalty and the human connection he has with people in Washington matters in his free agency decision. Wall knows the feeling.

Hear Wall's full 1-on-1 interview on our latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast:

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Wizards have talked to the Spurs about Kawhi Leonard, report says

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USA TODAY Sports

Wizards have talked to the Spurs about Kawhi Leonard, report says

After already making significant changes to their roster, the Wizards may not be done this offseason, as they have been in talks with the San Antonio Spurs about a potential trade for superstar Kawhi Leonard, according to a new report by ESPN

Read this from Adrian Wojnarowski:

Still, the bidding war among Boston, Philadelphia and the Lakers never materialized. The Los Angeles Clippers, Denver, Phoenix, Portland, Toronto and Washington are among teams who've talked with San Antonio, league sources said.

The Wizards certainly make sense as a Leonard suitor. They are in the East, meaning the Spurs could trade Leonard to them and not have to worry about facing him as often. Plus, they have a solid group of tradeable assets and ones that seem to fit the Spurs model.

Otto Porter is a versatile, young player under team control who plays an unselfish style and would likely embrace playing in a small market. He also has a salary ($26M in 2018-19) that isn't far off from Leonard's ($21M in 2018-19), so the money could be easily matched.

The Wizards also have Tomas Satoransky and Kelly Oubre, Jr., two young and up-and-coming players. Plus, they have draft picks, though ones that are unlikely to convey as lottery selections.

The Spurs have reportedly been more interested in getting players that can help now rather than draft picks to rebuild. That makes sense, as they still won 47 games last year despite Leonard only playing in nine of them due to injury.

The question in any Wizards and Spurs talks would be whether they would want one of Washington's All-Stars in John Wall and Bradley Beal. It would be tough to imagine the Wizards parting with either guy for Leonard, who carries some risk not only because of his quadriceps injury but also because he can opt out of his contract and leave after next season.

Just because the Wizards have talked to the Spurs doesn't mean they are serious contenders for Leonard, but it does show they are serious about improving their roster this summer. If they got Leonard and didn't part with Wall and Beal, that would be some team.

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