Wizards

Quick Links

NBA Draft profile: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

719784.png

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.

Quick Links

DeMatha alum and Pacers star Victor Oladipo stretchered off with scary leg injury

victor-oladipo-injury-pacers-usat.jpg
USA Today Sports

DeMatha alum and Pacers star Victor Oladipo stretchered off with scary leg injury

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- The Indiana Pacers lost All-Star guard Victor Oladipo with an apparent right leg injury in the second quarter of Wednesday night's game against Toronto.

Trainers quickly put a towel over the leg and players from both teams surrounded Oladipo as he lay on the floor. Fans gave him a standing ovation as he was carted off the floor on a stretcher.

The injury occurred when Oladipo fell awkwardly while trying to defend an outlet pass to Raptors forward Serge Ibaka, who landed on top of Oladipo with 4:05 to go.

Oladipo made his first All-Star Game last season after being acquired in the trade for Paul George. He is the Pacers' top scorer this season at 19.2 points per game.

Quick Links

Bradley Beal doesn't care if he's named a 2019 NBA All-Star starter

Bradley Beal doesn't care if he's named a 2019 NBA All-Star starter

The 2019 NBA All-Star starters are set to be announced on Thursday and Wizards guard Bradley Beal is not optimistic he will be chosen. That is despite a growing number of supporters in the media, but Beal understands their votes only count for 25 percent of the equation.

Fan voting makes up 50 percent and NBA players the remaining 25 percent. With Beal in a distant 10th among Eastern Conference guards in the fan voting rounds that have been made public, he has set his expectations accordingly.

"I'm not going to be a starter so it doesn't matter," he quipped after Wizards practice on Wednesday. "I'm positive. Let's just be honest. Right? We all can be honest, right?"

Beal, who made his first All-Star team last season as a reserve, will almost certainly be an All-Star again this year one way or another. Coaches vote on reserves and those will be announced on Jan. 31.

But Beal has a solid case to be a starter despite his Wizards sitting at just 20-26 and outside of the playoff picture. He is posting career-highs in points (24.7), rebounds (5.0), assists (5.0), steals (1.3) and blocks (0.9). He has appeared in all 46 of the Wizards games this season while many of his teammates have been absent due to injury.

Boston's Kyrie Irving appears to be a lock for one of the two starting guard spots in the East. He has a strong case with his numbers, his team's success and has fared well in fan voting. But the second spot has no clear favorite.

Ben Simmons has played well for a good Sixers team. Victor Oladipo of the Pacers also has a case, though due to injuries his numbers have fallen off.

Kyle Lowry has helped the Raptors post one of the league's best records. Kemba Walker of the Hornets has had the best season of his career and plays for the hometown team with the game taking place in Charlotte.

There is also Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat, a future Hall of Famer who might be a starter if it were based solely on fan voting. If he gets support from players or media votes, he could get in as a legacy pick given this is the final season of his legendary career.

Basically, Beal has a lot of competition. He gets it and insists he isn't losing sleep over the pending announcement.

"Even then I don't let it consume me. It's not like a goal of mine like 'oh, I've gotta be an All-Star.' If I am, it's great. It's even more motivation to continue to get better. Even if I'm not an All-Star, I'm not going to be mad or upset," he said.

Beal said his No. 1 goal is winning and mentioned how the Wizards remain six games under .500 despite reeling off seven of their last 10. Washington happens to be hosting the defending-champion Golden State Warriors on Thursday night, so he has plenty on his plate.

Beal will likely be an All-Star representing the Wizards in the Feb. 17 showcase. But it doesn't sound like he will be doing any of the other festivities.

Beal has participated in the three-point contest twice in his career and both times was a runner-up. He has not been invited yet to this year's contest and probably won't participate even if he is asked.

"I would probably take a break this year because it was definitely a lot last year, just all the off-court stuff," he said. "I'm not saying I won't do it for the rest of my career, but I don't think I'm doing it this year."

MORE WIZARDS NEWS: