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NBA Draft recap: The inspired, curious and fortunate picks

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NBA Draft recap: The inspired, curious and fortunate picks

Logical

Timberwolves (1) select Kentucky C Karl-Anthony Towns. The best player goes first. This might seem obvious, but several players were reportedly in play over the last month. The combination of  strong shooting from all angles including the free throw line and rugged defense made Towns the clear choice. The combination of Towns, Andrew Wiggins, Ricky Rubio, Zach Lavine and Tyus Jones makes Minnesota an all-League Pass option for NBA fans this season.

Inspired

Lakers (2) select Ohio State PG D'Angelo Russell. For the NBA cellar dwellers, last season's theme screamed "Chokafor for Okafor." Yet Duke center Jahlil Okafor didn't go first and he didn't even go second. Los Angeles lacked a proven force in the middle - though power forward Julius Randle returns - and apparently found a gem last season in point guard Jordan Clarkson. Yet GM Mitch Kupchak went for the all-court option in Russell over the skilled big man. The 76ers snapped up Okafor at 3 even though they have deep center option with Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid. 

Magic (5) selects G/F Mario Hezonja: Orlando's roster drips with potential, including small forward Tobias Harris plus guards Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton. However, the Magic lack shotmakers and could lose Harris, a restricted free agent. Enter the 6-foot-8 Hezonja, a perimeter threat oozing with confidence. On paper this fit works. At some point Orlando needs to turn potential into the playoffs.

Curious

Pistons (8) select Arizona SF Stanley Johnson: Many a mock drafter had this fit - but those mocks didn't have Duke' Justise Winslow still on the board. The chiseled Johnson shined at times as a freshman during the regular season, but labored shooting (7 of 26) from the field during the NCAA Tournament and is prone to playing entitled basketball. Winslow's shot needs a little work, but his effort doesn't.

Celtics (16) select Louisville PG Terry Rozier. The powerful and lengthy guard bulldozes his way for points and fills up the stat sheet in several ways except with his subpar 3-point shooting. That almost describes incumbent Marcus Smart. Should we expect GM Danny Ainge just likes a certain type, or...Love two of Boston's later picks - Georgia State SG R.J Hunter (28) and William & Mary guard Marcus Thornton (45) - but not so much the first one for the current roster.

Fortunate

Heat (10) select Duke SF Justise Winslow: Miami's first-round pick was top 10 protected. Finish 11th or lower, Philadelphia gets the selection. So, what happens? Miami finishes with the 10th worst record and then doesn't get passed in draft lottery. Then the best player during the Blue Devils' national title run who some thought go top-5 slips to 10. Winslow's assertive style on both ends of the courts blends perfectly with the what Heat need. Lots of ifs, but if they keep Dwyane Wade - and keep him fresh for the playoffs - and Chris Bosh returns to form and they re-sign Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside doesn't revert to D-League form, look out, Eastern Conference contenders. Early money has Winslow winning Rookie of the Year. Pat Riley, Sith Lord.

MORE WIZARDS: WIZ CONFIDENT PIERCE WILL RETURN

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2017-18 Wizards roster review: Jodie Meeks

2017-18 Wizards roster review: Jodie Meeks

To wrap up the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we evaluate Jodie Meeks' season...

Player: Jodie Meeks

Position: Shooting guard

Age: 30

2017-18 salary: $3.3 million

2017-18 stats: 77 G, 14.5 mpg, 6.3 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 0.9 apg, 0.4 spg, 0.1 bpg, 39.9 FG%, 34.3 3P%, 86.3 FT%, 49.1 eFG%, 111 ORtg, 112 DRtg

Best game: 11/29 at Sixers - 21 points, 4 rebounds, assist, steal, 5-for-11 FG, 3-for-6 3PT, 8-for-9 FT

Season review: The Wizards took a flier on Jodie Meeks last summer in what seemed at the time to be a low-risk contract with a potentially high reward, if he could stay healthy and play to his career norms. They were in obvious need of help at backup shooting guard and three-point shooting for their bench.

Meeks fell short of those expectations for a variety of reasons. Though he stayed healthy for the first time in years, he could not make shots at the clip the Wizards were hoping for. His field goal percentage was not far off from what he posted in recent years, but his three-point percentage was nowhere near the 38.8 percent he shot in his previous four seasons.

Meeks bottomed out midseason, shooting 28.9 percent from three in December and 28 percent in January. Those numbers ticked up beginning in February, but Meeks never fully gained the trust of his coaching staff. He rarely got hot enough to alter games and his best stat-lines often came in blowouts. 

There was a domino effect from Meeks' struggles, as starting shooting guard Bradley Beal had no one to spell him. As a result, Beal logged the fourth-most minutes of any NBA player this season.

For Meeks personally, it was a bittersweet year because staying healthy was no small feat. He had a run of bad luck and finally broke out of it this season. On the other hand, he never made the impact he felt he was capable of and that wasn't easy for a guy joining a new team and a new locker room.

Meeks' 2017-18 season was ultimately defined by more than his shooting woes. First, he expressed interest in a trade in February and did not get his wish. Then, he was suspended for allegedy using performance-enhancing drugs after the regular season ended. He was out for the playoffs and will miss the first 19 games of the 2018-19 season without pay as he waits out a 25-game ban.

Meeks may or may not serve that suspension as a member of the Wizards. He has a player option for next season worth $3.5 million. He has yet to inform the team of his decision, but the expectation is that he will pick it up. Given how poorly his season went and ended, it would likely be the smart move financially for him to opt in and hope for better results next season.

Potential to improve: Shooting percentage, perimeter defense, passing

More player season reviews:

John Wall, PG

Bradley Beal, SG

Otto Porter, SF

Markieff Morris, PF

Marcin Gortat, C

Kelly Oubre, Jr., SF

Tomas Satoransky, PG

Ian Mahinmi, C

Ty Lawson, PG

Tim Frazier, PG

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2017-18 Wizards roster review: Tim Frazier

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2017-18 Wizards roster review: Tim Frazier

To wrap up the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we evaluate Tim Frazier's season...

Player: Tim Frazier

Position: Point guard

Age: 27

2017-18 salary: $2 million

2017-18 stats: 59 G, 14.2 mpg, 3.0 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 3.3 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.1 bpg, 39.5 FG%, 30.4 3P%, 76.7 FT%, 44.5 eFG%, 105 ORtg, 107 DRtg

Best game: 1/27 at Hawks - 4 points, 14 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 2-for-5 FG

Season review: The Wizards tabbed Tim Frazier to be their backup point guard nearly a year ago when they sent a second round pick to the New Orleans Pelicans on the eve of draft night. They viewed Frazier as the solution to their years-long search for a capable backup behind John Wall. Frazier had thrived as a replacement starter in New Orleans and the Wizards saw him as worth a draft pick, even though he had just one year left on his contract.

Frazier began the season as the primary backup point guard, but ultimately lost the job to Tomas Satoransky once Wall went out with a left knee injury. Frazier became the starter and Satoransky the backup, but through two weeks Satoransky outplayed him and became No. 2 on the depth chart once Wall returned. Then, when Wall went down for months late in the season, Satoransky started and Frazier backed him up.

Frazier never found consistency as he moved back and forth between roles. His minutes, points and assists averages were all career-lows.

The Wizards added competition to their roster for Frazier and Satoransky midseason, first by signing Ramon Sessions in March and then adding Ty Lawson just before the playoffs began. That led to Frazier being inactive for four of the Wizards' six postseason games.

All in all, it was a frustrating year for Frazier. He even had to deal with a broken nose and surgery to repair it after getting inadvertently kneed in the face by Bobby Portis in a game against the Bulls in February.

Frazier has been part of small group of Wizards players continuing to work out at the team facility this summer. He has been there along with Wall, Ian Mahinmi and Jason Smith. That said, it does seem likely Frazier returns given how the Wizards used him this season. He was completely out of the rotation for extended periods of time.

Helping his cause in that regard is that the Wizards have his Bird rights, meaning they can re-sign him while going above the salary cap. They currently have five open roster spots and not much money to spend. Frazier could represent a cheap option and help them fill out their roster.

Potential to improve: Shooting, on-ball defense, consistency

More player season reviews:

John Wall, PG

Bradley Beal, SG

Otto Porter, SF

Markieff Morris, PF

Marcin Gortat, C

Kelly Oubre, Jr., SF

Tomas Satoransky, PG

Ian Mahinmi, C

Ty Lawson, PG

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!