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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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Kelly Oubre turns into 'Spooky Papi' ahead of home-opener vs. Heat

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NBC Sports Washington

Kelly Oubre turns into 'Spooky Papi' ahead of home-opener vs. Heat

As the weather in Washington, D.C. drops below 60 degrees, most athletes typically arrive at their games in sweatsuits for comfort or suits for luxury. 

Kelly Oubre, on the other hand, is going full gothic for the Washington Wizards' home-opener against the Miami Heat. Oubre is the self-proclaimed "Wave Papi," but tonight he is giving off a vampire-slayer vibe.

Maybe he didn't get the memo that Halloween is roughly two weeks from now.

For the sake of it still being October, let's call him "Spooky Papi."

His black belts and buckles match his rockstar lifestyle, but the bloody, disfigured skull accessory is one of the most ridiculous things we've seen at Capital One Arena. Ever. 

Maybe there's a hidden meaning to it all, or maybe it's just yet another in a long line of Kelly Oubre fashion statements. 

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Dwight Howard ruled out for Wizards' season opener vs. Miami

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NBC Sports Washington

Dwight Howard ruled out for Wizards' season opener vs. Miami

Dwight Howard will not play in the Washington Wizards' season opener against the Miami Heat, NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller has confirmed. The news was first reported by Chris Haynes.

Ian Mahinmi will start in his place as he did for a majority of the preseason. 

Howard, an eight-time All-Star, has been dealing with a butt-injury ever since joining Washington this summer. This resulted in him missing all of the team's preseason matchups. He only has practiced with the team for a couple of days this week

Earlier on Thursday morning, Howard was listed as questionable for this matchup.

Based on his absence during the preseason and limited work with the Wizards, Howard being out is not too surprising. If he would have played it likely would have been for limited minutes off of the bench. 

Best-case for the Wizards is to rest Howard who has only missed 20 regular season games in the previous three seasons. 

Howard is not that far off from starting his 15th season in the NBA. On Wednesday Scott Brooks said that Howard will travel on the first road trip with the team to the West Coast starting on Monday. 

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