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NBA Draft: Wizards will select one of these eight players (or not)


NBA Draft: Wizards will select one of these eight players (or not)

The NBA Draft will be held June 25 in Brooklyn. Assuming the Washington Wizards keep their first round pick, 19th overall, they will draft a player based on the following statement uttered by coach Randy Wittman during his season-ending press conference Monday:

I can't sit here and say, obviously, until you get through the draft and free agency and that, but obviously playing small is successful for us. Playing faster. Those are the things I want to try to improve this team, moving forward, with. Being able to play smaller. Being able to play faster. ... We've got to be able to have the pieces to do that in the regular season. 

Now, its possible that team president Ernie Grunfeld expresses a different plan when he meets with the media later this week, assuming he provides any specific details at all. However, the Wizards were clearly at their best this postseason when playing with smaller, faster lineup lineups. That's become code for using a "stretch-4." That doesn't mean the Wizards should only focus on adding a perimeter shooting big man. Other needs exist and one-third of the roster might not return. With all that in mind, here's a thumbnail look at a group of prospects you can expect to hear plenty about over the next month. 

Justin Anderson (Virginia, SG, 6'6") - The former Montrose Christian product starts off as a 3-and-D option, but with far greater potential. Posted 43-inch vertical leap at the combine and sports 6-foot-11 wingspan, meaning he and Otto Porter could former a lengthy defensive combo on the wing. Shot 45 percent from beyond the arc as a junior. The Wizards have lacked a scoring backup plan behind Bradley Beal.

Jerian Grant (Notre Dame, PG, 6'5") - Did it all last season while leading the Irish to the Elite Eight, averaging 16.5 points and 6.6 assist as a senior. The son of ex-Bullet Harvey Grant is a true point guard. Granted, the Wizards have one of those. As the Atlanta Hawks showed, having two isn't a bad thing. Grant and John Wall both have great size for the position, meaning they could play together. Shooting form is better than his 31.6 percentage from distance reflects.

Montrezl Harrell (Louisville, PF, 6'7") - The power-packed forward provides energy and rebounding (9.2 last season). Makes up for lack of height with insane 7-foot-4 inch wingspan and bulk (253 lbs). Harrell isn't a perimeter threat, but would be a ferocious rim-to-rim runner on the wing for fellow North Carolina native Wall. Former MVP of the Capital Classic averaged 15.7 points last season. 

R.J. Hunter (Georgia State, SG, 6'6") - Instincts and shooting range for days. The son of a coach averaged 19.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists while shooting 89 percent from the free throw line as a junior. Hunter is a self-sustaining scoring threat because of size, shooting, and playmaking. The Wizards' second-unit could use that type of talent. Ignore the 29 percent from deep last season as opponents sent waves of defenders his way (He did shoot 39 percent as a sophomore).  Ice water in his veins as evidenced by his hero turn in the NCAA Tournament.

Kevon Looney (UCLA, PF, 6'9") - The consensus on Looney's draft day value is that there is no consensus. Those viewing him as a lottery pick note the shooting range (41.5 percent on 3-pointers) and work on the offensive glass (3.4 per game). Those dropping the raw prospect deeper into round one point out lack of quickness and average athleticism.

Trey Lyles (Kentucky, PF, 6'10") - Nobody denies the overall talent, though a bit hard to evaluate the 241-pounder from his one season with the Wildcats. Often forced to play small forward despite his power forward size. Strong on the offensive glass and a heady passer. More of a mid-range shooter at this point - finished a dismal 13.8 percent from 3-point range -, but has good form overall. Turns 20 in October. 

Bobby Portis (Arkansas, PF, 6'11") - If you look big men with size, who produce (17.5 points, 8.9 rebounds as a sophomore), have a relentless motor and can score from inside and out (47 percent from beyond the arc on 30 attempts), then this is your guy. Basic athleticism is what probably keeps Portis from being a lottery selection, but his physical tools are strong as his shooting touch. The ideal fit for the Wizards - and a some other teams picking in front of them.

Christian Wood (UNLV, PF, 6'11") - This is an upside play. Great size, boasts a 7-foot-3 wingspan and can sky, all of which makes Wood a strong finisher at the rim. Averaged 15.5 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.6 blocks as a junior. Needs to bulk up (216 pounds) and work on his perimeter shooting (28 percent on 3's). Turns 20 in September.

At this moment, I like Portis, Hunter and Lyles most for the Wizards. Whether any of them will be available at 19 is the question.

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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

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Markieff Morris goes 1-on-1; no All-NBA votes for Beal?

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Markieff Morris goes 1-on-1; no All-NBA votes for Beal?

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chris Miller caught up with Wizards power forward Markieff Morris. Morris looked back on the 2017-18 season and gave his side on what needs to be fixed.

Chris and Chase Hughes also had a heated debate about Bradley Beal not receiving any All-NBA votes. Chase is an awards voter and defended his ballot. Chris wasn't having any of it.

They also went into the conference finals and what it would mean if the Rockets beat the Warriors.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!