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NBA GM survey is a mixed bag for Wall, Wizards


NBA GM survey is a mixed bag for Wall, Wizards

Each year for the past several years NBA.com surveyed league general managers on a variety of topics ahead of the upcoming campaign. The 2015-16 version was released Tuesday and included a few Washington Wizards mentions -- and at least one notable omission.

The GMs responded to 49 different questions about the best teams, players, coaches, fans and offseason moves. They were also not allowed to vote for their own players/teams. 

Starting with the big picture, the defending NBA Champions are not favorites for the 2016 title according to this group. 

Which team will win the 2016 NBA Finals
1. Cleveland -- 53.6% 
2. San Antonio -- 25.0% 
3. Golden State -- 17.9% 
4. Oklahoma City -- 3.6% 
Last year: San Antonio -- 46.2%

As for the Eastern Conference standings...

The Wizards finished fifth in each of the last two seasons so predicting a hat trick isn't a stretch. Essentially all the teams outside of the LeBron James-led Cavaliers have notable questions entering the season. That includes the Bulls, who switched from a defensive-minded head coach to the offensive creativity of Fred Hoiberg. For the Wizards, that means moving on from Paul Pierce and adjusting to more small ball lineups. Looks like a five-team race for the two-seed with the Hawks, Heat and Raptors also in the mix.

Bradley Beal, a logical candidate for the NBA's Most Improved Player award, finished third on the list of players most likely to have a breakout season, behind only Minnesota's Andrew Wiggins and Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo. Otto Porter received one vote.

In perhaps the least surprising vote result of all, John Wall selected as fastest with the ball. The point guard garnered 53.4 percent of the votes with only Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook (32.8) remotely visible in his rearview mirror. The pair tied for first last year. Non-roster player Ish Smith was one of four players also receiving votes. 

Now, here comes the aforementioned omission. 

Who is the best point guard in the NBA?
1. Stephen Curry, Golden State -- 55.2%
2. Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers -- 24.1% 
3. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City -- 17.2% 
4. Mike Conley, Memphis -- 3.4%
Last year: Chris Paul -- 71.4%

Not listed of course, Wall. Those first three names are among the elite players in the league regardless of position, while Conley is often criminally underrated (though apparently not by at least one GM). It's no real knock that Wall didn't receive a single vote. Neither did Kyrie Irving.

Another potential slight.

Which player is the best passer?
1. Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers -- 71.4% 
2. LeBron James, Cleveland -- 10.7% 
3. Stephen Curry, Golden State -- 7.1% 
Rajon Rondo, Sacramento -- 7.1% 
5. Ricky Rubio, Minnesota -- 3.6% 
Last year: Chris Paul -- 64.3%

Again, no Wall, who finished second in the NBA with 10.0 assists last season. Number of assists doesn't automatically mean great passer, but there is some correlation and certainly in this case. 

Anyway, always an interesting read. History suggests Wall will notice.

MORE WIZARDS: Will Jared Dudley debut for Wizards tonight against Heat?

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Wizards' first pre-draft workout to feature Kentucky's Diallo, UMBC's upset hero


Wizards' first pre-draft workout to feature Kentucky's Diallo, UMBC's upset hero

The Washington Wizards will hold their first pre-draft workout on Tuesday at Capital One Arena and the group of six players features some familiar names. 

Included in the mix is guard Jairus Lyles, who starred for the Unversity of Maryland-Baltimore County and helped lead them as a 16-seed over top-ranked Virginia in the NCAA Tournament. It was the first 16-over-a-1 upset in the tournament's history.

Here are the six players with some notes on each one...

Chris Chiozza, guard, Florida (6-0, 175)

Chiozza played four years at Florida and finished as the school's all-time assists leader. He averaged 11.1 points, 6.1 assists and 1.9 steals per game as a senior.

Hamidou Diallo, guard, Kentucky (6-5, 198)

Diallo redshirted in 2016-17 and played one season for the Wildcats. He averaged 10.0 points and 3.6 rebounds while shooting 45.8 percent from the field. Diallo measured 6-foot-6 with shoes at the combine and boasts a 7-foot wingspan.

Tiwian Kendley, guard, Morgan State (6-5, 190)

Kendly was a big-time scorer at Morgan St., averaging 21.0 points as a redshirt junior and 26.1 points as a senior. He took a lot of shots, however, averaging 18.2 field goal attempts on 45.3 percent from the field this past season. Kendley starred at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Maryland before joining the college ranks, first at Lamar Community College.

Jairus Lyles, guard, UMBC (6-2, 175)

Lyles was the leading scorer for the Retrievers this past season as they became the biggest underdog Cinderella in NCAA history, defeating the No. 1 Virginia Cavaliers in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. He averaged 20.2 points and shot 39.0 percent from three on 6.1 attempts. Lyles began his college career at VCU and played high school ball at nearby DeMatha.

Doral Moore, center, Wake Forest (7-1, 280)

A three-year player at Wake Forest, Moore had a breakout season as a junior with averages of 11.1 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. Moore played with Sixers star Ben Simmons in high school.

Ray Spalding, forward, Louisville (6-10, 215)

Spalding played three years at Louisville and averaged 12.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 1.5 steals per game as a junior. He posted a 7-5 wingspan at the NBA Combine. Spalding played with Jazz star Donovan Mitchell in college. 

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2017-18 Wizards roster review: Mike Scott

2017-18 Wizards roster review: Mike Scott

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

Player: Mike Scott

Position: Power forward

Age: 29

2017-18 salary: $1.7 million

2017-18 stats: 76 G, 18.5 mpg, 8.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.1 apg, 0.3 spg, 0.1 bpg, 52.7 FG%, 40.5 3P%, 65.8 FT%, 59.0 eFG%, 109 ORtg, 111 DRtg

Best game: 12/9 at Clippers - 22 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 9-for-11 FG, 3-for-4 3PT, 28 minutes

Season review: The 2017-18 Wizards season was full of unpredictability and the most positive surprise had to be the comeback of Mike Scott.

The Wizards signed Scott to a veteran minimum contract last offseason after a workout at Capital One Arena. This came just months after he had felony drug charges dropped in the state of Georgia, he lost 25 pounds and rehabbed a leg injury. That spring he had wondered, and justifiably, if his NBA career was over.

Scott overcame all of those odds to not only return to the NBA, but re-establish himself as a productive player off the bench. No one was more consistent start-to-finish in the Wizards' second unit than Scott was.

Scott earned a significant role in head coach Scott Brooks' rotation out of the preseason and stayed there. He reached double-figures in 31 of his 76 games, second only to Kelly Oubre, Jr. on the Wizards. 

Scott's primary value was on offense. He scored inside and out and got his points with remarkable efficiency. He led the Wizards and was tied for 11th in the NBA in effective field-goal percentage. He was second on Washington in field goal percentage and third in three-point percentage. 

Scott closed the season strong, reaching double-figures in scoring in seven of the last nine regular season games. He carried that over into the playoffs with 46 points through their first three games against the Raptors. 

Now comes the question of how much money Scott earned himself with his comeback year and whether the Wizards can afford keeping him. Since they are in the luxury tax, they will have little money to spend this summer. 

The way to keep Scott would be to use the remainder of their taxpayer mid-level exception, but that figures to be only about $1.9 million, not much more than what Scott made in 2017-18. Given how well he played this season, it would not be surprising if he earns much more than that.

Potential to improve: Free throw shooting, forcing turnovers, ability to guard bigs

More player season reviews:

John Wall, PG

Bradley Beal, SG

Otto Porter, SF

Markieff Morris, PF

Marcin Gortat, C

Kelly Oubre, Jr., SF

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