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One-on-one: Rebirth for Roy Hibbert with Lakers?


One-on-one: Rebirth for Roy Hibbert with Lakers?

The start of the 2015-16 season remains several weeks away, which means there is time for reflection on what the Washington Wizards accomplished and a chance to look at the NBA road ahead. For the next couple of weeks, CSNwashington.com Insider J. Michael and Wizards correspondent Ben Standig will examine various issues and answer questions as the Wizards move toward a possible third straight playoff appearance.

Roy Hibbert gets literally dumped by the Pacers, but is playing with Kobe Bryant and the Lakers a good spot to turn things around?

 J. Michael: If by “turn things around” you mean not be the scapegoat for when the Lakers lose – a lot – then yes. There will be plenty of targets for the Lakers (namely coach Byron Scott), who Kobe Bryant believes can be a playoff team in the loaded Western Conference. That pain medicine he’s taking is having serious side effects.

In Indiana, Hibbert went from All-Star to sacrificial lamb. It’s hard to imagine a starting center who is 7-2 struggling to rebound but Hibbert had three or less 15 times last season.  In 2013-14, when the Pacers were the No. 1 seed in the East, Hibbert had three rebounds or less seven times in the playoffs alone, including twice when he posted a doughnut. They didn’t make it to the NBA Finals. And a $17 million salary made things worse.

Everything is relative. In L.A., they have to do something drastic to help turn the franchise around. Taking a gamble on Hibbert is worth it and he will be considered an upgrade from Jordan Hill and Carlos Boozer in a lot of ways. It’s a one-year commitment so if Hibbert fails, he’s gone anyway. Given how so many teams play small out West, they’re going to make Hibbert’s foot speed a liability. And Scott is stubborn enough to leave him on the floor to defend Draymond Green. 

I can’t see Hibbert turning things around with the Lakers. But it’s still better for him than Indiana.

Ben Standig: I'm not as completely negative on the 2015-16 Lakers as others, though they probably still won't make the playoffs which will drive Kobe Bryant crazy and make good TV for the rest of us. The veteran additions of Hibbert, Brandon Bass and Lou Williams plus No. 2 overall pick D'Angelo Russell significantly upgrades the overall talent pool. Combined with Bryant, Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle, Los Angeles can field an interesting rotation when healthy. 

Yet projecting how these random pieces fit together and if coach Byron Scott can do just that is a concern especially when focusing on Hibbert. The 7-foot-2 center doesn't do hodge podge. His low post and methodical style isn't truly malleable. Put Hibbert in controlled half court offensive sets on one end and a organize a group defensive plan on the other that schemes ball handlers his way, then perhaps he flashes previous All-Star form.

None of that seems likely with this group. On the surface, Hibbert's style doesn't mesh with gunners like Bryant and Williams. Collectively this group doesn't have a lockdown defense vibe. Hibbert's offense comes from setup's an he'll have baby point guards in Clarkson and Russell feeding him the ball.

All that said, simply being out of Indiana may give Hibbert the spark he needs for a rebirth. Getting starred down by Bryant during one of his funks will not.

RELATED: Former assistant convicted of stealing millions from Arenas 

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The 2018 NBA Doomsday Mock Draft: A comical look at every team's worst-case scenario


The 2018 NBA Doomsday Mock Draft: A comical look at every team's worst-case scenario

The 2018 NBA Draft takes place on Thursday, June 21 and once again provides a glimmer of hope for even the most downtrodden franchises.

The NBA Draft is where teams can prepare for the future; where teams can rebuild and reload.

But the NBA Draft is often a crapshoot. Teams waffle on taking the best fit versus the best available player. Teams often panic and rest on laurels of draft years past. Fans like to build draft stereotypes for individual franchises, and while a lot of that is stupid Internet conjecture, it's fun to talk about and is often some actual truth to it.

So what follows is a look at the Doomsday Mock Draft. What your favorite team is likely to do if all else fails, which it often does.

1. Phoenix Suns: A franchise center who spends his first contract working with the Suns' medical staff more than his teammates.

2. Sacramento Kings: Someone who won't be a member of the Kings by the time 2022 rolls around.

3. Atlanta Hawks: Someone that will make Dennis Schroder unhappy.

4. Memphis Grizzlies: A Mike Conley Jr. repair kit.

5. Dallas Mavericks: Not the heir apparent to Dirk Nowitzki.

6. Orlando Magic: A reach that won't pan out.

7. Chicago Bulls: Someone from Iowa State, probably.


9. New York Knicks: /inserts .GIF of Spike Lee looking disappointed/

10. Philadelphia 76ers: Another big man because HINKIE 4 LYFE.

11. Charlotte Hornets: A North Carolina Tar Heel.

12. Los Angeles Clippers: A playmate for the head coach's son.

13. Los Angeles Clippers: DeAndre Jordan 2.0.

14. Denver Nuggets: Yet another athletic guard.

15. Washington Wizards: Nope. Not touching this one.

16. Phoenix Suns: Someone to pass Devon Booker the ball.

17. Milwaukee Bucks: Wingspan. Nothing but wingspan.

18. San Antonio Spurs: One of the Space Jam villains who conveniently falls to the Spurs (See: Leonard, Kawhi. Anderson, Kyle. Murray, Dejounte)

19. Atlanta Hawks: Someone to replace Dennis Schroder.

20. Minnesota Timberwolves: Someone who Tom Thibideau can play 60 minutes of a 48-minute game.

21. Utah Jazz: A real glue guy. A gym rat. A high-motor guy. Intangibles. Grit. Moxie. 

22. Chicago Bulls: A two-way player who will ultimately get punched in the face by Bobby Portis.



25. Los Angeles Lakers: The subject of Lonzo Ball's next diss track.

26. Philadelphia 76ers: A pallet of knockoff burner phones.

27. Boston Celtics: A draft night trade for more draft picks they probably won't use.

28. Golden State Warriors: An unfairly good player.

29. Brooklyn Nets: An unfairly bad player.

30. Atlanta Hawks: We ran out of Dennis Schroder jokes.


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NBA Draft 2018: Jerome Robinson likes potential fit with the Wizards

USA Today Sports

NBA Draft 2018: Jerome Robinson likes potential fit with the Wizards

With the No. 15 pick in the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft, the Washington Wizards could go any number of different ways Thursday night.

They could bolster their frontcourt and select a big man. They could draft an uber-athletic wing and move more toward positionless basketball. Or the Wizards could take a guard to help build depth in the backcourt behind John Wall and Bradley Beal.

Enter Jerome Robinson, a three-year player at Boston College who led the ACC in three-point percentage and was second in scoring last season. He had a private workout with the Wizards on Wednesday morning, and got the chance to showcase the skill that earned him First Team All-ACC honors during his junior season.

In Washington, Robinson has the opportunity to come in without needing to be a difference-maker right away. He'd primarily be the backup shooting guard behind Beal and could push to see some minutes at the three when the Wizards go small. Though he was the go-to guy in college, he sounded ready to play alongside two stars in Washington.

"They’ve got two All-Star caliber players at the one and the two and I can also be a contributor with those guys as well," Robinson said after his workout. "[They have] a great offense and great defense as well. Also a great coach and front office."

Robinson was the only player to work out for the Wizards on Wednesday, so showing the team what he can do on the court was easy, but it wasn't the only area that drew his focus. He didn't meet with the Wizards at the NBA Combine in Chicago, so the visit also served as an introductory meeting between Robinson and team personnel, he said.

"I’m just coming in and showing them the kind of person that I am. Talking to these guys is important," Robinson said.

Over his three years at Boston College, Robinson turned himself into an excellent three-point shooter and improved in almost every major statistical category. A 40.9 percent three-point shooter as a junior, Robinson brought his average up almost seven percentage points from his sophomore season, when he shot 33.3 percent from deep. He also boosted his field goal percentage from 42.9 to 48.5 percent and his free throw percentage from 64.3 to 83 percent.

The numbers are a testament to his dedication to his craft, but also are evidence of his grasp of the game and how he fits into it. It's one thing in particular he wanted to show the Wizards.

"Just my understanding of the game. I think that’s what’s big and I think that’s something that fits into the NBA seamlessly for me," Robinson said. "Playing the right way and showing them what kind of player I am is what I go in and try to do."

There's no telling exactly which way the Wizards will go Thursday night, but if they end up picking Robinson, there may be an early level of comfort as both he and Wall are from Raleigh, North Carolina.

"It would be awesome to play with another guy from Raleigh," Robinson said. "We’ve got that same kind of grit. You’ve seen what he’s done so far and I think it would be exciting to play with him."

From Capital One Arena, he'll travel to New York to be there for draft night. Maybe by the end of the night, he'll be walking around with a Wizards hat on his head.