Quick Links

Second-round planning


Second-round planning

Based on their current roster, the Wizards first round options can be brokendown into three simple categories: right (Bradley Beal), wrong (Andre Drummond)or indifferent (just about anyone else). Barring a trade down or the teamsimply being all kinds of smitten for D.C.s own Thomas Robinson, perimeterhelp is coming via the No. 3 overall pick.The talk about what the Wizards should do in the second round is far lessheated, but much more open for debate.Right now, the Wizards depth chart is frontcourt heavy, backcourt light andshooting deprived. Some have a backup point guard as a high priority. Of coursenobody will object to going with the best available approach.With all that in mind, heres a best guess look at whom the Wizards mightselect at No. 32.Workout warriors: Looking at the prospectsthat visited the Verizon Center this month. DraftExpress.coms mockdraft projection in parenthesis.Tyshawn Taylor (35) - Of the players checked out by theWizards on their own turf, the Kansas point guard arguably stands out as thebest combination of upside and roster need. The 6-foot-4 guards playmakingskills and defensive abilities outweigh his at times maddening decisions.Whereas Shelvin Mack was tasked with learning to play as a lead guard duringhis rookie season, Taylor had the ball in his hands during the Jayhawks run tothe national title game and throughout his four years at Kansas. Scott Machado (53) - Only Kendall Marshall arguably standsout as a purer point guard than the 6-foot-2 Iona product. Machado toppedMarshall and every other Division I player last season with 9.9 assists pergame while knocking down 40 percent of his 3-point attempts. There is fear his fast-paced style, which thrivedat Iona, will suffer in translation to the NBA's half court sets. His visionwon't and the Wizards could use a point guard who is first and foremost adistributor.DariusMiller (37) Crowded up front or not, the Wizards could use a smallforward type who knocked down 40.7 percent of his shots from beyond the arcduring his final two seasons at Kentucky. Another of those rare collegeseniors, Miller showed during his days at Lexington he understands what itmeans to be a role player. Dont underestimate that trait when it comes toestablishing a cohesive rosterbench.TomasSatoransky (50) The Wizards are not exactly in adraft-and-stash position, but with Beal or Barnes at three, the teams top 11are arguably in place.Though possibly a reach early in the second and not the onlyinternational option projected in the second, the 6-foot-7 Czech is anintriguing point guard prospect. Rather than having the athletic 20-year-oldsit and watch, the Wizards could let Satoransky continue his craft learningways overseas for another season. Others: KrisJoseph (SF, Syracuse), Henry Sims (C, Georgetown), MilesPlumlee (C, Duke)Deep sleeperssummer League invites: Sticking with the need shooters theme, GeorgetownsHollisThompson and Northwesterns John Shurna drain3-pointers with layup line ease. Neither player is currently in theDraftExpress mock, though their long-range accuracy is NBA-worthy....More second-round thoughts are just a click away. For a look at thoseprospects whosesummer plans to datehave not included a D.C. visit like John Jenkins and Tony Wroten plusmy take on who the Wizards will select, click here.Ben Standig blogs about the Redskins, Wizards, Hoyas and the D.C.area college basketball scene for CSNwashington. You can reach him by email at bstandig@comcast.net, follow him on Twitter @BenStandig and catch his musings at the D.C. Sportalist.

Quick Links

John Wall knows the decision between loyalty and money is a tough one for Bryce Harper

John Wall knows the decision between loyalty and money is a tough one for Bryce Harper

In just a few months, Nationals star Bryce Harper could become one of the biggest free agents not just in baseball history, but sports history. He will decide whether to stay in Washington with the team that drafted him and oversaw his development as a young player, or to leave for another city.

Wizards guard John Wall has twice faced the prospect of free agency and twice has decided to sign contract extensions to stay in D.C. Though the salary structures of baseball and basketball are different, there are some parallels between the two. 

Wall has a unique perspective on the call Harper has to make and gave his opinion on the matter in a 1-on-1 interview on the latest episode of our Wizards Tipoff podcast.

"Well, it’s kind of tough. It depends on if you want to do it off of loyalty, or if you want to do it to make sure you make the most money you can make. That’s the toughest decision that you can have. I have the opportunity here where I have loyalty and I can also make the money, so that was a bonus and a plus for me in both situations," Wall said. 

Wall noted how as an NBA player he can have the best of both worlds. The league's collective bargaining agreement allows teams to pay players they drafted significantly more money.

That, however, has not stopped NBA stars from changing teams. Wall in many ways is an outlier as many superstars have left money on the table to depart their original teams. LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and Paul George have all done that, to name a few. Kawhi Leonard could be next.

Harper, though, may also be able to make more money elsewhere. The Dodgers, Cubs, Yankees, Red Sox or some other team could conceivably offer more money than the Nats and there are some cities like L.A. and New York that could open up more endorsement opportunities.

There's no question it pays to be the best player on the Yankees. Look at Derek Jeter and how his stardom was boosted by that distinction.

Loyalty is also going to come into play for Harper and the past few days have shown he is a sentimental person, as he has talked about all the people he has connected with over the years and how much the Washington community means to him.

Wall took all of those things into account when he decided to stay in D.C. and not look elsewhere via free agency or trades, which have become commonplace for All-Star players in the NBA.

"It was how much what the city means to me is the reason I wanted to stay and what I want to bring here is a championship, it’s what I promise and I hope I can do that," Wall said. "My dad’s from here. Just the way they welcomed me from the first day I came here. Sticking with me through the tough times, when we wasn’t winning early on and then we started to win. The city just embraced me and I embraced the city back. It feels like home and I wouldn’t want to be nowhere else."

Though the difference in money likely won't be as drastic, Harper will have to choose how much loyalty and the human connection he has with people in Washington matters in his free agency decision. Wall knows the feeling.

Hear Wall's full 1-on-1 interview on our latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast:

Quick Links

Wizards have talked to the Spurs about Kawhi Leonard, report says


Wizards have talked to the Spurs about Kawhi Leonard, report says

After already making significant changes to their roster, the Wizards may not be done this offseason, as they have been in talks with the San Antonio Spurs about a potential trade for superstar Kawhi Leonard, according to a new report by ESPN

Read this from Adrian Wojnarowski:

Still, the bidding war among Boston, Philadelphia and the Lakers never materialized. The Los Angeles Clippers, Denver, Phoenix, Portland, Toronto and Washington are among teams who've talked with San Antonio, league sources said.

The Wizards certainly make sense as a Leonard suitor. They are in the East, meaning the Spurs could trade Leonard to them and not have to worry about facing him as often. Plus, they have a solid group of tradeable assets and ones that seem to fit the Spurs model.

Otto Porter is a versatile, young player under team control who plays an unselfish style and would likely embrace playing in a small market. He also has a salary ($26M in 2018-19) that isn't far off from Leonard's ($21M in 2018-19), so the money could be easily matched.

The Wizards also have Tomas Satoransky and Kelly Oubre, Jr., two young and up-and-coming players. Plus, they have draft picks, though ones that are unlikely to convey as lottery selections.

The Spurs have reportedly been more interested in getting players that can help now rather than draft picks to rebuild. That makes sense, as they still won 47 games last year despite Leonard only playing in nine of them due to injury.

The question in any Wizards and Spurs talks would be whether they would want one of Washington's All-Stars in John Wall and Bradley Beal. It would be tough to imagine the Wizards parting with either guy for Leonard, who carries some risk not only because of his quadriceps injury but also because he can opt out of his contract and leave after next season.

Just because the Wizards have talked to the Spurs doesn't mean they are serious contenders for Leonard, but it does show they are serious about improving their roster this summer. If they got Leonard and didn't part with Wall and Beal, that would be some team.




NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!