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Breaking down John Wall's award-winning month of December

Breaking down John Wall's award-winning month of December

John Wall was named the Eastern Conference's player of the month on Tuesday for December, a month in which he helped lead the Wizards to a 10-5 record. They turned their season around after a slow start and Wall's amazing month was a big reason why.

Here is a look back on Wall's month of December. First, some stats. Then, some highlights:

- Wall averaged 24.5 ppg in December (5th in East, 10th in NBA), 10.7 assists (2nd in NBA) and 2.67 steals (1st in NBA)

- 24.5 ppg in December of 2016 is highest ppg average in a single month for Wall

- Wall averages 10.2 apg in December in his career, more than any other month

- Wall is currently averaging 23.4 points, 10.1 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game. Only Russell Westbrook has averaged at least 23 points, 10 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals per game in a full season, a feat he accomplished last year. Wall currently holds a higher FG percentage (46.3) and three-point percentage (32.4) than Westbrook did.

- Wall is one of three players currently averaging a points-assists double-double. Wall has averaged a points-assists double-double in each of his previous two seasons.

- Wall won his first Eastern Conference player of the month award in December of 2015

- Wall’s December 2016 included a 52-point performance on 12/6 against the Orlando Magic. Wall is one of eight players to drop at least 50 points in a game this year, which already ties an NBA record for most such games in one NBA season. 

Now take a look at Wall's five best plays from the month:

Wall throws down big dunk vs. Nets 12/30

Wall hits big shot in final minute vs. Pacers 12/28

Wall sets franchise steals record against Hornets 12/14

Wall beats buzzer to end first quarter against Hornets 12/14

Wall talks trash to Marco Belinelli after layup 12/14

[RELATED: Wizards-Bucks game time changed for Packers playoff]

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Tom Haberstroh: 'I just don't know if the timing is right' for Masai Ujiri to join Wizards

Tom Haberstroh: 'I just don't know if the timing is right' for Masai Ujiri to join Wizards

As soon as the clock hit zero in Game 6 of the NBA Finals and cemented the Toronto Raptors as the 2019 NBA Champions, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that the Wizards were preparing to make a lucrative offer to Toronto GM Masai Ujiri. 

NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig confirmed that Washington was prepared to give the Raptors top front office executive a deal that would be hard to refuse.

The rumored interest in Ujiri became the topic of the most recent Wizards Talk Podcast discussion, and Monday, NBC Sports NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh spoke on the potential pairing. 

"If you're Ted Leonsis and the ownership in D.C., you're hoping that the Raptors are out [of the playoffs] early so you can start the talks and you can try to lure Masai Ujiri over a few days or a week but they dont have that time before Thursday's draft," Haberstroh said.

"I just don't know if the timing is right for Masai to make such a huge decision in his career in the next couple of days."

Ted Leonsis' offer isn't the only factor trying to bring Ujiri to the nation's capital. The Raptors' executive has a relationship with former President Barack Obama, which could weight in the Wizards favor, and Ujiri's wife, Ramatu, attended high school in the D.C. area as well.

"If he takes this job, it is not about the basketball reasons, its all about the off-court reasons, whether it's Barack Obama recruiting him, or it's his wife who is from the area," Haberstroh added.

While Wizards fan would welcome Ujiri to Washington with open arms and hope that he is the missing piece to set the franchise in the right direction, Haberstroh isn't sure that Ujiri bolts from Toronto so soon.

"I just don't know if the timing is right for Masai Ujiri to leave a champion in Toronto," Haberstroh said.


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'Sincere interest': Latest on Pelicans exploring trade for Wizards All-Star Bradley Beal

'Sincere interest': Latest on Pelicans exploring trade for Wizards All-Star Bradley Beal

While the Washington Wizards struggled defensively last season, the organization is holding firm when it comes to rebuffing offers for Bradley Beal.

The New Orleans Pelicans showed sincere interest in the two-time All-Star before Saturday’s blockbuster that sent Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers. That curiosity remains and the two sides broadly discussed a trade scenario involving Beal, multiple sources told NBC Sports Washington.

The Pelicans are open to dealing the newly acquired fourth overall selection in Thursday’s NBA Draft according to numerous reports. New Orleans also landed three young players from Los Angeles -- Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart -- plus additional future picks and pick swaps.

Whatever the initial parameters, the conversation never veered close to actual negotiations, according to a source.

The basis for trading Beal centers on maximizing his asset value with two years and $56 million remaining on his original five-year contract signed in 2016. Washington likely struggles next season with fellow guard John Wall out and an evolving roster that currently has only five players with guaranteed contracts.

This one rejection does not mean Washington has completely shut the door on future talks with teams. However, the sense from league sources is the team plans on keeping Beal despite ample interest from contenders.

Beal, who turns 26 this month, just completed a near All-NBA season in which he and MVP candidate James Harden were the only players to average 25 points, five rebounds, five assists and 1.5 steals per game. The ascending talent is the lone healthy starter on the roster with Wall sidelined until 2020 with a torn Achilles.