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Talking Wizards, Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky


Talking Wizards, Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky

My recent draft profile on Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and his potential fit with the Wizards somehow made its way toLarry Vaught, the award-winning sportswriter for The Advocate Messenger and knower of all things related to the Kentucky men's basketball program (Here's a picture of him interviewing Ashley Judd to prove it).Anyway, Larry subsequently and kindly asked me for my take on Kidd-Gilchrist, the Wizards, and John Wall's tenure with the franchise in relation to other Kentucky prospects. Though posted this week, my responsescame before the recent Emeka Okafor-Trevor Ariza deal. I don't think that changes anything with regard to what I had to say, just giving you the lay of the land. I've been an advocate of the Wizards taking Bradley Beal for weeks, but who knows if the Florida shooter will be available.Anyway, said questions and responses are below...Question: What does your gut instinct tell you about how high Kidd-Gilchrist might go in the draft?Standig: Could he go two? Sure, but if Charlotte keeps the pick seems like Robinson makes the most sense. Washington and Cleveland need shooters and guys like Bradley Beal and Harrison Barnes are around. I cant see MKG getting past five, but in my mock thats where I have him. Again, anywhere two to five would not stun me. He definitely has his supporters.

Question: Will his lack of a consistent outside jump shot scare some teams off?Standig: Scare off, maybe not, but shooting the ball is a major problem for some of the teams picking high in the draft. Charlotte, Washington and Sacramento were the three worst 3-point shooting teams in the league last season. Simply looking for a shooter could be short-sided though. Just depends on how high MKGs upside is in the minds of those teams.

Question: His winning attitude is talked about a lot, but does that make a big difference on draft day or not?Standig: I definitely think that helps. The Wizards certainly lacked that aspect the last season and a half before making the deal for Nene. Still, not sure that matters the most to say a team like the Bobcats lacking talent. Hes also so young, not sure veterans will let a kid lead, not right away anyway.

Question: How would he fit with the Wizards and former UK star John Wall, the drafts top pick in 2010?Standig: Talk about a dynamic duo in the open court. Wall loves going up tempo and MKG showed he can do damage on the break. Again, Wizards need shooters. Wall shot 7.1 percent from 3-point range last season (not a typo). Looking at a likely starting five with Kidd-Gilchrist, the only knockdown shooter for Washington is Nene and youre talking free throw line and in. Could be great in open court, but the half-court offense could be problematic.

Question: Would the way Wall has played have any impact on the Wizards taking another UK player?Standig: I dont think so. They also worked out Darius Miller last week and I can see Doron Lamb being a good fit.

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Jeff Green 'would love to come back' to Wizards, add stability to journeyman career


Jeff Green 'would love to come back' to Wizards, add stability to journeyman career

With six different teams in the past five years, Jeff Green has become one of the NBA's most itinerant journeymen.

Including his early-career move from Seattle to Oklahoma City, when the franchise transitioned from the Sonics to the Thunder, Green has played in eight different cities. Among active players, only Ish Smith (10), Marco Bellinelli (nine), Shaun Livingston (nine) and Anthony Tolliver (nine) have played for more teams.

Being in Washington this past season, though, was different. That's because Green is from the area, having grown up nearby in Maryland. He starred at Northwestern High School in Hyattsville, then at Georgetown University in Northwest D.C.

At 32 years old (he turns 33 in August), Green does not prefer being a basketball nomad. He would like to stay with the Wizards this summer as he aims for a new contract in free agency.

"I would love to come back," Green said. "Great set of guys on this team. I loved playing with Brad [Beal], John [Wall]."

Green also mentioned playing for head coach Scott Brooks, for whom he played in Seattle and Oklahoma City. Brooks was an assistant on the Sonics staff when Green was a rookie, then took over as head coach in the middle of Green's sophomore season. Green left the Thunder after his third season and, 10 years later, was reunited with Brooks in Washington.

The biggest draw for Green to the Wizards, though, is the fact it is his hometown team. Though playing at home is a drawback for some players, Green found major benefits in being around family and in the town where he played college ball.

"Being in front of family every night was great for me. It allowed me to see my daughters more than a couple of times a year, which was great," he said. 

"Being in a familiar setting from my Georgetown days was great. Being able to go up to Georgetown and watch the guys get better, it was great. [Those are] things I haven’t been able to do since being in the league."

On the court, Green found individual success with the Wizards amid a disappointing season overall. He averaged 12.3 points and 4.0 rebounds while setting a career-high in effective field goal percentage (55.5). 

He did all of that while making the league minimum of $2.4 million. On a Wizards team that was in some ways defined by bloated salaries, Green proved a bargain. 

Hoping to come back to the Wizards was a familiar refrain from impending free agents during the Wizards' media exit interviews. Bobby Portis, Jabari Parker, Thomas Bryant and others all suggested they would like to return. 

But with a new front office leadership structure set to be installed, certainty isn't offered for anyone. For Green, the Wizards' new general manager will need to evaluate whether he was part of their problems. 

While Green probably exceeded expectations this season, he was on the floor when the team struggled to rebound the ball and defend just like his teammates were. The Wizards were 27th in the NBA in defensive rating this season at 112.8, according to NBA.com. Green's defensive rating was 112.6.

The Wizards and Green may ultimately not prove a fit in the eyes of the new GM. If that is the case, Green could move on to play in a new city, the ninth of his career. 


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Former Wizards Mike Scott, Jared Dudley deliver the drama in Sixers-Nets Game 4


Former Wizards Mike Scott, Jared Dudley deliver the drama in Sixers-Nets Game 4

The 76ers-Nets playoff series has been wild from the start, but the trash talk and physical play reached the next level in the Sixers' Game 4 victory Sunday. 

The contest featured two ejections as well as a game-deciding shot with 19.7 seconds left in the fourth quarter. In the middle of it all? None other than Jared Dudley and Mike Scott, who played for the Wizards in 2015-16 and 2017-18, respectively. 

Tensions between Dudley and the Sixers had been simmering since he slammed Ben Simmons in the media after Game 1.

With 7:42 left in the third quarter Saturday, Joel Embiid committed a flagrant foul on Jarrett Allen under the basket. An incensed Dudley shoved Embiid, prompting Jimmy Butler to push Dudley away.

When Simmons to try to separate the two, he and Dudley got tangled up and tumbled into the front-row seats. Both Dudley and Butler were ejected on the spot. 

The Nets held a 67-61 advantage when Dudley and Butler were tossed, but that lead dwindled to one point with under a minute left to go. 

Brooklyn made the mistake of leaving Scott open in the corner, where Embiid set him up for a go-ahead three-pointer with 19.7 seconds remaining.

A pair of Tobias Harris free throws sealed the Sixers' 112-108 win, putting them up 3-1 in the series. Scott and company can finish off Dudley's squad in Game 5 on Tuesday. 

In the meantime, listen as Scott goes 1-on-1 with Chris Miller in the latest Wizards Talk Podcast.