Quick Links

Villanova's Kris Jenkins is a local kid, but predraft workout with Wizards was a business trip

Villanova's Kris Jenkins is a local kid, but predraft workout with Wizards was a business trip

Despite the fact Kris Jenkins' first NBA predraft workout happened to come with his hometown team, the Washington Wizards, Jenkins decided to stay in a hotel room and not with his parents, who live in nearby Prince George's County where he grew up. They stopped by to visit him and his uncle, who is a huge Wizards fan, has let his excitment be known. But otherwise, this was a business trip. Jenkins wanted all of his focus to be on realizing his dream of playing at the highest level.

"It's a blessing," he said on Tuesday at the Verizon Center. "You always root for the hometown teams and want them to do well. Honestly, it's humbling to be in this position. To grow up in this area and have some games here and play college ball here, then to come back and work out for the Wizards."

Jenkins, who starred at Gonzaga High School in D.C. before going to Villanova University in Philadelphia, Pa., is currently projected by most mock drafts to not be selected. He could be fighting for a summer league spot, a training camp invite or a contract as an undrafted free agent. That reality is not lost on the 23-year-old forward.

"Nobody has me getting drafted right now, but I want to change that," Jenkins said. "I look at everything. I watch everything. Any athlete that tells you that they don't, they lying just a little bit. But yeah, I watch all that stuff. I hear everything they've got to say."

[RELATED: Wizards voice commitment to retaining Otto Porter]

Jenkins played with current Wizards big man Daniel Ochefu, whom Jenkins calls 'Big Chef,' at Villanova. Ochefu himself was not drafted but did earn a contract with the Wizards out of training camp. He then spent the entire 2016-17 season with Washington, earning limited minutes behind a deep crop of big men including Marcin Gortat, Jason Smith and Ian Mahinmi when he was healthy. 

Ochefu got a job because of his size at 6-foot-11 and defense. For Jenkins, his selling point is an all-around game. He did a little bit of everything for the Wildcats, with averages of 13.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals as a senior.

Jenkins also thinks his shot could be an asset. He shot just 38.4 percent as a senior, but the year before knocked down 45.9 percent from the field and 38.6 percent from three. He's also very good from the free throw line (83.6% in his career) and has one of the most famous shots in NCAA history to his name, a buzzer-beater to beat UNC in the 2016 final game.

"Everybody needs a shooter, so hopefully somebody will give me a look," he said.

If Jenkins were to catch on with the Wizards in any fashion, it would be a great story and one Jenkins wouldn't mind seeing through.

"I'm just thankful for the opportunity to start off right in my hometown," he said. "A lot of great players come out of here. It forces you to work had at an early age. This is the best basketball area in the country."

The Wizards were Jenkins' first workout, but he does have another one scheduled with the Dallas Mavericks.

[RELATED: Wizards draft prospect left school early because of Isaiah Thomas]

Quick Links

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


Wizards' first pre-draft workout to feature Kentucky's Hamidou Diallo of Kentucky, 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. 

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!


Quick Links

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

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!