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What we learned from Wizards' Summer League, despite them going winless

What we learned from Wizards' Summer League, despite them going winless

No, the Wizards going winless in the 2017 NBA Summer League does not mean anything in the big picture. Though the passion is appreciated, those tweeting criticism about coaching decisions (that actually happened) should take a breath and settle down. Fidget spinners are said to be therapeutic. Maybe buy one of those.

Despite the losses, there was plenty to learn from the Wizards' five games. Here are some thoughts and observations...

Devin Robinson has legitimate, NBA-level athleticism

Robinson's addition to the Summer League roster added intrigue because his potential is obvious. He is 6-8 with a 7-1 wingspan and a 41-inch vertical leap. It turns out the Wizards had bigger plans for him, as they signed the Florida forward to a two-way contract, meaning he will have one of their 17 roster spots heading into next season. Robinson didn't have the best Summer League overall (3.4 ppg, 18.2 FG%), but he did show flashes in a small sample size. This putback slam in Friday's loss to the Timberwolves was a direct reminder of why the Wizards think this guy can turn into something some day:

[RELATED: Hannibal's road to Summer League as unusual as it gets]

Marcus Keene can definitely score

Keene proved in Las Vegas that his scoring ability is not just limited to the mid-major college level. It took him a few games, but Keene found his rhythm and left with a 11.3 points per game average on 50 percent shooting from the field. A 5-9 guard, Keene led the NCAA in scoring last season at Central Michigan with 30 points per game. He went undrafted, but felt this was the time to leave school after his junior year in part because of Isaiah Thomas' success this past season for the Celtics. After his performance in Vegas, don't be surprised if Keene draws interest from somebody on a two-way deal.

Daniel Ochefu and Sheldon Mac got better

We didn't see much of Ochefu or Mac at the NBA level this past season, as they were stuck on the end of the Wizards' bench for most of the year. But both clearly benefitted from having that year under their belt in this year's Summer League. Both played confidently and aggressively and looked like NBA players should when going up against lesser competition. For Ochefu, it was apparent in his play around the rim. There were several times where he flashed polish in the post. For Mac, it was his motor and speed on the fastbreak. He was blowing past people even with a bum ankle.

[RELATED: 5 things to know about new Wizards forward Michael Young]

Chris McCullough remains raw, but intriguing

McCullough got plenty of shots in this year's Summer League as a focal point of the Wizards' offense. He took 48 field goal attempts, but shot just 29.2 percent. Of his 14 makes, many of them were powerful dunks that provided some of the best highlights of the Wizards' five games. But beyond dunking, McCullough was still limited on that end of the floor. If he is going to play his way into the Wizards' rotation this upcoming season, he will have to earn Scott Brooks' trust on defense. His 5.6 rebounds per game in 22.2 minutes were solid. McCullough has the athleticism to play at the NBA level, but he has to find his niche. Once he finds a way to use his size and leaping ability to protect the rim, he could make a nice career for himself.

[RELATED: Wizards Tipoff podcast - Will John Wall sign the deal?]

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Wizards set introductory press conference for Dwight Howard

Wizards set introductory press conference for Dwight Howard

Wizards team president Ernie Grunfeld has stayed relatively busy this summer crafting his new-look lineup for the 2018-19 season. 

One of the team's key additions, Dwight Howard, is set to be introduced as a member of the Wizards on Monday. 

NBC Sports Washington will air the introductory press conference live at 1 p.m. while also streaming it online.  

Ernie Grunfeld and head coach Scott Brooks are both expected to be in attendance. 

The 32-year-old big man is coming off a 2017-18 season with the Charlotte Hornets in which he averaged 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. 

Since leaving the Orlando Magic after eight seasons in 2011, Howard has played for four different teams in the last six years. 

Howard is an eight-time all-star and a three-time defensive player of the year. 

 

RELATED LINKS: 

John Wall's take on Dwight Howard 

Wizards make Dwight Howard free agent signing official 

By the numbers: Is new Wizards center Dwight Howard still in his NBA prime? 

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Carmelo Anthony traded to Hawks in three-team deal, but not likely to stay

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USA Today Sports Images

Carmelo Anthony traded to Hawks in three-team deal, but not likely to stay

The stage has been set for Carmelo Anthony to hit free agency, as the 10-time All-Star was traded to the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday in a three-team deal, one that will lead to a subsequent buyout of his contract. ESPN first reported the news and noted that the Rockets are the favorites to sign him.

The full deal sends Dennis Schroder from the Hawks to the Thunder in exchange for Anthony and a protected first-round pick, and sends Mike Muscala from Atlanta to Philly. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot will go to the Thunder from Philly and Justin Anderson will go from the Sixers to the Hawks.

That's a complicated deal, but it ultimately frees Anthony up to choose a new team. He was set to make $27.9 million from the Thunder next season, but the Hawks are footing the bill to let him walk.

Anthony's skills have declined now that he's 34 years old. Last season, he averaged 16.2 points on 40.4 percent shooting, way down from the 22.4 points he averaged the season before with the Knicks.

Still, Anthony could help a team looking for a scoring punch and the Rockets would like some more help in their quest to take down the Warriors. If he signs there, he will join friend Chris Paul and the 2017-18 MVP, James Harden. 

Houston has been the logical landing spot for Anthony ever since news broke that the Thunder were looking for a way out of his contract. If he doesn't go there, perhaps the Lakers would make sense. LeBron James is going to need a lot more help than the roster he currently has around him to make some noise in the crowded Western Conference.

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