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What's holding up Jared Dudley's debut with Wizards? He explains


What's holding up Jared Dudley's debut with Wizards? He explains

ORLANDO -- A key component for the Wizards if they're going to advance past the conference semifinals this season, Jared Dudley was noticeably absent from the opener and doesn't expect to play much -- if at all -- in Friday's game at the Milwaukee Bucks (CSN+ and NBC Sports Live Extra, 8 p.m. ET).

Dudley, who had lower back surgery to repair a bulging disk in July, played in the final two preseason games. He played a total of 27 minutes and shot just 2 of 8. He was active in Wednesday's 88-87 win at the Magic but didn't play. Instead, coach Randy Wittman played Otto Porter 37 minutes and went with multiple three-guard lineups. 

"I was not surprised because the biggest thing for me is getting my legs so there’s no rust or stuff like that," said Dudley, who was acquired by the Wizards in a deal with Milwaukee. "I wouldn’t be surprised if this went on for another week, then after that that gets three, four or five more practices, we can get a couple days or rest and I can see me slowly working in."

In Dudley's only season with the Bucks in 2014-15, he averaged 7.2 points and 3.1 rebounds. He made 22 starts on a playoff team, going from 15 wins to 41 in coach Jason Kidd's first year.

"It was the worst team in the NBA the year before and went to the playoffs. Most of the guys are still on that team. Only me and Zaza (Pachulia) were guys that had left. I want them to do well," said Dudley, who spent one season with the L.A. Clippers before that when he started 43 games. "I had a great one year compared to my one year in L.A., me being hurt, playing like some (expletive) that last year was my, ‘Hey, Jared’s back.’ It’s good for me now. They looked out for me, traded me here. They didn’t have to. They didn’t get anything. I salute them and I will always talk good about them. If there’s ever was an opportunity to go back I would."

The Bucks were trounced in their season-opener by the New York Knicks, 122-97. But they were without Giannis Antetokounmpo (suspended) and still don't have Jabari Parker, who is recovering from a knee ligament tear from last season. 

Both play positions that Dudley is accustomed to and being older and less athletic he knew his time was to leave Milwaukee, who received a traded-player exception in the deal.

"I was on the outside looking in. It was hard to get in. I might’ve gotten spot minutes," Dudley said. "Here’s there’s an opportunity to be able to play more and be on a better team."

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Wizards' first pre-draft workout to feature Diallo of Kentucky, local star from UMBC


Wizards' first pre-draft workout to feature Diallo of Kentucky, local star from UMBC

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. 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. 

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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

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