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Why Wizards should take long look at Kings free agent to-be Seth Curry

Why Wizards should take long look at Kings free agent to-be Seth Curry

Yes, we all know that in theory the Washington Wizards were once in position to draft Stephen Curry. We know they traded the fifth overall pick in 2009 -- Curry went seventh -- for Mike Miller and Randy Foye in part because the organization wanted veterans for another playoff push. We know how that worked out, or rather, how it didn't for the Wizards.

Now, Mark McGwire as might say, we're not here to talk about the past. We are here to say that Washington has a chance to get a taste of Curry seven years later. No, Steph isn't leaving Golden State. Seth Curry on the other hand is possibly available.

The younger brother of the reigning NBA's Most Valuable Player will decline his $1 million player option and become a restricted free agent this summer, Yahoo reported earlier this month.

After playing four games with three teams over the previous two seasons. Seth Curry made Sacramento's roster out of training camp. He played in 44 games behind fellow point guards Rajon Rondo and Darren Collison. Granted, playing in just over half of an 82-game schedule for a team that didn't sniff the playoff doesn't sound impressive. Based on the way Curry shot from distance all season and flourished in April, the lack of action is on the Kings.

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The 6-foot-2 Curry sank 45% (50 for 111) of his 3-point attempts while averaging 6.8 points and 16 minutes. When given real playing time over the Kings' final seven games, his numbers took off: 16.4 points, 5.3 assists and 3.0 rebounds while shooting 45.9 percent from the field, including 48.9 percent from beyond the arc. Before dismissing that late push in meaningless games as a recent version of  Andray Blatche, remember the 45% clip on 3-pointers was season long. Also, here's what the younger Curry looked like while putting on a show.

Do those moves remind you of anyone?

Don't consider this a suggestion that if the Wizards sign Seth, they're getting a version of Steph. However, if Washington stays with the pace-and-space offense, it needs a playmaker off the bench capable of sinking the long ball. We'll see if the Wizards bring back Ramon Sessions, but for now the backup slot behind starting point John Wall is open. 

Virginia Tech Seth Greenberg famously didn't offer Steph Curry a scholarship coming out of High School even though Curry's father, Dell, is arguably the program's most famous basketballing alum. Stephen Curry instead headed to Davidson and as they say, the rest is history.  Yet perhaps the most amazing part is that Greenberg also didn't offer a scholarship to Seth a few years later. Seth Curry went to Liberty and turned into a prolific scorer. After one season he transferred to Duke. Yes, hindsight s 20/20 and all, but the genes and connections were evident. 

The point of rehashing Curry kids recruiting stories is that with Seth possibly available -- Sacramento can match any offer -- the Wizards have a chance not to let another Curry get away. Truth is that Washington, specifically president Ernie Grunfeld, takes too much heat for the notion of passing on Steph Curry though obviously the result was brutal. Organizational factors led to the seeking-immediate-help trade and yada yada yada we'll never know what could have been. We do know the Wizards can make a play for Seth Curry this summer. They should strongly consider not pulling a Seth Greenberg with this second chance. 

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Michigan's Moritz Wagner could be Wizards' solution for a stretch-five

Michigan's Moritz Wagner could be Wizards' solution for a stretch-five

The pre-draft workout process can be an exhausting journey for players, with so many flights, hotel rooms and NBA arenas that they can all blend in together. Michigan big man Moritz Wagner, though, may have felt a sense of comfort in Washington for his pre-draft workout for the Wizards on Wednesday.

It was just over a year ago that his Michigan Wolverines cut down the nets at Capital One Arena as champions of the Big Ten conference.

"It was good memories, man. Never gets old," he said while glancing around the stadium.

Wagner, 21, will be seeing a lot more of Capital One Arena once he joins the NBA ranks and it is conceivable he ends up in Washington. They hold the 15th pick in the first round and the 44th pick in the second round and Wagner could be within their reach.

Wagner had an impressive workout in Washington and could provide what the Wizards need. He is a big, mobile and can spread the floor. Wagner was terrific at stepping out to hit threes off pick-and-rolls at Michigan and that ability would work well with Wizards All-Star point guard John Wall.

Wagner measured in at just under 7-feet at this month's NBA Combine, fifth-tallest among those who attended. He averaged 14.6 points as a junior this past season and made 39.4 percent of his threes on 4.1 attempts per game.

With three years of college experience and an NBA-ready jumper, Wagner believes he can step right in and help the Wizards.

"I think what we did at Michigan, sharing the ball and playing as a team, very organized basketball, that can help big-time," he said. "It's basically pro basketball I was playing on a different level."

As Wagner will tell you, he is very confident in his abilities. He is comfortable in his own skin and that includes openly discussing his faults. He feels good about his ability to score at the next level. Defense is where he needs to prove himself.

Despite his size, Wagner wasn't much of a rim protector in college. He averaged just a half-block a game as a junior. The Wizards need rim protection badly and he likely would not provide that.

Wagner, though, believes he can bring more to the table defensively than the numbers would suggest.

"I think I've been an offensive guy all of my life, but the more that you mature as a player, you understand that both sides are important. Without defense, you aren't going to play at any level," he said.

"I think the most important thing that I wasn't able to show in college is that I'm able to switch the ball-screen, especially with the way the league is going. Switch on everything and stay in front of guards as a big guy."

Wagner is from Germany and looks up to Mavs legend Dirk Nowitzki, who is entering his 21st season and will be in the Hall of Fame someday. Nowitzki's game has always been built around shooting and, though he developed into a decent shot-blocker in his prime, was never an elite rim protector.

Wagner hopes to follow in his footsteps playing a similar style.

"He was my MJ. He kind of shows you 'okay, this is possible and this is doable.' It's just basketball," Wagner said. "It gives you a lot of hope. It gives you a lot of belief and motivation."

Hear more from Wagner in his one-on-one interview with Chris Miller in our latest Wizards Tipoff podcast. His interview can also be found in the video above:

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Bradley Beal receives zero All-NBA votes, which itself is a snub

Bradley Beal receives zero All-NBA votes, which itself is a snub

On Thursday the NBA revealed the All-NBA teams for the 2017-18 season.

Not surprisingly, Bradley Beal and John Wall did not make it to one of the three five-player teams. Of the two superstars, only Wall has been recognized once in his career.

What is surprising is that neither Beal nor Wall received a single vote in the whole process, especially Beal.

The 2017-18 season was without question the best in Beal’s career. He played in all 82 games, coming right off of the heals of his All-Star recognition. Beal seems to agree in his snubbing, tweeting this minutes after the teams were announced:

Looking at the list of players who made the top three teams, it shouldn’t be an issue, but these three guys got more votes than the Wizards' duo combined: Steven Adams, Trevor Ariza, and Dwight Howard. It is not surprising that Beal and Wall did not make an All-NBA team. It is odd that Beal didn’t receive a vote.

Here is a list of the full All-NBA Teams:

ALL-NBA FIRST TEAM: 

LeBron James (Cavaliers), James Harden (Rockets), Anthony Davis (Pelicans), Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers), Kevin Durant (Warriors)

ALL-NBA SECOND TEAM:

Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks), Russell Westbrook (Thunder), Joel Embiid (76ers), LaMarcus Aldridge (Spurs), DeMar DeRozan (Raptors)

ALL-NBA THIRD TEAM:

Stephen Curry (Warriors), Victor Oladipo (Pacers), Karl-Anthony Towns (Timberwolves), Jimmy Butler (Timberwolves), Paul George (Thunder)

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