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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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Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard out against Wizards

Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard out against Wizards

The Wizards will catch a break on Saturday night when they host the Toronto Raptors in the second game of their regular season, as Raptors superstar Kawhi Leonard is being held out due to rest.

Leonard, who has been dominant so far for the 2-0 Raptors, is being limited in back-to-backs after he missed 73 games last season due to a quadriceps injury. The Raptors played the night before against the Celtics.

With Leonard out, the Raptors will likely rely on C.J. Miles and O.G. Anunoby at the small forward position. Shooting guard Delon Wright is also out with a shoulder injury.

Though Leonard and Wright are out of the mix, Toronto still has plenty of talent including All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry. Lowry is averaging 21 points, seven assists and 3.5 rebounds through two games. 

Serge Ibaka has been their third-leading scorer with 15 points per game to go along with 6.5 rebounds. They also acquired Danny Green in the Leonard deal and he's off to a strong start with 12.5 points and five rebounds per game.

Leonard's absence may be noticed more on the defensive end, as he is one of the best in the NBA on the perimeter. That could make things a bit easier for Bradley Beal and Otto Porter Jr.

The Wizards and Raptors next play on Nov. 23. That game is in Toronto.

 

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Three things to watch for in Wizards' first matchup with Raptors

Three things to watch for in Wizards' first matchup with Raptors

John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter Jr. and the Washington Wizards battle Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka and the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.

Here are three things to watch...

Will Howard play?

Once again, we await word from head coach Scott Brooks on the status of Dwight Howard. Howard, who missed all of the Wizards' preseason with a piriformis injury, was a gametime decision for the opener on Thursday. He ended up not playing, but appeared very close to finally making his debut.

Saturday night could be a different story, though we won't know until shortly before gametime. The Wizards' training staff will evaluate him pregame and make the call. If he can't go, Ian Mahinmi will get the nod as starter like he did against Miami.

Need more Otto

Though it wasn't the reason why the Wizards lost to the Heat, it certainly stood out in the box score how Otto Porter Jr. went without a three-point attempt in the opener. Porter finished third in three-point percentage last season with a 44.1 clip. He simply has to be more involved in the offense.

It will be interesting to see what adjustment the Wizards make to create more opportunities for Porter, and how Porter responds. All parties involved insist it is a mix of several factors, including a need for Porter to simply be more aggressive. That won't be easy against a tough Raptors defense, but expect Porter to get up plenty of threes in this one.

Leonard is out

This game was set to be the first matchup between the Wizards and the revamped Raptors, who added perennial All-NBA selection Kawhi Leonard in the biggest trade of the offseason. But it turns out, Leonard will not play.

Toronto is resting Leonard, who played in only nine games all of last season due to a quadriceps injury. It's understandable, given the Raptors played the night before against the tough Boston Celtics.

With Leonard out, All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry will be a big focus. They also got guard Danny Green in the Leonard deal and he's off to an excellent start. He's averaging 12.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.5 steals while shooting 50 percent from three so far. Getting him in the trade was a very underrated move by Toronto.

 

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