Wizards

Quick Links

Wizards 2017 NBA Draft prospect profile: SG P.J. Dozier, South Carolina

Wizards 2017 NBA Draft prospect profile: SG P.J. Dozier, South Carolina

The Washington Wizards hold the 52nd overall pick in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft. Who will they take? Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects projected to be picked around where the Wizards will select. Check back for more as we continue to get closer to the draft...

Name: P.J. Dozier
School: South Carolina
Position: Shooting guard
Age: 20
Height: 6-6
Weight: 200
2016/17 stats: 13.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.7 spg, 40.7 FG%, 29.8 3PT% (1.2 3P/3.9 3PA), 59.7 FT%
Projections: DraftExpress 50th, NBADraft.net 36th

RELATED: WIZARDS 2017 NBA DRAFT PROSPECTS GALLERY

5 things to know:

*Dozier is an athletic guard with a high ceiling. He measured 6-foot-6 3/4 with shoes at the combine which is more than enough size for a shooting guard. He has a 6-foot-11 wingspan and a solid 39-inch vertical leap. According to DraftExpress.com, that's in the 92nd percentile in the combine's history, and his 34-inch standing vertical is in the 97th percentile. He was also in the 92nd percentile in the 3/4 court sprint.

*One big problem for Dozier is his inablity to shoot. Not only did he shoot a poor percentage from the field (40.7%), he was awful from three (29.8%) and dreadful from the free throw line (59.7%). Defense will be extra important early in his career as he develops a shot.

*Dozier was a big part of South Carolina's first Final Four run since 1973. He had double-doubles in all five of their tournament games and averaged 15.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game during that stretch.

*Dozier was a McDonald's All-American and at one point the highest-ranked youth player in the country... as a fifth-grader. He played point guard in high school. Dozier missed his junior season in high school because he tore his ACL and MCL. He initially got the MCL repaired, but played for months without an ACL.

*Dozier comes from a long line of South Carolina Gamecocks basketball players. His father (1986-88), uncle (1986-89) and sister (2012-16) all played there. His uncle, Terry, played nine games for the Charlotte Hornets in the 1990 season. Perry, Sr. and Terry were twin forwards who led Dunbar High School in Baltimore, Md. to a national championship.

Fit with Wizards: Dozier fits as a backup to Bradley Beal who could have some positional versatility. But given his age and shooting struggles, it looks like Dozier will be a long-term project. The Wizards will have to decide if they want to take on a guy who may take some time, but could be a diamond in the rough if developed right.

RELATED: What type of career can we expect from pick No. 52?

Best highlight video:

MORE WIZARDS DRAFT PROSPECT PROFILES:

Frank Mason III, PG, Kansas

Tyler Dorsey, SG, Orgeon

Josh Hart, SG, Villanova

Monte Morris, PG, Iowa State

SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE WIZARDS COVERAGE

Quick Links

Wizards players believe winning as a team will take care of individuals with contract uncertainty

oubre_fin.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Wizards players believe winning as a team will take care of individuals with contract uncertainty

The Washington Wizards are set to play the 2018-19 season with seven players on expiring contracts, or in other words half of 14 spots currently held on their roster. That does not include Dwight Howard, who has a player option for next season worth just $5.6 million, so low for his standards that he might as well be entering a contract year.

That dynamic could make things interesting for the Wizards, as some guys will likely thrive with the chance to earn themselves a lot of money, while others may struggle under the pressure of an unknown financial future. The players themselves seem to be in agreement on one thing, that as long as the team wins, they won't have to worry about their own contract situation.

"I'm more focused on winning. If we win, we all gonna eat. If we don't win, it will be a tough year," forward Markieff Morris said.

"Team-first, honestly. We have to win," forward Kelly Oubre, Jr. said. "It's not about me at all. It's about this team, it's about the name on the front of my jersey. I'm not putting any weight on whatever contractual situations are going on right now."

That was the message from Morris and Oubre, both of whom have not been in this situation before. Morris had a second contract signed with the Phoenix Suns before his first one was up,  while Oubre is currently entering the fourth and final year of his rookie contract.

Veteran newcomers Austin Rivers and Jeff Green are also entering contract years, but have been through it before. Rivers acknowledged that there are some difficulties that come with the process.

"It's tough, you know what I mean? People don't realize on the outside that this is our life, this is how we feed our families," Rivers explained. 

"What I try to do is focus on the things that I can control. The only thing that I can control is how I perform and how I play. If you focus on how much you get paid or how much this guy gets paid, it messes you up in the head, honestly. It's all about timing. Some guys get lucky, some guys are liked by different teams. I think if you just go out there and hoop, then everything takes care of itself."

Green has played through a contract year in each of the past four seasons. Each time, he has done enough to earn another contract in a good situation for him.

"Honestly, [the key is] to really not think about your contract. It's something that at this moment, you can't control," Green said. "So, really you just have to focus on basketball. That's the main priority and all the rest will take care of itself when it's said and done."

Point guard John Wall has his future safe and sound with his second max contract extension still a year away from kicking in. He has never really had to worry about his next contract as a perennial All-Star.

That, however, doesn't mean Wall can't speak to the effects too many expiring contracts can have on a team. Back in the 2015-16 season, the Wizards missed the playoffs and many feel too many guys in contract years was partially to blame.

Wall brought it up quickly when asked about this year's contracts.

"This is probably the second most we’ve had. I’ve been on a team where we had about nine guys and I know what it feels like when everybody is trying to get off, get their shots and do whatever," he said. 

Wall, though, believes this year can be different because of the types of guys who are playing in contract years.

"I think with those guys they kind of understand what we are as a team. What we stand for. Keef has been here for years. Kelly has been here for years. Those guys understand what we’re trying to do. There’s no point in trying to go out there and prove a point," he said.

Wall may not be able to relate to the uncertainty of a contract year, but he can speak to the individual benefits that come from a team winning. He believes the Wizards becoming a constant in the playoffs is a big reason for the accolades he has collected over the years.

"You don’t get paid if we don’t win. You don’t become an All-Star, you don’t get accolades if you’re not winning. So it doesn’t matter what you do by yourself," he said. "I think those guys understand that.”

MORE WIZARDS NEWS

Quick Links

Otto Porter, Jr. wants to be more like Klay Thompson on offense and Kawhi Leonard on defense

porter-thompson-usat.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Otto Porter, Jr. wants to be more like Klay Thompson on offense and Kawhi Leonard on defense

Otto Porter, Jr. has heard it from coaches and teammates for over a year now, that they want him to shoot the ball more often.

He is the team's most efficient player and the more he shoots, many believe the better off the Wizards will be.

Porter took that idea, and his general quest to be a better player, in a new direction this offseason.

He specifically wants to take after Klay Thompson of the Warriors and Kawhi Leonard of the Raptors.

If Thompson can get his while playing with Curry and Durant, Porter should be able to do the same with John Wall and Bradley Beal. Thompson has averaged 16 field goal attempts or more in the past four years while running with other superstars, while Porter topped out at a career-high 11.5 shots per game last season.

"That's definitely going to be a goal of mine, just to be ultra-aggressive. I think it's best for the team and best for me to put out that effort and be more involved and kind of be like Klay Thompson and take my shots. I'm very confident in that. I'm going to instill that in every game," Porter said.

As for Leonard, Porter hopes to take after him on the defensive end. Leonard, who was traded from the Spurs to the Raptors in July, has won two defensive player of the year awards and he's only 27 years old.

Also a small forward, Porter believes he can model parts of his defensive game after Leonard.

"I watched tons of film," Porter said of his regimen this summer. "I'm learning how to guard on-ball; take my angles and be able to master that. I studied Kawhi Leonard a lot, and the angles he takes. He's very strategic with how his movements are. He never seems tired. I was able to get in [better] shape this summer. There are a lot of games, so I wanted to be in the best shape possible."

Porter has proven he can shoot at a high percentage. Now, he wants to put up volume numbers like Thompson.

Porter has proven a solid team defender. Now, he wants to become a dominant on-ball force like Leonard.

Both of those things should be good news to the Wizards.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS: