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Wizards 2017 NBA Draft prospect profile: PG Kobi Simmons, Arizona

Wizards 2017 NBA Draft prospect profile: PG Kobi Simmons, Arizona

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: Kobi Simmons
School: Arizona
Position: Point guard
Age: 19 (turns 20 on 7/4)
Height: 6-5
Weight: 166
2016/17 stats: 8.8 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 2.0 apg, 0.6 spg, 0.1 bpg, 39.7 FG%, 32.7 3PT% (1.9 3P/2.4 3PA), 71.3 FT%
Projections: DraftExpress 60th, NBADraft.net 60th

5 things to know:

*Simmons has sky-high potential as a young point guard with excellent size and athleticism. He recorded a 38 1/2-inch max vertical at the combine and threw down some vicious dunks this past season for the Wildcats. With his height and speed, he has the potential to be a very good NBA player, but he remains a raw prospect. Also, he weighs just 166 pounds, which means he needs to put on some muscle or else he will get pushed around by bigger guards.

*Shooting appears to be a significant weakness for Simmons at this stage. He shot just 39.7 percent from the field in college and 32.7 percent from three. His 77.5 percent from the free throw line suggests he could improve those numbers, but his lack of shooting efficiency will no doubt hurt him among NBA talent evaluators.

*Simmons had a big dropoff in playing time down the stretch of Arizona's season. That was affected in part by Alonzo Trier's return from a suspension, but Simmons basically disappeared in Sean Miller's rotation. He averaged just 6.1 minutes per game in Arizona's final seven, including their NCAA Tournament run. The minutes decrease hurt his numbers. Through his first 15 games, Simmons averaged 12.5 points on 43.8 percent shooting and 34.1 percent from three. In his last 22 games he averaged just 6.2 points on 35.5 percent shooting and 31.5 percent from three.

*A point guard in high school, Simmons played a lot at shooting guard in college. That said, he sees himself as a point guard at the NBA level. He recently told the Arizona Daily Star that he is "definitely a point guard."

*Simmons was a five-star recruit out of Atlanta, Ga., ranked the 20th-best prospect in the 2016 class and a McDonald's All-American. He then lived up to the hype, at least initially, with 18 points against No. 12 Michigan in his college debut. 

Fit with Wizards: The Wizards could use help at the backup guard position and Simmons checks off that box. He is very athletic, but appears to be a long-term project at this point. Perhaps Scott Brooks sees some Reggie Jackson in him and is willing to take the time to develop him. That could pay off down the road, but it doesn't look like Simmons could help immediately for a team that is looking to win now.

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

Best highlight video:


Frank Mason III, PG, Kansas

Tyler Dorsey, SG, Orgeon

Josh Hart, SG, Villanova

Monte Morris, PG, Iowa State

P.J. Dozier, PG/SG South Carolina

Dwayne Bacon, SF, Florida State

Cameron Oliver, PF, Nevada

Wesley Iwundu, SG, Kansas State

Jaron Blossomgame, SF, Clemson


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Five observations from Wizards' loss to the Pacers despite Bradley Beal's big night


Five observations from Wizards' loss to the Pacers despite Bradley Beal's big night

The Washington Wizards lost to the Indiana Pacers 109-101 on Monday night. Here are five observations from the game...

1. Another loss: The Wizards just can't seem to put together a full, 48-minute performance, a collective effort good enough to beat a team that isn't among the worst in basketball. On Monday, they saw a Pacers team that despite missing Victor Oladipo is still very good, and they fell short of what could have been an epic comeback.

The Wizards stormed back from down 25 points, only to collapse in the final minute and get outscored 11-4 to close the game. The final result was another loss, their second straight. They are 11-16 on the year with the Boston Celtics up next on Wednesday.

The defeat spoiled another big night from Bradley Beal. He had 30 points, the fourth straight game he's dropped 27 or more. 

2. Otto went down: The Wizards found themselves in a tough situation on Monday with only nine available players after Otto Porter Jr. left in the first half with a right knee contusion. John Wall and Dwight Howard were already out, meaning the Wizards were down three starters. Markieff Morris then got into early foul trouble, giving head coach Scott Brooks a real dilemma.

Though Porter's injury doesn't seem serious, the Wizards can ill-afford losing anyone right now. It's worth a reminder that, as bad as the Wizards have started this season, they have done so with few injuries to blame.

3. Oubre came through: Not long after Porter went down, Kelly Oubre Jr. stepped in to fill the void. He had one of his best games of the season with 23 points, five rebounds, three steals, and a block.

Oubre shot poorly against the Cavs on Saturday, but overall he has been playing very well lately. This was the fourth straight game he's reached double figures and the third time in that stretch he's scored 19 or more.

In addition to scoring, Oubre did a lot of the things Brooks wants him to do. He drew an offensive foul, brought down two offensive rebounds and forced a few turnovers. Oubre's best attribute is his length and his ability to cause havoc defensively, especially off the ball. He came into this game sixth in the NBA in total deflections and second in deflections per 36 minutes.

4. Dekker debuted: The lack of options for Brooks detailed above and the lopsided score at least brought one positive and that was the debut of Dekker, who checked in with just under four minutes to go in the third quarter. 

Dekker actually played fairly well considering the circumstances and happened to help key a nice little run for the Wizards. Washington closed the third quarter on a 13-0 run once he came in. On one play during that stretch, Dekker got a steal and then finished with a dunk on the other end.

The run with Dekker on the floor extended to 19-0 in the fourth quarter and kept the Wizards within striking distance the rest of the game. Maybe Dekker was the missing piece all along.

5. Turner is good: For the second straight game, the Wizards had no answer for an opposing big man. Last game it was Tristan Thompson, this time it was Myles Turner. 

Turner had a huge first half on the defensive end and found his scoring groove in the second half. He had a monster stat-line of 26 points, 12 rebounds, and five blocks.

The strategy for opposing teams at the moment appears to be to attack the Wizards in the middle, knowing they are just trying to make do with Thomas Bryant and a collection of small-ball fives. Teams may keep doing that until the Wizards stop them.


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Describing John Wall's injury: 'It feels like a piece of glass is in the bottom of your heel 24/7'

Describing John Wall's injury: 'It feels like a piece of glass is in the bottom of your heel 24/7'

John Wall, though he is with the team in Indianapolis, did not play Monday night against the Pacers as he continues to deal with bone spurs.

Bone spurs, also called plantar fasciitis, are formed when calcium deposits form on the underside of the heel bone and cause significant pain.

NBC Sports Washington Wizards analyst Drew Gooden, who played alongside Wall in D.C. from 2014-16 and has played with the same injury in the past, described what the injury feels like during Wizards Pregame Live.

“Let me tell you, that thing can either last for two weeks or for two years,” Gooden said. “And with his speed and how much impact he puts on his knees and on his feet, I mean you have to be precautious and really know what days to go hard and pick your days. So you have to monitor John Wall throughout this time of pain because heel spurs are nothing to play with.”

Wall played at less than 100 percent health on Saturday night against Cleveland and scored just one point in one of the worst outings of his career.

“Let’s just get down to it and let me tell you it feels like a piece of glass is in the bottom of your heel 24/7,” Gooden continued. “When you get out of bed, when you’re at practice, when you’re getting treatment, when you’re playing and after you play it gets worse. So, that’s a management type of injury that you have to be aware of on how much pressure you’re actually putting on that area.”

Wall is averaging 20.4 points and 8.3 assists per game in 25 games this season.