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Wizards aren't as bad as their record looks

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Wizards aren't as bad as their record looks

It would be easy for Wizards fans to look at their 0-5 record, throw up their hands in frustration and say, “Same old Wizards.”

It would also be wrong.

While the Wizards have found winning basketball games difficult with John Wall and Nene watching from the bench in street clothes, they already are miles better than they were through five games last season.

Consider:

  • Through five games last season, the Wizards had been outscored by 61 points or an average of 12.2 points per game. These Wizards have been outscored by 33 points, or 6.6 point per game.
  • Through five games last season, the Wizards were averaging 85.2 points per game and allowing 97.4 points. These Wizards are averaging 88 points a game and allowing 94.6 points.

“We put ourselves in position to win every game,” coach Randy Wittman said, “even with some lapses. So yeah, are we ready [to start winning]. But we’ve got to do it. We’ve talked about confidence in individuals; now we’ve got to talk confidence as a team. But you got to execute.

At the start of training camp Wittman said he no longer considers the Wizards a young team, noting the arrivals of veterans Emeka Okafor, A.J. Price, Trevor Ariza and Jannero Pargo.

But Wittman also knows that changing the culture of a franchise does not happen overnight. Of the Wizards’ stating five, only Trevor Booker was on the roster at the end of last season and he’s only in his third NBA season.

“Randy is very patient,” Okafor said. “He’s doing an excellent job. He’s not deviating from what he does. The whole coaching staff has been doing a great job of teaching.

“We have a very young team, so they reiterate a lot of things. They go over just basic principles, and he’s doing a good job just keeping things uplifting, saying, ‘I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but we’re almost there.’”

That said, the Wizards’ next opponent could be its weakest to date. The Charlotte Bobcats are 2-3, but have not won back-to-back games since the 2010-11 season.

“I think it’s time to win,” center/forward Kevin Seraphin said. “We’ve been close the last games but we didn’t win. At the end of the day everybody wants to know who won the game. We have to play better. I have to play better. Everybody has to play better to get this win.”

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Pelicans reportedly trade Anthony Davis to the Lakers for a huge haul including Lonzo Ball

Pelicans reportedly trade Anthony Davis to the Lakers for a huge haul including Lonzo Ball

According to a report from ESPN NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the Los Angeles Lakers have acquired Pelicans' forward Anthony Davis in exchange for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and multiple first-round draft picks, including the No. 4 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

The announcement comes less than 48 hours into the NBA offseason, although the rumors and speculation of the deal has been a prominent storyline for months.

The much-anticipated deal gives the Lakers the star they've been trying to pair with LeBron James for some time and gives the Pelicans a young nucleus to build around the presumptive No. 1 pick Zion Williamson. 

According to Marc Stein of The New York Times, the Boston Celtics refused to part ways with promising forward Jayson Tatum in a potential trade with New Orleans.

The Celtics had been in the mix for Davis, but with Kyrie Irving likely headed for the exits, Danny Ainge was unwilling to part with his young assets in exchange for the one year remaining on Davis' contract.

Before the Davis domino fell, NBC Sports Washington's Chase Hughes wrote about how a Davis trade could impact Bradley Beal's value

The Lakers, Knicks and Celtics all appear to want Davis and only one can get him, if he is even traded at all.

If the quest for Davis comes down to those three teams, there will be at least two that lose out.

The Knicks or Celtics now must determine whether trading for Beal is their next-best option behind Davis. 

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Report suggests Barack Obama is trying to recruit Masai Ujiri to Wizards

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Report suggests Barack Obama is trying to recruit Masai Ujiri to Wizards

The Wizards are reportedly preparing to make Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri a massive offer to run Washington's NBA franchise. And they may have some big-time help recruiting him to D.C. 

Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, is trying to persuade Ujiri to leave the NBA champions to join the Wizards, according to The Athletic's Ethan Strauss. 

"I hear Barack Obama's a part of that whole Masai recruitment to D.C.," Strauss said on a recent episode of the "Back To Back" podcast. "I've heard Obama wants Masai in D.C. Obama wants to do something with basketball."

Obama and Ujiri are close friends. Obama was in attendance at Game 2 of the NBA Finals in Toronto, while Ujiri attended the White House Correspondents' Dinner in 2015 when Obama was in office. 

The Wizards' potential offer for Ujiri is reportedly for six years, $60 million, and could possibly include an ownership stake in Monumental Sports & Entertainment and other responsibilities within the company, sources have told NBC Sports Washington. 

And hey, it doesn't hurt to have the former Commander in Chief making your sales pitch.

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