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Wizards draft notebook: Barnes talks Wizards, Wall

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Wizards draft notebook: Barnes talks Wizards, Wall

Tuesday was Harrison Barnes' day to visit with the Wizards - along with Syracuse's Kris Joseph and Northwestern's John Shruna - as the team continues preparations for the 2012 NBA Draft. We have written plenty on the North Carolina small forward - my draft profile on the perimeter threat and Chris Miller's argument for drafting him at three. Not having much more in the way of new basketball impressions to offer -his workout session was not open to the media until after he finished - I decidedto go though the transcription route. So, hereare a sampling ofquotes from the straight-forward Barnes plus other tidbits from Tuesday's session...Harrison Barnes on...Todays scrimmage: "It went well. Thought I shot the ball well. Obviously, it was tough competing against Shurna and Kris Joseph, but I thought I did well."
Helping the Wizards: "I feel like I could fit right in. Obviously, you have John whos a good playmaker, extremely quick. He gets guys open shots. With the addition of Nene, I think that helped the team mature a lot. I think Id fit in nicely and help with perimeter scoring."Comparing interview with Wizards at combine to on their home turf: "Its always good to see obviously in their own environment. In Chicago, its in a hotel room, kind of awkward. Its nice to be able to come here and see their facilities, their coaching staff, kind of see how they do things."Range in draft: "Anywhere from 2 to 14. Lot of teams are talking about moving up. You cant work out for enough teams and just try to get as many in as you can over the last nine days. " (Said so far he has also worked out for Toronto and Cleveland, where he faced Floridas Bradley Beal.)Realistically Barnes is probably just being modest about a possible fall to 14, but there has been some chatter about him rising to the No. 2 slot. I've got him at four myself and cannot see him slipping past the Warriors at No. 7.Fit with John Wall: "Feel like I would be a good running mate. Obviously, John, hes very quick, very explosive. He can get to the rim. I feel like he can definitely draw people in and I can be the outside to keep people on honestWe just kind of know each other through the circuit. Were not close friends, but I know hes working very hard on his game."Pressure going through draft process compared to days at UNC: "There is not really any pressure now. Obviously, when we went to UNC, there were a lot of expectations put on our recruiting class. Now with the NBA Draft, its not really in my control, its with other teams. I just go in, audition and try to be as professional as possible."His measurables being the talk of the combine: "A lot of teams didnt believe that so I have to keep doing them every place Ive been so far. Thats been, trying to validate those numbers."On if teams are concerned about his direct manner: "Im a straight shooter, obviously I dont really sugar coat things. I just let people know how I feel about everything. Hopefully they appreciate that. If not, got to drop."What parts of your game have we not seen yet: "The NBA is obviously is designed for more isolation basketball. Obviously defensive three-seconds, teams cant just pack it in. Hoping I can just show that Ive been working on my ability to put on the ground a little bit, get to the basket and create shots."
Basic impression of Barnes, the talker: Polished, clearly not fazed when the cameras are on him. Did his homework on the Wizards or at least knew enough to understand the teams situation. Cool customer --maybe a touch too much, and like he said, very matter of fact with his responses. Oh, he physically looks the part of an NBA wing, no doubt. Is he my first choice for this team? Well, if you read my counter to Miller's pro-Barnes take, you know I'm a Bradley Beal guy. However, Barnes in theory makes plenty of sense for a team looking for small forward help and perimeter shooters.The one player we did see do actual basketball things on Tuesday was the 6-foot-10 Shurna, a 44 percent shooter from 3-pointterritory last season and Northwestern's all-time leading scorer. His deep and consistent range was on display during a full court drill as he raced baseline to baseline, draining bomb after bomb along the way. The stretch power forward and potential second-round pick was also just all kinds of genuinely excited as he answered questions about, well, just about anything, including how he might fit with the Wizards. "I think right away I'm a guy that can knock down shots and make hustle plays," a non-stop smiling Shurna said following his ninth individual team workout. "Any team can always use that. I can put the ball in the basket and try and help this team win. I love to compete and the opportunity to play with such great players and great coaches here in Washington D.C. would be an honor."Joseph rounded out the day of goodtalkers as the 6-foot-7 forward artfully articulated his game as well as those of his fellow Syracuse players in the draft. More later on the former Archbishop Carroll star in today's NBA Draft profile piece.

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Fallout from the Kawhi/DeRozan trade; Kevin Love questions

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Fallout from the Kawhi/DeRozan trade; Kevin Love questions

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hugheswas joined by Nick Ashooh to break down the fallout from the trade involving Kawhi Leonard and DeMar DeRozan.

They looked at what it means for the Wizards and the East, as well as the Lakers and LeBron. Plus, they took fan questions, many of which centered on Kevin Love and the possibility of a trade to Washington.

You can listen to the episode right here:

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Jeff Green hopes NBA Finals experience with Cavs can rub off on Wizards

Jeff Green hopes NBA Finals experience with Cavs can rub off on Wizards

Jeff Green's basketball résumé got a significant boost this spring and summer as his Cleveland Cavaliers marched all the way to the NBA Finals before they were swept by the Golden State Warriors. It was Green's first time going past the second round of the playoffs and the experience, he says, was invaluable.

Green has come about as close to winning a championship without actually winning one and he certainly hopes to get back in that position. Green believes his new team, the Washington Wizards, have the tools to make a deep playoff run and it's one of the reasons why he signed a free agent deal to join them.

"Being there last year myself with Cleveland, I know it takes a lot. It takes a lot of pieces. I feel like this team has them," he said. "We can get back to that point. When I got the call, I felt like it was the best opportunity for myself to get there."

The Wizards' franchise has not been past the second round of the playoffs since 1979, when they were known as the Bullets. That was before anyone on their roster was born.

But Green pointed to the open Eastern Conference and the talent on the roster as reasons to believe they can accomplish some things that they haven't in decades. They may be capable, but putting it all together is easier said than done.

Green hopes to be one of the glue guys necessary for the Wizards to reach their potential, in part by sharing the lessons he learned.

"Never take it for granted. There are a lot of greats that have never been there," he said. "Getting to the Finals and being part of that was beyond amazing. With the experience and seeing what it took, I can bring that here and get everybody on the same page of knowing what it takes and the sacrifices that you have to do to get to that point."

Green over and over mentioned how it takes a collective effort to go to the conference finals and beyond, but he did show some self-awareness and a sense of humor about his own experience in Cleveland. All teams are different and the one he just left was a unique situation.

"You can’t get there individually. I mean, you can, we did last year. I mean, LeBron [James] carried us all the way there," he joked. "But there’s only one LeBron, but to get there you have to have team unity. You all have to be on the same page and sacrifice to make sure you’re doing what it takes to get the team there. I think that’s the biggest key. It’s not an individual thing… unless you’re LeBron."

If the Wizards are to reach their goals and go to the conference finals or the NBA Finals, they will have to do it differently than the Cavaliers did. They do not have a player on the level of James who can do much of it by himself. But Green said the process of imparting his wisdom has already started.

"I talked to John [Wall]," Green said. "Knowing that he wants to get to the Finals, I was just picking his brain and what he thinks is needed to get there. And me sharing my experience of getting to the Finals and what it takes."

The Wizards have reached a point as an organization where they have the urgency to reach new heights. Green believes he can help them get there.

Listen to our full interview with Jeff Green on the Wizards Tipoff Podcast:

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