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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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2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: Keldon Johnson

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USA Today Sports Images

2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: Keldon Johnson

The Washington Wizards will have the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects who could fall around where the Wizards will select...

2019 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Keldon Johnson

School: Kentucky
Position: Guard
Age: 19 (turns 21 in October)
Height: 6-6
Weight: 216
Wingspan: 6-9
Max vertical: N/A

2018/19 stats: 13.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.6 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.2 bpg, 46.1 FG% (4.6/10.1), 38.1 3PT% (1.2/3.2), 70.3 FT%

Player comparison: Gary Harris, Jerome Robinson

Projections: NBC Sports Washington 19th, NBADraft.net 15th, Bleacher Report 8th, Sports Illustrated 23rd, Ringer 21st

5 things to know:

*Johnson is considered the best NBA prospect in this year's class from the University of Kentucky. Though the Wildcats usually churn out top-10 picks, he is projected to go somewhere in the back end of the lottery or in the 20s. His teammates Tyler Herro and P.J. Washington are expected to go late in the first round.

*Johnson is an athletic, slashing wing who is quick up and down the floor. His highlights are filled with fastbreak dunks and agile plays around the basket. Johnson, though, didn't participate in the vertical leap measurement at the combine, so there is some mystery there.

*He has a solid outside shot. Johnson made 38.2 percent of his threes on 3.2 attempts per game, which is impressive especially for a freshman. He appears to have smooth mechanics on his jumper and a quick release. Johnson, though, like most young players has to develop his ability to shoot off the dribble.

*Johnson plays with a lot of passion and is known for wearing his emotions on his sleeve. He brings tons of energy to both ends of the floor and that is a good sign for his potential at the next level.

*Johnson has a few local connections. He is from Chesterfield, VA, just south of Richmond. He went to high school at Oak Hill Academy in southwestern Virginia. His brother, Kaleb, plays basketball for Georgetown University. And his other brother, Kyle, played at Old Dominion.

Fit with Wizards: Johnson happens to play the one position the Wizards have solidified, at least in their starting lineup with Bradley Beal. However, they could use more guard depth in general and Beal needs some help behind him.

The Wizards thought they had solved that with Austin Rivers this past season and that didn't work out. The result was Beal leading the NBA in minutes played in the second straight year he appeared in all 82 games.

Iron Man streaks are great, but not ideal for a guy who has a history of leg injuries and a long career ahead of him. Johnson is the type of player who could take some pressure off of Beal and possibly play with him at the three-spot. He would also add shooting, which the Wizards need.

The question would be if he is good enough to pick ninth overall and if that need is enough to justify at that spot. The answer is probably not, but Johnson seems like a guy who could soar up draft boards once workouts begin.

Best highlight video:

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Bradley Beal was the first guard cut from the All-NBA teams

Bradley Beal was the first guard cut from the All-NBA teams

Bradley Beal missed out on an All-NBA selection, and therefore, qualification for a supermax contract. Voting tallies show he received the most votes among guards that missed the cut. 

That's small consolation for the only player to average 25 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists this year, but still not make the All-NBA team. 

Here's a look at just how close Beal came to Kemba Walker, the last guard to sneak in. 

Walker (51 points) beat out Beal (34 points) more narrowly than at any other position. Klay Thompson received 27 points. 

It's rare air to be ranked so closely with guards like Walker and three-time champion Thompson.

Still, that hardly makes up for the earning potential the Wizards star missed out on this summer.

Damian Lillard, who was drafted in the same year as Beal, made second team All-NBA and qualified for a $191 million supermax contract from the Trail Blazers. 

That's a big-money difference for a very close voting tally.

On the flip side, that could mean the Wizards can afford to hang onto Beal. They would have had a difficult time offering him a supermax contract given their current salary cap situation. 

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