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Wizards expect McClellan back soon, House progressing

Wizards expect McClellan back soon, House progressing

The Wizards expect to have rookie swingman Sheldon McClellan back from the NBA D-League sometime this weekend, head coach Scott Brooks said. That could mean McClellan will join them for Friday's game against the Pistons or by Sunday's matchup with the Clippers, their last home game before they embark on a three-game road trip.

McClellan, 23, has averaged 11 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 24.4 minutes in five games with the Delaware 87ers. After averaging 7.3 points in his first three games there, he's dropped 17 and 16 in his most recent outings. McClellan is shooting an impressive 61.3 percent from the field on 6.2 attempts per game.

"I like what he's been doing down there," Brooks said. "He's played well. He's defending and attacking. It's a great opportunity for him, a lot of games and lot of practices in a short amount of time."

McClellan, who played in college with the Miami Hurricanes, has appeared in seven games this season for the Wizards. He's averaging 4.6 points in 11.1 minutes per night.

Fellow rookie Danuel House remains out with a fractured right wrist. The Texas A&M product has been sidelined for over two weeks now after injuring himself in practice. He was originally given a 4-6 week recovery timeline once the broken bone was discovered by a hand specialist.

House still has a cast on his arm and is limited in what he can do in practice.

"I saw him yesterday doing a lot of conditioning which is good. Sometimes players forget they can still be a conditioned athlete with a broken hand," Brooks said.

"He's working on his left hand. You have to use this injury, particularly [because] he's a right-handed shooter, as a blessing in disguise. You don't want to get hurt, but you should come back with a better left hand. That's all he's been working on, his dribbling. Quite frankly that has been a weakness of his in the past, dribbling with his left hand. He can be an attack wing defender and offensive player. He also can be a small shooting four, so if he can do that it's going to help his game."

House, 23, has logged just one minute for the Wizards this season.


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Summer League allowed Wizards to experiment with Issuf Sanon's position

Summer League allowed Wizards to experiment with Issuf Sanon's position

Issuf Sanon remains very much a blank canvass as an NBA prospect. The Wizards' 2018 second-round pick is only 19 years old and still spending most of his time overseas, this past season playing professional ball in Slovenia.

So, the Wizards see the current stage of his career as an opportunity for experimentation. During Sanon's time in the Las Vegas Summer League, the Wizards toyed with him as a shooting guard despite the fact he was drafted as a point guard by trade.

Sanon spent much of his time on the floor during four Summer League games off the ball. It was an adjustment for Sanon, but one the team feels he is well-suited for due to his size at 6-foot-4.

"He's still picking up the game, still learning," Wizards Summer League head coach Robert Pack said. "I don't want to put a lot of pressure on him to be a point guard or to be an off-guard."

Sanon didn't exactly take to the new role quickly. In his four Summer League games, he averaged only 1.5 points and a rebound while shooting 18.2 percent from the field. He even missed his free throws.

But beyond the stats, the trademark aggression Sanon usually has was mostly missing. He usually runs around the court with reckless abandon, sometimes to a fault. In the 2018 Summer League he got into foul trouble too quickly and stood out for slapping the floor on defense.

Those in the Wizards' front office rave about his motor and the edge he brings to the game. He almost has too much energy and the Wizards have no qualms with that. They say it's easier to reel that in than to ask a player to ramp it up out of nowhere.

But in the shooting guard role, Sanon did not appear comfortable, at least on offense.

"[I have to focus on] cuts, baseline, back screens," Sanon said of the difference in playing as a two-guard. "Like how we do in Europe, not play 1-on-1. Small cuts, back doors and stuff like that."

Without a consistent jumper, Sanon's ceiling off the ball on offense appears low at this point. Developing a three-pointer that other teams have to respect would be crucial for him becoming a combo guard long-term.

Defensively is where it makes more sense. Sanon is better on that end of the floor and has the size to defend shooting guards. He is tall and also strong. He is not your average, lanky 19-year-old basketball player.

Sanon has the size to play physical defense and the quickness to stay in front of point guards, at least at the Summer League level.

"I like to play defense. It starts on defense. If I play good defense, I have a good game," he said.

It may be another year or several before Sanon makes the leap to the United States to play for the Wizards. When he does, expect explosive athleticism and a commitment to the defensive end. 

Whether he will arrive as a point guard or something different, though, now appears to be up in the air.


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Natasha Cloud is tired of the Bradley Beal trade rumors

Natasha Cloud is tired of the Bradley Beal trade rumors

Mystics guard Natasha Cloud has had it up to here with trade rumors about Wizards guard Bradley Beal.

Beal has been a strong vocal supporter of the Mystics and the WNBA, in general. He works closely with Kristi Toliver, who, in her offseason, works as an assistant coach for the Wizards. His closeness with the Mystics has now manifested itself in Cloud voicing her opposition to Beal being traded on Twitter.

Beal is no stranger to trade rumors. Entering his eighth season, Beal has been connected to the Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, among others. Given that his name is frequently tossed around in trade talks, it should come as no surprise that the Clippers made a run at him to pair with Kawhi Leonard.

Despite the frequent and recurring rumors, Beal hasn't been traded, and very likely won't be traded. He's a star and a legitimate piece around which to build a franchise. At the summer league in Las Vegas, NBC Sports Washington's Chase Hughes sat with Shaquille O'Neal to discuss what the Wizards should do in free agency. Shaq said that between Beal and John Wall, the Wizards are just a piece or two from breaking through.

I definitely think [the Wizards] should keep him. He's a great shooter, but if he’s a great shooter looking to go somewhere, L.A. has $32 million [in cap space]. ... He's definitely the cornerstone of this franchise. He and John Wall have always, almost always, been there. They just need another one or two guys.

It's still unlikely that Beal is playing in anything other than a Wizards uniform on opening night, but if he is, expect to hear from Cloud about it.