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Wizards NBA Draft truth and rumors

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Wizards NBA Draft truth and rumors

After weeks and months of talking upside, shooting woes and prospects, prospects, prospects, the NBA Draft - and Bradley Beal's 19th birthday - is finally here. Thus, here is an overall look at the latest rumors, the final thoughts and all the mocks, profiles and long term projections you can handle...Reading the tea leaves: The Beal fit locally is obvious, but heading into this week the same argument could be made for the talent-needy Charlotte Bobcats and the off-guard lacking Cleveland Cavaliers. Then the Bobcats traded for the outside shooting skills of Ben Gordon, effectively taking them out of the Beal mix should they keep the pick. Then the Cavs, seeminglythe most obvious trade partner for the Bobcats, apparently cooled their heels on the hole move up thing. From today's Akron Beacon Journal:"And while Anthony Davis should be spectacular, he is the only potential superstar the Cavaliers see in this draft. That's why it would be a bit surprising to see them trade with the Charlotte Bobcats to move up to No. 2...From all accounts, the Cavs will be happy to sit at No. 4 and wait to see who falls to them. It will most likely be Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who should be wearing a Cavs jersey by the end of the night."If all goes crazy and Beal is drafted second - the Bobcats reportedly have at least "five legit offers"-, North Carolina's Harrison Barnes or Kentucky's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are the logical fall back options...except neither I nor Barnes seem keen about him playing in the backcourt...except MKG's intangible-heavy game does not come with a perimeter shot, thefacet this team lacks.
The Wizards could use their valuable second-round pick to entice the Bobcats, but I stillthink a trade down into the 5-10 range, where Austin Rivers, Jeremy Lamb and Dion Waiters should be, is the true backup plan. For now, it does not appear like the Wizards will be in a "break this glass in case of emergency only" situation.Second-round planning: From a position or need standpoint, the Wizards basically can't make a wrong call with the No. 32 pick, though I'm not sure this roster needs another athletic tweener forward type. If no Beal, then adding an outside shooter becomes almost mandatory. Otherwise, adding abackup point guard who has shown to be a floor general in college like Kansas' Tyshawn Taylor or Iona's Scott Machado should be a strong consideration. Click here for my look at all the various areas the Wizards can address with the No. 32 pickMock this: My 1-32 picks plus projections for some local college players in the second round (the first DMV selection in round 2...Norfolk State's Kyle O'Quinn). More mocks here from Frank Hanrahan and other national sites.The super-sleeper, blow your mind scenario: Ironically, this idea comes from Beal himself and it's one that would send him not to D.C. but OKC. The savvy freshman said in an interview that the Thunder are interested in moving him for him. That would mean a move into the No. 2 or 3 position - and that would likely mean Oklahoma City shipping James Harden. There has been some general chatter over time with colleagues and others about the idea of dangling the high-lottery pick to the Thunder seeing as Harden's future contract situation could be problematic for a team already paying out major coin to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Odds of such a major move are low and it would also likely cost the Wizards 1-2 of their own young bucks. Profiles: During the lead up the draft, I analyzed various draft prospects with help frombasketball insiders plus examined a potentialfit in with the Wizards, from the likely options at 3(Bradley Beal, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Andre Drummond, Thomas Robinson, Harrison Barnes) to one trade down candidate ( Jeremy Lamb,) plus potential second-round targets (Darius Miller, Festus Ezeli, Henry Sims, Kris Joseph, Tomas Satoransky).My faves: Not saying these are the best of the best in this draft, but I like the way these guys play and I believe they will out-kick the coverage when it comes to their consensus pre-draft perception and final draftslot: Royce White (Iowa State, PF), Kendall Marshall (UNC, PG), Hollis Thompson (SF Georgetown), Jeremy Lamb (UConn), Jae Crowder (Marquette).On the other hand...:My skepticism meter is running highest for Andre Drummond (UConn, C), Perry Jones III (Baylor, SF), Fab Melo (Syracuse, C), Will Barton (Memphis, SG). Not sure I get all the "Dion Waiters is the next great thing" love that is going on either, especially when in light of recent Syracuse misses like Wes Johnson and Jonny Flynn, but I hope he proves me wrong. Well, sort of. It's always fun to be right. We'll see who was right and wrong in the years ahead...

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Source: Wizards will have competition with teams like Lakers, Clippers for restricted free agent Bobby Portis

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USA Today

Source: Wizards will have competition with teams like Lakers, Clippers for restricted free agent Bobby Portis

This summer is shaping up to be lucrative for NBA free agents and big man Bobby Portis is well-positioned to cash in. After spending the final three months of the 2018-19 season with the Wizards, Portis is already seeing a healthy market develop ahead of the June 30 start of the league's negotiating period, NBC Sports Washington has learned.

The Wizards are likely to first extend a qualifying offer on June 30 to make him a restricted free agent. According to Spotrac.com, it will be about $3.6 million and that will give the Wizards the right to match an offer sheet from another franchise.

But teams are already indicating they want Portis, who is just 24 and coming off a season in which he averaged a career-high 14.2 points and 8.1 rebounds in 50 games. That market includes 5-10 teams and could grow once free agency opens.

Portis is expected to draw interest from the Lakers, Clippers, Jazz, Bucks, Magic and Knicks among others, NBC Sports Washington has learned.

Despite restricted free agency, Portis has a few things working for him. For one, there are a lot of teams with cap room. Spending won't reach 2016 levels, when the new CBA spiked the salary cap, but there will a lot of money to go around.

Also, guys in Portis' tier will only be helped if the top free agent options continue to dwindle. Klay Thompson looks more likely than ever to stay in Golden State after tearing his ACL. Winning a title could increase the odds Kawhi Leonard re-signs in Toronto, according to reports. And Kevin Durant's torn Achilles has thrown a wrench into the plans of teams with the most money to spend.

There is also the possibility Kemba Walker stays in Charlotte. And Kyrie Irving signing with Brooklyn, if it happens, would leave others exploring backup plans.

Portis isn't directly competing with any of those players, but could benefit if the top options are off the market. His name will only move up the list if that is the case.

Portis also has a unique selling point going for him. He shot 39.3 percent from three this past season and held a 40.3 percent clip to close the year in his 28 games with the Wizards. Three-point shooting is more valuable than ever and he brings that to the table at 6-foot-10.

Portis, who averaged 3.8 three-point attempts per game this past season, was one of only six players 6-10 or taller to shoot at least 39 percent on 3.5 attempts or more (min. 50 G). 

The question for Portis will be whether he gets the money he wants. He turned down an extension with the Chicago Bulls last fall just hours before the deadline to sign one. According to the Chicago Tribune, the deal was worth about $50 million and he wants to be paid in the range of $16 million annually. His asking price was partly why the Bulls traded him to the Wizards in February.

Even if the Wizards clear money, and they are expected to free up some by declining Jabari Parker's $20 million team option by the June 29 deadline, Portis could price himself out of Washington. It might not even take $16 million per year for that to happen.

The Wizards are set to operate through free agency with interim team president Tommy Sheppard at the helm, as the Washington Post reported on Tuesday. Sheppard making the call increases Portis' odds of staying, but that doesn't mean the price will match for both sides.

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UNC's Coby White talks Wizards workout, North Carolina and John Wall's legendary mixtape

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UNC's Coby White talks Wizards workout, North Carolina and John Wall's legendary mixtape

In Tuesday's Wizards Talk podcast Chris Miller sat down with point guard Coby White, a projected lottery pick from the University of Carolina. 

On Monday, the Wizards worked out White and college teammate Nassir Little in the franchise's highest-profile workout this year. Despite being projected higher than No. 9, White was enthusiastic about the opportunity. 

"These mock drafts are cool, but it's not the real deal," explained White. "If I was to slip and Washington were to select me, I'd be in a great place."

White's passion combined with his impressive skill set enabled him to become the all-time leading scorer in North Carolina high school history. Growing up he followed John Wall, as did every hooper in North Carolina, and he still remembers Wall shredding apart defenses on his legendary high school mixtape. 

"His mixtape was lit," professed White. "The style he played with was uncomparable to anyone else."

What many people don't know about White was that growing up, his dream school was Duke. Once he got to Chapel Hill, however, Roy Williams, his teammates and UNC's winning tradition won him over in a heartbeat. 

"They didn't care how much you had coming in, Coach Williams never promised me playing time," said White. "He just promised me 'I'll be the hardest coach you ever had and I'll try my best to make you the best you can be.'"

At Thursday draft, White's life will be changed forever once he hears his name called and shakes Adam Silver's hand. For Wizards fans, hopefully, that won't happen before the No. 9 pick

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