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Wizards Summer League roster includes Beal, Satoransky


Wizards Summer League roster includes Beal, Satoransky

Denied a trip to the Las Vegas Summer League last year because of the NBA lockout, Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton and Shelvin Mack now have their opportunity for a full and "normal" professional offseason.First round pick Bradley Beal will make his debut in a Wizards jersey as will the Wizards second-round selection, Tomas Satoransky.The quintet are among the 14 players invited to the Wizards mini-camp starting on Monday before the team heads to Las Vegas. The entire roster, released by the Wizard son Friday,is listed below.Let's note the following: The Wizards will open summer league against Atlanta on July 13, their first of five games in six days. Players invited to the mini-camp will not necessarily travel with the Wizards to Las Vegas and others could be added. The only true class of 2012 rookies from American colleges on the roster are Beal and LaRon Dendy, a 6-foot-9 power forward from Middle Tennessee State and the last season's Sun Belt Player of the Year. All others have played at least some professional basketball.There was some mystery as to whether the 6-foot-7 Satoranky would show. Seeing as Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld said within minutes of drafting the combo guard that it could be multiple seasons before the Czech Republic product plays in the NBA, this could be our only chance to see him live on U.S. soil in quite a while.

Otherwise...not exactly a list of household names. - Steven Gray played four seasons for Gonzaga and as a senior averaged 13.9 during the 2010-11 campaign. - Shavlik Randolph entered college in 2002 with those high expectations one expectsfrom a Duke recruit.The 6-foot-10 forwardturned pro after three suspect seasons and later would be dubbed the biggest recruiting bust of the decade by Seth Davis (ht TruthAboutIt.net).- Earl Calloway averaged 9.6 points and 4.3 assists at Indiana...during the 2006-07 campaign. More recently he has played for Sevilla in Spain's ACB League, the same team as Satoransky. Something tells me the media will be asking Mr. Calloway questions about the young Czech.Truth is, this team is all about the trio of second-year players and the two rookies. Seeing if Vesely now has a semblance of a jumper, if Singleton's confidence has returned, if Mack can run the offense, how Beal handles his first taste of pro competition and simply what Satoransky is all about, that's what matters. Finding additional regular season help, bonus.

2012 Washington Wizards Summer League Roster

Bradley BealGFlorida40Jeff Brooks
FPenn State51Earl CallowayGIndiana16LaRon DendyCMiddle Tennessee St.19Steven GrayGGonzaga30Ravern JohnsonGMississppi State22Shelvin MackGButler32Shavlik RandolphFDuke14Tomas SatoranskyGCzech Republic21Mike ScottFKent St.9Garett SilerCAugusta St.31Chris SingletonFFlorida State34Kim TillieCUtah24Jan VeselyFCzech Republic

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Cavaliers are gunning for Kawhi Leonard, though it's doubtful they have enough to interest Spurs


Cavaliers are gunning for Kawhi Leonard, though it's doubtful they have enough to interest Spurs

With word out that Kawhi Leonard wants a trade from the Spurs, teams are lining up with offers to San Antonio and one of the NBA’s best teams has reportedly already made a call.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have contacted the Spurs about a potential Leonard trade, according to Cleveland.com. Terry Pluto wrote on Sunday that multiple teams have done the same. That is to expected, of course, as Leonard is one of the best players in the NBA. He's a two-time defensive player of the year and he's only 26.

Let's look at Cleveland as a potential destination. It should first be noted that it's questionable whether they have enough to land a player of Leonard's caliber. They have the eighth overall pick in Thursday's draft, but it may take a lot more than that to get Leonard.

They also have Kevin Love, who is an All-Star still in his prime. But if they gave him up, they would then need to seek more help to surround Leonard and LeBron James, if James decides to stay. Though James and Leonard are both top-five players in the NBA, they still likely wouldn't be able to beat the Warriors unless they had another running mate. Those two plus Love and then you're talking.

Whether the Cavs have the goods to land Leonard or not, it's no wonder why they are trying for him. Getting Leonard, a two-time All-NBA selection, would likely be enough to retain James, the best player in the game. If James were to look around the league for a top-shelf running mate, he would be hard-pressed to find one better than Leonard.

That is assuming Leonard is healthy, of course. He did miss all but nine games this past season with a quadriceps injury. That injury was central in a saga of discord between him and the team. Until he hits the court again, Leonard offers no guarantees. Still, he may be worth the risk for Cleveland, as the alternative is potentially seeing James walk. 

If the Cavs got Leonard, that would probably solidify their standing as the best team in the Eastern Conference, even if they lost Love in the process. Leonard is better than Love and they would arguably have the two best players in the East. They may not have enough to beat the Warriors, but that would likely give them the edge over the young teams like Boston and Philly that have been nipping at their heels.

Sending Leonard to the Cavs would get him out of the Western Conference and that might be enticing to the Spurs. If they send him to the Lakers, his reported preferred destination, that could come back to bite them much more often than it would if he was traded to the East. Though putting him in Cleveland would form another very good team, they wouldn't affect the Spurs directly but for two regular season games, unless they were to meet in the NBA Finals.

The Spurs haven't indicated they will actually trade Leonard, but it does seem to be heading in that direction. It sounds like Cleveland will at the very least give it a shot. 

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Texas A&M big man Robert Williams likes potential fit with Wizards, John Wall

Texas A&M big man Robert Williams likes potential fit with Wizards, John Wall

In terms of the needs on their roster and the guys most likely to be available when they are on the clock at No. 15 in the first round, few players in this draft class seem as obvious a fit with the Washington Wizards more than Robert Williams of Texas A&M. So, it was no surprise that he not only visited them in Washington on Monday, but received the only individual public workout they have held during this year's predraft process.

Williams could be the answer to their longstanding quest for an athletic big man. No need to bring in five other guys for the usual six-player workout when Williams deserves a longer and more extensive look than most prospects they are considering.

The 20-year-old was put through a variety of drills Monday afternoon, just days before the 2018 NBA Draft. He likes the fit with Washington, if that's how things end up sorting out.

"I definitely feel like they could use a big like me, a defensive-style athletic big like me. I definitely see myself fitting here," he said.

Williams is one of the best big men in this year's draft. He is 6-foot-9 and 240 pounds with a 7-5 wingspan. He used that length to dominate in the paint at the college level.

Williams averaged a modest 10.4 points for the Aggies in 2017-18, but also 9.2 rebounds and 2.6 blocks. That was his sophomore year. He averaged 8.2 rebounds and 2.5 blocks as a freshman.

He was a shot-blocking force the day he stepped on campus and believes those skills will translate to the professional ranks. In the NBA, Williams believes he can thrive because his defensive versatility will be even more valuable in a day and age where switching is paramount.

"I feel like I can guard all positions. That’s one of my biggest attributes," he said. "It’s just about embracing it, having fun stopping a guard. Once you’re comfortable with it, you can do it."

Williams may adapt to the NBA quickly on the defensive end and that's where the Wizards need help the most. They haven't had a consistent rim-protector in years. Last season, point guard John Wall led the team in blocks per game.

Offense is where the questions lie with Williams. He wasn't a big scorer in college and does not have much of an outside shot. The fact he shot just 47.1 percent from the free throw line this past season suggests he has a lot of work to do before he can stretch the floor.

Williams will need to find a niche offensively, likely as a rim-runner off pick-and-rolls. He sees a lot of potential in a possible pick-and-roll pairing with Wall.

"He’s an elite passer and an elite guard. Coming off a pick-and-roll, you have to pay attention to him as well as have to pay attention to me as well. It’s a win-win situation," Williams said.

Williams believes his offensive game will open up with more space at the NBA level. The Wizards have Wall surrounded by three-point shooters in Bradley Beal, Otto Porter and Markieff Morris. Toss Williams into the middle and he could go to work in the paint doing the rest.

If Williams were drafted by the Wizards, he could look at Clint Capela of the Houston Rockets as a model to follow. Like Houston, the Wizards have two All-Star guards. An athletic big man who doesn't need plays run for him could be the perfect complement.

No one needs to tell Williams that, he is well-aware. He said that at nearly every stop during the predraft process Capela's name has come up.

"I knew that’s what you were going to say," Williams said to a reporter (raises hand) who asked about the Capela comparison.

Williams continued to say they are different players and it's not entirely fair to compare them. That exchange showed Williams has an edge to him, sort of like Morris. He's clearly not afraid to be honest when some players would not.

Despite downplaying the comparison, Williams can see what makes Capela successful.

"I’ve watched him. He’s a great player," Williams said. "He is around the right people. He just plays his role. He runs off a lot of screens. He gets up there and does what he has to do."

Williams is gearing up for Thursday's draft and trying to decide who he will walk the stage with, as the NBA has introduced a new tradition of each player walking with two people. He said it will likely be his mother and sister. Perhaps by the end of the night he will also walk that stage wearing a Washington Wizards hat.

For more on Williams, check out our extensive draft profile on him.


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