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Wizards' Summer League roster includes some interesting backstories

Wizards' Summer League roster includes some interesting backstories

The Wizards announced their 2017 Summer League roster on Wednesday. Below are some notes on the guys you may have not heard of. For the full list, click here. 

[Name, position, last team (height, weight)]

Ike Diogu, F, Jiangsu Tongxi Monkey Kings (China) (6-8, 255)

- Diogu turns 34 in September. He has six years of NBA experience, but hasn't played since 2012 when he was with the Spurs.

Jasonn Hannibal, C, Victoria Roadrunners (Mexico) (6-10, 270)

- Hannibal served on the Wizards' staff this past season as a player development assistant. He is best friends with former Wizards player Andrew Nicholson and played professionally overseas in Iran in one of his stops before Washington.

Max Hooper, G, G-League (6-6, 200)

- He played for Harvard, St. John's and Oakland in the collegiate ranks, once hit 118 threes in five minutes. And as a senior at Oakland, he attempted 257 shots and every single one of them was a three. Seriously.

Here is the video of him hitting 118 threes, by the way:

[RELATED: Nets' offer to Otto Porter gives Wizards big decision]

Kris Jenkins, F, Villanova (6-6, 235)

- Jenkins is from D.C. and went to high school at Gonzaga. His uncle is a huge Wizards fan. Jenkins is best known for hitting the game-winning shot in the 2016 NCAA Tournament finals for Villanova. He worked out for the Wizards in June.

Marcus Keene, G, Central Michigan (5-9, 160)

- At just 5-9, Keene led the NCAA in scoring last season by averaging exactly 30.0 poinsts per game. He worked out for the Wizards before the draft.

Kevin Pangos, G, Gonzaga (6-2, 185)

- A star at Gonzaga University, Pangos hails from Canada. His uncle played in the NHL and his cousin was drafted by the Washington Capitals.

Jaleel Roberts, C, G-League (7-0, 235)

- Roberts played for the Wizards in the 2015 Summer League. He was cut during mini-camp before summer league last year and didn't make the trip. The Wizards also had paid Roberts to attend Tim Grgurich's skills camp.

[RELATED: Wizards Tipoff podcast - Big week with Porter and Meeks]

Devin Robinson, F, Florida (6-8, 200)

- A Virginia-native, Robinson has a 7-1 wingspan and 41-inch vertical leap. He's the favorite among this group to earn a roster spot.

Jalen Ross, G, Hartford (6-1, 185)

- Ross is the son of Wizards' Vice President of Player Personnel Frank Ross. He has been focusing on earning a roster spot overseas.

Maalik Wayns, G, Maccabil Rishon LeZion (Israel) (6-1, 195)

- He played for the Wizards' summer league in 2014 and the Dallas Mavericks in '15. Since leaving Villanova in 2012, he has played from Italy to Russia to Lithuania to several stops in the D-League and NBA.

Michael Young, F, Pittsburgh (6-9, 235)

- The Wizards signed Young to a two-way contract on Wednesday, the first one they have handed out since they were introduced in the new CBA.

[RELATED: Kings spend themselves out of Otto Porter sweepstakes?]

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Austin Rivers getting cut by Suns may change perception of Trevor Ariza trade to Wizards

Austin Rivers getting cut by Suns may change perception of Trevor Ariza trade to Wizards

When the Suns traded Trevor Ariza for Kelly Oubre Jr. and Austin Rivers, the thought by most was that Rivers, though not a perfect fit, would slide in at point guard to fill their biggest need. Instead, on the day the trade became official, Phoenix opted to waive Rivers and make him a free agent.

The Suns will pay about $8 million to let Rivers go, according to ESPN. He is now free to sign with any team except for the Wizards. That means he can return to the L.A. Clippers, where he played last season, if he wants.

Rivers, 26, has had a dramatic fall in a matter of months. In July, the Wizards sent starting center Marcin Gortat to the Clippers to acquire Rivers, who was coming off a career year. They believed he could solidify their backup shooting guard position and become an asset off the bench.

Rivers, though, proved a poor fit. He struggled with fewer shots and fewer minutes, averaging only 7.2 points while shooting 39.2 percent from the field and 31.1 percent from three. 

Rivers arrived in Washington with numbers that suggested he could score efficiently. But his stint with the Wizards showed he may need more volume to sustain a rhythm.

The Suns cutting Rivers makes the trade between the teams from a Suns perspective essentially an Ariza-for-Oubre swap. Phoenix wanted to clear some money and part with Ariza, who was wasting away on their last-place roster. Now they can see what they have in Oubre over the course of the rest of this season before he hits restricted free agency.

From the Wizards' side, this move shows how far Rivers' trade value had dropped, as one of the league's worst teams has cut him loose. That they were able to unload Rivers' salary while prying away Ariza may change slightly how the trade is viewed.

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With Trevor Ariza now in store, Wizards begin new phase against Hawks

With Trevor Ariza now in store, Wizards begin new phase against Hawks

The Wizards have undergone a midseason roster renovation over the past week-plus, culminating with a trade over the weekend to acquire Trevor Ariza. On Tuesday in Atlanta, a new phase will begin for the Wizards as they take on the Hawks at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.

Ariza has joined the team on the road in anticipation of his debut. With Kelly Oubre Jr. and Austin Rivers now out the door, the team brought back guard Chasson Randle. Those two will help make up a new-look rotation for Washington, as they try to recover from a 12-18 start to this season.

Ariza will likely slide into the starting lineup, certainly in the short-term as Otto Porter Jr. recovers from a minor knee injury. The changes should also present opportunities for a few players who otherwise may not have played.

Sam Dekker, for one, will clearly be in the mix. He has averaged 13.5 minutes per game since coming over in a three-team trade last week. On Sunday against the Lakers, he put up a season-high 20 points. Even when Porter returns, he should have a role, as his path to play was carved by Oubre's departure.

The adjustments should, in theory, also clear the runway for rookie Troy Brown Jr. The 2018 first round pick has only appeared in 13 of the Wizards' 30 games this season because of a logjam at his position. 

But on Sunday, the first game since Oubre and Rivers were dealt, he played 15:21 against the Lakers. It wasn't in garbage time, either. He entered in the first half and made an instant impact with three steals and two rebounds.

Though Tomas Satoransky has played an important role this season as a backup guard and temporary starter, his standing was made even more secure when the Wizards traded Rivers. They have Randle and two-way player Jordan McRae, but Satoransky is now their primary backup guard. Barring a trade or another signing, they have no choice but to rely heavily on him to spell John Wall and Bradley Beal.

Speaking of Wall and Beal, they will bear watching despite nothing changing in their roles with the Wizards. They, along with Markieff Morris and Porter, have been the core of this team throughout the tumultuous last two years. The Wizards brought in Ariza to help compensate for their shortcomings in defending the perimeter, rebounding and - this year, at least - three-point shooting. 

If Ariza's arrival has a domino effect on teammates, if it lights a spark and brings the best out of the Wizards, those are the guys to watch. The Wizards want consistency from them, more of what they saw against the Lakers. And Ariza's commitment on the defensive end, the team hopes, can rub off on others.

The Wizards have already played one game since trading Oubre and Rivers, but now that Ariza is in store and ready to debut, the Wizards can officially hit the restart button. Will this trade prove the catalyst and help get them back on track? Tuesday night will give the first answers to that question.

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