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2018 NBA Mock Draft 6.0: The final edition

2018 NBA Mock Draft 6.0: The final edition

We're now down to the final hours before the 2018 NBA Draft.

After all the sifting through workouts, reports, rumors, and lies, a picture is starting to take shape about where teams may actually go Thursday night. 

This draft is loaded with a ton of big man prospects, from DeAndre Ayton, Jaren Jackson Jr., Marvin Bagley, and Mohamed Bamba, all coming with varying opinions as to how much of an impact these players can have in the NBA. 

Add that to the never-ending guesses as to where Trae Young will end up and what he'll actually look like at the next level, and it makes sense so many GM's are said to be sweating buckets when building their final draft boards. 

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This could be the draft we look back on as the one that brought back the big man to the NBA.

It can also be the draft that brings us more unreached potential than anything else. 

Then again, the NBA Draft is so full of crossing fingers and hoping for the best, we should honestly be used to this narrative by now.

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That being said, let's take a look at the five "can't-miss" prospects, and the five "teams shouldn't touch them with a really long pole" ones as well.

It doesn't mean these guys are deserving of being a top-5 pick per say, it just means that what you expect to get from them, you will.

Heck, it's not our job on the line if it's wrong anyway, so no pressure here.

WIZARDS TOP FIVE FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PROSPECTS

1. Robert Williams: 6-10 PF/C with a freakish wingspan. Could be off the board if the Clippers look to prepare for life without DeAndre Jordan. But if Williams is there at No. 15, it's hard to see the Wizards not taking him.

2. Zhaire Smith: Freak athlete who started his college career as an unheralded 3-star recruit. But he has a lot to work on aside from his athleticism

3. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: Could be off the board by No. 15, but the Wizards really like him and would be a solid fit as an understudy to John Wall.

4. Kevin Knox: Like his Kentucky teammate Gilgeous-Alexander, Kevin Knox might be off the board at No. 15, but his abillity to hit the otuside shot and his improving low-post skills make him a great fit as a power wing.

5. Lonnie Walker: Arguably the most entertaining player in the draft. the former Miami Hurricane isn't the best fit for the Wizards, but if options are limited, it will be hard to pass on such an explosive playmaker.

WIZARDS' TOP FIVE SECOND-ROUND DRAFT PROSPECTS

1. Keita Bates-DiopThe versatile Ohio State wing was the Big Ten Player of the Year and showed a huge leap in improvement his final season in Columbus. He can do a bit of everything and is a polsihed player with a high I.Q.

2. Brandon McCoy: a 7-1 UNLV freshman with a ton of upside> he's raw, but if the Wizards draft a wing in the first-round, drafting a future frontcourt player is a good direction to head in.

3. Hamidou Diallo: The Kentucky wing did a bit of everything for the Wildcats and projects as a smaller version of Kelly Oubre. 

4. Jevon Carter: The WVu guard is the toughest competitor in the draft. In fact, agents were steering their young clients away from draft workouts in which they would have to compete against Jevon Carter. He may not be the best player in the draft, but he will make everyone on the team a better competitor.

5. Sviatoslav Mykhailuk: An elite marksman from Kansas who can create his own shot and is adept at taking and making shots off the screens and in catch and shoot situations.

FIVE CAN'T MISS 2018 NBA DRAFT PROSPECTS

1. Luka Doncic: 6-8 wing who can also be the primary ball-handler, with the ability to score off the dribble. Euroleague MVP at just 19 years old.

2. Mo Bamba: Offensive game will determine his ceiling, but that pterodactyl-like wingspan will assure he's one of the all-time great rim-protectors. 

3. Collin Sexton: Fast, aggressive guard who can attack the rim and score. 

4. Mikal Bridges: May never be a star, but will have a great career as a starting 3-and-D player at worst.

5. Aaron Holiday: Great shooter/scorer that can distribute as well. 6-6 wingspan means he can defend either guard position. 

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FIVE 2018 NBA DRAFT PROSPECTS TO STAY AWAY FROM

1. Trae Young: Small, can't defend. When was the last time the "next (fill in the blank name here)" guy actually became that guy?

2. Michael Porter Jr.: Tough because there's a ton of talent there, but his early injury history makes you worry how he'll hold up in the NBA. 

3. Lonnie Walker IV: Rough start to his freshman year. Shot just 34.6 percent from three. Defensive effort lags and can be inconsistent on both ends. 

4. Mitchell Robinson: Who exactly is this guy anyway? Are we sure he actually exists?

5. Grayson Allen: Could get a first-round look, but the whole, you know, tripping and temper tantrum thing might be an issue at the next level too. 

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Raptors GM Masai Ujiri on staying in Toronto: 'In my mind, I'm here'

Raptors GM Masai Ujiri on staying in Toronto: 'In my mind, I'm here'

Just a few weeks ago, the Masai Ujiri-to-D.C. movement was gaining steam quickly. Just moments after Ujiri and the Toronto Raptors began celebrating their NBA Championship, reports began to swirl that the Wizards were prepared to aggressively pursue the GM.

Sources told NBC Sports Washington that there could be the possibility of a sort of mega-deal that went beyond just giving him control of the Wizards. But Wizards owner Ted  Leonsis denied earlier this month that the team had reached out, saying that "we have never planned in any way to ask for permission to speak to him during our process."

And on Tuesday, Uriji seemed to make it official that he will stay in Toronto.

"I love it here, my family loves it here. My wife loves it here, which is very important. My kids are Canadians. You want to win more, for me," Ujiri said on Tuesday during his end-of-season press conference.

"Yeah, I can continue to address teams wanting me and all those things. That's a blessing in life," Ujiri said. "For me the blessing is being wanted here and finding a place that makes you happy, and finding challenges that really make you grow as a person. This place has made me grow as a person."

"I identify with this place and I love it. So in my mind, I'm here."

On paper, Ujiri and the Wizards looked to be a good match. Washington could offer him money and control, while also allowing him to work with his "Basketball without Borders" program in D.C.

As NBC Sports' Tom Haberstroh explained recently, the Raptors late-season championship run could have messed up the timing and situation that could have lured Ujiri to a new team.

The Wizards made it through the NBA Draft without a new GM, but as July and free agency approach, the search may continue to ramp up.

The answer is still out there, it just may not be Masai Ujiri anymore.

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Bradley Beal on Wizards draftee Rui Hachimura: 'He's a monster'

Bradley Beal on Wizards draftee Rui Hachimura: 'He's a monster'

The Wizards added two pieces during the 2019 NBA Draft that franchise expects to be vital pieces of their future in Gonzaga's Rui Hachimura at No. 9 and Tennessee's Admiral Schofield at No. 42

Before Monday night's 2018-19 NBA Awards ceremony, NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller caught up with the two faces of the franchise, Bradley Beal and John Wall, to see what they thought of the new additions to the squad.

Beal had high praise for Hachimura.

"I didn't know much," Beal said on what he knew about the Gonzaga product prior to the draft. "But from what I've seen watching the draft and things I've seen pre-draft and things like that, he's a monster."

The praise did not stop there. 

"He plays hard, extremely hard," Beal said. "Hopefully, he can have an impact right away." 

While an immediate impact would be beneficial for a Wizards team that could use Hachimura's scoring (he averaged 19.7 points per game at Gonzaga), Beal understands that Hachimura is still a very raw player. After all, he's only been playing basketball for eight years.

"But at the same time, we want him to grow," Beal said on Hachimura. "We know he hasn't been playing too long. But that's something we can build off of and mold him into the player we need him to be. He has tremendous upside, and I'm excited to get going. Hopefully, come September, October he's ready to go."

While Beal may not have known too much about Hachimura, he had followed the other Wizards draft pick, Admiral Schofield, for quite some time. 

"I love his game; I loved him in college," Beal said on Schofield. 

Beal joked about Schofield's body type, wondering whether basketball is the sport the Wizards second-round pick should be playing.

"He's got a football body. He's built like a tight end, wide receiver," Beal said. "I'm definitely happy that we have him, a fellow SEC guy. Him and [Jordan] McRae are going to hit it off. He can shoot, he's athletic, so I'm definitely excited to have him as well."

While Wall did not go into as much detail as Beal about the Wizards draft class, he was just as excited about the two new additions.

"I think it's good," Wall said. "We added some pieces [in the draft], [we'll] see what we do in free agency to add some guys to bring back or we're going to go after somebody new. I think we'll be fine."

According to head coach Scott Brooks, both Beal and Wall can identify talent very well

"The thing I love about John and Brad: they love the game," Brooks said last week. "You can call them up, there could be high school players, WNBA players, it could be college players, it could be European players, they know them."

"It's like, 'don't you guys have a life?'" Brooks joked.

Wall spent most of his time with NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller discussing his Achilles rehab, where he revealed he is going to begin jogging soon. That's a good sign for the Wizards, even though Wall s expected to miss the majority of the 2019-2020 season.

In Hachimura and Schofield, the Wizards got two pieces that are not expected to contribute right away, but also potentially have the ability to do so. Earning high praise from the two most important players on the Wizards' roster is a good start for both of the Wizards 2019 NBA Draft selections. 

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