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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. 

CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST 2018 NBA MOCK DRAFT 

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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Bradley Beal trusting Jerome Robinson to win game vs. Nets spoke volumes

Bradley Beal trusting Jerome Robinson to win game vs. Nets spoke volumes

WASHINGTON -- Bradley Beal had scored 50-plus points in his previous two games. He had 30 on Wednesday night against the Nets, including 17 in the fourth quarter alone. If he chose to dribble his way out of the double-team and launch a hero-ball shot in the closing seconds, no one would have blamed him.

He is a star player having the best stretch of his basketball life. Why wouldn't he take the shot?

Well, he didn't. Instead of trying to win the game himself, Beal saw his teammate, Jerome Robinson, wide open on the wing. Robinson, just 23 and in his second year, hasn't proven much at the NBA level yet despite being a 2018 first round pick.

But he was open and passing to him for the open look made basketball sense, even if it required fighting off the urge to be the alpha dog. Fortunately for Beal and the Wizards, Robinson came through as the unlikely hero, as the Wizards knocked off the Nets, 110-106, to snap a three-game losing streak.

Robinson not only made the three to put the Wizards up two points, he then grabbed a rebound on the next play and sank two free throws to seal the win.

"Big props to Brad, trusting his teammates. That tells you what kind of person he is," Robinson said.

Beal is a two-time All-Star currently second in the NBA in scoring, averaging 30.1 points per game. But he has long taken pride in being an unselfish player, the type who fits seamlessly into a team-oriented system.

Sometimes that means taking what the defense gives him and Beal felt the Nets' approach dictated his decision. He had Garrett Temple, a scrappy defender, facing him up with Caris LeVert sprinting his way. That left Robinson in space.

"I'm not going to chuck it up from 45 when I've got two, three people running at me," Beal said. "I've got wide open teammates. Win, lose or draw, I'm always going to trust guys who are wide open."

Head coach Scott Brooks pointed out afterward how Beal made a similar play in the game before, when the Wizards lost in overtime to the Milwaukee Bucks. At the end of regulation, he passed to rookie Rui Hachimura under the basket and Hachimura was blocked by Robin Lopez.

The results were different, but two games in a row Beal showed faith in a young and inexperienced teammate. Hachimura, though already a standout, is a rookie. Robinson, a second-year player, has yet to find a niche in the NBA and was cast off by the Clippers in a trade just weeks ago.

Also helping the cause on Wednesday was the fact Beal has become a much better playmaker in recent years. This season he is averaging a career-high six assists per game and has improved that number now in four straight years.

Brooks believes he has adapted with All-Star point guard John Wall out due to injuries.

"It was three years ago by an unfortunate injury. John was out [and] missed 41 games that year and last year he missed 50 games. Brad has had a lot of reps [because] eams are going to double team him," Brooks said.

In the middle of a career-best hot streak, a lot of NBA players would have taken the shot. But Beal made the right basketball play and it led to a Wizards win.

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Bradley Beal says NBA drug tested him following consecutive 50-point games

Bradley Beal says NBA drug tested him following consecutive 50-point games

When he woke up Wednesday morning, Bradley Beal was fresh off two consecutive 50-point games, had a 15-game streak scoring 25 points and was destroying opposing defenses in the fourth quarter. 

He continued his incredible run against the Nets that night, scoring 17 in the fourth and finding Jerome Robinson wide open for the game-winning bucket. Beal finished with 30 points, five rebounds and five assists to snap Washington's three-game losing streak. 

Then after the game, Beal revealed the NBA had issued him a random drug test earlier in the day. 

"I guess the league don't want me to score 50," Beal said with a smile. "I had a drug test today so, there you go."

Coming two days after Beal set his career-high for scoring in a single game on two consecutive nights, the definition of "random" certainly is questionable. 

Beal didn't appear too worried about the results of the test, so Wizards fans can feel comfortable basking in their franchise player experiencing one of the best scoring stretches in the NBA this season. 

Entering the final quarter of the year, Beal is second in the NBA in scoring, averaging 30.1 points per game to go along with six assists and 4.3 rebounds and has his field goal percentage up to 45.7%. Oh, and over the last 10 games, he's averaging 36. 

It'd be really, really difficult for the Wizards not to make a serious playoff push if Beal keeps up this kind of production. Especially in the Eastern Conference.

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