Wizards

Quick Links

2019 NBA Draft: Best players ever selected at No. 9 include a Hall of Famer and more

2019 NBA Draft: Best players ever selected at No. 9 include a Hall of Famer and more

Although most people in the nation's capital were hoping the Wizards would have some lottery luck on Tuesday night to potentially land the top selection, it wasn't the case and they landed at pick number 9. 

The Redskins had their man fall to them at 15 in the NFL Draft just last month, but Zion Williamson going No. 1 is about as sure a thing as there is in the NBA.

While most described this draft class as very top-heavy with the aforementioned Williamson ready to take his game to the next level, the likes of Duke's other star, R.J. Barrett, paired with Murray State's Ja Morant, to go along with Virginia's DeAndre Hunter and Texas Tech's Jarrett Culver suggest that this year's class is deeper than most thought. 

History has been very kind over the past 25 seasons with team's choosing at No. 9. With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the best gems at that spot in recent memory.

1997: Tracy McGrady 

McGrady had multiple homes during his Hall of Fame career, including with the Raptors, Magic, and Rockets.

1998: Dirk Nowitzki

The most iconic European big man to ever play in the NBA was available for Dallas right before the turn of the century. In his time with the Mavericks he was able to bring them their first and only NBA title in franchise history, as well as cement his name as the league's sixth-highest leading scoring ever.

1999: Shawn Marion

The jump shot wasn't the purest, but Marion clearly outplayed his draft position with his stints in Phoenix, Dallas, and Miami. One of the league's first small-ball forwards helped pave the way for the current iteration of the game as we know it.

2002: Amar'e Stoudemire

Despite having injury issues throughout his career, the star forward was a perennial All-Star during his time with the Suns and to date is one of the best pick-and-roll men the league has ever seen as part of his tandem with Steve Nash. Multiple knee surgeries derailed his stellar play, but the Cypress Creek High School alum signed a big free agent deal in New York before injuries struck again.

2004: Andre Iguodala 

Iguodala started off his career in the City of Brotherly Love alongside Hall of Famer Allen Iverson. After the latter moved on, Iguodala has had success in Golden State, where he was named the 2015 NBA Finals MVP.

2007: Joakim Noah

Noah was the anchor for Tom Thibodeau's famed Bulls defensive front. The Florida product won two titles in Gainesville before heading to the Windy City where he was able to lock down Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2014.

2009: DeMar DeRozan

DeRozan came out of USC and put the league on notice during his time up north with the Raptors where he was selected to four All-Star teams, as well as being the main piece in the swap that sent him to the San Antonio Riverwalk in exchange for Kawhi Leonard.

2010: Gordon Hayward

Although his Celtics' tenure has been off to a rough start after fracturing his ankle in his first game with the club in 2017, Hayward brought the Butler Bulldogs within arm's reach of a national championship, and following his collegiate career, resurrected the Utah Jazz back into a playoff contender.

2011: Kemba Walker

'Cardiac Kemba' willed his UConn Huskies squad to a national title in 2011 and has had a promising career in Charlotte since. Walker is one of the best floor generals in our game today, and his best is yet to come. 

MORE NBA DRAFT NEWS:

 

Quick Links

Washington Mystics set WNBA record for most 3-pointers in a single game without Kristi Toliver

elena-delle-donne-mystics-usat.png
USA Today Sports Images

Washington Mystics set WNBA record for most 3-pointers in a single game without Kristi Toliver

WASHINGTON – Shey Peddy rarely gets to see the floor as a part of the WNBA-leading Washington Mystics. Sunday was only the 10th game of her WNBA career, playing in garbage time of what was going to be another dominant Mystics victory. 

She only managed three points on one made basket, but it was perhaps the biggest basket of the night. As Peddy, 30, caught a pass at the wing in her right hand, she quickly squared up and delivered a 3-point basket for Washington. It was the Mystics’ 18 such basket from range on the day, a new WNBA record. 

This is just the latest in the plethora of record-breaking performances for the Mystics in 2019. A massive 107-68 victory over the Indiana Fever is starting to feel habitual for those in the Entertainment and Sports Arena. More records falling on a daily basis.

Which, by the way, winning by 39 points also gave the Mystics their 11th win of 20 points or more to build on their current WNBA record. There are seven games still left on the schedule.

“When you shoot 39 threes and make 18 of them and you have 30 assists for the game, coach has to be pretty happy,” Mystics head coach Mike Thibault said postgame. “The world looks really good when you’re making shots.”

Even more impressive is that the Mystics accomplished such a feat without one of their star players Kristi Toliver. Entering the contest she had made the second most 3-point baskets on the team and did so at a 36% clip. But had the Mystics had Toliver, Peddy would not have been in the lineup. She recently signed a seven-day player contract with the team to fill Toliver’s roster spot. 

Production was from all corners of the roster to set the 3-point mark. Ariel Atkins and Aerial Powers both had four each from long range as the bench added six.  Emma Meesseman, who came off the bench, led the unit as they combined for 36 points. 

In total, nine of the 11 eligible players on the gameday roster made a 3-pointer, with all 11 scoring a point. The only one who didn’t get one long ball attempt was center LaToya Sanders.

While the team was unaware of the record, they consciously knew that Sanders was the only one who didn’t shoot a 3-point shot.

“We’re going to get [LaToya] to shoot one. I’m going to give it to her real late in the shot clock, watch,” Natasha Cloud said postgame. 

The center has attempted two threes in her entire seven-year career. 

Like all games throughout the season at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Southeast D.C., there was a match lit underneath the Mystics (20-7) in the opening moments of the contest. They jumped out to a 24-4 lead over Indiana and held the Fever without a basket from the floor for the first seven minutes. 

An admirable 13-0 run by the Fever (9-17) momentarily made it a game in the second quarter. However, right after the spark the Fever’s top player Candice Dupree exited the game with a finger injury. She spent the rest of the game courtside sporting a splint. 

Elena Delle Donne contributed to three of the team’s recording-breaking 3-point baskets. She also recorded her 11th game with 20-plus points as she led all scorers with 25. 

In addition to the setting the WNBA’s 3-point record, having nine separate players hit one also set another record. Recording 30 assists put them two shy of another single-game high. 

It all came as the Mystics closed their toughest stretch of 2019: three games in five days. Their next goal? Rest, and they’ve earned it on their six-game winning streak.

“We can’t take our foot off the gas no matter what. Once we clinched a playoff spot, we didn’t come into this game thinking ‘alright let’s relax.’ We came into this game, ‘okay let’s continue to separate ourselves.'” 

MORE MYSTICS NEWS:

Quick Links

Los Angeles Lakers request permission to meet with Dwight Howard

usatsi_11629101.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Los Angeles Lakers request permission to meet with Dwight Howard

No, this isn't 2012. Yes, the Lakers are interested in Dwight Howard.

The Lakers are scrambling to find a replacement at center after newly acquired big man DeMarcus Cousins suffered a torn ACL in a pickup basketball game last week.

The Wizards traded Howard to the Memphis Grizzlies last month for veteran wing CJ Miles, but he's expected to be released. 

Howard is no stranger to L.A., as he spent the 2012-2013 season with the Lakers after a blockbuster four-team deal shipped him out of Orlando. The Lakers went 45-37 that year, and Howard signed with the Houston Rockets the following offseason. 

Although he was named an All-Star in 2012, Howard's stats took a notable hit. He averaged 17.1 points on 57.8 percent shooting while grabbing 12.4 rebounds. During his last season in Orlando he averaged 20.6 points on 57.3 percent shooting, while grabbing 14.5 boards. It was the first time Howard hadn't averaged at least 20+ points per game since the 2009 season.

Howard attributed a lackluster season with the Lakers to "injury," which can also be said about his time in Washington. Howard only played nine games with the Wizards due to a lingering lower-back injury, but his name stayed out of headlines. 

A healthy Howard is still a viable option down low. In 2017 Howard started 81 games for the Charlotte Hornets while averaging 16.6 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks. However, the key word is healthy. 

When Howard signed with Washington last year he presented this soliloquy at his introductory press conference:

"I learned Magic for eight years. Traveled to La-La Land. Learned how to work with Rockets. I went and learned to fly with some Hawks. Got stung by the Hornets — just a joke. But through all of that, it’s taught me how to be a Wizard.”

If Howard and the Lakers do agree to a deal, the real question is: What will he say at the next press conference?

MORE BASKETBALL NEWS: