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2019 NBA Draft: Five prospects with too much risk for Wizards

2019 NBA Draft: Five prospects with too much risk for Wizards

The Washington Wizards lucked out of the NBA Draft Lottery. Despite entering with the sixth best odds to land the No. 1 overall pick, the organization exited with the No. 9 overall pick in the June draft.

The 2019 NBA Draft class is not very deep in terms of lottery picks. While the No. 9 spot has yielded some excellent results in recent history, finding success at No. 9 in 2019 might not be so easy. The Wizards could decide to trade out of the pick, an idea gaining traction and one with real merit.

But if the Wizards do make it to draft night still in the ninth spot, they will have a bevy of options to choose from. We've already identified six players that make sense at No. 9. 

Here are five players that don't make sense.

Bol Bol, Oregon

- 7-2 C. Freshman.
It's hard not to be enamored by a 7-footer with deep range and excellent ball-handling skills. It's hard not to be impressed by what the son of former Bullets star Manute Bol did in just seven games as a member of the Oregon Ducks.

But the Wizards are in no position to take a risk at No. 9, and with Bol Bol still unproven, recovering from an injury and lacking a frame capable of withstanding an 82-game season, it would be ill-advised to take the leap here. No matter how tantalizing his abilities are.

Kevin Porter Jr., Southern Cal

- 6-5 SG/SF. Freshman.
The Wizards aren't just trying to stockpile talent, they are trying to rehab their togetherness and team spirit.. There is no denying Porter Jr. has the talent and size to be a feared scorer at the NBA level. But his decision making, both on and off the court are major red flags. Multiple sources close to the Southern Cal program confirm Porter Jr. was a major cause of headaches within the team, with his maturity issues playing a major factor in the team's lack of cohesiveness. 

There are several teams in the lottery that can take a leap of faith on Porter Jr. The Wizards, however, are not one of those teams.

Romeo Langford, Indiana

- 6-6 SG. Freshman.
Langford has an NBA-ready body, but he also has a season's worth of underperformance at the high-major collegiate level. Langford looked lost at times on the court despite his unparalleled athleticism and talent. he also struggled from beyond the arc, making just 27 percent of his 3-point attempts. He's not an incredibly efficient player either, often times careless with the ball or taking ill-advised shots. 

Langford checks all the buzzworthy boxes: Verticality, wingspan, potential, and upside. But what he lacks is what makes an NBA player an NBA player.

Nickiel Alexander-Walker

- 6-5 SG. Sophomore.
The Virginia Tech star has local cache and would provide the Wizards with immediate energy. There were games in which Alexander-Walker was a one-man wrecking crew, but others in which he was invisible. His lack of size was particularly evident during the Hokies' NCAA Tournament run. 

The Wizards wouldn't be fools for drafting Alexander-Walker, but it's hard to forecast how much impact he will have both immediate and long-term. He would also be competing for minutes with the team's 2018 first-round pick, Troy Brown.

Darius Garland, Vanderbilt

- 6-2 PG. Freshman.
The top 20 recruit in the class of 2018 played in just five games for the Commodores before a meniscus injury sidelined him for the remainder of the season. Garland has a solid frame and wingspan despite being only 6-2, and has exceptional ball-handling skills. He's excellent at creating space and is an adept shooter from multiple spots on the court.

But the Wizards are already without their star point guard for what's expected to be almost the entire 2019-2020 season. Taking a risk on talented, but unproven guard still rehabbing from a knee injury is not the best use of their pick. Having two elite point guards in no good if neither can stay on the floor. North Carolina freshman guard Coby White would be the smarter play for the Wizards if they are looking for their next point guard. 

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Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura tops the list of jersey sales in Japan

Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura tops the list of jersey sales in Japan

Today the NBA announced that Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura has the most popular jersey in Japan.

Sales from NBAStore.jp, the official online NBA store in Japan, put Hachimura at the top of the list, followed by Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry. The rankings were based on online sales during the 2019-2020 NBA season through January.

Hachimura's ranking shouldn't come as a surprise, as the rookie became the first Japanese-born player selected in the first round of the NBA draft when the Wizards took him ninth overall last summer.

Not only was Hachimura the top-selling jersey, but he also accounted for 24% of all jersey sales. Additionally, the Wizards made up 13% of all team merchandise sales. 

The Lakers topped the list of most popular team merchandise, followed by the Wizards and the Warriors. The Brooklyn Nets and Dallas Mavericks rounded out the top five.

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Report: Steph Curry will return from hand surgery against Wizards

Report: Steph Curry will return from hand surgery against Wizards

Steph Curry will return to game action when the Golden State Warriors host the Wizards on Sunday night, The Athletic reported Tuesday. The game will come almost four months to the day after Curry broke his left hand during a collision with Phoenix Suns center Aron Baynes on Oct. 30.

The Warriors (12-14) enter play Tuesday with the worst record in the NBA having played most of the season without Curry or shooting guard Klay Thompson, who tore his ACL during the NBA Finals last summer.

Curry was cleared for contact Saturday and told reporters that March 1 had been his target date for a while.

"It's always been March 1," Curry said, per ESPN's Nick Friedell. "But that for me mostly is just to give you a target. You have to have something to work towards in the rehab process because that gives you a barometer for each week, what you're building towards."

The Wizards are hoping for the healthy returns of Davis Bertans (sore right knee) and Thomas Bryant (right foot) to the lineup against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday and will presumably go into Sunday’s contest with a clean injury report outside John Wall.

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