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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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Report: Deputy considering lawsuit against Raptors' Masai Ujiri

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Report: Deputy considering lawsuit against Raptors' Masai Ujiri

The sheriff's deputy who allegedly got into an altercation with Raptors president of operations Masai Ujiri has retained a lawyer and is considering filing a lawsuit against the Raptors executive, according to a report. 

David Mastagni, the newly hired attorney, told San Francisco TV station KPIX reporter Katie Nielsen and the Associated Press that the Alameda County sheriff's deputy was unable to work and had a concussion from the incident following the Raptors' NBA championship win at Oracle Arena last week.

Sgt. Ray Kelly told NBC Sports Washington last week that Ujiri wasn't wearing the proper credentials to celebrate with the Raptors on the court at Oracle Arena after his team won the final. When the sheriff's deputy tried to stop him, according to Kelly, he was pushed and struck in the face by Ujiri. 

Ujiri was eventually identified and allowed on the floor. He was seen moments later celebrating with the Raptors players on the ABC broadcast. 

Last week a Raptors spokesperson told NBC Sports Washington that the incident “is being looked at, and we are cooperating with authorities. We look forward to resolving the situation.” When reached on Tuesday, the spokesperson said there was no further comment.

On Tuesday, KPIX's Nielsen reported that Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern had reviewed body camera and security camera footage of the incident and supports the deputy. According to the report,  he is recommending the case move forward to the District Attorney for charges of misdemeanor battery of a police officer.

NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig reported earlier that the Wizards were preparing an offer to try to lure Ujiri from Toronto to take the vacant top position in the team's front office - though Ujiri, while celebrating at the parade in Toronto on Monday, might have hinted that he wasn't interested in leaving quite yet. "We will continue to win in Toronto," he told fans.


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Celtics' Al Horford reportedly will decline option, become unrestricted free agent

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Celtics' Al Horford reportedly will decline option, become unrestricted free agent

Boston big man Al Horford is reportedly not picking up his $30.1 million option with the Celtics for the 2019-20 season, qualifying him as an unrestricted free agent according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Horford is reportedly interested in working out a long-term deal with the Celtics with negotiations beginning after the start of free agency June 30.

The five-time All-Star could help free up some of the Celtics' cap space with a deal under his $30.1 million option.

Horford joined the Celtics in the 2016 offseason, leaving the Atlanta Hawks. At the time, the Wizards had been a contender to sign him before he ultimately chose Boston.