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2019 NBA Draft Lottery Results: Wizards drop three spots, will pick ninth in June draft

2019 NBA Draft Lottery Results: Wizards drop three spots, will pick ninth in June draft

 

In their previous four NBA Draft lottery appearances, the Washington Wizards bucked the odds twice by moving up significantly in the overall selection order.

The Wizards received the rights to the No. 9 overall selection in the 2019 NBA Draft based on the results from Tuesday’s lottery show from Chicago.

The first opportunity since 2013 did not work out as well. The New Orleans Pelicans won the lottery and will have the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

That slot takes Washington out of range for this year’s prized prospect, Duke’s Zion Williamson. Murray State’s Ja Morant and another Duke standout, R.J. Barrett, are projected top 3 selections. 

The next group, including Virginia forward De’Andre Hunter, offers potential starting help, but lacks the high ceiling-high floor combination offered by the top three prospects per league sources.

The Wizards need an infusion of talent -- and hope -- following a frustrating regular season that ended with the team’s worst record (32-50) since a 29-53 mark in 2012-13.

Washington entered the draft lottery with a nine percent chance of landing the first selection, the sixth-best odds overall. New changes with the draft lottery formula flattened the chances for the teams coming off the worst season by record. New York, Cleveland and Phoenix all entered with a 14 percent chance of receiving the first pick.

The Memphis Grizzlies landed the No. 2 overall pick. The New York Knicks earned the No. 3 overall pick, with the Los Angeles Lakers landing the No. 4 pick.

The Wizards twice previously won the draft lottery. Washington selected forward Kwame Brown first overall in 2001 and point guard John Wall with the top choice in 2010. When NBA commissioner Adam Silver revealed the draft order from Chicago, site of the league’s annual draft combine, the every nine-year trend ended.

The Wizards’ latest season was highlighted by defensive struggles, internal squabbles, roster shakeups and injuries most notably to John Wall and Dwight Howard. Owner Ted Leonsis made a significant change in April with the firing of team president Ernie Grunfeld after 16 seasons.

Washington’s current roster includes Bradley Beal, but the two-time All-Star is the only returning healthy player to start more than 10 games last season.

Hunter, a hero on Virginia’s national championship team, brings 3-point shooting and defensive prowess to the small forward position. The Wizards went from being stacked at the 3 to needing bodies after trading Otto Porter and Kelly Oubre Jr. last season.

Cam Reddish, part of Duke’s heralded freshman class along with Williamson and Barrett, is another small forward candidate. Reddish’s physical attributes are impressive, but his late-season struggles dropped his pre-draft ranking.

Texas Tech wing guard Jarrett Culver led the Red Raiders to the national championship game. The 6-foot-5 sophomore averaged 18.5 points and 6.4 rebounds last season.

A pair of point guards, Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland and North Carolina’s Coby White are the other current members of this tier. Garland’s shooting range stands out, but he missed nearly all of his lone collegiate season with a knee injury.

White’s stock rose throughout his season after averaging 16.1 points and 4.1 assists for the Tar Heels. The 6-foot-5 White has the size to play both guard spots.

Other prospects worthy of top 10 consideration include Texas center Jaxson Hayes, Kentucky forward P.J. Washington, Oregon’s 7-foot-3 center Bol Bol, and a pair of Gonzaga forwards, Rui Hachimura and Brandon Clarke.

Grunfeld’s eventual replacement has the opportunity to reshape the roster. The Wizards ended the regular season with eight free agents, and, barring a major change of thought from its new leadership, will decline the $20 team option for forward Jabari Parker.

Whether the front office prioritizes restricted free agents Thomas Bryant, Tomas Satoransky and Bobby Portis, or veterans Jeff Green and Trevor Ariza, the draft comes before free agency opens July 1. How much salary cap space the Wizards have available this summer generally depends on whether they attempt to keep some of the various free agents.

Along with Beal and the injured Wall, the Wizards 2019-20 roster currently includes rising second-year guard Troy Brown, centers Ian Mahinmi and Dwight Howard and guard Jordan McRae.

Wall is expected to miss at least a significant portion of the season following February’s surgery to repair his ruptured Achilles.

The Wizards do not own a second-round pick in 2019 or any draft until 2023. They do have the opportunity to add a player selected in the lottery.

That’s not the same as drafting Zion Williamson, but it’s a chance to retool on the fly.

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LeBron James scores 36, Wizards still top Lakers in NBA 2K simulation

LeBron James scores 36, Wizards still top Lakers in NBA 2K simulation

These 2K simulations certainly do agree with the Wizards. Coming off a stunning victory over the Bucks Friday, Washington turned around on the second night of a back-to-back and beat the Lakers 73-66 at virtual Capital One Arena. 

LeBron James was a one-man wrecking crew for LA, Bradley Beal led the scoring attack for the Wizards and Thomas Bryant got revenge on the team that waived him. 

Here's how the Wizards picked up their fourth-straight 2K win. 

Offensive rebounds

The Lakers are one of the biggest teams in the NBA with James, Anthony Davis, JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard playing heavy minutes, but it was the Wizards who dominated the boards in this one. 

Bryant led the way for Washington on the glass with seven of his 13 rebounds coming on the offensive end. The Lakers shot the ball significantly better than the Wizards (47% to 39%) but Washington was simply overwhelming them on the glass to create more opportunities. 

Washington grabbed 18 offensive rebounds compared to the Lakers' eight, and it ended being the major difference in the result. 

LeBron's one-man show

The real-life Lakers' biggest weakness is their lack of playmaking outside of James. In a game where James had everything working for him, the Lakers struggled to get anything going whenever he didn't have the ball. 

Rajon Rondo struggled mightily despite tallying eight assists (2-11 FG) and Davis had a bad game relative to his standards (10 points, one rebound, three blocks).

I'd be curious to see what virtual LeBron would have to say about his teammates after this particular game. 

Thomas Bryant's revenge

As we stated before, Bryant was waived by the Lakers after his rookie season and his virtual self took it all out on his former team Saturday night. 

He dominated the boards and once again protected the paint in a way that would make Elvin Hayes proud. He finished with eight points, 13 rebounds and five blocks. 

With Bryant playing the way he has been the last few simulations, the Wizards' defense has been exceptional. Outside of defensive versatility, having a strong defensive center anchoring the defense is paramount to an effective unit. 

Other parting thoughts

Jerome Robinson continues to play well as a starter, scoring 13 points in 19 minutes. The Wizards didn't get that long of a look at Robinson before the NBA suspended its season.

After acquiring him at the trade deadline in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, it'd be another steal by Tommy Sheppard if Robinson can play like this consistently in real life. 

Instead of erupting in the fourth quarter to help the Wizards secure a win, Beal went off for 14 points in the third this time. He finished with 24 points and went 12-for-30 from the field.

Markieff Morris made a return to DC in this one. The Lakers uniform looks weird on him. 

It's hard to capture just how quick Ish Smith is in a video game, but this spin move came pretty close. 

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

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This date in Wizards history: Kobe Bryant scores 55 in last matchup with Michael Jordan

This date in Wizards history: Kobe Bryant scores 55 in last matchup with Michael Jordan

With the NBA season suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Wizards, or any team for that matter, are currently unable to make their mark on the NBA history books. 

So on this day, March 28th, we roll the clocks back 17 years to a major moment in not only Wizards history, but in NBA history as well. The final meeting between Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. 

2003 was Jordan's second season in Washington and his last in a legendary 15-year career where he won six championships, five MVPs, 10 scoring titles and nine All-Defensive selections.

If anyone came close to being the next MJ, it was Bryant. By their final meeting, the 24-year-old prodigy already had three titles and more than enough reason to put on a show against his idol. 

Bryant went for 55 points against the Wizards, scoring 42 in the first half. He went 15-for-29 from the field and made 9-of-13 from three. Safe to say, Bryant was on a mission following a one-point loss to the Wizards earlier that season. 

He scored an inefficient 27 points on 8-21 shooting and was outplayed by a 40-year-old Jordan. According to Gilbert Arenas, Jordan told Bryant he would never fill his shoes following the loss. In true Bryant fashion, he held onto that moment, apparently didn't talk to his teammates for two weeks leading up to the rematch and took it all out on the Wizards. 

Jordan didn't have a bad game by any stretch. He still scored 23 points on 10-20 shooting to go along with four assists, but he was simply no match for Bryant. 

The Wizards would go on to finish 37-45 miss out on the playoffs and take Jarvis Hayes with the 10th overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft.

The Lakers went for the first run of four-straight titles since Bill Russell's Celtics but fell short in the Western Conference Semifinals to Tim Duncan and the Spurs. They'd return to the Finals the following year only to lose to the Pistons. After that, Shaquille O'Neal was traded to Miami and the Lakers didn't win a championship for another five years. 

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

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