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2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: Cam Reddish

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2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: Cam Reddish

The Washington Wizards will have the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects who could fall around where the Wizards will select...

2019 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Cam Reddish

School: Duke
Position: Small forward
Age: 19 (turns 20 in September)
Height: 6-8
Weight: 218
Wingspan: 7-1
Max vertical: N/A

2018/19 stats: 13.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.6 spg, 0.6 bpg, 35.6 FG% (4.3/12.0), 33.3 3PT% (2.5/7.4), 77.2 FT%

Player comparison: Andrew Wiggins, Kevin Knox

Projections: NBC Sports Washington 8th, NBADraft.net 10th, Bleacher Report 8th, Sports Illustrated 5th, Ringer 9th

5 things to know:

1. Reddish looks the part as a future NBA star given he is 6-foot-8, athletic and smooth. As far as the eye test goes, he passes it. But Reddish is maybe the most controversial prospect in this class because his production in college did not match. He often faded into the background as teammates Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett stole the show at Duke. 

2. Even when Williamson went out due to injury, Reddish didn't exactly step up. He averaged 16.2 points, but shot only 35.5 percent from the field and 30 percent from three while Williamson was down. Many evaluators feel like Barrett helped his draft stock during that time, while Reddish went in the other direction.

3. The lack of efficiency may be the biggest red flag for Reddish. He shot an ugly 35.6 percent overall and 33.3 percent from three. This was despite him playing with two future top-five draft picks. He could have taken advantage of the attention they drew from opposing defenses, but was not able to. Reddish looks like he would be a good shooter, as he has smooth mechanics. But just because your shot looks good, doesn't mean it will go in at a high percentage. Just ask Russell Westbrook.

4. There are questions about Reddish's motor and mindset. Though the fact he often deferred to Williamson and Barrett could speak to his willingness to make sacrifices, teams are usually seeking a killer instinct in their top draft picks. And Reddish drew criticism for his passiveness on both ends. He has the potential to be a top-flight defender, which is why many have compared him to Paul George. But George is the defender he is not only because of his athleticism.

5. Reddish's father played in college at nearby VCU, where the Wizards used to hold their training camp as recently as 2017. The younger Reddish ended up going to Duke as the third-ranked player in his class, according to ESPN. He was a McDonald's All-American.

Fit with Wizards: 

Reddish checks off several boxes when it comes to his potential fit with the Wizards. He plays small forward and the Wizards will probably need a few of those now that they have traded both Otto Porter Jr. and Kelly Oubre Jr. and probably won't re-sign Trevor Ariza. Reddish would also offer them a high-upside player, which they lack. 

Aside from John Wall and Bradley Beal, and despite the promise some of their young players have shown, no one else on their roster seems like a safe bet to be an All-Star someday. Reddish would give them a lottery ticket of sorts, the type of guy who could change the franchise if he reaches his ceiling.

Reddish, though, might present some of the same issues they had with Porter. Like Porter, he could struggle with getting his shots alongside Wall and Beal. Also, if the Wizards are ever going to win something of real consequence, they need a player or two who could someday surpass Wall and Beal. Porter was never able to do that and there are reasons to believe Reddish won't, either.

As far as small forwards go, both Barrett and De'Andre Hunter of Virginia may be better options for the Wizards. They seem like sure-bets and each offer something the Wizards are missing. But if both are gone, Reddish could very well be the best option.


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Wizards' biggest storylines coming out of the preseason

Wizards' biggest storylines coming out of the preseason

The Wizards closed their 2019-20 preseason schedule with a win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday, which means up next is the regular season opener on Wednesday night in Dallas. Now that the exhibition schedule is (finally) over, here are five takeaways from what we saw...

Injuries have added up

The Wizards entered this preseason with a lot of things to sort out in their rotation due to the significant roster overhaul they went through in the summer. But injuries complicated things further for head coach Scott Brooks, who wasn't offered anything close to a full cupboard to work with.

The most notable injuries were to Isaiah Thomas (thumb) and Troy Brown Jr. (calf). Both players will be key members of the rotation when they recover, but are each on track to miss the start of the regular season. The same goes for C.J. Miles, who has a foot injury. There is also Ian Mahinmi, who has an Achilles issue, though he is not likely to play a big role on the team this season.

Hachimura looks the part

The early returns on rookie Rui Hachimura have been good. The 2019 ninth overall pick has not looked timid or out of place on an NBA floor. He has shown he can attack the rim assertively and has even made a few threes. Those two areas will be key to watch for him this season; how he can adapt to NBA interior defenders and shooting threes from a longer distance.

Hachimura is a likely starter for the Wizards this season and should get ample shot opportunities. He is going to have a chance to be a focal point of the Wizards' offense and probably a long enough leash to play through his mistakes. As a young player, you can't ask for much more than that.

Also impressive this preseason were Moe Wagner, who was much better than he showed in the Las Vegas Summer League, and Thomas Bryant, who looks like he is going to take another step from his breakout season last year. Bryant is more confident knocking down threes and has been a force on the glass. Don't be surprised if he averages a double-double this season.

Small forward is a question

The Wizards had Brown penciled in to be their full-time starting small forward, according to a person familiar with their plans, but his injury is expected to keep him out to start the season. He did a post-practice workout the other day and wasn't moving very quickly, either due to discomfort in his calf or to be extra cautious in fear of a setback.

Either way, he is still rehabbing and so is Miles. The Wizards also released Justin Anderson, leaving them with no obvious choice to start at the three. At this point, it looks likely they will have to either put someone there that is probably best suited for another position like Hachimura, Davis Bertans or Jordan McRae, or roll with someone who is very inexperienced like Bonga or Admiral Schofield. The odds seem better they choose the former.

Final roster spot?

The Wizards now have to decide who gets their final roster spot. The safe money at this point is probably for point guard Justin Robinson and wing Jordan McRae to be the 14th and 15th players on the roster and for Chris Chiozza to have his contract converted to a two-way deal.

The Chiozza part has been speculated for weeks and it is the direction the team is leaning, NBC Sports Washington was told. If Chiozza did get the two-way contract, he could remain with the team to start the season and help fill the void at point guard while Thomas recovers from his left thumb surgery. Chiozza would have 45 days allotted at the NBA level, but that clock would not begin until Oct. 28 when G-League training camps open.

Beal's commitment

This season took on an entirely different tone with Thursday's news Bradley Beal would sign a contract extension with the Wizards. This year had the potential to be overshadowed by Beal's uncertain future, but now that has been put to rest. The trade rumors can be set aside as Beal has made it official his commitment to the Wizards' plan.

Now, that could get interesting late in the year if losses are piling up. He ultimately wants to win and it will bear watching how he shows his frustration if the team isn't playing up to his standards.


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Wizards and Mystics join Game Growers to help boost girls participation in sports

Wizards and Mystics join Game Growers to help boost girls participation in sports

The Washington Wizards and Mystics join in on Nike’s NBA and WNBA Game Growers program. The Game Growers program is meant to provide eighth grade girls with the skills and assets they need in order to grow their participation in sports in their communities. 

With this new program, the Wizards and Mystics can contribute to expanding the game of basketball for young DMV girls. Along with that, the Washington Mystics just won the WNBA Championships, this is perfect timing for them to introduce the sport to the next generation.

Today, the Game Growers Program officially was put into action, on a YouTube video stream. The video stream had Las Vegas Aces forward A’Ja Wilson, actress Sky Katz, the Director of Operations for the Women’s National Basketball Players Association Terri Jackson featuring in it. They discussed the advantages of being an athlete beyond going professional and encourage girls to apply.

In order for the future basketball stars to get in on the action, they must apply to GameGrowers.com by submitting their ideas on how to grow the game of basketball in their communities. The application opened today and will close on November 15, 2019. The winners will be made public in December 2019. 

By January 2020 two girls will join alongside the Wizards and Mystics in going to Training Camp at Nike’s World Headquarters in Washington County, Oregon. This event won’t only be run by Nike and professional basketball players, but will also have GENYOUth (a youth empowerment organization) tag along as well. At the Training Camp, the girls will have an opportunity to polish up their ideas with Nike and NBA and WNBA teams. 

If lucky, some Game Growers teams will be chosen to exhibit their ideas at the 2020 WNBA Draft, which will be in New York City this April.