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2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: De'Andre Hunter

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2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: De'Andre Hunter

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: De'Andre Hunter

School: Virginia
Position: Small forward
Age: 21
Height: 6-7
Weight: 225
Wingspan: 7-2
Max vertical: N/A

2018/19 stats: 15.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.0 apg, 0.6 spg, 0.6 bpg, 52.0 FG% (5.4/10.4), 43.8 3PT% (1.2/2.8), 78.3 FT%

Player comparison: Jimmy Butler, Robert Covington

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

5 things to know:

*Defense is Hunter's calling card. He was the ACC defensive player of the year and has the tools to guard multiple positions. He has the potential to be an All-Defensive team player at the NBA level much like a Jimmy Butler or Paul George. Some have even compared him to Kawhi Leonard. He can run with guards and has the length to bother bigger players.

*Hunter is also a proficient three-point shooter. He shot nearly 44 percent in his last year with the Cavaliers, though on only 2.8 attempts per game. He will need to diversify his outside shooting as a pro by adding shots off the dribble. But at this point, there is good reason to believe he will be able to spread the floor in the NBA.

*He helped lead Virginia to their first national championship this past spring. He made the NCAA All-Tournament team after a run that included a 27-point, 9-rebound performance in the final against Texas Tech. In that game, he also stood out for his defense on Jarrett Culver, who may get drafted in the top five this June. Hunter helped hold him to 15 points in 41 minutes, including 0-for-6 shooting from three.

*Hunter's defense will probably translate to the NBA, but there are questions about his ceiling offensively. He needs to refine his ball-handling and play-making skills. And though he is athletic, his speed and leaping ability won't stand out as much in the pros.

*Though he left school after his sophomore year, Hunter is on the older end for a prospect. He's 21 and will turn 22 in December, midway through his rookie season. That is, of course, not old by normal standards, but it stands out at the top of the NBA draft where most guys are 19 or 20 and some, like Zion Williamson, will be 18 when they are drafted.

Fit with Wizards: Hunter is one of the best options for the Wizards in this draft class. He plays a position of need, and what he does best is what the Wizards need most. They have to get better defensively, and he could step right in as their best player on that end of the floor.

Hunter would also fit well with both Bradley Beal and John Wall with his ability to hit threes and be effective off the ball. He could end up being a similar offensive player to Otto Porter Jr., but more athletic and aggressive. 

The question would be how high Hunter's ceiling is. The Wizards really need to make this pick count. Ideally, they will find a future star that could be more than just a safe and sound building block for the future. 

Whether Hunter can develop into an All-Star is tough to tell, but there are many reasons why he makes sense for Washington.

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Local teams, stars congratulate Elena Delle Donne on historic second WNBA MVP award

Local teams, stars congratulate Elena Delle Donne on historic second WNBA MVP award

Elena Delle Donne is, once again, the Most Valuable Player in the WNBA.

She's the first player in WNBA history to earn the honor with two different teams.

"I am extremely proud of this honor, but we still have work ahead of us and we’re all focused playing our hardest to bring a championship to Washington," Delle Donne said in a release.

After the announcement of Delle Donne's historic achievement, her teammates and the greater D.C. sports community showered her with praise all over social media.

Delle Donne and the Mystics will take on the Las Vegas Aces in Game 2 of the WNBA Semifinals at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday night.

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Elena Delle Donne named 2019 WNBA MVP for the second time following historic season

Elena Delle Donne named 2019 WNBA MVP for the second time following historic season

Elena Delle Donne has done it again.

For the second time in her career, the Washington Mystics' star has been named the WNBA MVP, Monumental Sports announced Thursday.

Delle Donne is the first WNBA player to earn the prestigious award with two teams, her 2015 honor while with the Chicago Sky.

“I would like to thank my teammates and coaches and our wonderful fans--I have the greatest teammates in the world, our coaches have put us in a position to succeed by forming this awesome unit and the energy of our fans has given us the best home-court atmosphere in the league,” Delle Donne said in the statement.

“Everyone has had a part in this, especially my wife and family, and it took a lot of hard work and focus from all of us together to get to this point.  I am extremely proud of this honor, but we still have work ahead of us and we’re all focused playing our hardest to bring a championship to Washington.”

During her 2019 season with the Mystics, Delle Donne averaged 19.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists, securing her spot on the All-Star team for the sixth time. Her most unbelievable feat, however, was becoming the first WNBA player to join the prestigious 50/40/90 club.

Delle Donne earned 51.5 percent from the field, 43.03 percent from beyond the arc and an incredible 97.4 percent from the free-throw line.

Steve Nash, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Larry Bird, Mark Price, Reggie Miller, Dirk Nowitzki and Malcolm Brogdon are the only players in the history of the NBA to accomplish that feat.

The Mystics look for another win Thursday night en route to a Championship against the Las Vegas Aces for Game 2 of the WNBA Semifinals at 8:30 p.m.

You can watch the game on ESPN 2.

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