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2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: Jarrett Culver

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2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: Jarrett Culver

The Washington Wizards will have a first-round 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: Jarrett Culver

School: Texas Tech

Position: Shooting guard

Age: 20

Height: 6-6

Weight: 195

Wingspan: 6-10

Max vertical: N/A

2018/19 stats: 18.5 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 3.7 apg, 1.4 spg, 0.6 bpg, 46.1 FG% (6.7/14.5), 30.4 3PT% (1.3/4.2), 70.7 FT%

Player Comparison: Joe Johnson, Kerry Kittles

Projections: NBC Sports Washington 8th, NBADraft.net 7th, Bleacher Report 4th, Sports Illustrated 4th, Ringer 4th

5 things to know:

*Culver is one of the best wing prospects in this year's class. He's a 6-foot-6 slasher whom mock drafts project to go anywhere from fourth to eighth. Culver wasn't considered a top prospect entering his sophomore year, but shot up draft boards after posting a season that earned him Big 12 player of the year honors.

*He helped lead Texas Tech to the NCAA Tournament final where they fell to the University of Virginia. It was the furthest Texas Tech has ever gone in school history. Culver had some big games along the way, including 29 points in the first round, and was named both All-Tournament and All-Region. But he struggled in the final game, managing only 15 points in 41 minutes and went 0-for-6 from three.

*Culver is an interesting case to evaluate when it comes to outside shooting, which will be important for his success at the next level. Though he only shot 30.4 percent from three as a sophomore, he made 38.2 percent from long range as a freshman and on 3.9 attempts per game. That said, he also only shot 68.7 percent from the free throw line in his college career. That's a very mixed bag of numbers. Anyone who does what he did as a freshman has the potential to be a good shooter, but he has to be more consistent.

*He is a versatile offensive player, able to be effective with or without the ball. He is excellent in the open court with the ability to score and set others up in transition. A common criticism for Culver, though, is his lack of moves off the dribble. Like most players his age, he will need to develop his shot-creating skills.

*Culver is more than a scorer. He did a good job in college of filling up the stat sheet with 6.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.4 steals per game. As we have seen over the years, some guards take time at the NBA level to diversify their games and become more than just scorers. DeMar DeRozan and Bradley Beal have done it, while Andrew Wiggins has yet to. Culver could prove ahead of the curve in that regard.

Fit with Wizards: Culver isn't a perfect fit for Washington based on the fact he's a shooting guard. If the Wizards have one place on their roster solved, it's that one. They already have a perennial All-Star two-guard in Beal.

Culver, if he joined the Wizards, would have to prove he can co-exist on the floor with Beal. It might require the team going small with him at the three and Culver may have to gain some weight to play that position.

The Wizards, though, aren't in a position to draft for need. They have to take the best player available, even if that is a shooting guard.

If Culver is the best player on the board, though, that could convince the Wizards to trade back. The Wizards have only one pick in this year's draft and don't own a second-round selection until 2023. They could trade back, pick up more assets and likely still get someone who offers the upside that Culver will.

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Tomas Satoransky set to enter unpredictable free agent market for point guards

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Tomas Satoransky set to enter unpredictable free agent market for point guards

Of the Wizards' players set to hit free agency on June 30, one who has a good chance to return is point guard Tomas Satoransky. He and center Thomas Bryant are atop the team's priority list with Bobby Portis likely too expensive and Jabari Parker set to enter the market unrestricted.

Satoransky will be a restricted free agent, meaning the Wizards can match any offers made by other teams. And in talking to members of the Wizards' coaching staff and front office, they speak of Satoransky like he is part of their future.

Still, nothing can be assumed and especially in a year in which many teams have money to spend. As Kevin O'Connor of the Ringer noted this week, there is more cap room available this summer than the previous two combined. That could lead to 2016-level contracts where role players get paid like starters and average starters get paid like stars.

What will make Satoransky's market interesting, though, is the fact there are some much bigger names available at his position. At point guard, teams with the most money can go after All-Stars like Kemba Walker, Kyrie Irving and D'Angelo Russell. There is then a robust second tier that includes Malcolm Brogdon, Terry Rozier and Ricky Rubio. Then you have Derrick Rose, Elfrid Payton, Patrick Beverley, Darren Collison and Rajon Rondo.

It is a great year to be a free agent, but maybe not the best year to be a free agent point guard. The position class is absolutely loaded.

Satoransky, though, will still draw plenty of interest and among the teams expected to check in on him are the Mavericks, Pacers, Magic and Celtics, NBC Sports Washington has learned.

The Celtics have already been tied to Satoransky by Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports. But they also have their sights set on some of the bigger fish at point guard with rumors tying them to Walker, in particular.

The Utah Jazz were also expected to pursue Satoransky, but their trade for Mike Conley Jr. has taken them off the list. The Phoenix Suns could also emerge as a suitor, though they are being linked to higher profile free agents at this point.

Both the Wizards and Satoransky expressed interest in a contract extension midway through the 2018-19 season, as NBC Sports Washington reported, but those talks didn't get much further. The Wizards ended up putting a lot of things on hold once they drifted out of the playoff race and ultimately fired team president Ernie Grunfeld.

With senior vice president Tommy Sheppard serving in the interim, though, Satoransky has a big proponent calling the shots in the Wizards front office. Sheppard scouted Satoransky before the Wizards drafted him and was key in convincing him to leave Europe for the NBA.

Satoransky likes playing in Washington and recognizes an opportunity at point guard with John Wall set to miss most of next season due to Achilles surgery. But he also recognizes this as a chance to earn the biggest payday of his career.

How much money Satoransky will ultimately receive is hard to predict. Those in his camp are apprehensive to throw numbers out there because even they aren't sure. He wants a long-term deal and his fit in the rotation is a big consideration, according to someone familiar with his plans.

One potential comparison could be Raptors guard Fred VanVleet, who makes just over $9 million per year. Though VanVleet is arguably better, Satoransky is hitting the market with more money to go around. 

Many have tried to project Satoransky's market in the past few months. Soon we will find out just how valuable he is.


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Washington Wizards extend qualifying offer to Thomas Bryant

Washington Wizards extend qualifying offer to Thomas Bryant

The Washington Wizards reportedly extended a qualifying offer to Thomas Bryant after the center's breakout 2018-19 season, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic. 

After he was picked up by the Wizards off the waiver wires from the Lakers, Bryant worked his way into the Washington lineup by late November. 

With the Wizards he averaged 6.3 rebounds and 10.5 points while he shot a league-high 68.5% on two-pointers. Bryant also shot 33.3% in the three-point range and 46.6% from three-to-10 feet. 

But Bryant also made a big impact with his energy and enthusiasm while the Wizards struggled to compete, making him a favorite amongst his teammates and Washington fans alike. 

Back in April, Bryant expressed a serious interest in staying with the Wizards. For that article, click here.