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2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: P.J. Washington

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2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: P.J. Washington

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: P.J. Washington

School: Kentucky
Position: Forward
Age: 20 (turns 21 in August)
Height: 6-8
Weight: 230
Wingspan: 7-2
Max vertical: N/A

2018/19 stats: 15.2 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 1.8 apg, 0.8 spg, 1.2 bpg, 52.2 FG% (5.4/10.4), 42.3 3PT% (0.9/2.2), 66.3 FT% 

Player comparison: Paul Millsap, Marcus Morris

Projections: NBC Sports Washington 20th, NBADraft.net 18th, Bleacher Report 18th, Sports Illustrated 14th, Ringer 10th

5 things to know:

*Washington is one of the rare Kentucky draft prospects that isn't a one-and-done. He decided to return to school last season and raised his stock with improvements across the board. Some mock drafts have him going as high as the lottery and most believe he will be a first round pick.

*He improved his outside shooting significantly from his freshman to his sophomore year. After making only 23.8 percent from three in 2017-18, he hit 42.3 percent on 2.2 attempts per game this past season. That suggests he could become a stretch-four at the next level.

*Exactly what position Washington will be best at in the NBA is unclear. He is sort of a tweener forward with some perimeter skills, but he was at his best in college in the lane. That could work in his favor if some team believes he is ideal for this new age of positionless basketball.

*There are mixed reviews about his defense. Some evaluators wonder about his motor and his ability to force turnovers. But he has also been praised for his versatility and he has a 7-2 wingspan, which suggests some upside. 

*Washington played for Penny Hardaway's AAU team and both of his parents were Division I basketball players at Middle Tennessee State.

Fit with Wizards: Washington would be a great fit for the Wizards and not just because of his name. They need more forwards and he could add depth at both the three and the four. He could also help with rebounding, which is arguably their biggest weakness.

The biggest question for Washington would be whether the Wizards can find someone better at No. 9. There will probably be someone with more star potential on the board. Washington might be more of a safe pick, someone with a high floor but that doesn't have the ceiling of a Bol Bol or even his college teammate, Keldon Johnson.

Regarding his name, believe it or not, the Wizards have only had one player in franchise history named 'Washington.' That would be Stan Washington, who played one game for them in 1975. P.J. could be the second.


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Rui Hachimura was a star in Vegas, earning All-NBA Summer League Second Team honors

Rui Hachimura was a star in Vegas, earning All-NBA Summer League Second Team honors

Welcome to the Wizards Rui Hachimura.

In his first action as a Washington Wizard, the first-round draft pick brought home some hardware after being named to the All-NBA Summer League Second Team.

Hachimura showed out in a Summer League that was headlined by which stars were not playing on the court. In his final contest against the Atlanta Hawks, Hachimura dominated the court.

Playing a total of three games in Las Vegas, he averaged 19.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks. Those stats paired with a 2-1 record in the games he played garnered the Second Team honor. 

He was joined by Chris Boucher (Toronto), Jaxson Hayes (New Orleans), Anfernee Simons (Portland) and Lonie Walker IV (San Antonio) on the Second Team. 

The Gonzaga product is looking to become the best Japanese player to step onto an NBA basketball court and, although it is a small sample size, he showed some major potential in his limited action. 


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Mystics' Kristi Toliver named WNBA All-Star reserve for a second straight year

Mystics' Kristi Toliver named WNBA All-Star reserve for a second straight year

Washington Mystics guard Kristi Toliver is a WNBA All-Star once again. 

Toliver was named an All-Star reserve on Monday as selected by the league's coaches. She joins Elena Delle Donne, who was named a captain of one of the two teams, and head coach Mike Thibault as representatives from the Mystics. 

This selection gives Toliver, 5-7, the third honor of her career and the second with Washington. Last year en route to the franchise's first WNBA Finals appearance Toliver was named an All-Star. She also got the nod in 2013 when she played with the Los Angeles Sparks. 

Through 15 games, Toliver is averaging 12.1 points and is second in the league with 5.7 assists per game, which is also on pace for a career-high.

She is shooting at a career-best .497 clip and is looking as explosive as ever at 32-years-old. With her and Delle Donne, the Mystics are 9-6 and second in the Eastern Conference.

In the offseason, Toliver is also an assistant coach for the Washington Wizards. Often she worked on the player development side of the staff and closely with Bradley Beal. 

Delle Donne will have the first choice of selection in the All-Star game draft. As a reserve, Toliver cannot be selected until after the starters are chosen.