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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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Report: NBA likely to use new All-Star format again, will discuss using it in G-League

Report: NBA likely to use new All-Star format again, will discuss using it in G-League

If you were a fan of the NBA's new format for the All-Star game, which featured a target score to decide the winner instead of a clock, you might be in luck. 

According to Zach Lowe of ESPN, the NBA is likely to use the target score format again in next year's All-Star game. The NBA's president of league operations Byron Spruell told Lowe it's a 'good assumption' we see this format again. 

In its maiden voyage, the target score was a smashing success. The NBA has struggled to make the All-Star game entertaining and intense enough for the best players in the world to try. By adding 24 points onto the leading team's score at the end of the third and saying, "First one to this number wins," it sparked the competitive fire in the league's biggest stars and made for an unforgettable basketball moment. 

The target score is very similar to the "Elam Ending," created by Ball State University professor Nick Elam. The Basketball Tournament, a winner-take-all event held over the summer, has used the Elam Ending for the last two years.

Chris Paul suggested using the format in the All-Star game to commissioner Adam Silver, and now the target score ending has a chance at making it to the G-League. 

Lowe also includes in the story that the NBA will discuss using the target score system in the G-League, the league's developmental league. However, concerns about making G-League play too different from play in the NBA make it unlikely for a full adaptation of the target score system. 

Spruell did say a possible first step would be using the system at the annual G-League Showcase, which usually takes place in December. 

To go even further down the rabbit hole of hypothetical changes to NBA games, the NBA will also reportedly discuss using target scores in the elimination rounds of a midseason tournament. In late December, the NBA propose massive schedule changes to the league's owners including shortening the regular season to 78 games and introducing a midseason tournament. 

The owners still have to approve the changes before any target scoring system can be implemented. 

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Wizards congratulate Marcin Gortat on retirement with tribute video

Wizards congratulate Marcin Gortat on retirement with tribute video

Following Marcin Gortat's retirement from basketball, the Wizards and Capitals made sure to congratulate him on wrapping up a 12-year career. 

Gortat spent five seasons with the Wizards from 2013-2018, averaging 11.6 points and 9.2 rebounds during his time in D.C. He was a reliable roll man f next to John Wall and helped lead the team to four straight playoff appearances. 

After spending a short time with the Clippers last season, The "Polish Hammer" decided to retire earlier this week. He did not play in the NBA this year. 

Could there be a Gortat appreciation night at Capital One Arena sometime soon? Wizards fans probably wouldn't oppose. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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