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2019 NBA Draft Simulation: Texas Tech Jarrett Culver could slip to the Wizards at No. 9

2019 NBA Draft Simulation: Texas Tech Jarrett Culver could slip to the Wizards at No. 9

The 2019 NBA Draft is offically 10 days away, and anything could happen. So I'm donning my general manager hat to run through several draft scenarios for the Wizards. 

This time around, a potential top-5 pick took a tumble right into their lap. 

First, here's how picks one through eight went in this simulation: 

1. New Orleans - Zion Williamson, PF, Duke
2. Memphis - Ja Morant, PG, Murray State
3. New York - RJ Barrett, SG, Duke
4. Los Angeles - De'Andre Hunter, SF, Virginia  
5. Cleveland - Cam Reddish, SF, Duke  
6. Phoenix - Coby White, SG, UNC
7. Chicago - Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt
8. Atlanta - Jaxson Hayes, C, Texas

There's a name missing from that list. It's a name the Wizards should run as fast as they can to draft if he falls to No. 9.

Jarrett Culver.

The Wizards need versatility, especially with a roster that has plenty of holes to fill, but not a ton of money to go around, and the Texas Tech sophomore fits the mold.

You get defense, solid shooting — although, a bit streaky at times — and even dependable ball handling.

Culver was asked to do more than he likely will at the NBA level, so at just 20 years old, he'll have a chance to really settle into his strengths and grow from there.

Instead of being asked to be a No. 1 option, he'll be tasked with defending and hitting open jumpers in a reserve role. 

His 3-point percentage dipped from 38.2 his freshman season to 30.4 last year, but Culver can be the ever-important, do-everything swingman in Washington if put in the position to succeed at his pace. 

If this draft scenario plays out, the Wizards are in a great position with Culver on the board. 

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Joel Embiid's 76ers are the last team the injury-riddled Wizards need to see

Joel Embiid's 76ers are the last team the injury-riddled Wizards need to see

The timing for Thursday night's clash with the Sixers could not have been worse for the Wizards. 

Not only are they going up against one of the best and biggest teams in the NBA, but they're going to have to do it with a cascade of injuries to their frontcourt. 

Thomas Bryant is out for at least the next three weeks with a right foot injury, and while Moe Wagner and Ian Mahinmi were both upgraded to questionable for Thursday night, neither will be playing at 100 percent and it would be Mahinmi's first game since March 18. 

Scott Brooks will have to rely on Rui Hachimura to continue to give him minutes at center and play more small-ball lineups, which isn't exactly the best recipe for success against Philadelphia. 

Here's a look at some players to watch on the Sixers and what the Wizards can do to slow them down.

Joel Embiid

If Mahinmi gets activated for the first time this season, Embiid would be a big reason why. He's an overwhelming force in the low post and consistently gets opposing bigs in foul trouble with an assortment of timely pump fakes and flops. 

Few players can shut him down one-on-one, so it'd be wise for the Wizards to focus on sending double teams in the right spots to force him to make plays under duress. 

One of Embiid's weaknesses is his passing and decision making when doubled. Given the Sixers' lack of shooting from the outside, Washington may be able to get away with this strategy a few times in this game. 

This is much easier said than done, especially when you look at how the Wizards' defense was unable to keep Orlando, the 29th-ranked offense in the NBA, under 120 points in both meetings this year. 

Ben Simmons

The 15-6 Sixers are still bonafide title contenders, but it has almost everything to do with their defense. Ranked third in the league in defensive efficiency, Philly has unrivaled size down low and length on the perimeter. 

Simmons may be their most important defender with his ability to switch and defend practically every player on the floor and his activity defending ball handlers. 

Add that to his ability to grab a rebound and speed down the floor in transition, and you have a sizeable problem on your hands. The Wizards are the worst team in the NBA at defending in transition. 

On the flip side, Simmons is the main reason the Sixers' offense has underachieved this season. The fact that he is a non-threat from anywhere outside the paint allows teams to pack the paint and prevent dribble penetration. 

We noted how it'd be smart for the Wizards to send double teams at Embiid. When Simmons is on the floor it'll be easier for the Wizards to do that and not give up easy looks Again, easier said than done, especially for this Wizards defense. 

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How to watch the Wizards vs. 76ers Predict The Game broadcast

How to watch the Wizards vs. 76ers Predict The Game broadcast

The Philadelphia 76ers will be coming to Washington, D.C. to play against the Washington Wizards on Thursday, Dec. 5 and will have the 'Predict the Game' on NBC Sports Washington.

The 76ers are having a decent season so far with a 15-6 record. Their team leaders being Joel Embiid with a 22.4 ppg and 12.2 rpg, and Ben Simmons leading with 8.4 apg. The Wizards currently have a 6-13 record, with Bradley Beal leading with a 28.7 ppg and 7.2 apg.

'PREDICT THE GAME' HOW TO WATCH

What is 'Predict the Game'? Predict the Game is an easy-to-enter, free contest that allows fans to predict various game and player performance outcomes through a series of approximately 12-15 questions per quarter that will appear on-screen during the alternate telecast on NBC Sports Washington Plus. Predict the Game leaderboards will be displayed at select times, and the winner of each contest will be revealed throughout the game and during NBC Sports Washington’s postgame coverage.

Where can I find it? Contest questions and leaderboards will be displayed on NBC Sports Washington Plus (Channel Finder).

Additionally, the broadcast can be streamed on desktop, iOS and Android devices. 

The NBC Sports Washington Plus presentation will, for the first time, feature special hosts, who will appear at various times to address Predict the Game participants and provide contest updates, information and results. The enhanced experience will contain the majority of the same video and audio (including announcers) as the primary live-game coverage, which will be available simultaneously on NBC Sports Washington.

How do I win? Fans will earn points for both answering questions (1 point) and correct predictions (1 or 2 points, depending on the question), with the top eligible scorer at the end of each game earning or splitting the $500 prize.

Each quarter will be its own contest, with an entirely new leaderboard starting from scratch, so even if fans miss out on the start of the game there will still be plenty of time to play and win. 

Fans must enter Predict the Game, which is open to join throughout the entire game, and submit their predictions at www.nbcsportswashington.com/predict.

WIZARDS vs 76ERS HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Wizards vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 2019-20 NBA Regular Season Game 20

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC

When: Thursday, December 5, 7:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Wizards vs 76ers will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington, and the Predict The Game broadcast will be on NBC Sports Washington Plus (NBC Sports Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards vs Hornets on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the NBC Sports App.

Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM

WIZARDS vs 76ERS TV SCHEDULE

6:00 PM: Wizards Outsiders

6:30 PM: Wizards Pregame Live

7:00 PM: NBA: Philadelphia 76ers @ Wizards (LIVE)

7:00 PM: NBA Interactive: Philadelphia 76ers @ Wizards (Interactive) (LIVE) [NBC Sports Washington Plus]

9:30 PM: 10:00 PM: Wizards Postgame Live

WIZARDS 2019-20 'PREDICT THE GAME' SCHEDULE

December 5: vs Philadelphia (7 p.m.)

December 10: at Charlotte (7 p.m.)

December 18: vs Chicago (7 p.m.)

December 26: at Detroit (7 p.m.)

January 1: vs Orlando (6 p.m.)

January 6: vs Boston (7 p.m.)

January 20: vs Detroit (2 p.m.)

January 26: at Atlanta (6 p.m.)

February 3: vs Golden State (7 p.m.)

February 11: vs Chicago (7 p.m.)

February 21: vs Cleveland (7 p.m.)

February 26: vs Brooklyn (7 p.m.)

March 3: at Sacramento (10 p.m.)

March 10: vs New York (7 p.m.)

March 18: at Brooklyn (7:30 p.m.)

March 25: vs Phoenix (7 p.m.)

April 1: vs New Orleans (7 p.m.)

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