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2020 NBA Draft: James Wiseman could be the rim protector Wizards need

2020 NBA Draft: James Wiseman could be the rim protector Wizards need

The Washington Wizards are likely to have a lottery pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects who could fall around where the Wizards will select...

2020 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: James Wiseman

School: Memphis
Position: Center
Age: 19
Height: 7-1
Weight: 240
Wingspan: 7-6

2019/20 stats: 3 G, 19.7 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 0.3 apg, 0.3 spg, 3.0 bpg, 76.9 FG% (6.7/8.7), 00.0 3PT% (0.0/0.3), 70.4 FT%

Player comparison: David Robinson, Mitchell Robinson

Projections: NBC Sports Washington 1st, Sports Illustrated 2nd, Ringer 7th, NBADraft.net 4th, Bleacher Report 7th

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5 things to know:

*In a class loaded with point guards and combo guards, Wiseman stands out as the best center on the board. He's got great size at 7-foot-1 and is a uniquely gifted athlete, even for a top NBA Draft prospect. But his skill set is fairly raw as he doesn't have a reliable jump shot or play-making ability. His likely path towards success will involve a simple role early on as a rebounder, rim-runner and rim-protector. Over time, how he develops his offensive repertoire will determine if he reaches his All-Star potential.

*Wiseman played only three games at Memphis due to an NCAA recruiting scandal where he allegedly took money from a booster. It was an unfortunate saga which Wiseman described as "heartbreaking" and it left NBA teams with little data to evaluate him on. Of the three games he played, one was against South Carolina State and another against Illinois-Chicago, not exactly powerhouse schools. The one major program he faced was Oregon. NBA teams will also not have the ability to host Wiseman for private workouts given the league's hiatus. That means they will have to rely more on his high school and AAU game tape than they might otherwise.

*He played college ball for former NBA star Penny Hardaway. He and Hardaway go way back as Wiseman played for him in the AAU ranks as well. And Hardaway was part of the scandal that lost his eligibility with an incident that involved moving costs. Still, whichever team drafts Wiseman, expect to hear from Hardaway on his prized pupil.

*Wiseman has drawn praise for being very smart. He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and has broad and specific plans for off-court business ventures. If he can learn Chinese, he should be able to pick up basketball concepts and master a playbook. 

*Wiseman has drawn many comparisons to NBA Hall of Famer David Robinson because of his build, his style of play and the fact he's left-handed. That may seem like a lofty parallel, but NBC Sports Washington's Tony Massenburg has even mentioned it himself and he played with Robinson in San Antonio.

Fit with Wizards: From a position and team need perspective, at first glance Wiseman may be the best fit of any player in this draft for the Washington Wizards. They desperately need rim protection and rebounding and those are the things he does best. And if he were added to their roster, he would fit nicely at the center spot.

With John Wall, Bradley Beal and Rui Hachimura carrying the load on offense, Wiseman wouldn't be asked to do much on that end of the floor. But on defense, he could develop into an anchor in the middle, someone who makes life easier for everyone else on the floor. He could help offset Hachimura's defensive limitations in the frontcourt and give Wall a security blanket as he works his way back from a serious injury.

Wiseman would also present a high ceiling in the long-term, which the Wizards could use. With so much salary committed to Wall and Beal, a budding star on a rookie contract would alter their future considerably. 

Because he would fit so perfectly, if the Wizards lucked out in the lottery and got the No. 1 pick, Wiseman would probably emerge as the favorite.

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Indiana Pacers star and DMV native Victor Oladipo out Monday vs. Wizards

Indiana Pacers star and DMV native Victor Oladipo out Monday vs. Wizards

The Indiana Pacers will be without their All-Star guard when they take the court Monday afternoon against the Washington Wizards.

Nearly 90 minutes before tip-off, Pacers head coach Nate McMillan announced that Victor Oladipo would rest for Monday's game versus Washington, as the team is taking extra precautions with the guard as he continues to recover from a torn quad injury.

The guard is expected to play in Indiana's game Tuesday versus Orlando and is sitting out Monday's contest to prevent playing in back-to-backs, according to McMillan.

RELATED: 5 TAKEAWAYS FROM WIZARDS LOSS TO NETS

Oladipo has played in just 14 games this season on a minutes restriction, averaging a career-low 26.4 minutes per game. The 28-year-old originally planned to opt-out of the Orlando bubble, but Oladipo changed his mind and rejoined his team before the restart began.

Although the game is taking place in Orlando rather than D.C., Monday's game versus Washington would have been a semi-homecoming for Oladipo.

The guard played his high school ball at DeMatha Catholic, a national powerhouse located in Hyattsville, Md., just over the D.C. border. Additionally, Oladipo would have faced his former high school teammate, Wizards wing Jerian Grant. 

Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington Plus. Oladipo and Grant's high school coach, Mike Jones, will join the broadcast.

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Lakers' LeBron James says 'The Great Wall of John coming soon' after watching Wall's workout video

Lakers' LeBron James says 'The Great Wall of John coming soon' after watching Wall's workout video

John Wall threw a bomb into the NBA universe when he posted this snippet of his workout on social media and looked like an absolute monster. 

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Just Wait On It...🤫👌🏾‼️

A post shared by johnwall (@johnwall) on

Many players around the league hopped into Wall's comments section to send the 5x All-Star some love and one of them happened to be the King, LeBron James.

"Yessir!!! The Great Wall of John coming soon!!" James said. 

Wall and James have been good friends since Wall entered the league in 2010 — the two have exchanged advice over the years, trained together in the offseason, and participated in heated head-to-head battles as well. 

"LeBron's a great leader," Wall said back in 2014. "Patience — that's something he has preached to me since his rookie year."

A few more high-profile athletes showed Wall some love on Instagram Sunday night — Former Wizards' star Gilbert Arenas, former Wizard Isaiah Thomas, and Washington Football Team QB Dwayne Haskins. 

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