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Georgetown forward among several locals working out for Wizards on Monday

Georgetown forward among several locals working out for Wizards on Monday

The Wizards are hosting another round of prospects for pre-draft workouts on Monday. 

This group of six players doesn't include any names linked to the Wizards with the ninth overall pick of the NBA Draft, but could interest Washington as it looks to build out the Go-Go roster or take a second look at players in summer league. 

Three of the prospects visiting the Entertainment and Sports Arena Monday have ties to the Washington area, while one hails from Cameroon and plays professionally in Italy.

Here's a look at the group:

Brandon Better, guard, Southern Utah (6-3, 185 lbs.) 

A Suitland, Maryland, native, Better went to Crossland High School and played AAU basketball in Washington.

He started 16 of 33 games played for the Thunderbirds as a senior, when he was the team's second leading scorer with 12.2 points per contest. He also shot 34.9 percent from three-point territory. 

Joe Cremo, guard, Villanova (6-4, 191 lbs.)

Cremo hails from Scotia, New York, and transferred to Villanova after three seasons at the University of Albany. After jumping from the Amerca East to the Big East Conference, Cremo played in 36 games for the Wildcats and started in five. 

He averaged 4.0 points in 16.6 minutes per contest, but is known primarily as a three-point shooter on the wing. He hit four three-pointers in a February contest against St. John's. Cremo also played in all three Big East Tournament games. 

Jon Davis, guard, Charlotte (6-3, 200 lbs.)

Another DMV local, Davis hails from Upper Marlboro, Maryland, and played high school basketball at Hargrave Military Academy.

He finished up his senior season as one of the all-time greatest players in Charlotte 49ers history. His 2,113 career points are good for the third most in school history. The team MVP in 2018-19, he averaged 21.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. 

Such success is remarkable considering Davis played for three head coaches in his four years at Charlotte. 

Malik Dunbar, forward, Auburn (6-6, 230 lbs.)

Dunbar is an interesting case, known for athletic dunks and formidable size. According to the Auburn Plainsman, his build and explosiveness have drawn attention from NFL teams.

Getting back to basketball, Dunbar started 13 of 39 games he played as a senior, averaging 6.6 points and 3.2 rebounds per contest. Off the court, the South Carolina native was a valuable locker room leader during Auburn's Final Four run last season. 

Paul Eboua, forward, Africa (6-8, 214 lbs.)

Eboua is a Cameroonian 19-year-old who plays for the Roseto Sharks of Italy Seria A2. He has also played for the Stella Azzurra Junior Team based in Rome. With Roseto, he averaged 5.3 points and 3.4 rebounds per game, starting 20 of 35 contests played. 

According to ESPN draft analyst Jonathan Givony, Eboua's wingspan and defensive potential could lure the NBA. 

Kaleb Johnson, forward, Georgetown (6-7, 220 lbs.)

A native of South Hill, Virginia, Johnson was ranked the No. 19 small forward in the country coming out of high school. He started every game for the Hoyas a junior before transitioning to a bench role his senior season. 

Johnson put up 4.4 points and 2.9 rebounds in a little under 13 minutes per game last season. Known as a leader on the basketball court, Johnson has also been recognized for his academic achievements at Georgetown's McDonough School of Business. 

His brother is projected first-round pick Keldon Johnson of Kentucky. 


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Wizards waive three, sign 2017 first-rounder Anzejs Pasecniks

Wizards waive three, sign 2017 first-rounder Anzejs Pasecniks

As the NBA regular season approaches, the Washington Wizards seek to finalize their roster.

The Wizards announced on Wednesday that they have waived Phil Booth, Justin Anderson and Jemerrio Jones. The team also signed 2017 first-rounder Anzejs Pasecniks and small forward Jalen Jones, the team announced.

Pasecniks and Jones were signed to Exhibit 10 contracts, meaning that if they are waived, they will have the opportunity to play for the Go-Go, the Wizards' G-League affiliate. Booth was on an Exhibit 10 deal, so he will report to the Go-Go after being waived.

Pasecniks, a 7-foot center from Latvia, was the 25th overall selection from the 2017 draft. The Orlando Magic drafted him and moved him to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for draft picks. The 76ers renounced his rights in June.

Pasecniks played on the Wizards summer league team, averaging 4.0 points and 5.3 rebounds. Jalen Jones has averaged 4.8 points and 2.3 rebounds while shooting 37 percent from beyond the arc in 32 games over two seasons with three teams.


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John Wall embracing role as assistant coach during injury rehab

John Wall embracing role as assistant coach during injury rehab

WASHINGTON -- John Wall has already made enough money during his basketball career to last a lifetime and his new supermax contract worth $170 million is just kicking in. When he is done playing in the NBA, he doesn't have to do anything at all if he doesn't want to.

But there is at least a small part of Wall that believes coaching could be in his future. He loves the game enough to not rule out the possibility.

This year will give him a taste of what being a coach is all about. While he rehabs his ruptured left Achilles, he will serve as an unofficial assistant to head coach Scott Brooks. Wall will be asked to break down film with players, advise on plays to run and help the team's young point guards in practice.

Wall isn't sure as of today whether he wants to coach when his playing days are over. But he may have an answer in just a few months.

"I think this year will tell me whether I can be a coach or not," Wall told NBC Sports Washington on the Wizards Talk podcast. 

"I think you have to have a lot of patience and you've gotta know how to interact with every player. Every player's attitudes and character and mood swings are totally different. I learned from when a coach tried to coach me when I was young and I wasn't the guy to coach."

Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard envisions Wall as an important part of the locker room, even when he isn't playing. Part of his role may include some tough conversations with players. As Sheppard says, Wall may be able to deliver some messages that resonate more from a peer than if they came from a coach. 

Wall knows he can help in that regard. He has long been a vocal presence for the Wizards and had to assume the role as a team leader at an early age. After coming in as the No. 1 overall pick, he was a franchise player from the time he was 19 years old.

Wall's personality may also lend itself to those duties. He is very honest, whether it be with teammates or the media. 

"I like to speak my mind," he said. "It's like my momma always told me, 'I'd rather you speak your mind and say what you want to say, but say it in a respectful manner and a respectful way.'"

Wall, in fact, has a detailed philosophy on being honest. He doesn't like to lie whether it's in a media setting, to teammates or in everyday life.

It's not quite a Jim Carrey in 'Liar, Liar' deal, but Wall sees no point in beating around the bush. If he has something to say to a teammate or the media, he will say it.

"I don't know how to not give you the truth," he said. "What I've learned is that when you lie, you've gotta remember that lie exactly the way you said it for the next 12 people you tell it to. So, why make it that tough?"

Wall is set to miss at least the first few months of the Wizards' 2019-20 season and he could be sidelined the entire year. He said he hopes to have a similar impact that Kristi Tolliver did with the Mystics this past season where she remained active as a veteran leader in the locker room despite not being able to help the team on the floor for weeks due to a knee injury.

Missing so much time due to injury is not the ideal situation for Wall, but he plans to make the most of it.

"It will make my game a lot smarter and better for when I come back," he said.