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Ja Morant is equal parts Westbrook and Strickland, and should be considered for the No. 1 pick

Ja Morant is equal parts Westbrook and Strickland, and should be considered for the No. 1 pick

At this point, it's safe to assume that Zion Williamson will take the top slot in the NBA Draft on June 20. 

But you know what happens when you assume...

Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports spoke on the Wizards Talk Podcast that the deserving player could be Ja Morant.

  

According to a scout, via NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller, Morant plays with Russell Westbrook-like athleticism and the ball-handling skills of former Wizard, Rod Strickland.

"If that's the case", said Hayes, "then he has to be considered for the No. 1 pick." 

Westbrook has been regarded as a top athlete for his speed, power and overall skillset. 

On being compared to Rod Strickland, Haynes noted that "without Strickland, you would not have Kyrie Irving." Strickland had a certain control over the ball that made him a  great point guard. He ranks 12th on the NBA all-time assist leaders.  

The All-American sophomore led the NCAA in assists last season with 10.0 per game. This made him the first player to average double-digit assists since 1994-95. Is that more impressive at a mid-major school like Murray State? Kind of. 

Morant gained major interest when he led his team to the NCAA tournament. He joined an elite list of players who have triple-doubled in the tournament. 

If Morant is drafted anywhere in the top three, as expected, he will become the first sophomore to do so since 2013. Who holds the 2013 honor? None other than former Wizard, Otto Porter Jr. This will also make him the first player from a mid-major university since Derrick Rose in 2008. 

Haynes admits that "there are a few teams going back and forth between him and Zion."

Will Morant knock Williamson out of the top slot? Only time will tell. 

Be sure to check out the Wizards Talk Podcast for up-to-date information on the team.

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Wes Unseld's former Bullets teammates say his off-court work was more impressive than his NBA career

Wes Unseld's former Bullets teammates say his off-court work was more impressive than his NBA career

The unfortunate news of NBA legend Wes Unseld's passing on Tuesday brought two of his former teammates onto the Wizards Talk podcast with Chris Miller to tell stories and share memories of the most accomplished player in Wizards/Bullets franchise history.

Phil Chenier and Bobby Dandridge were both members of the 1978 Bullets team that won the NBA championship. Chenier played with Unseld for nine seasons, while Dandridge knew him both as a teammate and rival. They each spoke glowingly about the larger-than-life character that Unseld was and shared tales of him battling other greats of his time like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

But the part of Unseld's life they kept coming back to was his decades-long work running a private school in southwest Baltimore, MD. Unseld and his wife, Connie, started a private school called the Unselds School that still operates today.

"His contribution to the Baltimore community, the education and development of kids were greater than any rebound or shot that he ever made," Dandridge said. "They have developed many young kids in the inner city parts of Baltimore."

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“A guy willing to do anything for the people around him that he loved, respected, been around, played with," Chenier added. "[Connie] is so proud of that school and she said Wes is equally as proud. Wes evidentally was like the jack of all trades over there. He was the janitor, the security person, the maintenance man; he did it all. And he did it proudly and humbly, and I think it speaks to the character."

The Unselds School has been operating since the late 1970s and continues to give resources to kids in an area that lacks them. His work in that area has clearly impressed his peers just as much as his Hall of Fame basketball career did.

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Report: Oct. 12 last date of NBA Finals under proposal up for vote Thursday

Report: Oct. 12 last date of NBA Finals under proposal up for vote Thursday

The NBA's Board of Governors is expected to vote Thursday on Commissioner Adam Silver's proposal for resuming the 2019-20 season, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday. Ahead of the vote, Wojnarowski reported some pertinent details regarding the proposal, including a definitive end date for the NBA Finals. 

In the timeline shared with teams, Oct. 12 is the last possible date for an NBA Finals Game 7, Wojnarowski reported. The NBA draft and opening of free agency reportedly would follow.

Other details of Silver's recommendation to resume the season include a previously reported plan of games involving the 16 teams currently holding playoff position, and six more teams within six games of the eighth seed in each conference.

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Those teams include the Washington Wizards in the Eastern Conference and the New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs, Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference.

While Thursday's vote requires three-fourths passage of the 30 teams on a plan, team owners reportedly expect the board of governors to overwhelmingly support whatever plan is proposed.

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