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LeBron James says Otto Porter is earning his max contract for Wizards

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LeBron James says Otto Porter is earning his max contract for Wizards

Though some were skeptical when the Wizards signed forward Otto Porter to a max contract worth $106.5 million over four years this past summer, Porter has responded with a convincing start to this season and in doing so has earned some high praise from LeBron James.

James discussed Porter's improvement at the Cavaliers' shootaround on Friday morning at Capital One Arena and brought up the contract unprompted.

"He's worked on his game extremely well and he's earned the big paycheck that he got," James said.

Porter has drawn glowing reviews from opponents and opposing coaches over the past year in particular. When they scout the Wizards on film, Porter stands out as a guy who does the little things required to win in the NBA.

James is a fan of his game.

"You can't give Otto Porter no daylight these days. The last couple of years he has shot the ball extremely well, especially from the perimeter which has ultimately created a lot of opportunities and space for John [Wall]," James said.


Porter, 24, is averaging 18.7 points, 7.5 rebounds and a league-best 2.7 steals per game, all while shooting a ridiculous 55.7 percent from the field and 51.7 percent from three. He's one of the most efficient players in the NBA and has really come into his own after being drafted third overall by the Wizards in 2013.

The Wizards' 2015 first round pick, Kelly Oubre, Jr., is also making strides this year. He's putting up 11.0 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game. Oubre is just 21, but the Cavs see a player getting better at a fast pace.

"I worked out with Kelly this summer with John a couple of times. It's just all about confidence for him," James said. "He's getting an opportunity from the coach and he's just trying to seize the opportunity and make the most of it."

"His three-point shooting," Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue said when asked what has improved in Oubre's game. "We knew he was a slasher. We knew he could get to the basket. The way he's shooting the ball, with his confidence in taking [4.4] a game and shooting [45.2] percent. He improved his jumpshot and he can play off of Wall and [Bradley] Beal. He's really taken to that, so we've gotta be aware of him when he's on the floor. He's turned into a good player."

The Wizards get their first crack at the Cavs on Friday night at Capital One Arena.


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After setbacks in rehab, John Wall is appreciating the little things in life

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After setbacks in rehab, John Wall is appreciating the little things in life

WASHINGTON -- John Wall has been all smiles in public when discussing his rehab from Achilles surgery. He has even remarked how smoothly this recovery has gone compared to others he's underwent in the past.

But his road back from a ruptured left Achilles has not been entirely free of obstacles. He revealed to NBC Sports Washington on the Wizards Talk podcast recently that he dealt with an infection that delayed him getting out of his walking boot.

That was already weeks after he first had surgery to remove bone spurs from his heel in January. He had a series of infections following that procedure, one of which helped doctors discover his Achilles had torn during a fall in his home.

Wall can admit now after the fact it was a difficult time for him.

"I've just put in a lot of hard work," he said. "For me to be where I'm at right now, with all the setbacks and infections and then finding out my Achilles was ruptured and then going through another infection, it was like 'man, when can I ever get past that point of just getting out of the boot and walking?'"

What made that last part particularly frustrating was where Wall makes his offseason home. He summers in Miami, a place notorious for its humidity.

"I was in Miami during the summertime in a boot. Like, man, I don't want to be in hot Miami in a boot, sweating," he said.

Nowadays, things are much better for Wall. He is doing on-court work at the Wizards' practice facility. He can shoot jumpers and do individual ball-handling and passing drills. He can jog and lift weights.

After months of waiting to just have his walking boot come off, Wall is very appreciative to simply be able to do anything on the basketball court.

"Just to do the ball-handling and be able to shoot and do the weight-lifting, that's a great aspect [of my progress]. It makes it easier for me because I'm in a great space where it's fun," he said. 

"I'm able to do what I'm able to do, even if I'm not playing at a high speed and running up and down, I'm able to shoot and do ball-handling. That's what I love to do."

Wall continues to make progress, now nine months removed from the Achilles surgery he had on Feb. 12. He is likely to be out at least three more months, and he could miss all of the 2019-20 season.

At some point, Wall may get restless, but he continues to preach patience towards his return. When asked by Chris Miller if he will start bothering the coaches soon to play, he said he's just happy to be back on the court in practice.


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Moe Wagner isn't the only Wizards with a questionable golf swing

Moe Wagner isn't the only Wizards with a questionable golf swing

With the grind of the NBA season preparing to get underway, the Washington Wizards are spending some time off the court as a way to relax and have some fun. On Monday, the team headed to Top Golf to take some hacks, and we were treated to a breakdown of each player's swing.

As you can see, some like head coach Scott Brooks have a pretty smooth swing. However, the same cannot be said about others.

Take for example Moe Wagner. 

The newly acquired Wizard started off promising with a solid stance, bent knees and all. But, the wind up showed that there were clearly some quirks in his mechanics. Then, the worst thing possible happened: a missed ball. No one will really judge if the swing isn't the prettiest, considering his job is to play basketball, but to come up empty hurts.

Wagner wasn't alone in his misfortunes, however. Jordan McRae also had some trouble getting his club to connect with the ball. But, as they say, third times the charm.

As for other poor swings, Davis Bertans and Thomas Bryant had success hitting the ball, it just didn't look all too pretty.

For Bryant, he may be taking the concept of getting a low, solid base, quite too literally. With Bertans, the movement on his back leg followed by a quick swing is, well, interesting to say the least.

But, fear not, Washington does have a few players who at least look like they've picked up a golf club before. 

Even rookie Rui Hachimura showed off a pretty decent stroke.

While the videos did provide a good laugh, it's safe to say that most of these guys shouldn't quit their day jobs.