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NBA Trade Deadline: The reality show that's here to stay

NBA Trade Deadline: The reality show that's here to stay

The NBA is just a different animal.

For years, I’ve tried to fight the characterization that it’s “reality TV” because, well, reality TV is stupid.

Now, there’s no way to ignore it anymore though. The NBA is a reality show that is more addicting than “The Bachelor”, with far more entertaining live tweeting to pair with it.

We can thank #NBATwitter for that.

Think about this, one player, Otto Porter, was traded while he was in the layup line.

One of the players he was traded for, Bobby Portis, was seen leaving the arena where he was supposed to play with a backpack and his Bulls jersey, like a little kid leaving school before his family moved in the middle of the school year.

Then, the Mavericks said “hold my beer” and traded Harrison Barnes while he was on the bench.

To add to the story, LeBron James had a strong opinion of the timing of that Barnes trade.

Now, keep in mind, LeBron didn’t have the full information, because Barnes reportedly decided to play for Dallas Wednesday night even with the possibility of a trade looming.

Still following along? Good.

There’s just no other professional sports league that brings you these storylines/drama/wild #NBATwitter moments, and whatever you decide to call these moments, they has everyone addicted.

The NBA is undefeated off the court, and nothing else comes close.

Even the trade talks between the Lakers and Pelicans seem far more like a storyline from The Kardashians.

The Lakers essentially tamper with Anthony Davis, he then asks for a trade. The Lakers offer half their roster, everyone’s first born, and a Smush Parker jersey, but the Pelicans keep stringing them along mostly out of spite without any real intention of making a deal before the deadline.

It got personal, and we’re all here for it.

Now sure, there’s some negatives to this new trend.

With Kevin Durant deciding to go to the Warriors, it’s taken so much intrigue out of who will likely win the NBA title. So many people just assume it’s Golden State again that they find more of an emotional investment in the player movement.

That being said, the Warriors could look very different next year, and there’s quite a few teams looking to make a push for the top.

In the end, the chaos of NBA rumors has now spanned into a year-round show complete with public feuds, open recruitment while scoffing at authority and their silly rules, all keeping even the most casual fan enthralled with what could come next.

Yes, it’s reality TV, and yes, we’re all coming back each season.

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2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: KZ Okpala

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USA Today Sports Images

2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: KZ Okpala

The Washington Wizards will have the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects who could fall around where the Wizards will select...

2019 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: KZ Okpala

School: Stanford
Position: Forward
Age: 20
Height: 6-10
Weight: 210
Wingspan: 7-2
Max vertical: 37 in.

2018/19 stats: 16.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.0 spg, 0.5 bpg, 46.3 FG% (5.9/12.7), 36.8 3PT% (1.1/3.0), 67.1 FT%

Player comparison: Kyle Kuzma, Gerald Green

Projections: NBC Sports Washington 25th, NBADraft.net 23rd, Bleacher Report 27th, Sports Illustrated 29th, Ringer 41st

5 things to know:

*Okpala is a tall, lanky wing who loves to drive from the perimeter to the rim. He made the All-Pac-12 team this past season after improving his scoring average from 10.0 points as a freshman to 16.8 points as a sophomore. He also increased his rebounds per game average from 3.7 to 5.7.

*He is arguably one of the most athletic players in this class. At 6-foot-10 in shoes, he has great size for a wing player and measured at the NBA combine with a 7-2 wingspan. He also has an impressive vertical leap of 37 inches which would be good even for a point guard. He is also fast in the open court. Teams will be enticed with his ceiling on both ends of the floor.

*Okpala scored a lot in college but has a raw offensive game. He isn't fully there as a ball-handler and has an improving, but still inconsistent outside shot. The fact he made a leap from his freshman to sophomore year as a three-point shooter was a very good sign. His 36.8 three-point percentage on three attempts per game is encouraging but does not offer any guarantees that he can stretch the floor at the next level. His 67.1 free throw percentage doesn't help his cause.

*He is just the third player from Stanford to leave for the NBA before his junior season, joining the Lopez twins, Brook and Robin, who were first round picks in 2010.

*Okpala is the son of two Nigerian immigrants. He had a 4.4 GPA in high school.

Fit with Wizards: Okpala would fill a need for the Wizards in that he is a forward and they don't have many of those under contract for next season. He would also give them a young player with high upside, something they currently lack.

But Okpala also seems to offer decent bust potential. Ever since Kevin Durant came into the league, there have been a lot of players like Okpala to come along, ones that are tall enough to play inside but prefer to work on the perimeter.

Sometimes that can work, like with Giannis Antetokounmpo or Brandon Ingram (sort of). But for every success story, there seem to be a lot of guys like Perry Jones and Thon Maker.

Okpala seems very much like boom or bust, and the Wizards may not be able to afford taking a chance like that.

Best highlight video:

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Neil Olshey signs extension with Trail Blazers, off the table for Wizards job

Neil Olshey signs extension with Trail Blazers, off the table for Wizards job

After Tim Connelly decided to re-join the Nuggets rather than take the Wizards' vacant front-office position, Washington has been forced back to the drawing board.

The Wizards have interviewed Thunder assistant general manager Troy Weaver, former Hawks general manager Danny Ferry and Wizards interim team president Tommy Sheppard.

In addition to those names, NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig reported the team could have interest in Trail Blazers president of basketball operations Neil Olshey. 

That option was eliminated Friday when Olshey signed an extension to remain with Portland. 

With Connelly and Olshey off the table, there are fewer high-profile candidates left for the Wizards to consider as replacements for Ernie Grunfeld. 

Standig noted that Warriors assistant general manager Larry Harris could also draw interest from Washington. 

The franchise is running out of time to find their new front-office leader with less than a month remaining before the NBA Draft. 

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