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Pros and cons: who should Wizards pick for final roster spot between Carrick Felix and Donald Sloan?

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Pros and cons: who should Wizards pick for final roster spot between Carrick Felix and Donald Sloan?

Sheldon Mac's torn Achilles and Daniel Ochefu getting waived have left the Wizards with a clearer picture of their roster now with one week before they open the regular season against the Philadelphia 76ers. Head coach Scott Brooks even outlined the Wizards' final roster spot battle in specifics at Tuesday's practice.

"We have everything here that we need. It's going to be Carrick [Felix] or Donald [Sloan]," he said when asked if there were plans to sign a free agent.

It was not long ago that this was a more complicated decision. Mac had impressed in the preseason, but had competition with Felix and Sloan nipping at his heels. Now that Mac is likely out for the year, the Wizards are planning to keep him on the roster, knowing they wouldn't save his salary by cutting him. That makes 14 spots taken with one to go and two players fighting for it.

The Wizards, by the way, may have rookie Mike Young, who is on a two-way contract, stick around to start the regular season with power forward Markieff Morris set to miss several weeks while he rehabs from sports hernia surgery. But that wouldn't affect the Felix/Sloan decision.

Under his two-way deal that will likely keep him in the G-League for most of the year, Young is slotted 45 days at the NBA level. The Wizards have discussed starting that clock early to compensate for Morris' absence.

Regardless, the final spot on the 15-man roster will come down to Felix or Sloan. Here is a look at the pros and cons of keeping each option:

Carrick Felix

Pros: Felix is all about defense. With the scoring-minded Jodie Meeks set as the primary backup shooting guard, Felix could be a nice change of pace from what they currently have on their roster. He's an extremely hard worker both in practice and in games and his energy is contagious. After struggling last season on defense, often at the perimeter, Felix could become an asset. He would also provide an insurance policy for Meeks, who has durability questions after averaging just 33 games the past three seasons. 

There are two players that come to mind in terms of the impact Felix could provide in a best-case scenario. One is former Wizards guard Garrett Temple, who was a professional in every sense of the word and highly respected in the locker room because of it. He was defense first, much like Felix. The other player comparison would be Jonathan Simmons, formerly of the Spurs and now with the Orlando Magic. Like Simmons, Felix is a high-flying dunker and a guy who can provide a spark off the bench just in how hard he plays.

Cons: Though Felix has impressed this preseason and is 27-years-old, he does not have a lot of NBA experience. He's only played in seven NBA games and not since the 2013-14 season when he was with the Cavaliers. In contrast to Sloan, he's the less-experienced guy by a longshot. Given the Wizards want to win now, they could see Sloan as more of a sure thing. 


Donald Sloan

Pros: Sloan has been there before and plays point guard. He has five years of NBA experience, including four playoff games under his belt. The Wizards know what they have in Sloan: a steady veteran who can score and competently run their offense. With Tim Frazier already in house, the Wizards would have two veteran point guards behind John Wall. 

Backup point guard was a problem for the Wizards last year and it has plagued them in the past. Keeping Sloan would give the Wizards a very sound depth chart at the point guard position, two veterans behind Wall plus an intriguing young prospect in Tomas Satoransky. Sloan can also play some shooting guard, giving Scott more options for his bench rotation.

Cons: How many point guards can the Wizards keep? If they hold on to Sloan, then that probably takes point guard minutes away from Satoransky, who is already no higher than third in line at the position. Satoransky would probably have to start earning minutes at shooting guard or small forward, or else he wouldn't be playing at all. Sloan may lose out in part because of a numbers game on the Wizards roster.

For more on Felix and Sloan, check out or 1-on-1 podcast interviews with each player:

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Familiarity for coach and GM should allow Capital City Go-Go to hit ground running

Associated Press

Familiarity for coach and GM should allow Capital City Go-Go to hit ground running

Despite being a brand new franchise with a new roster and new facilities, the Capital City Go-Go will carry into their inaugural season a level of continuity. Both their general manager and head coach are familiar with what they are getting into and the people they will be working with.

GM Pops Mensah-Bonsu is no stranger to the D.C. community and the Wizards franchise. He made a name for himself starring at George Washington University, spent time with the Wizards as a player in their 2013 training camp and remained a frequent visitor to Wizards games as a scout for the Spurs in recent years.

"To be back in the community and the first general manager of the G-League team is special," Mensah-Bonsu said. "This is D.C.’s team. I want them to embrace us."

Head coach Jarell Christian played college ball in Virginia and goes back several years with Wizards coach Scott Brooks. Christian joined the Oklahoma City's G-League staff when Brooks was in his final year as head coach of the Thunder.

Christian began his coaching journey with an eye trained on how Brooks goes about his job.

"My introduction to pro basketball was under Coach Brooks and his philosophies. A lot of that stuff, I believe in wholeheartedly. That’s my foundation," Christian said. "I got a chance to know him through training camp and throughout that season. He and I developed a bond and a relationship that stood the test of time. To this day, we still talk often. It’s just another chance for me to reconnect with him and to continue to grow our relationship."

The Go-Go intend to make what they do as similar to the Wizards as possible. When guys like Devin Robinson, one of their two-way players, is called up he can step right in without a learning curve of the playbook or how they practice.

Having Christian in place will help that process in particular.

"There won’t be any issue or any slippage with guys going up and down to know what’s in store for them," Christian said. "A lot of the stuff that the Wizards will do, we will implement with the Go-Go. Just some offensive and defensive concepts. Some of the playcalls and the terminology will be the same."

"Whatever you see the Wizards doing, you will probably see the Capital City Go-Go doing, too," Mensah-Bonsu said.

The symmetry between the G-League and the NBA teams will also be helped by the fact they will share the same practice facility. Their proximity will come with many advantages from the Go-Go perspective.

"I think it’s going to help motivate these guys. We’re going to be practicing in the same place that the Wizards do and the Mystics do," Mensah-Bonsu said. "I think if these guys can see Dwight Howard and John Wall and Bradley Beal walking around every day, it will help motivate them to get to that next level."

"The exposure our players get with the Wizards [front office], the Wizards personnel, being able to watch them practice daily, watching their practice habits and what their routines may be, is really big," Christian said.

That element will also apply beyond the players. Christian, who is just 32 years old, will get to watch how an NBA coaching staff operates on a daily basis.

Christian has yet to take a tour of the new building in Ward 8, but he has seen blueprints. Among the amenities the Go-Go will enjoy that other G-League teams do not usually have is a dedicated dining area.

Many G-League teams do not go to that length.

"A lot of organizations do not provide food for their players on a daily basis, but we will. That’s the No. 1 thing in my opinion that’s gonna set us apart from our competitors," he said.

The Go-Go won't take the floor for their first game until November, but it seems like a good foundation is starting to take place.

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John Wall's sneaker closet is next-level – here are his favorite Adidas

John Wall's sneaker closet is next-level – here are his favorite Adidas

When John Wall re-signed with Adidas this past January, it was time to stock his shoe closet with all the newest, most exclusive Three Stripes designs. 

The brand is known for its designer collaborations and limited releases that can push the pricetags up into the hundreds. 

Cost is no object for Wall, who invited Chris Miller into the shoe closet of his Miami mansion. You can watch the full closet tour in the video player above.

Wall keeps thousands of dollars of footwear organized inside specially lit display cases. But what are his favorites? He pulled out six Adidas designs he's been loving this the summer. 

1. Raf Simons Replicant Ozweego Independence Day – These sneakers are the product of Adidas's collaboration with Belgian designer Raf Simons, who has worked as creative director of fashion houses Christian Dior and Calvin Klein. Wall got his hands on the Independence Day colorway of these sneakers before they were released in July. They're available retail for $450 at Saks Fifth Avenue

2. Yeezy Boost 700 "Wave Runner" – Designed as part of Kanye West's Yeezy collection, the "Wave Runner" has been a popular model since its first release in February 2017. A third release is scheduled sometime later this year, but to purchase them now, Flight Club sells pairs ranging from $575 to $1,320

3. Twinstrike ADV – Wall has the Twinstrike in multiple bold colorways. The shoe debuted late in 2017 and is more attainable than the first two pairs he showed off. They're available at Barneys New York for $180

4. EQT Support Ultra King Push “Bodega Babies” – These EQT Support sneakers got an update in collaboration with rapper Pusha T. The sock-style primeknit has been a popular design feature for Adidas. The sneakers are limited release, but retail at $220 at Barneys New York.

5. Pharrell NMD Hu Trail “Holi" in Pink Glow – This exclusive collaboration with hip-hop producer Pharrell Williams was inspired by the Holi festival of colors in India. Released in limited quantities in early March of 2018, the shoe's retail price was $250. To buy a pair now, it'll cost anywhere from $325 to $480 at Flight Club

6. Originals Gazelle – Finally, Wall gets to a classic! The Gazelle was originally designed in the mid-1960s and became one of Adidas's most recognizable, popular designs throughout the brand's history. They're popular, easy to find and affordable. The Adidas website has a whole section devoted to the Gazelle, which comes in men's, women's and kids' sizes. A standard pair of men's costs around $80 at retail

For those not keeping track, the six shoes above combine to cost around $2,000 or more. But whether people can afford them or not isn't the point. 

Wall told Miller how he couldn't afford the sneakers he loved as a kid, but still kept track of all the new releases and special styles. As he made money and started to build his shoe collection, he treated it like collecting fine art.

But also like art, you don't have to own designer sneakers to appreciate them. 

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