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What Gregg Popovich told Scott Brooks after the Wizards traded for Davis Bertans

What Gregg Popovich told Scott Brooks after the Wizards traded for Davis Bertans

When the Spurs traded Davis Bertans to the Wizards for basically nothing this summer, Gregg Popovich could not have been happy about it. 

The Wizards play the Spurs on Wednesday at 7 p.m. EST on NBC Sports Washington.

The Spurs did it to free up cap space to sign Marcus Morris to a two-year, $20 million contract, but then Morris backed out of the agreement to sign a one-year, $15 million deal with the Knicks. 

So the Spurs were without one of Popovich's favorite players and had an empty spot to fill with Morris in New York. They ended up bringing on Trey Lyles, but Bertans has to feel like the one who got away for San Antonio.

In his first season with the Wizards, Bertans has been solid off the bench, averaging 11.7 points on 41.8 percent from three. The Wizards knew they were getting a shooter in Bertans, but Popovich told Scott Brooks that the big man was capable of much more. 

"[Popovich] is a good scout," Brooks said Wednesday. "He nailed it on [Bertans] when I talked to him over the summer. He said, '[Davis] is more than a shooter.'"

Just 11 games into the season, we've already seen Bertans' ability to handle the ball and create his own shot off the dribble. Last Friday in Minnesota, we even saw Bertans play as the ball handler in a pick and roll with fellow big man Moe Wagner. 

Not many teams can put two bigs in pick and roll situations, and for an already elite offense for the Wizards (3rd in Off. RTG), it adds a wrinkle that could give almost any defense nightmares. 

As Brooks continues to configure his rotations, Bertans' should continue to increase on the offensive end. Whether he can help the team's atrocious defense is yet to be seen, but the Wizards clearly got another steal in a trade with a team trying to offload salary.

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    Wizards release statement on the passing of John Wall's mother

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    Wizards release statement on the passing of John Wall's mother

    The Washington Wizards announced the passing of John Wall's mother, Frances Pulley on Friday. 

    Wall's mother had been battling cancer before her passing. She was 58. 

    In a statement on Twitter, the Wizards said, "Sending thoughts and love for John Wall and his family after the passing of his mother, Frances Pulley. She will forever be a part of our #DCFamily."

    Zach Leonsis, the senior vice president of strategic initiatives at Monumental Sports & Entertainment, also released a statement

    "Thinking of @JohnWall and his family right now. Keeping you guys in our prayers. So terribly sorry for your loss and know that she will be remembered forever. #DCFamily

    Wall's Kentucky coach, John Calipari also expressed his condolences for his former star: 

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    Bradley Beal sees a young John Wall in the Grizzlies rookie sensation Ja Morant

    Bradley Beal sees a young John Wall in the Grizzlies rookie sensation Ja Morant

    WASHINGTON -- It is not often you see a rookie find initial success in the NBA to the degree Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant has, already with borderline All-Star numbers at the age of 20. And oftentimes, opponents are careful throwing out player comparisons for guys his age, wanting to see more before they anoint anyone.

    Morant, though, is a different case and questions from media members at Wizards practice this week as the team gets set to face him for the first time naturally led to parallels to great players. On Thursday, Brooks brought up unprompted how much Morant reminds him of Russell Westbrook, his former player in Oklahoma City.

    And on Friday, Bradley Beal invoked a teammate of his when breaking down what makes Morant so good.

    "He loves to get up and down. He's really fast with the ball. It reminds you of John [Wall] in a lot of ways. He plays with his pace," Beal said.

    Through 19 games this season, Morant is averaging 18.7 points, 6.4 assists and 1.3 steals per game. He is shooting 42.2 percent from three on 2.2 attempts.

    The threes have been surprising to most, as he shot a relatively modest 36.3 percent his final year in college at Murray State. But also surprising maybe just how lethal he has been at attacking the rim.

    Sure, that was a big part of his game in college. But this is the NBA where athletes are much bigger and stronger. And he isn't the biggest guy either, weighing in at 175 pounds according to Basketball-Reference.

    But despite lacking in size, he has shown an ability to finish through contact rarely seen from any player.

    "I think he has a no-fear type of mentality. So, you have to respect his aggressiveness," Beal said. "He'll get respect from a lot of players in the league, a lot of refs in the league because of his aggressiveness and... with all the posters he has. So, he's an assassin. You gotta respect his game."

    Beal likely won't draw the defensive assignment on Morant. That will probably go to Ish Smith and back-up point guard Chris Chiozza, who is with the team while Isaiah Thomas recovers from a left calf injury.

    Beal knows it is going to be tough for the whole Wizards team to contain Morant. He said the trick will be trying to stay in front of him, though he knows that is easier said than done.

    Really, Morant is such a unique player that the Wizards can only gameplan and prepare so much until they actually experience facing him for the first time.

    "He's gonna be a handful," Beal said.

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