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Why Drew Gooden likes the Wizards' trade for Portis, Parker and Johnson

Why Drew Gooden likes the Wizards' trade for Portis, Parker and Johnson

The Washington Wizards will look a bit different on Friday after Wednesday's pre-trade deadline moves. 

But Drew Gooden is hopeful the team is heading in the right direction. 

The team cleared some crucial cap space by swapping Markieff Morris for Wesley Johnson and Otto Porter for Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker. And as Gooden said on the Wizards Talk podcast, each of them will have a chance to make a difference.

"It's a trial for him too to see if he can still play," Gooden said of Johnson. "Because guess what? The Washington Wizards need manpower right now. They're shorthanded and anybody that's available to play should have a chance to play now." 

And, if nothing else, Gooden promises he's a good guy for the locker room as a well-respected, team-oriented veteran.

As for Portis?

"I tell you what, the kid's tough," he said. "And Joakim Noah's the first person to tell me this, it was preseason when he was with the Bulls, Bobby's rookie year. And I said 'how's Bobby Portis?' ... and he said 'he's nice. But he talks a lot of smack ... he made a shot on me and he said something.'" 

Gooden loved it. "So he's one of us?" he responded. "Because that's how me and Joakim play. And it's funny how you can think that there's not going to be aggressive guys that come into this game and play with a chip on their shoulder. You think it somehow just goes away. People used talk about DeMarcus Cousins when he first got into the league and why is he getting so many technical fouls and what's going on. I was like hey Rasheed just retired,  you don't think there's going to be another guy that transforms into these types of players? These players are going to emerge all over in NBA history.

"I think Bobby has a bad rap on an incident that happened in practice ..." he added, referring to a 2017 fight between Portis and Nikola Mirotic at practice that ended in Portis' suspension. "I think this is another opportunity for Bobby to have a clean slate. He's out of Chicago. We know he can play. We need physical toughness on this team. Rebounding, scoring."

Washington made the moves on Wednesday, days after team owner Ted Leonsis told WTOP that they had no plans to trade Porter and one day after the team announced John Wall was undergoing surgery on a ruptured Achilles.

"These moves were going to happen anyway, they needed to happen," Gooden said. "From a Washington Wizards perspective, if you look at it, you're trying to recover from some mistakes you probably made or some choices you made that haven't panned out. So management has an opportunity to regroup, have an opportunity to save money, get the books right. And in doing that you're getting some good players. Bobby Portis, Jabari Parker, Wesley Johnson, great veteran guy. I like the moves the Wizards are making and I think moves are going to be made whether the John Wall news happened two days ago or 10 days prior.

"I don't think that was any type of incentive to make a trade, I think they were going to do that anyway."

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‘Grateful for the opportunity’ A tale of the second Capital City Go-Go open tryouts

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Capital City Go-Go

‘Grateful for the opportunity’ A tale of the second Capital City Go-Go open tryouts

The Washington Wizards G League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go, held their second open local player tryouts at the Entertainment and Sports Arena Saturday morning in Southeast D.C.

Over 100 hopefuls filed into the arena with plans to impress Go-Go General Manager, Pop Mensah-Bonsu, head coach Ryan Richman, and his staff. 

Although each player in attendance has a unique path that’s led them here, they all shared one simple, yet intricate goal:

One shot in the G League. 

Adam Stanford, a prospect from California, traveled on a red eye to make the tryout on a less-than-ideal amount of sleep.

“My plane left at midnight from LAX, I had a two-hour layover in Denver, made it to Reagan National at five, checked into my hotel at six, took an hour nap and then Ubered here for tryouts,”  he said. 

“If I made this team it’d be big. Not just for me but for everyone who knows what I’ve been through from college to now.” 

Stanford is a 6-foot-4 wing from Campbellsville University, where he averaged 7 points, 5 rebounds, and was an academic All-American. 

Even with his positive outlook on the process, and an impressive showing Saturday morning, Stanford’s name wasn’t called for a follow-up workout later in the afternoon. 

The harsh reality that your chances are extremely slim to make a G League roster from an open tryout can be a tough pill to swallow, but as a guy who’s been on the opposite end of the chopping block, Mensah-Bonsu had an immense amount of respect for those who showed up to compete Saturday.

“Personally it’s tough because I never wanted to be that guy to read out the numbers of those who did make the team, and skip over those who didn’t,” Mensah-Bonsu said, “it’s heartbreaking. We always anticipate what the DMV has to offer in terms of the wealth of talent in this area.

"I was pleasantly surprised because we ended up selecting 15 guys to stick around for the afternoon portion, but going into this we were only planning to pick five.” 

Those who made the cut won’t be announced until a later date, which leaves the larger point of how those who were passed on respond?

The all-time leading scorer in Peach Sun Belt Conference history, Detrek Browning, was in attendance Saturday and put on a show. His combination of quickness, deep range shooting ability, and a knack for loose balls/putbacks captured the attention of every media member in attendance. 

However, his name wasn’t called for the next round of tryouts. 

Still, in a state of shock, he delivered words of encouragement not just for his self, but others to turn to after a similar letdown. 

“I for sure thought I was going to get a place here, but you just gotta focus and move on,” Browning said. “I quit my job in June to focus on basketball and it’s been paying off. I’ve seen my game increase exponentially.

“I did my best and that’s what matters,” he added. “I appreciate them not picking me up, it’s just going to make me work even harder.”

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Elena Delle Donne thanks makers of face mask, knee brace after 2nd MVP honors

Elena Delle Donne thanks makers of face mask, knee brace after 2nd MVP honors

Most MVP award winners thank coaches, parents and anyone who helped them become great. Elena Delle Donne is not most people.

The Washington Mystic's superstar forward had a lot to be thankful for after receiving the second MVP honors of her career, creating a long list on Twitter. Some injury-preventing accessory manufacturers made their way high up on her list.

Delle Donne became the first woman player to shoot 50/40/90 splits over the course of an entire WNBA season this year, but she was perhaps more grateful for the apparrel that allowed her to stay on the court: her knee brace and face mask. 

The Delaware native often deflects praise onto her teammates and coaches when receiving accolades, but when EDD's knee is being held together by her bulky brace and her nose is feeling protected after a fracture earlier in the season, they definitely deserve the thanks. 

She had a gruesome knee scare in a Game 2 loss to the Atlanta Dream in the playoffs last season, and even missed some early season games this year in recovery. Still, Delle Donne wouldn't let her knee keep her out of action, as her 31 regular season starts were the most games she's played since 2015. It's been evident she's had an edge all season to help her Washington Mystics get back to the Finals, and this time finish the job. 

Delle Donne's face mask has also been somewhat of a fashion trend in recent weeks with star athletes around the District. Wizards all-star guards John Wall and Bradley Beal along with Redskins runing back Derrius Guice, all wore the face masks in solidarity when they came to support the Mystics at the Entertainment and Sports Arena. 

Despite Delle Donne's nose having been fully recovered, she's kept the face mask on during games for style and reassurance. Considering these ailments, it's impressive Delle Donne's shooting touch not only hasn't been affected, but instead has improved. 

After a Game 2 win over the Las Vegas Aces, Delle Donne and Co. have the opportunity to make their season mantra come true and #RunItBack to a second straight WNBA Finals appearance. 

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