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Wizards 2017-18 roster outlook: Chris McCullough has potential, but will he get any minutes?

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Wizards 2017-18 roster outlook: Chris McCullough has potential, but will he get any minutes?

As part of CSN's preview for the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we preview Chris McCullough's season...

Player: Chris McCullough

Position: Power forward

Age: 22

2016-17 stats: 16 G, 5.0 mpg, 2.3 ppg, 0.1 apg, 1.2 rpg, 0.1 spg, 0.5 bpg, 50.0 FG%, 14.3 3P%, 60.0 FT%, 51.6 eFG%, 37 ORtg, 98 DRtg

RELATED: HOW THE NBA CAN PREVENT TANKING?

2017-18 storyline: McCullough appeared in just two games for the Wizards in the 2016-17 season after joining them in the trade deadline deal that brought Bojan Bogdanovic to Washington.

McCullough was a mainstay on the inactives list in what was his second NBA season. Combined with the 14 games he played for the Nets last year, McCullough appeared in a total of 80 minutes all year.

McCullough's athletic potential is obvious, as he shows in practice all the time and as he showed in the 2017 Summer League in Las Vegas.

He can run the floor, play above the rim and even has a smooth jumper from long range. How and if McCullough can put it all together are the real questions.

RELATED: WHO WILL BE MOST-IMPROVED ON THE WIZARDS THIS YEAR?

In the Summer League, McCullough showed an ability to finish strong at the rim and grab rebounds, but his shot was cold and he spent considerable time on the perimeter. It's not clear yet what type of NBA style suits him best. Will he be a stretch-4 or is he best served by simply focusing on rebounding and defense?

The Wizards won't be able to give McCullough much of an opportunity this year, either, and that's even with the expectation Markeff Morris will miss several weeks of the regular season. They have depth ahead of McCullough including veterans Jason Smith and Mike Scott at power forward. McCullough will likely see some time in the G-League this year as he hopes to start reaching his vast potential. Keep in mind the Wizards have to decide on McCullough's rookie scale contract option for the 2018-19 season. The deadline is Oct. 31.

Potential to improve: Rim protection, offensive skillset, consistency

MORE WIZARDS' ROSTER PREVIEWS:

John Wall: Can John Wall take another step after earning All-NBA?

Bradley Beal: Is this the year Bradley Beal becomes an All-Star?

Otto Porter: What is the next step in Otto Porter's development?

Markieff Morris: Markieff Morris can be an X-factor this season

Marcin Gortat: Will Marcin Gortat's role change or be the same this year?

Kelly Oubre: Will Kelly Oubre, Jr. make a big leap this season?

Ian Mahinmi: Can Ian Mahinmi make a bigger impact in his second season?

Tim Frazier: Will Tim Frazier be the solution at backup point guard?

Jodie Meeks: Jodie Meeks could make big impact off bench

Mike Scott: Mike Scott can add toughness to Wizards' bench

Jason Smith: Jason Smith's improvement as a shooter should help Wizards bench

Tomas Satoransky: Will Tomas Satoransky's role expand in his second year?

Sheldon Mac: Will Sheldon Mac be given a bigger opportunity?

Daniel Ochefu: Can Daniel Ochefu earn playing time in a crowded frontcourt?

 

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Carmelo Anthony to sign with Rockets on minimum contract, report says

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Carmelo Anthony to sign with Rockets on minimum contract, report says

After over a week of speculation, it appears that Carmelo Anthony will indeed sign with the Houston Rockets, as a new report from the New York Times has confirmed Anthony's plans.

Marc Stein notes that Anthony will join the Rockets once he clears waivers and will sign a veteran minimum contract. Anthony will make about $1.8 million from the Rockets on top of the $27.9 million he received in his buyout from the Atlanta Hawks. Anthony was first traded from Oklahoma City to Atlanta.

Anthony teaming up with James Harden and Chris Paul is big news, though his acquisition does carry some risks. The Rockets had a good thing going last year, as they finished one win short of a berth in the NBA Finals. They were up 3-2 on the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals and lost the last two games after Paul got injured.

Adding Anthony, it would seem, could help push them over the top. But Anthony isn't the player he once was and there are questions about whether his style is conducive to winning. Anthony has traditionally been at his best when he's a large focus of the offense and he won't be in Houston.

Plus, the Rockets let some important players walk at Anthony's position. Trevor Ariza signed with the Suns and Luc Mbah Moute went to the Clippers. There will likely be a noticeable drop-off on defense.

There is a chance, however, that Anthony thrives in Houston's system. Head coach Mike D'Antoni has set up a structure of isolation ball while spacing the floor with three-point shooters. Anthony could succeed if he can make his possessions count and score more efficiently with less shots. Last year he wasn't able to do that, as he shot just 40.4 percent from the field, but he also wasn't operating in as lethal an offense as the Rockets.

Anthony going to the Rockets represents an interesting point in the career of a guy who will someday be in the Hall of Fame. This should be the best team he's ever played on and if things go right, he could rewrite some narratives about his inability to win in the playoffs.

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Celtics and Sixers may go relatively unchanged this offseason, as stars have gone elsewhere

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Celtics and Sixers may go relatively unchanged this offseason, as stars have gone elsewhere

The 2018 NBA offseason in just three weeks has become one of the wildest summers in the league's history between LeBron James signing with the Lakers, and all the characters that followed him, to DeMarcus Cousins surprising everyone to sign with the Golden State Warriors, to Kawhi Leonard getting traded to the Raptors.

As crazy as it all has been, two teams in the Eastern Conference stand out for so far doing very little, either by choice or circumstance. The Celtics and Sixers, the two teams most see as the favorites in the East, appear at least so far to be running it back with the same group of players.

This appears to be the Celtics' intention. After overhauling their roster last summer, they clearly see an opportunity to take a step forward as-is. Boston was one win away from the NBA Finals and will return Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving from injury. With James gone to the West, they can improve significanly just by keeping it all together.

Boston re-signed Marcus Smart and Aron Baynes. Their biggest addition this summer so far has been their first round pick, Robert Williams.

The Sixers, unlike the Celtics, didn't appear to plan on doing it this way. They wanted James and missed out. They reportedly had interest in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, but both went elsewhere. There are no stars left to sign in free agency and the trade market may be drying up.

Philly made some minor moves like trades for Wilson Chandler and Mike Muscala. They may also have a deal for Kyle Korver in the works. They also had two first round picks in Zhaire Smith and Landry Shamet.

There's a chance the Sixers got better than people think, as many of the moves they made seem smart. But they didn't reel in a big fish and will probably come back for the 2018-19 season with a team very similar to the one that made the second round of the playoffs this spring.

The fact the Celtics and Sixers may stand pat is probably a good thing for the rest of the East. Both teams may improve naturally if they are healthier and if their young players continue to ascend. But neither made a game-changing addition, one that would solidify either as an unstoppable superteam in the conference. 

The West is overloaded with title contenders and All-NBA players. The East, meanwhile, is much more open and it may end up staying that way mainly because Boston and Philly have been quiet so far this summer.

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