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Wizards 2018 NBA Draft prospect profile: Khyri Thomas

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Wizards 2018 NBA Draft prospect profile: Khyri Thomas

The Washington Wizards hold the 15th and 44th overall picks in the 2018 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects projected to be picked around where the Wizards will select...

2018 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Khyri Thomas

School: Creighton
Position: Shooting guard
Age: 22
Height: 6-4
Weight: 198
Wingspan: 6-11
Max vertical: 35

2017/18 stats: 15.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.7 spg, 0.2 bpg, 53.8 FG%, 41.1 3PT% (1.9 3PT/4.6 3PA), 78.8 FT%
Player comparison: Marcus Smart
Projections: NBC Sports Washington 16th, NBADraft.net 21st, Bleacher Report 28th, Sports Illustrated 30th

5 things to know:

*Thomas impacts the game on both ends of the floor, but defense may be his calling card at the NBA level. He was the Big East defensive player of the year twice. Thomas is a strong guard with a huge wingspan for his size. He used that length to forced lots of steals in college. He averaged 1.7 per game as a junior and twice in his college career had five in one game. He has a chance to be a very physical defender in the NBA, similar to Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics.

*Thomas hit threes at an impressive rate in college. He shot 40.6 percent for his three-year career on 3.2 attempts per game. He proved as a junior that he can shoot at a high percentage (41.1%) and at high volume (4.6 3PA).

*Though Thomas had some standout measurables at the combine, his 35-inch vertical leap was lower than many players at his position. He will need to make up for that with his wingspan around the rim.

*His age is something worth considering. Thomas is 22 and was born in 1996, yet that's old for the NBA Draft. Teams will have to determine how much room he still has left to improve. As Malcolm Brogdon showed when he was entering the draft, sometimes teams can sleep on an older player and not realize what they are missing.

*There seem to be mixed opinions on his offensive potential. Some evaluators love his shooting mechanics, some point out he isn't a polished ball-handler and doesn't have a quick first step. Thomas appears to be a player that will be defense-first initially and then over time reveal his true ceiling as a player.

Fit with Wizards: The Wizards could certainly use a guy like Thomas. He fills a positional need at shooting guard and his three-point shooting would be attractive to add to their bench. 

Thomas' defensive potential is very intruging. The Wizards have some solid wing defenders, but Thomas could add some strength to that front line. He could someday use his strength to really bother smaller guards.

Like with any guard the Wizards are evaluating at the No. 15 pick, they have to determine if it's worth drafting someone who won't have a path to start in the near future. That is even more so the case at shooting guard rather than point guard, because Bradley Beal is only 24 years old and just entering his prime.

Best highlight video:

More draft prospect profiles:

Kevin Knox, PF, Kentucky

Miles Bridges, SF, Michigan State

Robert Williams, PF/C, Texas A&M

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky

Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech

Landry Shamet, PG/SG, Wichita State

Gary Trent, Jr., SG, Duke

Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami

Anfernee Simons, PG/SG, IMG Academy

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Wizards set introductory press conference for Dwight Howard

Wizards set introductory press conference for Dwight Howard

Wizards team president Ernie Grunfeld has stayed relatively busy this summer crafting his new-look lineup for the 2018-19 season. 

One of the team's key additions, Dwight Howard, is set to be introduced as a member of the Wizards on Monday. 

NBC Sports Washington will air the introductory press conference live at 1 p.m. while also streaming it online.  

Ernie Grunfeld and head coach Scott Brooks are both expected to be in attendance. 

The 32-year-old big man is coming off a 2017-18 season with the Charlotte Hornets in which he averaged 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. 

Since leaving the Orlando Magic after eight seasons in 2011, Howard has played for four different teams in the last six years. 

Howard is an eight-time all-star and a three-time defensive player of the year. 

 

RELATED LINKS: 

John Wall's take on Dwight Howard 

Wizards make Dwight Howard free agent signing official 

By the numbers: Is new Wizards center Dwight Howard still in his NBA prime? 

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Carmelo Anthony traded to Hawks in three-team deal, but not likely to stay

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Carmelo Anthony traded to Hawks in three-team deal, but not likely to stay

The stage has been set for Carmelo Anthony to hit free agency, as the 10-time All-Star was traded to the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday in a three-team deal, one that will lead to a subsequent buyout of his contract. ESPN first reported the news and noted that the Rockets are the favorites to sign him.

The full deal sends Dennis Schroder from the Hawks to the Thunder in exchange for Anthony and a protected first-round pick, and sends Mike Muscala from Atlanta to Philly. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot will go to the Thunder from Philly and Justin Anderson will go from the Sixers to the Hawks.

That's a complicated deal, but it ultimately frees Anthony up to choose a new team. He was set to make $27.9 million from the Thunder next season, but the Hawks are footing the bill to let him walk.

Anthony's skills have declined now that he's 34 years old. Last season, he averaged 16.2 points on 40.4 percent shooting, way down from the 22.4 points he averaged the season before with the Knicks.

Still, Anthony could help a team looking for a scoring punch and the Rockets would like some more help in their quest to take down the Warriors. If he signs there, he will join friend Chris Paul and the 2017-18 MVP, James Harden. 

Houston has been the logical landing spot for Anthony ever since news broke that the Thunder were looking for a way out of his contract. If he doesn't go there, perhaps the Lakers would make sense. LeBron James is going to need a lot more help than the roster he currently has around him to make some noise in the crowded Western Conference.

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