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Wizards 2018 NBA Draft prospect profile: Lonnie Walker IV

Wizards 2018 NBA Draft prospect profile: Lonnie Walker IV

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: Lonnie Walker IV

School: Miami
Position: Shooting guard
Age: 19
Height: 6-5
Weight: 196
Wingspan: 6-10
Max vertical: 40

2017/18 stats: 11.5 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.9 apg, 0.9 spg, 0.5 bpg, 41.5 FG%, 34.6 3PT% (1.8 3P/5.1 3PA), 73.8 FT%
Player comparison: Tim Hardaway, Jr./Ben McLemore
Projections: NBC Sports Washington 17th, NBADraft.net 17th, Bleacher Report 10th, Sports Illustrated 13th

5 things to know:

*Walker is a freak athlete that offers a very high ceiling. He is 6-foot-5, strong and has a plus wingspan to go along with a very impressive 40-inch vertical leap. He is also quick and agile with the ability to blow past defenders especially on the fastbreak.

*Though he's extremely athletic, Walker is a raw talent. He doesn't have a refined skillset offensively. He needs work on his ball-handling and his jumpshot. The potential for him to become an above average scorer is there, but it's unlikely he makes that sort of impact right away.

*Walker isn't a high efficiency player. He shot a poor percentage from the field (41.5%) and required 9.9 field goal attempts per game to score 11.5 points.

*He only shot 34.6 percent from three at Miami, but could light it up when he got hot. Nine times this season he made three threes or more in a game and three times he made five. Twice he went 5-for-7 from three, which is very good.

*Walker hasn't shown the ability to rack up numbers in other categores like assists and rebounds. Right now, he's not the most versatile player. If he is going to just be a scorer in the NBA, he better be very good at that or else he will need to develop other ways to impact games.

Fit with Wizards: The Wizards need depth behind Bradley Beal at shooting guard, so Walker could fit in well positionally. The problem is that he doesn't play other positions and would have no long-term opening to start. 

The Wizards may have to make a tough decision on draft night if the best big men are not available because most of the players projected to be in their range are guards. They have two All-Star guards already and both are signed long-term. 

If drafted by the Wizards, Walker would provide athleticism to their bench and potentially give them a nice scoring punch. The Wizards could use a player who can create his own shot on their bench and Walker could do that someday soon.

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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

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Jeff Green happy to reunite with head coach Scott Brooks on Wizards

Jeff Green happy to reunite with head coach Scott Brooks on Wizards

The city of Washington, where he grew up near and was a star in college at Georgetown University, isn't the only factor that makes joining the Wizards familiar for Jeff Green. He is also reuniting with his former coach, Scott Brooks, who now leads the Wizards.

Long ago, Brooks was cutting his teeth on the sidelines while Green was finding his way on the court. When Green was a rookie on the Seattle Supersonics in 2007, Brooks was a 42-year-old assistant coach. The team moved to Oklahoma City the following year and by late November of 2008, Brooks was the head coach after P.J. Carlesimo was fired.

Brooks helped oversee Green's first four seasons as an NBA player and Green remembers those days well.

"He looked way better than he does now," Green joked.

Brooks, now 53, has a knack for taking playful shots at those he works with, whether that be players, fellow coaches or the media. Green is clearly on that level and feels comfortable ribbing his head coach, knowing he can both dish it out and take it.

All jokes aside, Green is still appreciative of the tutelage he received from Brooks back in the day.

"Scotty was my No. 1 guy, he’s always been, but when I first stepped foot on an NBA floor, he was there for me. He was a coach with Seattle when I first got into the league," Green said.

The NBA has taken Brooks and Green to very different places in the seven years since they split ways. Green left for the Celtics and has since played for the Grizzlies, Clippers, Magic and most recently the Cavaliers. Brooks stuck around with OKC through the 2014-15 season before he was let go. After taking a year off, he joined the Wizards.

Much has changed in Brooks and Green's lives. They have lost and gained jobs. Their families have grown. Now, they are back on the same team and Green is excited about it.

"We’ve been close and tight ever since. We never lost contact. So, I’m looking forward to being coached by him again. I know he’s going to put us all in great positions to succeed. We just have to do our part on the floor," Green said.

Green spoke with Brooks on the phone before deciding to sign with the Wizards as a free agent in July. His presence was one of the many reasons he felt Washington was a good fit.

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NBA MVP odds are out, with some names missing

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NBA MVP odds are out, with some names missing

Bovada's 2018-19 NBA MVP odds were released, and there's a few head-scratchers on the list. 

First, let's keep in mind that these odds are to get you to place a bet more than anything. They want you to see something, and tempt you to throw your money at it.

That being said, John Wall comes in tied for 14th, while Bradley Beal doesn't show up on the list.

Now, let's look at who else was on the list over Beal.

Lonzo Ball has 100/1 odds to win MVP, DeMarcus Cousins who is still recovering from a torn Achilles, and  Kristaps Porzingis, recovering from a torn ACL also appear over Beal.

Just thinking out loud here, but that seems like maybe a bit of a stretch right?

Porzingis may not play at all for the Knicks this coming season, and Cousins is expected to miss months before making his debut in Golden State. 

Cousins also plays on a team with Steph Curry (15/1) and Kevin Durant (9/1). 

Also missing from the odds was Klay Thompson. So, yeah. 

New Raptor Kawhi Leonard also comes in at 11/1. 

2018-2019 - NBA MVP - Odds to Win

LeBron James                        10/3
Anthony Davis                         4/1
Giannis Antetokounmpo        9/2
James Harden                         11/2
Kevin Durant                            9/1
Kawhi Leonard                        11/1
Russell Westbrook                  14/1
Stephen Curry                         15/1
Joel Embiid                              16/1
Kyrie Irving                               16/1
Ben Simmons                           35/1
Damian Lillard                          45/1
Karl-Anthony Towns                50/1
DeMar DeRozan                       80/1
John Wall                                  80/1
Donovan Mitchell                     85/1
Jimmy Butler                            100/1
Nikola Jokic                              100/1
Victor Oladipo                          100/1
Chris Paul                                 100/1
LaMarcus Aldridge                   125/1
Paul George                              125/1
DeMarcus Cousins                   150/1
Gordon Hayward                      150/1
Jayson Tatum                           175/1
Blake Griffin                              225/1
Devin Booker                            275/1
Kristaps Porzingis                    275/1
Kyle Lowry                                325/1
Lonzo Ball                                 450/1

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