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Wizards 2018 NBA Draft prospect profile: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Wizards 2018 NBA Draft prospect profile: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

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: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

School: Kentucky
Position: Point guard/shooting guard
Age: 19 (turns 20 in July)
Height: 6-6
Weight: 180
Wingspan: 7-0
Max vertical: 36

2017/18 stats: 14.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 5.1 apg, 1.6 spg, 0.5 bpg, 48.5 FG%, 40.4 3PT% (0.6 3P/1.5 3PA), 81.7 FT%
Player comparison: Shaun Livingston/Ron Harper
Projections: NBC Sports Washington 14th, NBADraft.net 12th, Bleacher Report 14th, Sports Illustrated 13th

5 things to know:

*A tall and athletic point guard, Gilgeous-Alexander was smooth and efficient running the offense at Kentucky. He scored, dished assists, rebounded very well for his position and forced turnovers on the defensive end. Gilgeous-Alexander is a smart player and seems like a relatively safe pick, especially for a team looking to start him as a backup point guard with the ability to start down the road.

*Gilgeous-Alexander has potential to be a plus-shooter at the NBA level. He shot 40.4 percent from three in his one season at Kentucky. What he will need to show beyond backing up to NBA range is the ability to shoot at a high percentage with volume. The real threats from the perimeter in the NBA can not only shoot efficiently, but can get hot enough to alter games. Gilgeous-Alexander never hit more than two threes in a single game at UK.

*Gilgeous-Alexander could be a solid perimeter defender, especially if he adds some weight to his frame. He does a good job of using his plus-wingspan to affect passing lanes and get steals. He averaged 1.6 steals per game and seven times this year had three steals or more. Gilgeous-Alexander showed his versatility on both ends in the NCAA Tournament against Davidson when he posted a line of 19 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and five steals. 

*A question for teams evaluating Gilgeous-Alexander will be his ceiling. Is there All-Star potential or will he top out as a solid rotation player? He's a methodical, smooth player but sometimes teams favor the flashy, rim-rattling athletic guys in the draft.

*He is originally from Canada and his mother, Charmaine Gilgeous, represented the country in track and field at the 1992 Olympics. Gilgeous-Alexander has played for Canada at the international level in FIBA tournaments.

Fit with Wizards: Gilgeous-Alexander would help the Wizards in a variety of ways. He would help shore up their point guard depth chart behind John Wall, a problem the Wizards have been trying to solve for years. He would give the Wizards some serious height at the point guard position between Wall (6-4) and Tomas Satoransky (6-7).

Gilgeous-Alexander may also be able to play some shooting guard. He certainly has the size and length to guard opposing twos. The question would be whether he can play off-the-ball offensively. Gilgeous-Alexander can shoot, but can he shoot well enough to co-exist with Wall in the backcourt when Bradley Beal isn't on the floor? 

The problem with Gilgeous-Alexander for the Wizards would be the fact there is no long-term chance for him to start with Wall and Beal locked up at the guard position. Ideally, a guy taken at 15th overall could someday be a starter. Also, Gilgeous-Alexander may have some redundancy with Satoransky. That's no reason to pass on a really good player in the draft, but it's something to consider.

Best highlight video:

More draft prospect profiles:

Kevin Knox, PF, Kentucky

Miles Bridges, SF, Michigan State

Robert Williams, PF/C, Texas A&M

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Middleton outduels Beal as Bucks bury Wizards

Middleton outduels Beal as Bucks bury Wizards

The Washington Wizards lost to the Milwaukee Bucks 151-131 on the road on Tuesday night. Here are five takeaways from what went down...

1. The Milwaukee Bucks may appear from afar like a one-man show; Giannis Antetokounmpo and a supporting cast of good, but nowhere near great players. On Tuesday night, the Wizards got to see the Bucks without their MVP, as he sat with a shoulder injury. Turns out they are still very, very good.

Milwaukee led by as many as 32 points and won by 20 as they demolished the Wizards for much of the night with the exception of some isolated second-half runs.The Wizards would end up cutting the lead to seven midway through the third quarter, but overall they were no match for the league's best team.

The Wizards fell to 15-31 on the season, while the Bucks improved to 41-6. That puts them on pace for 72 wins, which would tie the 1995-96 Bulls for the second-best regular season record of all-time.

2. We know the Wizards aren't a good defensive team. In fact, they might be the worst defense in today's game and are arguably one of the worst in league history.

But it was still shocking to see what the Bucks did to them in the first half of this game. Milwaukee made history in several ways by scoring 88 points by the break.

Those 88 points were the most ever allowed by a Wizards/Bullets team in any half. They were the seventh-most scored in a first half in NBA history. And they were the 20th-most scored by any team in any half.

The Bucks actually broke their own record against the Wizards. Last February, they scored 85 points in the first half against Washington, which at the time was the most ever scored against the franchise in a first half. At least that time they had Antetokounmpo.

This, by the way, was the sixth time this season the Wizards have allowed 140 points or more. That is the most 140-point games allowed by a team in a single season since the 1990-91 Nuggets. 

That Denver team had 24 such games, so well ahead of the Wizards' pace. But this is only Game 46 of 82 for Washington, so don't sell them short.

3. The reason why the Bucks were able do that without Antetokounmpo was because their second- and third-best players, Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe, stepped up and played like All-Stars. Middleton may very well be in the annual showcase next month.

Middleton had a career-high 51 points, 28 of which came in the first half. He went 7-for-10 from three.

Bledsoe added 32 points, including 22 in the first half. He was 11-for-20 from the field. He also had 10 assists and six rebounds, as he bullied the Wizards - even their big men - on the boards.

4. The Wizards were able to stick around and make it interesting because Bradley Beal also put in an All-Star performance. He dropped a season-high 47 points with six assists in 38 minutes.

It was Beal's sixth 40-point game of the season. Only James Harden (16) and Trae Young (8) have more. Beal now has 18 career 40-point games, third in franchise history behind Gilbert Arenas (28) and Walt Bellamy (23). 

5. It wasn't of the Antetokounmpo caliber, but there was a pregame injury update for the Wizards that is worth noting. Backup guard Jordan McRae wasn't able to go due to a sprained right ankle.

McRae rolled his ankle on Sunday against the Hawks and it is apparently more serious than his previous ankle injury, the one to his left ankle, that he suffered on Jan. 17 against the Raptors. That one appeared to be very severe at the time, yet he was able to play in their next game.

It is unclear how long McRae will be out, but the Wizards are expected to get rookie Rui Hachimura back, perhaps within the next week.

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Wizards fail to contain Khris Middleton and fall to league-leading Bucks by 20

Wizards fail to contain Khris Middleton and fall to league-leading Bucks by 20

The Bucks didn't have Giannis Antetokounmpo, but it didn't really matter in the end as the Bucks downed the Wizards 151-131 Tuesday night in Milwaukee. 

The Wizards trailed by as many as 32 in this one, and were down 25 at the half, but as we've learned with this team, they never truly go away. And they always give us a few moments worth watching again. 

Here are some of the best moments from Washington's loss at Fiserv Forum. 

Kobe Bryant tribute

Tuesday was the Bucks' first game since Kobe Bryant passed away Sunday in a helicopter crash so after they won the tip, they took a 24-second violation to honor the late NBA legend.

The Wizards already participated in a similar tribute against the Hawks but took an eight-second violation on the following play regardless. 

The entire sports world was gutted by Bryant's tragic death, and as we continue to see tributes dedicated to him every day, it shows just how far his reach was as a global icon. 

Beal posterizes Lopez

As we stated before, the Wizards were down by as many as 32 points and faced a 25-point halftime deficit. They were able to get things close at the end of the third quarter and into the fourth, and much of the credit should go to Beal's loud poster dunk over Brook Lopez. 

Beal was so pumped up after this slam that he got a technical foul for taunting Lopez after the play. Beal secured a career-high sixth 40-point game of the year and went shot-for-shot with Khris Middleton throughout the second half. 

Middleton just couldn't miss. At all. 

Thomas Bryant draws the Wizards close

There was a time that the Wizards nearly clawed their way into a one-possession game with the NBA's best team. Thanks to Beal's heroics of course, but also Thomas Bryant's finishing inside. 

Bryant had a double-double in the game in what was his best game since coming back from injury. 

Interestingly enough, he played his best at the center spot and not power forward. Scott Brooks has been starting Bryant next to Ian Mahinmi and it's resulted in clunky offense and embarrassingly bad defense for the Wizards. 

After this game, Brooks may want to think about changing up the starting five. 

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