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Wizards get a chance to watch intriguing draft prospects Keita Bates-Diop and Brandon McCoy

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Wizards get a chance to watch intriguing draft prospects Keita Bates-Diop and Brandon McCoy

The Washington Wizards held another pre-draft workout on Thursday, hosting six more players that could find their way onto the roster come draft night.

Of the six players, Keita Bates-Diop is the highest-ranked prospect. The Ohio State veteran has seen a fluctuation in draft stock, projecting as high as the middle of the first round and as low as early second round. The other player often projected in mocks is UNLV freshman Brandon McCoy. He projects as a second-round selection. 

Here are some notes on each player, as they were the two who met with the media post-workout.

Keita Bates-Diop, F, Ohio State (6-7, 235)

Bates-Diop is known for his versatility and length. At 6-7, he projects more as a small forward in the NBA, but managed to grab 8.7 rebounds per game in his redshirt-junior season at Ohio State. He was named Big Ten Player of the Year before declaring for the draft.

“Definitely my length, I have an extremely long wingspan,” Bates-Diop said. “It helps me grab balls I normally wouldn’t get, or most guys wouldn’t get.”

Bates-Diop posted a 7-3.25 wingspan at the NBA combine, 10th highest among all participants.  His length helped him block shots at Ohio State, where he averaged 1.6 blocks per game.

During the pre-draft workout, Bates-Diop was often tasked with defending the guards, he said.

Along with his length, Bates-Diop has developed a three-point shot over the years, most recently making two threes per game at a 35.9 percent clip.

After the pre-draft workout, the Wizards pulled Bates-Diop aside for an extra, individual shooting drill. It was the first time he’s done an extra shooting drill after a pre-draft workout, he said.

Bates-Diop said he wants to prove to teams that “I can shoot the ball better than the percent I shot in college.”

Bates-Diop said up next is a workout with the Atlanta Hawks, who pick No. 19, No. 30 and No. 34 overall.

Brandon McCoy, PF/C, UNLV (7-0, 250)

McCoy was the youngest player at the pre-draft workout on Thursday but made his talent known his first year at UNLV. The 7-foot big man scored 16.9 points and grabbed 10.3 rebounds per game, just one of four freshmen to average a double-double this past season.

The other three? DeAndre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III and Mo Bamba.

But McCoy projects in the second round of the draft. Still, he felt like signing with an agent and leaving after a year was the right move.

“My thought is the more you stay in college, the more you become a college player and we all have aspirations of playing in the NBA,” McCoy said. “And I feel like I did enough in college and it was time to take that next step and become a pro.”

The Wizards told McCoy after the workout that he has a lot of upside and to keep working, he said. The potential is there — McCoy was named Mountain West Freshman of the Year and in addition to his double-double line, he finished with 1.8 blocks per game.

But, McCoy, who just turned 20 less than a week ago, knows he still has a lot to learn.

“You have guys like LeBron James, the best player in the world, still putting things to his game and stuff,” McCoy said. “Imagine a guy like me from the bottom, I got to learn a lot.”

McCoy will head to Dallas next and says he has four more workouts before the draft. The Mavericks have two second round picks, No. 33 and No. 54 overall.


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5 things to know about Wizards training camp invitee Lavoy Allen


5 things to know about Wizards training camp invitee Lavoy Allen

On Wednesday the Washington Wizards added a six-year NBA veteran Lavoy Allen to their list of training camp invitees. 

At 29, Allen comes to the Wizards after being picked up by the Capital City Go-Go in the G-league's expansion draft.

Here are five things to know about the newest Wizard:

1. Allen spent the last season in the G-league

Although he has spent six years in the NBA, he was not as fortunate during the 2017-18 season. Last year he was on the court with the Northern Arizona Suns and only played in 10 of the squad's 50 games.

Averaging 21 minutes of action, he scored nine points a game and grabbed just over six rebounds. 

The last NBA franchise he played on was the Indiana Pacers, who declined their team-option in 2017.

2. At 6-9, Allen Recorded 22 rebounds in an NBA game 

Allen's second year in the association was arguably the best of his career. Ascending as a rotational for the Philadelphia 76ers, Allen started a career-high 37 games during the 2012-13 season.

None of his starts were bigger for him than a February win over the Charlotte Bobcats when he brought down 22 rebounds, 11 of them on the offensive end. He also recorded 14 points on 7-for-16 shooting. 

3. He's the all-time leading rebounder in Temple history 

As one of the best Owls to ever suit up, Allen has etched his name in the Temple record books. With 1,147 boards there is not a single Owl that has more.

During his collegiate career Allen carried Temple to four NCAA Tournaments. He also holds the record for games started and rebounds in a single season at Temple.

4. Played in France for a season after being drafted by Philadelphia

Philadelphia was the team that took a chance on the talented forward/center. After getting selected 50th in the 2011 draft, Allen had to wait before he jumped onto an NBA court. Due to the lockout, Allen had to play in France for IG Strasbourg, until the labor dispute was over.

5. Wrote "Go Pacers" on the Cleveland Cavaliers' Quicken Loans Arena 

At first this seems like the ultimate sign of disrespect. Then you look at everyone else's scribble on the hardwood and it is less impressive.

Still not too many players have this as a headline during an NBA playoff game. Less than two months after this picture, he was out of job.


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Washington Wizards bring training camp back to D.C., announce start date and roster

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Washington Wizards bring training camp back to D.C., announce start date and roster

The Wizards will be holding their 2018-19 training camp close to home, as the team announced on Thursday they will return to the area after breaking camp in Richmond, Va. in recent years.

Wizards training camp will begin on Tuesday, Sept. 25 and will be held at the new Medstar Performance Center in Southeast Washington. Camp will run through Saturday, Sept. 29.

The Wizards have not announced plans for an open practice, which they hold annually, usually on a Friday night. In recent years, that has included a dunk contest featuring younger players on the team.

As part of their training camp announcement, the Wizards also made official their four camp invitations. Guards Chris Chiozza, Tiwian Kendley, Chasson Randle and forward Lavoy Allen will participate, hoping to earn the Wizards’ final roster spot.

The Wizards have 14 players set for their NBA roster and also have two players signed to two-way contracts in Devin Robinson and Jordan McRae. The Wizards do not have to fill the 15th roster spot. By league rules, the minimum roster size is 13 players. With their four invitees, the Wizards will have 20 total players participating in camp.

The Wizards will also hold their 2018 media day on Monday, Sept. 24. Their first preseason game is on Oct. 1 against the New York Knicks.

Here is the full training camp roster:

PG John Wall
SG Bradley Beal
SF Otto Porter, Jr.
PF Markieff Morris
C Dwight Howard
SF Kelly Oubre, Jr.
PG Tomas Satoransky
C Ian Mahinmi
PF Jeff Green
SG Austin Rivers
SF Troy Brown, Jr.
SG Jodie Meeks
PF Jason Smith
C Thomas Bryant
PF Devin Robinson
SG Jordan McRae
PF Lavoy Allen
PG Chasson Randle
PG Chris Chiozza
SG Tiwian Kendley