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

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USA Today Sports

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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NBA Rumors: Davis Bertans trade inquiries have reportedly gone nowhere as deadline nears

NBA Rumors: Davis Bertans trade inquiries have reportedly gone nowhere as deadline nears

There's been no shortage of teams who've expressed interest in Wizards forward Davis Bertans, but it appears many attempts to trade for the Latvian sharpshooter have been rebuffed by Washington's front office. 

According to Chris Mannix, several Davis Bertans trade inquiries have gone nowhere. In those conversations, executives told Mannix that the Wizards wouldn't even discuss a deal. 

Bertans is making $7 million this season and is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Wizards have unlocked the sniper's full offensive potential after three seasons in San Antonio. He's averaging career-highs in minutes (29.2), points (15.3), rebounds (4.6), field goal attempts (11.4) and three-point attempts (8.7). 

Bertans' break out season has resulted in a number of contenders expressing interest in his services. Based on a report by Chase Hughes earlier this month, the Celtics, Sixers, Lakers and Nuggets have all emerged as potential suitors. 

 

The Wizards remain consistent on their intention to keep Bertans past the trade deadline even if that may mean losing him in free agency. While the Wizards may be in the midst of a rebuild this year, Bertans is a better fit for John Wall and Bradley Beal's contention window. 

The key with Bertans this summer is his bird rights. Bird rights allow a team to re-sign a player to any amount without using cap space. After the spending-spree that was the 2019 free agency period, there are about seven teams who could realistically create enough cap space to give Bertans the $12-15 million salary Berants is believed to fetch. The Hawks, Hornets, Cavs, Grizzlies, Knicks, Suns and Trail Blazers. 

Whoever has Bertans on their team at the end of the year will naturally be able to outbid any team on a contract offer since they won't have to use cap space to retain him. That's probably why Mannix believes the Wizards can get at least a first round pick for Bertans and why Tom Haberstroh thinks the Wizards' asking price might be too high to get a deal done. 

Contenders can get desperate at the deadline though, especially for the kind of shooting and bench scoring a player like Bertans can provide. If the Wizards are comfortable keeping Bertans and dealing with the uncertainty of free agency, they can sit back and wait for a team to offer everything they want and more. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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Wizards vs. Hawks: Time, TV Channel, Live stream, how to watch

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Wizards vs. Hawks: Time, TV Channel, Live stream, how to watch

The Wizards head to Atlanta Sunday evening for their third straight road game, part of a four-game trip. All-Star hopeful Bradley Beal will go head-to-head with All-Star starter Trae Young in the backcourt.

Young and Beal are two of the NBA's most prolific scorers, with Young averaging nearly 30 points per game and Beal scoring at least 36 points in back-to-back games.

Washington is coming off a convincing win in Cleveland after dropping an overtime heartbreaker in Miami.

Can the Wizards win back-to-back road games against two of the league's worst teams? Tune in to find out.

WIZARDS vs. HAWKS HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Wizards at Altanta Hawks, Game 45

Where: State Farm Arena, Atlanta, GA

When: 6:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Wizards vs. Hawks will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (NBC Sports Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards vs. Hawks on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the NBC Sports App.

Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM

WIZARDS vs. HAWKS TV SCHEDULE

5:00 PM: Wizards Outsiders (LIVE)

5:30 PM: Wizards Pregame Live (LIVE)

6:00 PM: Wizards vs. Hawks (LIVE)

8:30 PM: Wizards Postgame Live (LIVE)

9:00 PM: D.C. Sports Live (LIVE)

9:30 PM: Wizards Talk (LIVE)

WIZARDS vs. HAWKS INJURY REPORT:

Wizards: John Wall (OUT, Left Achilles rehab), Garrison Matthews (day-to-day, ankle), Rui Hachimura (OUT, groin), Moe Wagner (OUT, ankle)

Hawks: Trae Young (day-to-day, thigh), Alex Len (day-to-day, back), Chandler Parsons (OUT, concussion), Jabari Parker (day-to-day, shoulder)

WIZARDS vs. HAWKS PLAYERS TO WATCH

Bradley Beal, G, Wizards (27.8ppg, 4.5 rpg, 6.4 apg): Beal has caught fire in recent days, scoring 36, 38 and 29 points in his last three games as he makes his bid to be an All-Star for te second consecutive season.

Davis Bertans, F, Wizards (15.3ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.7 apg): Bertans has made at least four three-point field goals in back-to-back games, finding his stroke as he makes a case for the 3-point shooting contest.

Trae Young, PG, Hawks (29.2ppg, 4.7 rpg, 8.6 apg): Young was just named to his first All-Star Game as a starter, thanks to his incredible statline that jump off the page. He is one of just two players averaging more than 29 points and eight assists per game. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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