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Wizards/Bullets Best of the Best: (1) Wes Unseld vs. (16) Juwan Howard

Wizards/Bullets Best of the Best: (1) Wes Unseld vs. (16) Juwan Howard

CSN is running a bracket to determine the best player in Wizards/Bullets franchise history. There are 16 players in a four-round tournament. The first round will be voted on by fans, while the rest will be determined by our analysts. The winner will be revealed during an hour-long special called 'Best of the Best' on Friday, July 14 at 7:00 p.m. on CSN.

Here is today's matchup...


Wes Unseld

Years with franchise: 13
Stats: 10.8 ppg, 14.0 rpg, 3.9 apg, 1.1 spg, 0.6 bpg, 50.9 FG%
Accolades: Hall of Famer, NBA champion, 5-time All-Star, All-NBA, MVP, Rookie of the Year, Finals MVP, All-Rookie

Summary: The second overall pick out of Louisville in 1968, Unseld immediately made a profound impact on the franchise. They made the playoffs in his first season and the NBA Finals in his third. That was the first of four finals appearances in nine years with Unseld manning the middle. He was a driving force for their lone NBA championship in 1978 when they beat the Seattle Supersonics.

Unseld was known for his rebounding, outlet passes and hard screens. He helped engineer the franchise's glory days with 12 playoff appearances in his 13 NBA seasons. After his playing days, Unseld served many roles for the franchise including general manager and head coach.


[RELATED: PHOTOS: Top 20 NBA free agents]

Juwan Howard

Years with franchise: 7
Stats: 18.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.0 spg, 0.3 bpg, 47.8 FG%
Accolades: All-Star, All-NBA, All-Rookie

Summary: Howard played the first seven of his 19 NBA seasons with Washington. The first three were with the Bullets before they changed their name to the Wizards. The fifth overall pick out of Michigan in 1994, Howard made the All-Rookie team by averaging 17 points and 8.4 rebounds. Alongside his college teammate Chris Webber, Howard and the Bullets made the playoffs in 1996-97, the only postseason appearance for Washington from 1988 until 2005, a span of 17 years. Howards' Bullets met Michael Jordan's Bulls in the first round and were swept in three games.

Howard was later traded by Jordan once he took over in the Wizards' front office. He shipped Howard to the Dallas Mavericks in an eight-player deal. In that trade the Wizards acquired five players including Hubert Davis and Christian Laettner.


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Key adjustment for Wizards: Backcourt backups for John Wall, Bradley Beal

Key adjustment for Wizards: Backcourt backups for John Wall, Bradley Beal

In three of the last four years, the Wizards have exited the playoffs in the conference semifinals. What have they lacked to get over the hump to make the conference finals?

In 2014, it was another creator off the dribble. All they had was Bradley Beal, who was in his second season and not nearly as diverse as he is now, and a limited catch-and-shoot three-point specialist in Trevor Ariza. The Indiana Pacers realized this and exploited the weakness, clogged the paint to keep out John Wall and their series was over in six games.

The following season it was Paul Pierce in place of Ariza and at a more salary-cap friendly pricetag. He had the three-point range but also the mid-range game that Ariza lacked to pull up. That six-game series loss to the Atlanta Hawks could be directly attributed, however, to Wall's broken left hand and wrist that cost him three games. 

This past May, in a seven-game series loss to the Boston Celtics, the Wizards faced a team that had multiple strong defenders in Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart and Jae Crowder. To have the best chance, Wall and Beal couldn't have any let up and had to be on every game.

MORE WIZARDS: All of these unlikely things must happen to pull off George trade

Short of having a Big 3, and with their salary cap constraints, they'll have to compensate by strengthening other spots on the roster:

Corrective action: Backcourt backups.

The fallout: Wall and Beal had their best seasons as professionals, though both were on fumes the last time out. Wall shot 8-for-23 in a Game 7 loss to Boston after playing 44 of 48 minutes. In the previous game, he logged 42.  Beal played 43 and 46 minutes in the last two games.

The departed: Trey Burke; Brandon Jennings

The fixes: Tim Frazier and TBA.

The first move president Ernie Grunfeld made with the roster after a 49-win season was trade their No. 52 pick in last week’s draft for a proven backup to Wall.

This is where Frazier enters. Because of salary-cap constraints, there’s was only so much that could be done. His contract is just $2 million and he should be a much more reliable backup than Burke or Jennings.

Even in the first regular-season game, the Wizards complained that they couldn’t hear or understand Burke’s play calls. It either was because his voice wasn’t loud enough at Phillips Arena vs. the Atlanta Hawks or he was unsure of himself.

When you’re a point guard and the coach determines you’re better off not running the offense, that’s problematic. Jennings played with more pace and confidence but the shooting was absent. He also couldn’t defend the position.  

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Where teams are competing in the 2017 NBA Summer League, dates, how to watch

Where teams are competing in the 2017 NBA Summer League, dates, how to watch

The 2017 NBA Summer League is shaping up to be another year with high anticipation. Less than a month removed from the NBA Finals, it is chance to see the future generation of superstars take center stage. 

This year the NBA's lottery picks are going to be bounced around all three locations (Orlando, Utah, and Las Vagas). It is the first chance to see Lonzo Ball, Markelle Fultz, De'Aaron Fox, Jayson Tatum, and others play with NBA prospects. 

Although the NBA Summer League is a glorified pre-season, it is must-see television as players battle for roster spots, practice player positions, and where undrafted players look to make a splash. Plus, lets be honest, other than baseball what else is there to watch in the middle of the summer. 

Six teams will field a team in two Summer League events: Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat, Utah Jazz, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, and the San Antonio Spurs.

2017 Orlando Pro Summer League

When: July 1-6
Where: Amway Center on the Magic Practice Court
TV Channel: TBA
Livestream: TBA
Live Updates: Orlando Magic Website


Orlando Magic
Charlotte Hornets
Dallas Mavericks
Detroit Pistons
Indiana Pacers
Miami Heat
New York Knicks
Oklahoma City Thunder

Orlando's NBA Summer League is the lone event that is closed to the public due to space and safety concerns. Full rules are found here.

RELATED: Each NBA team's all-time 3-on-3 lineup

2017 Utah Jazz Summer League

When: July 3, 5, 6
Where: Jon M. Huntsman Center, Salt Lake City, Utah
TV Channel: TBA
Livestream: TBA
Tournament Updates: Utah Jazz Website


Utah Jazz
Boston Celtics
Philadelphia 76ers
San Antonio Spurs

2017 Las Vegas Summer League

When: July 7-17
Where: Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion, Las Vegas Nevada
TV Channel: ESPN & NBA TV
Livestream: WatchESPN & NBA TV
Tournament Updates: NBA.com


Houston Rockets
San Antonio Spurs
Golden State
Chicago Bulls
Phoenix Suns
Brooklyn Nets
Toronto Raptors
Washington Wizards
Boston Celtics
Denver Nuggets
Memphis Grizzlies
Miami Heat
Utah Jazz
Cleveland Cavaliers
Dallas Mavericks
Portland Trail Blazers
Sacramento Kings
Atlanta Hawks
Minnesota Timberwolves
Milwaukee Bucks
Philadelphia 76ers
L.A. Lakers
L.A. Clippers
New Orleans Pelicans

WIZARDS: Kelly Oubre doesn't want to play in Summer League