NBA Mock Draft 3.0 Post-Lottery

First mock draft since the lottery! The Suns and Kings the clear winners of last night.

Follow us @TheSportzSermon on Twitter and subscribe on YouTube for more Sportz Sermon content! Enjoy!

 

  1. Suns- Luka Doncic, SF Slovenia
  2. Kings- Deandre Ayton, C Arizona
  3. Hawks- Marvin Bagley III, PF/C Duke
  4. Grizzlies-  Jaren Jackson Jr. PF/C Michigan State
  5. Mavericks- Mohamed Bamba, PF/C Texas
  6. Magic- Trae Young, PG Oklahoma
  7. Bulls- Michael Porter Jr, SF Missouri
  8. Cavaliers (via Nets)- Wendell Carter, PF Duke
  9. Knicks- Mikal Bridges, SF Villanova
  10. 76ers (via Lakers)- Miles Bridges, SF Michigan State
  11. Hornets- Kevin Knox, SF Kentucky
  12. Clippers (via Pistons)- Collin Sexton, PG Alabama
  13. Clippers- Robert Williams, PF/C Texas A&M
  14. Nuggets- Lonnie Walker, SG Miami
  15. Wizards- Zhaire Smith, SF Texas Tech
  16. Suns (via Heat)- Keita Bates-Diop, SF Ohio State
  17. Bucks- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG Kentucky
  18. Spurs- Dzanan Musa, SF Bosnia
  19. Hawks (via Timberwolves)- Troy Brown, SG Oregon
  20. Timberwolves Aaron Holiday, PG UCLA
  21. Jazz- Mitchell Robinson, C USA
  22. Bulls-  Jacob Evans, SG Cincinnati
  23. Pacers- Khyri Thomas, SG Creighton
  24. Trail Blazers- Chandler Hutchison, SF Boise State
  25. Lakers (via Cavaliers)- Anfernee Simons, SG IMG Academy
  26. 76ers- Jalen Brunson, PG Villanova
  27. Celtics- De’Anthony Melton, SF USC
  28. Warriors- Jontay Porter, C Missouri
  29. Nets (via Raptors)- Tyus Battle, SG Syracuse
  30. Hawks (via Rockets)- Moritz Wagner, PF/C Michigan
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NBA Re-Draft 2017

With the hiatus of basketball that is occurring until Sunday, it had me thinking about this past draft class and just how good it was. Then, what would the league look like if there was a re-draft? So, here we go! Below is a FULL 30 team 1st round redraft of last year’s draft! Follow us @TheSportzSermon on Twitter and subscribe on YouTube for more Sportz Sermon content! Enjoy!

 

  1. Philadelphia 76ers (via Celtics)- Donovan Mitchell (Jazz)
  2. Los Angeles Lakers- Jayson Tatum (Celtics)
  3. Boston Celtics (via 76ers)- Lonzo Ball (Lakers)
  4. Phoenix Suns- De’Aaron Fox (Kings)
  5. Sacramento Kings- Kyle Kuzma (Lakers)
  6. Orlando Magic- Lauri Markkanen (Bulls)
  7. Chicago Bulls- Markelle Fultz (76ers)
  8. New York Knicks- Dennis Smith Jr. (Mavericks)
  9. Dallas Mavericks- Jordan Bell (Warriors)
  10. Portland Trail Blazers- OG Anunoby (Raptors)
  11. Charlotte Hornets- Frank Ntilikina (Knicks)
  12. Detroit Pistons- Josh Jackson (Suns)
  13. Utah Jazz- Jonathan Isaac (Magic)
  14. Miami Heat- Bam Adebayo (Heat)
  15. Sacramento Kings- Luke Kennard (Pistons)
  16. Minnesota Timerwolves- Jarrett Allen (Nets)
  17. Milwaukee Bucks- John Collins (Hawks)
  18. Indiana Pacers- Malik Monk (Hornets)
  19. Atlanta Hawks- Zach Collins (Trail Blazers)
  20. Sacramento Kings- Josh Hart (Lakers)
  21. Oklahoma City Thunder- Dillon Brooks (Grizzlies)
  22. Brooklyn Nets- Terrance Ferguson (Thunder)
  23. Toronto Raptors- Semi Ojeleye (Celtics)
  24. Denver Nuggets- TJ Leaf (Pacers)
  25. Philadelphia 76ers- Justin Patton (Timberwolves)
  26. Portland Trail Blazers- Justin Jackson (Kings)
  27. Los Angeles Lakers- Tony Bradley (Jazz)
  28. Utah Jazz- Caleb Swanigan (Trail Blazers)
  29. San Antonio Spurs- Sindarius Thornwell (Clippers)
  30. Los Angeles Lakers- Derrick White (Spurs)

NBA Playoffs Opening Round Picks and Analysis

WESTERN CONFERENCE:

#1 Houston Rockets (65-17) vs. #8 Minnesota Timberwolves (47-35)

Jason Gandhi

Pick: Rockets (4-2)

Analysis: 44-3. That’s the record that the Rockets have Chris Paul, James Harden, and Clint Capela all play. I’m sure by the end of the playoffs you’ll be seeing 44-3 in your dreams due to the usage of that stat. But, do not overlook the Timberwolves. Thibodeau is a fantastic defensive coach and has enough talent to get going in the playoffs. I’ll leave you with two more stats to ponder as the playoffs begin. Chris Paul has never advanced further than the 2nd round. James Harden’s last playoff performance: 10 points, 2-of-11 shooting, 6 turnovers.

Dylan Stagge

Pick: Rockets (4-0)

Analysis: This year is the Rockets’ best chance to upset the defending champs They finished with the best record in the NBA and dominated the underachieving Wolves in the regular season. This shouldn’t be a contest.

#2 Golden State Warriors (58-24) vs. #7 San Antonio Spurs (47-35)

Jason Gandhi

Pick: Warriors (4-1)

Analysis: The Warriors haven’t looked good of recent weeks without Steph Curry and now more than ever, they need to step it up. This has been a disappointment of expectations for the Spurs and they have their chance to dethrone the champs. I don’t see it happening though, Steve Kerr will alter the playbook to fit KD and the Spurs aren’t as deep as usual. This isn’t the matchup in which the Warriors falter.

Dylan Stagge

Pick: Warriors (4-1)

Analysis: Kawhi Leonard gives the Spurs the starpower they have been missing all season long and the chance at redemption from Zaza Pachulia’s dirty shot last postseason. The Warriors have also been struggling without Steph Curry. However, the Warriors realize this is the postseason and turn it on. There is potential here for the Spurs to make it close if Kawhi turns it on.

#3 Portland Trail Blazers (49-33) vs. #6 New Orleans Pelicans (48-34)

Jason Gandhi

Pick: Trail Blazers (4-2)

Analysis: Both teams have stars who don’t have the best supporting cast but have learned how to use what they have and roll with it. Both teams had 2nd half surges solidifying their spot in the playoffs. What seperates them? 2 >1.  Damian Lillard and C.J McCollum are too much to handle for Rajon Rondo and E’twaun Moore. Anthony Davis is going to get his 30 points and 15 rebounds and dominate but the Pelicans lost too much depth when Boogie went down.

Dylan Stagge

Pick: Trail Blazers (4-2)

Analysis: The Blazers only ended up winning one more game than the Pelicans this season. I’m a much bigger believer in the Pelicans though. It would take an incredible showing from Anthony Davis to win this series, and I think he will be able to for a couple of games. The Blazers just have more weapons to win an entire series.

#4 Oklahoma City Thunder (48-34) vs. #5 Utah Jazz (48-34)

Jason Gandhi

Pick: Thunder (4-3)

Analysis: I really went back and forth with this one. Both teams show glimpses of being legit contenders but then again when Carmelo Anthony is bricking 3’s like it’s his job and Ricky Rubio is shooting like a blind man with Kobe’s mentality, it is hard to pick either one. I give the edge to the Thunder just due to the experience. Russ and Paul George have both had extended runs in the playoffs and they have played well when the competition is a top team. Definitely a game 7 type series but Russ passes to PG-13 for the game winner!

Dylan Stagge

Pick: Thunder (4-3)

Analysis: Between Utah’s gritty style and Russ’s intensity, we might see a couple of brawls in this series. I think the Thunder decide to turn things on in this series though and pull it off in 7 games.

 

EASTERN CONFERENCE:

#1 Toronto Raptors (59-23) vs. #8 Washington Wizards (43-39)

Jason Gandhi

Pick: Wizards (4-2)

Analysis: I’m going to start with a quote from ESPN: “Among active NBA players, only Rajon Rondo and Jamal Crawford have attempted more field goals in the postseason and converted them at a lower true shooting percentage than DeRozan.” We all know of Derozan and Lowry’s poor playoff performance. If you need a reminder, just go on YouTube and watch Kyle Lowry leave his team in the middle of the game. But, lets talk about the Wizards. They have so much talent in one of the best backcourts in Wall and Beal AND have an underrated small forward in Otto Porter Jr. I believe he is the X-factor. If he can show the league why he was a top 5 pick a few years back, the Wizards will win this series. Sorry Canada!

Dylan Stagge

Pick: Raptors (4-1)

Analysis: The Wizards lost 5 of their last 6. They have had a rough regular season and certainly underachieved like the West’s 8 seed. Playoff Raptors certainly can choke at any moment, but I think they get through at least this first round with ease.

 

#2 Boston Celtics (55-27) vs. #7 Milwaukee Bucks (44-38)

Jason Gandhi

Pick: Bucks (4-2)

Analysis: The Bucks got the matchup they wanted. The Celtics now without Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving are going to struggle to get consistency out of guys like Terry Rozier and Semi Ojeleye who now have to step up. If one coach could do it though, it is Brad Stevens. Jabari Parker needs these playoffs to show despite the injuries he can be a dynamic player. The Celtics can squeeze a few out but ultimately the Bucks have too much talent.

Dylan Stagge

Pick: Bucks (4-2)

Analysis: The Celtics are missing Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, and Marcus Smart. I can’t buy them anymore. The Bucks are the more talented team and Giannis will turn it on for the postseason. If the Celtics win though, it will be because of Brad Stevens.

 

#3 Philadelphia 76ers (52-30) vs. #6 Miami Heat (44-38)

Jason Gandhi

Pick: 76ers (4-1)

Analysis: The 76ers have had the most impressive season of anyone this year. Coming off a horrible few years during “the Process”, the fans of Philly are having all of it come back at once. The Eagles won the Super Bowl and the 76ers are good again. Miami is no match for Philly but they sneak one out when Embiid is out and Whiteside plays well.

Dylan Stagge

Pick: 76ers (4-1)

Analysis: The Heat are the East’s version of the gritty team that keeps things close every game (West’s is the Jazz). The Heat are not nearly as good though, and the Sixers are scorching hot. The Heat will pull out one game because they keep every game close, but the Sixers, especially if they get Embiid back, are extremely scary.

 

#4 Cleveland Cavaliers (50-32) vs. #5 Indiana Pacers (48-34)

Jason Gandhi

Pick: Cavaliers (4-2)

Analysis: Lebron James. Okay, I’ll clarify. Playoff Lebron James. The Pacers are another one of the best stories in the league with hometown star Victor Oladipo leading the charge. But, Lebron in the playoffs hasn’tb een stopped in 8 years in the Eastern Conference and it won’t happen this year. Something to watch for: this is Larry Nance Jr., and Jordan Clarkson’s first playoff appearances and both play key minutes.

Dylan Stagge

Pick: Cavaliers (4-2)

Analysis: My heart wants the Pacers, but Lebron is going to overwhelm the young squad. Although the Pacers are deeper, playoff Lebron doesn’t need any help from his teammates unless he’s playing the Warriors.

 

NBA Mock Draft 2.0

First mock draft since the regular season has concluded. Ties are in order from Tankathon.com

Follow us @TheSportzSermon on Twitter and subscribe on YouTube for more Sportz Sermon content! Enjoy!

  1. Suns- Deandre Ayton, C Arizona
  2. Grizzlies- Luka Doncic, SF Slovenia
  3. Mavericks (tie 3/4)– Marvin Bagley III, PF/C Duke
  4. Hawks (tie 3/4)–  Michael Porter Jr, SF Missouri
  5. Magic- Jaren Jackson Jr. PF/C Michigan State
  6. Bulls (tie 6/7)– Wendell Carter, PF Duke
  7. Kings (tie 6/7)– Mohamed Bamba, PF/C Texas
  8. Cavaliers (via Nets)- Collin Sexton, PG Alabama
  9. Knicks- Trae Young, PG Oklahoma
  10. 76ers (via Lakers)- Miles Bridges, SF Michigan State
  11. Hornets- Mikal Bridges, SF Villanova
  12. Clippers (via Pistons)- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG Kentucky
  13. Clippers- Robert Williams, PF/C Texas A&M
  14. Nuggets- Kevin Knox, SF Kentucky
  15. Wizards- Lonnie Walker, SG Miami
  16. Suns (via Heat) (tie 16/17)– Zhaire Smith, SF Texas Tech
  17. Suns (via Bucks) (tie 16/17)– Anfernee Simons, SG IMG Academy
  18. Spurs (tie 18/19)– Jacob Evans, SG Cincinnati
  19. Hawks (via Timberwolves) (tie 18/19)– Khyri Thomas, SG Creighton
  20. Pacers (tie 20-23)– Aaron Holiday, PG UCLA
  21. Jazz (tie 20-23)– Chandler Hutchison, SF Boise State
  22. Timberwolves (via Thunder) (tie 20-23)– Mitchell Robinson, C USA
  23. Bulls (via Pelicans) (tie 20-23)– De’Anthony Melton, SF USC
  24. Trail Blazers- Keita Bates-Diop, SF Ohio State
  25. Lakers (via Cavaliers)- Jontay Porter, C Missouri
  26. 76ers- Shake Milton, SG SMU
  27. Celtics- Troy Brown, SG Oregon
  28. Warriors- Dzanan Musa, SF Bosnia
  29. Nets (via Raptors)- Gary Trent Jr, SF Duke
  30. Hawks (via Rockets)- Jalen Brunson, PG Villanova

NBA Mock Draft 1.0

First official mock draft of the NBA season! DRAFT ORDER AS OF 3/28 from Tankathon.com

Follow us @TheSportzSermon on Twitter and subscribe on YouTube for Sportz Sermon content! Enjoy!

  1. Suns- Deandre Ayton, C Arizona
  2. Grizzlies- Luka Doncic, SF Slovenia
  3. Hawks- Marvin Bagley III, PF/C Duke
  4. Magic- Mohamed Bamba, PF/C Texas
  5. Cavaliers (via Nets)- Michael Porter Jr, SF Missouri
  6. Mavericks- Jaren Jackson Jr. PF/C Michigan State
  7. Kings- Wendell Carter, PF Duke
  8. Bulls- Trae Young, PG Oklahoma
  9. Knicks- Collin Sexton, PG Alabama
  10. 76ers (via Lakers)- Miles Bridges, SF Michigan State
  11. Hornets- Mikal Bridges, SF Villanova
  12. Clippers (via Pistons)- Kevin Knox, SF Kentucky
  13. Nuggets- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG Kentucky
  14. Clippers- Robert Williams, PF/C Texas A&M
  15. Suns (via Bucks)- Zhaire Smith, SF Texas Tech
  16. Suns (via Heat)- Khyri Thomas, SG Creighton
  17. Wizards- Chandler Hutchison, SF Boise State
  18. Hawks (via Timberwolves)- Lonnie Walker, SG Miami
  19. Jazz- Dzanan Musa, SF Bosnia
  20. Bulls (via Pelicans)- Daniel Gafford, C Arkansas
  21. Spurs- Mitchell Robinson, C USA
  22. Timberwolves (via Thunder)- Jacob Evans, SG Cincinnati
  23. Pacers- Anfernee Simons, SG IMG Academy
  24. 76ers- Brandon McCoy, C UNLV
  25. Lakers (via Cavaliers)- Aaron Holiday, PG UCLA
  26. Trail Blazers- Keita Bates-Diop, SF Ohio State
  27. Celtics- Hamidou Diallo, SG Kentucky
  28. Warriors- Landry Shamet, SG Wichita State
  29. Nets (via Raptors)- Bruce Brown, SG Miami
  30. Hawks (via Rockets)- De’Anthony Melton, SF USC

What Kobe Meant to Me

By: Jason Gandhi

 

Mamba Mentality.

 

The words that could motivate the 10-year-old like nothing else. Those two words drove him further than any person he had ever met. That kid was me.

 

Kobe Bryant was my idol. I stayed up countless nights as a little kid, past my bedtime, just to get a glimpse of what he did that night. I didn’t know I loved basketball until he left the game. I knew I loved Kobe, but I thought that was it. Kobe made me fall in love with the game.

 

When I was younger, it was all about trying to replicate his every move. I was never into legos or those kinds of things. My toy was the “Mamba Mentality”. I would go outside and work on the infamous turnaround jumper from the elbow or reenact the game-winning shot Kobe hit the night before.  It was what I loved.

 

The obsession didn’t end with his moves on the floor. Kobe influenced my life off the floor. I bought eleven of his jerseys, from high school to Christmas games, and had countless shirts and shorts of Kobe apparel. I could not get enough of it. I went to every game for the past 5 years when Kobe came to Indy and idolized him right behind the bench every single time.

 

But, I grew up. I realized 5’10”, skinny and average talent doesn’t get you to the NBA. But that didn’t stop the love of basketball. I turned the mentality from trying to master Kobe’s moves to try to pick his brain and WHY he made the move he made, as he was one of the smartest people I have ever seen.  I listened to every postgame press conference, every interview, just to try and understand a glimpse of what the Mamba Mentality was.

 

I continued to watch every game and study. But then “Dear Basketball” came out. I remember sitting on my couch shocked that Kobe was finally calling it quits. This season would be the last time I could watch my idol take the floor. When he came to Indiana, that was the best game I have ever been to. The atmosphere and the way Kobe willed his team back in the game one last time in person left me starstruck. He threw me his water bottle that night, and I use that as a symbol to go forward. I have it on my desk to push me along with that “Mamba Mentality”.

 

On Mamba Day, April 13th, 2016, it was the final time. I was up until 4:24 AM that night. It was the perfect culmination. It was just like my childhood days. Staying up past my bedtime… to get a glimpse of what he did that night.

 

Kobe Bryant pushed me and will continue to push me to wherever my life takes me. He has no idea the impact he had, and since we have never had a conversation, he never will know. But, I didn’t have to meet him… it was the way he carried himself and how I was shaped because of it.

 

It was and always will be the Mamba Mentality.

 

 

10 Questions–Basketball 11/30-12/6

This is my new series “10 Questions” that I will be doing ideally every week! There will be a football and a basketball one each week. Hope you enjoy and let me know if you want to see anything else!

 

  1. What’s next for the Ball family?

 

Lonzo will keep doing what he’s doing with the Lakers. The latest development with LiAngelo will not alter his status. For the other brothers, obviously, LiAngelo is most affected. According to Lavar, he will not be transferring to another school, so that begs the question as to what his other options are? Well, he can go overseas and play for a living in Europe. He could also train here with his own people and get ready for the draft. The only issue with that is that he was only a 3-star prospect, so he was not as highly touted as some people think. He will have to improve tremendously in order to have a legitimate chance to get drafted. Mitchell Robinson is also not going to college and preparing for the draft, but the difference is he was a 5-star and a top center in his class. For LaMelo, his eligibility is definitely in question. The Ball’s will have to prove he did not receive any compensation from Big Baller Brand, but more importantly from his signature shoe. He is also helping set up “pop-up shops” with Lavar, so with all the money and deals swirling around him, they will have to prove his eligibility. If he is eligible the plan, as of now, is for LaMelo to still attend UCLA.

2. Which Arizona team is legit?

 

 

Who knows at this point? We do know they have the talent to run the table. Allonzo Trier and Deandre Ayton are top 25 players in the nation and they have good surrounding pieces. The confusing part of the Wildcats is just consistency. They are coming off a huge win over the #7 team in the country in the Texas A&M Aggies. Only Allonzo Trier only took 7 shots and 7 points. Yet, Dusan Ristic had 13 points and was a big reason Arizona stayed in the game. On the flipside, when the Wildcats played NC State and lost in the 1st round of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament, Trier was on fire. He had 27 points and 5 rebounds. Ristic had 11 points and 6 rebounds, so not a bad game but still was not as dominant. We know Ayton will be the leader of the team, but why is Trier not producing in wins? That’s the confusing part. Arizona will still be an elite 8 team come March, but it’s definitely a storyline that needs to be watched.

3. What’s the ceiling for the Michigan State Spartans?

 

 

Michigan State comes in 7-1 and their only loss coming to the #1 team in the country Duke. As conference play begins, they routed Nebraska and got by Rutgers. This team has some ironing out to do, but this might be the most talented team in East Lansing since the infamous Flintstones. Jaren Jackson is a stud defensively and is finding his role in the offense. Miles Bridges is a superstar and one of the most fun players to watch in college basketball. Cassius Winston and Nick Ward being two of the most underrated players in the country, is a reason the Spartans are a legitimate contender to the Blue Devils and Jayhawks come tournament time. They could win the title.

4. How big is the gap between Duke and everyone else?

 

 

Every team goes through growing pains this early in the season. We’ve seen it with Arizona, Kentucky, Michigan State, Notre Dame and others. What’s the difference with Duke then? They find ways to win. Look at the Texas game… they did not play well in that and were down by 16 at one point. The difference is three people that are unlike any other in college basketball. Marvin Bagley III. Grayson Allen. Mike Krzyzewski. Bagley is the best freshman in the country and can take over games. Grayson Allen is the best senior in the country and has four years of success, heartbreak and growing pains to use as a base. Coach Krzyzewski is the best coach in college basketball. All of those three things add up as to why Duke is far and ahead the best team in college basketball.

5. What college basketball game are you most excited for this week?

 

 

Oklahoma vs. USC. Trae Young is leading Oklahoma with 28.7 points per game and a win over USC could be what Boomer Sooner needs to get rolling going into conference play. USC has extremely high expectations on them and this game will be a big one to help them move up the rankings if they can take down the Sooners.

6. Which player surprised the most so far?

 

 

Aaron Gordon. Who expected this? Aaron has had multiple 40 point games already and is surprising everyone. His points average is up 7 points and is shooting a better percentage. The Magic got off to a hot start and a lot of that is due to Gordon. The Magic might have found a true gem in the draft that just took some time to develop.

7. What to make of all the injuries?

 

 

Gordon Hayward, D’Angelo Russell, Zach Lavine, Derrick Rose, Nikola Jokic, Paul Millsap, Danilo Gallinari, Blake Griffin, Mike Conley, Hassan Whiteside, Jabari Parker, Anthony Davis, Kristaps Porzingis, Markelle Fultz, Jonathan Isaac, Kawhi Leonard, Rodney Hood, John Wall, Stephen Curry, Devin Booker… That list is a list of better than average players who have missed a significant amount of time. I probably missed a few as well… The injuries really have piled up and depleted some teams AKA Clippers. When these guys get back, the league will only get better.

8. Are the Rockets the best team in the West?

 

The Rockets are 7-0 since Chris Paul returned, and they’ve led by as many as 20 points in each of those seven wins… they have been unstoppable. CP3 and Harden are gelling and the team is forming around them. D’Antoni’s system is now in its 2nd year and coming together. The Rockets are finally putting pieces in place to rival the Warriors… They need one more addition and it doesn’t necessarily have to be a star but they just need one more solid piece to truly compete with the Warriors.

9. Who won the Pacers-Thunder trade looking back?

 

I don’t think either team won or lost. It was a great trade for both teams. I was one of the big believers in the Pacers got swindled. But looking back, both teams got what they needed. The Thunder got Paul George, which put them in the race for the West. Oladipo and Sabonis were not going to get them there. The Thunder have crunch time issues, but they wouldn’t be in crunch time without PG-13. The Pacers got youth and scorers. Sabonis is in his 2nd year in the NBA and Oladipo is a scoring machine. He is averaging more points than Paul George did for the Pacers. I know it’s early, but Oladipo could be an instrumental part of the return to greatness in Indiana. Both teams got better and are in a good position.

10. Is Bradley Beal enough to keep the Wizards competitive?

 

 

Bradley Beal DESTROYED the Trail Blazers Tuesday night and dropped 51. The night before Beal and the Wizards got DESTROYED by the Jazz and lost by 47. So which Beal is the real one and can he get the Wizards going? Well, we knew Beal needed to pick it up when John Wall got hurt and was sidelined for two weeks. I don’t think we should expect to see 50+ points from him a game, but 25-35 a night isn’t unrealistic. He was the #3 pick in the draft for the reason, and it’s now or never for him to fulfill that potential and keep the Wizards in the top 5 while Wall is sidelined.