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Top Stories of the Week: Wizards hold draft workouts, still have hopes for Masai Ujiri, Mystics get on win streak, Delle Donne meets fan from Hong Kong

A lot of news going on with the Wizards and Mystics.

The Entertainment and Sports Arena and the practice facility next to it were the home to a lot of Wizards and Mystics events this past week.
Stewart W. Small

There are a lot of things going on with the professional basketball teams in Washington this past week. So let’s knock these things one at a time.

The Wizards begin draft workouts

Since Monday, the Wizards have hosted a LOT of players. So let’s review:

  • Monday - Shizz Alston (Temple), Shannon Bogues (Stephen F. Austin), Jamall Gregory (Jacksonville State), Trey Mourning (Georgetown), Ed Polite Jr. (Radford) and Trey Porter (Nevada)
  • Tuesday: Raasean Davis (NC Central), Garrison Mathews (Lipscomb), Matt Morgan (Cornell), Marcquise Reed (Clemson), BJ Stith (Old Dominion) and James Thompson IV (Eastern Michigan)
  • Wednesday: Bryce Brown (Auburn), Harry Froling (Adelaide 36ers in the Australian NBL), Frank Howard (Syracuse), Anthony Lee (Kutztown University), and Myles Stephen (Princeton)
  • Thursday: Marques Bolden (Duke), Armoni Brooks (Houston), Tre Campbell (South Carolina), Matur Maker (Australia), Nick Perkins (Buffalo) and LaGerald Vick (Kansas) came for workouts. Tremont Waters (LSU) came for a visit only.
  • Friday: Kavell Bigby-Williams (LSU), Jordan Caroline (Nevada), Aubrey Dawkins (UCF), William McDowell-White (Australia), Justin Robinson (Virginia Tech) and Elijah Thomas (Clemson)

As you might expect, none of these players are realistically going to be picked ninth. And in all likelihood, only a few will be drafted, if at all. That said, it’s common that early draft workout groups are made of players who are more likely to be Summer League and training camp contract targets.

The Wizards will host more draft workouts next week with more players, including those who could be the ninth pick. Check out our stream to stay on track with the players who are coming in daily to the practice facility in Congress Heights, D.C.

Okay, who’s going to be the Wizards’ pick at ninth overall? Draft profiles are coming up!

When your team is the New Orleans Pelicans, you can do a series of ONE. Just focus on Zion Williamson. When the Wizards had the first pick in 2010, we were certainly pretty focused on John Wall and really, no one else, even though I remember some fans wanted Evan Turner instead.

Anyway, the Wizards are picking ninth, so there are many more players whom the Wizards can pick. Our series started earlier this week:

We will have more profiles coming up throughout next week and check out our stream as a hub when these posts come out. The NBA Draft is on Thursday, June 20.

Masai Ujiri is still on the wish list

Ted Leonsis still wants to talk to the Raptors’ President of Basketball Operations. If Ujiri comes to Washington, his could include much more than being the Wizards’ President of Basketball Operations. In fact, Ujiri could be in a corporate and ownership role within Monumental Sports & Entertainment itself. Those are just some of the many options Leonsis has at his disposal, according to Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington.

Either way, the next person to run basketball decisions on a permanent basis has to make some important free agency decisions, especially that of Tomas Satoransky.

The Mystics are on a roll!

After a season opening loss to the Connecticut Sun on May 25, the Mystics have won three straight games including two straight at home against the Dream on June 1 and Sky on June 5 at their new arena in Congress Heights adjacent to their practice facility. Then they beat the Liberty on Friday with Natasha Cloud scoring a career-high 26 points in that game.

Greydy Diaz and Diamond Holton are providing postgame interviews after home games. So here are a few to check out.

  • Greydy interviewed Emma Meesseman after the Dream victory when the forward scored 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting in the game. Meesseman believes that missing last season was the right decision was the right call for her but she is also happy to be back in Washington.
  • Diamond interviewed Ariel Atkins after that game as well. But they talked about Batman and which movie actor was the best (!!!). Yes, Atkins scored 21 points in that win, but sometimes, we’d rather ask about the entertaining topics of the day!
  • Greydy interviewed Bullets Forever fan favorite Natasha Cloud after the Sky win last Wednesday. That interview gave a spark for her to go from Cloud Nine to Cloud Nine to the Ninth yesterday!
  • And finally, Diamond interviewed Kim Mestdagh after the Sky game as well. Mestdagh talked about how she progressed through the European professional ranks after her college basketball days at Colorado State. If you’ve read Bullets Forever for several years, you’ll also know that she’s one of Meesseman’s key sidekicks on the Belgium national team. She talked to us as well about what the Belgian Cats face in Women’s EuroBasket.

Speaking about Women’s EuroBasket, Meesseman and Mestdagh are out in Europe training with the Belgian team.

The team’s training schedule’s here. And yes, we’ll write about their games when Women’s EuroBasket starts on June 27. As expected, they were suspended with Shey Peddy returning. But the WNBA needs to rethink the term suspension here.

A fan traveled from HONG KONG to see Elena Delle Donne!

If you think that we are committed to the Mystics, consider that a fan flew from Hong Kong, an autonomous state with NO WNBA players to Washington.


Oddly enough, the WNBA isn’t friendly to players from overseas. I mean, they don’t pause the season for Women’s EuroBasket. And international stars who could be superstars in this league are relegated to smaller roles in the WNBA because of those commitments. That’s just not right. But for now, I really appreciate this fan’s enthusiasm.

That’s all I have for the week. Enjoy the rest of your weekends everyone!