North Carolina Tar Heels forward Harrison Barnes slaps hands with teammate Stilman White in the first half against the Kansas Jayhawks in their men's NCAA Midwest Regional basketball game in St. Louis

Report: Top 5 picks Barnes, Kidd-Gilchrist want to avoid Sacramento


There is a lot of jockeying at the top of the NBA draft board… well, not the very top. Anthony Davis is a lock.

But from pick No. 2 on down there are a handful of players that teams like and a more teams trying to get into position to pick them. Will Cleveland jump up to No. 2 to get Bradley Beal? What will the Wizards to at No. 3?

It likely shakes out like this — North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes and Kentucky’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will go fourth (currently Cleveland’s pick) and fifth (currently Sacramento) in some order. Which led to this little note in Chad Ford’s latest mock draft at ESPN.

Both guys desperately don’t want to go to Sacramento.

It is kind of moot for these guys, they have no choice on where they land. If one gets picked by Sacramento they will deny any report they didn’t want to go there and express how much they love to walk around Old Sacramento.

But if they feel that way, what are free agents saying?

Watch Kobe Bryant’s entire retirement-announcement press conference (video)

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Kobe Bryant reflected, told stories and showed his emotions.

For nearly 25 minutes, the Lakers star talked about his pending retirement. It was pretty cool.

Report: Wizards signing Ryan Hollins

Blake Griffin, Ryan Hollins
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Nene hurt his calf. Drew Gooden is banged up. Martell Webster is out for the season.

Those are three players the Wizards expected to play power forward this season.

So, Washington – which has lost four straight – will bring in another big man: Ryan Hollins.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

The Wizards have a full roster of 15 players. They don’t qualify for a hardship exemption, which a team gets if four players have missed three straight games and will continue to be out. Only Webster and Alan Anderson definitely fit that bill. Gooden, who has missed five straight, might. But it’s unclear both how many of those absences were due to injury and when he’ll return.

So, Washington will have to waive someone to sign Hollins now. It’ll probably be Webster, whose $5,845,250 2016-17 salary is just $2.5 million guaranteed. If he’s out for the year and the Wizards plan to drop him by the summer to clear cap space, why not just do it now?

Hollins is more center than power forward and doesn’t appear to fit well with Marcin Gortat. But at this point, Washington just needs big bodies. Hollins – a nine-year veteran who plays decent interior defense, lacks offensive skill and rebounds poorly for his 7-foot frame – is at least that.

Dwight Howard crushes Kristaps Porzingis with dunk (video)

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Sometimes – as Kristaps Porzingis sees against Dwight Howard – it’s more flattering just to play James Harden-level defense.