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5 Wizards summer league players with most on the line

5 Wizards summer league players with most on the line

LAS VEGAS – Every year, multiple players are declared steals – in the draft or free agency – all because of summer league. And if a team wins the “championship” in this two-week tournament with 23 NBA teams, the accomplishment is grossly overrated, too.

The most important thing is being able to tell whether or not a player has a shot at the next level and that’s no indicative by the boxscore. Though NBA teams are on these jerseys, most aren’t NBA players. These are makeshift units full of players, most of whom aren’t getting paid, trying to get noticed to get a training camp invite.

Remember Glen Rice’s MVP award from summer league two years ago while with the Wizards? Where is he now? Still in the D-League after being cut.

The Wizards open Saturday vs. the Utah Jazz, and unlike recent years they'll have more than one or two players worth paying attention to for tipoff (CSN, 6:30 p.m. ET). 

Kelly Oubre: The second-year forward is secure so what he’s hoping to show coach Scott Brooks, who’ll be watching from the stands while assistant Sidney Lowe runs the team, is whether or not he’s deserves a closer look to be either the starter at small forward or at least the primary backup for Otto Porter. Last year, Oubre displayed a better three-point stroke than expected in the regular season though he didn’t shoot from distance very well at summer league. He clearly was the best athlete on the floor in every summer league game, and if Oubre can settle down and get in a rhythm early he could be poised for a breakout.


Aaron White: He played in Germany in 2015 when he was a second-round pick and he has one job which is being a stretch four. If he lights it up, the Wizards have a decision to make on whether or not that can translate against bigger, stronger and faster players at the next level. If not, they’d probably have him stashed overseas for another year or could make another move involving White.

Jarell Eddie: By Tuesday, the 6-7 shooter will either be fully guaranteed at less than $1 million for 2016-17 or he’ll be a free agent. That’s because the Wizards have to make up their mind on whether to waive his non-guaranteed deal by the July 15 deadline.

Sheldon McClellan: The guard is a partial guarantee but that doesn’t mean he has a roster spot. He’s long at 6-6 and is determined to make his mark as a defender and not as a scorer. Of course, if he can show potential to do both, his chances increase to stick. McClellan has gone the similar route of Dez Wells a year ago, opting to bypass being drafted and stashed overseas for a year. He thinks he’s ready now.

Daniel Ochefu: Disregard the three-year deal he signed with the Wizards. The only number that matters is the $50,000 guarantee. The rest of the contract is a dangling carrot. It isn’t valid unless he makes good at summer league and then training camp. The Wizards are heavy on bigs so it’s difficult to see how he’d fit but if he blows everyone away there’s a lot of time between now and the regular season to figure out what to do with the 6-11 center.  The small guarantee assures that he’ll be around for training camp and not accepting offers from other teams to train for them. If he gets waived, he walks away with a nice sum in his pocket unlike most rookie free agents. 

Jaleel Roberts, who the Wizards paid to attend Tim Grgurich’s private camp in Vegas last year and then went to Australia to play, didn't make the trip and is looking to find a new home. 


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Bradley Beal makes most of his opportunity in first All-Star Game

Associated Press

Bradley Beal makes most of his opportunity in first All-Star Game

Bradley Beal may have had a slow start in the three-point contest on Saturday night, but in Sunday's All-Star Game he worked quickly to make the most of his relatively small window of playing time.

Beal checked in for the first time with 5:45 left in the first quarter and less than 25 seconds later had his first points on a two-handed dunk assisted by LeBron James.

In his All-Star debut, Beal helped lead Team LeBron to a 148-145 victory over Team Stephen as the league utilizied a new format for the annual showcase.


Beal finished with 14 points and a steal in a productive night. He shot 5-for-10 from the field and an impressive 4-for-8 from long range. 

Beal also tried to get a travelling call from the refs on Karl-Anthony Towns. Yeah, that's not likely to happen in an All-Star Game:

Beal more than held his own and only played 16 minutes, which was good considering he has logged the fifth-most minutes of any player so far this season. A realistic best-case scenario was a strong showing and a short night and that's exactly what he got.

Not only does Beal play a lot of minutes, the Wizards need him now more than ever with John Wall's injury. He needs whatever rest he can get during this All-Star break.

Speaking of Wall, he was in the house despite being in the middle of his rehab from left knee surgery. Per usual, Wall was shining bright:


The All-Star Game wasn't all about Beal, of course. Here are some other things that stood out...

*The new format and increased financial incentive were intended to make the game more competitive and that's what happened late in the fourth quarter. Usually, that's how these things go where the players will start trying at the end. But this time it seemed to be up a few levels and it was fun to watch. 

Both teams scored in the 140s, so it wasn't exactly a defensive battle. No matter what the league does, the players will only try so hard for so long. The main goal of everyone's is to not get injured in a game that ultimately doesn't count for anything. Still, this was different and appears to have been a success.

*While everyone was focusing on the reunion of LeBron and Kyrie Irving the best beef was Joel Embiid vs. Russell Westbrook. Those two have traded waves to taunt each other at the end of wins in head-to-head matchups and it was clear on Sunday they still don't like each other. Westbrook tried to dunk all over Embiid in the first half, only to get blocked at the rim.

Westbrook's determination to dunk on Embiid was out of the ordinary for an All-Star Game. It was obvious what was on his mind:

*Irving's handles are simply ridiculous. Check out this fake behind-the-back move he pulled with Giannis Antetkounmpo guarding him. Yes, it didn't fool the defender but it was impressive nonetheless:

*LeBron is 33 years old, yet he was still running up and down the court faster than anyone and leaping above the rim to thrown down alley-oop after alley-oop. It is truly amazing and everyone should enjoy watching him while they can, regardless of whether they like the guy or not.

This was one of his dunks:

LeBron took home MVP with a game-high 29 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and a steal.

*The pregame show was quite bad. It was anchored by comedians Kevin Hart and Rob Riggle and, though they had some funny jokes, it lasted nearly 30 minutes. The whole thing was pretty much universally panned on social media. Fergie's national anthem was also roasted by the masses.

*The halftime show was much better. It began with N.E.R.D taking it back to their older days with 'Lapdance,' went to Migos performing 'Stir Fry' and swung back to N.E.R.D. who did their latest hit 'Lemon.' 


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The NBA All-Star pregame introductions were, uh, something

The NBA All-Star pregame introductions were, uh, something

Whoever put together the NBA All-Star Game player introductions has some 'splainin to do. 

The NBA introduced a kinda-full Staples Center to their 2018 All-Stars about an hour ago, and boy was it weird. There were a lot of dancers in different themed costumes. Kevin Hart was screaming. Rob Riggle was screaming. Ludacris showed up? Hey! Did you know that the Barenaked Ladies are still a band? The NBA would like you to know they're still around.  The whole thing was like when you're at an art museum and you're told that abstract piece in the corner is actually really meaningful but you gotta be honest, you don't get it. 

Anyways, the internet hated it. Here are some highlights from the internet hating it:

The lesson here is that you never need Kevin Hart and Rob Riggle. One will do.