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Best NBA free agents available for Wizards based on needs and salary cap constraints

Best NBA free agents available for Wizards based on needs and salary cap constraints

Now that Paul George is off the board, heading to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Wizards can move on with their re-signing Otto Porter to a healthy extension. 

They'll have two exceptions under the $99 million salary cap at the mid-level ($8.4 million) and bi-annual ($3 million) which allow them to exceed it.

Their two biggest needs when the period opens officially at 12:01 a.m. are a shooter behind Bradley Beal and a wing and/or on-ball defender. In the latter, they could be able to find both in one package.

Since the Wizards don't have much wiggle room, they'll likely act quickly.

Best fits

  • James Johnson (Heat): I voted for him as Sixth Man of the Year. It was a breakout season. He was able to defend -- and play on offense -- all five positions. Miami didn't make the playoffs, but it was the first team to maximize his skill-set at just $4 million. Chances are the 30-year-old will cash in with a big offer which would put him out of Washington's range. But he averaged a career-high in points (12.9), rebounds (4.9) and assists (3.6) off the bench. Can count the number of players in the league who can defend 1-5 on one hand. Johnson is one of them. 

 

  • Tony Allen (Grizzlies): Averaged 9.1 points in 66 starts but even at 35 he's an All-Defensive player. Allen gets his offense in the open court and off transition rather than half court. He lives to defend.

 

  • Thabo Sefolosha (Hawks): He's a wing defender who can make the occasional three. Earned $4 million and given his limitations and age (33), shouldn't be expensive.

[RELATED: Top 20 NBA Free Agents]

  • Justin Holiday (Knicks): Who wouldn't want to get out of New York? He completed the second year of a two-year deal that paid him $2 million. Dropped a career-high 7.7 points and shot 35.5% from the field. Not staggering numbers but good enough to sell upside if he plays on a good team where he can get set up for better shots. His pricetag should be in the Wizards' wheelhouse.

 

  • Jodie Meeks (Magic): Comes at a low risk with a high reward. The downside is he has played an average of 33 games in each of the last three season. When he plast played a full season, Meeks averaged 15.7 points for the L.A. Lakers. Earned $6.5 million in Orlando last season and it's unlikely he'll be in high demand given his recent injury spate. But he can shoot 40% from three.

 

  • Ben McLemore (Kings): Never took off despite being a lottery pick and Sacramento has given up on the shooting guard. He shot 38.2% from three last season but fell out of the starting lineup in averaging 8.1 points. He's just 24 and earned $4 million in 2016-17.

[RELATED: Wizards' recent history bodes well for Otto Porter's future]

 

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2018 NBA All-Star Game: TV and live stream info, rosters, things to watch for dunk contest, three-point contest

2018 NBA All-Star Game: TV and live stream info, rosters, things to watch for dunk contest, three-point contest

The 2018 NBA All-Star Game is here with the annual showcase set for Los Angeles.

Here is all you need to know: TV and live stream info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch:

2018 NBA ALL-STAR GAME

Where: Staples Center
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
TV: TNT
Online with no cable TV: fuboTV (try for free)

ROSTERS

TEAM LEBRON:

Coach: Dwane Casey, Raptors
LeBron James, Cavaliers
Kevin Durant, Warriors
Kyrie Irving, Celtics
Anthony Davis, Pelicans
LaMarcus Aldridge, Spurs
Bradley Beal, Wizards
Goran Dragic, Heat
Andre Drummond, Pistons
Paul George, Thunder
Victor Oladipo, Pacers
Russell Westbrook, Thunder
Kemba Walker, Hornets

TEAM STEPHEN:

Coach: Mike D'Antoni, Rockets
Stephen Curry, Warriors
James Harden, Rockets
Joel Embiid, 76ers
DeMar DeRozan, Raptors
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks
Jimmy Butler, Timberwolves
Draymond Green, Warriors
Klay Thompson, Warriors
Al Horford, Celtics
Damian Lillard, Blazers
Kyle Lowry, Raptors
Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves

PODCAST: ALL-STAR WEEKEND PREVIEW, WIZARDS AT THE BREAK 

Three things to watch...

New format

The NBA switched it up this season by doing away with the traditional matchup between the East and West. The teams were instead chosen by captains LeBron James and Stephen Curry, the two top vote-getters in All-Star fan voting. The idea was to breath new life into the All-Star Game and hopefully make it more competitive. The league also installed a system where the winners each get $100,000, $75,000 more than the losing team. 

All pro sports leagues struggle drawing interest with their All-Star showcases. They are always trying to get ratings up and this is the latest ploy by the NBA. The new format is definitely intriguing, but whether it will have a major impact on the competition itself is hard to tell. We'll see how the fans respond.

RELATED: JOHN WALL GIVES UPDATE ON HIS REHAB

Reunion time

The teams picked by James and Curry will give fans some throwback combinations with former teammates back together again. Team LeBron is full of them. James will reunite with Kyrie Irving, who essentially forced his way out of Cleveland over the summer after the two combined to reach three straight NBA Finals and win one title.

We will also see Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook play together again. They of course teamed up to win a lot of games with the Oklahoma City Thunder before Durant signed with the Warriors. Westbrook will also be reunited with Victor Oladipo, who was traded from OKC to the Pacers over the summer.

RELATED: WIZARDS/BULLETS HISTORY ON ALL-STAR SATURDAY NIGHT

Beal's All-Star debut

Wizards fans will of course be focused on Bradley Beal, who is making his first All-Star appearance. He is Washington's lone representative, as John Wall is still recovering from left knee surgery.

Beal may not get many minutes on a stacked roster of guys who have been in the game before. If that happens, it's probably for the best. Beal is currently fifth in the NBA in total minutes played. He needs the rest if he can get it.

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS

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Bradley Beal eliminated in first round of three-point contest, Donovan Mitchell wins dunk contest

Bradley Beal eliminated in first round of three-point contest, Donovan Mitchell wins dunk contest

It was a short night for Wizards guard Bradley Beal in the 2018 All-Star three-point contest on Saturday, as he was eliminated in the first round.

Wearing the Wizards' new 'The District' white alternate jersey, Beal shot a 15 and fell short of the top three spots to qualify for the second round. Suns guard Devin Booker won the contest with a 28 score in the final, beating out Klay Thompson of the Warriors and Tobias Harris of the Clippers.

RELATED: BEST WIZARDS/BULLETS MOMENTS ON ALL-STAR SATURDAY NIGHT

Beal's was undone by a slow start. He missed all five shots on the first rack and made just one on the second. He began to heat up at the third rack, but by then couldn't recover.

Here is Beal's full round:

This was Beal's second showing in the three-point contest. He finished second back in 2014 and this year said he was motivated to avenge that loss. He should have plenty more opportunities to participate in the future if he chooses.

The NBA's All-Star Saturday night began with Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie winning the skills competition. He beat Bulls big man Lauri Markkanen in the final round.

Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell won the dunk contest. He edged Larry Nance, Jr. of the Cavaliers in the finals.

RELATED: LATEST 2018 NBA MOCK DRAFT