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NBA free agency: Day 1 recap and names still on the market


NBA free agency: Day 1 recap and names still on the market

Say what you want about NBA free agency, but just don't call it boring.

Day 1 proved to be a wild ride from the start and ended with $1.3 billion in contracts doled out headlined by monster extensions for Anthony Davis and Kevin Love. Yes, that includes the relatively low cost, though longer than expected deal now ex-Wizards forward Paul Pierce signed with the Los Angeles Clippers. The volume of deals likely won't be matched, but there are plenty of massive contracts still waiting for completion. Probably some crazy trades as well, though it will be hard topping the Sacramento Kings' bizarre maneuver for cap space.

What stood out:

  • The two teams that faced the Wizards in the playoffs were active on Day 1 and impacted with one signing. The Raptors added a 3-and-d force by signing Hawks free agent DeMarre Carroll. Meanwhile, Atlanta kept all-star Paul Millsap in the fold with a three-year, $58 million contract and bulked up by acquiring center Tiago Splitter from the San Antonio Spurs. Factor in Toronto previously dealing away Greivis Vasquez while adding guards Luke Ridnour and Delon Wright, and the Raptors are switching up their look. Intentional or not, so are the defending Eastern Conference champion Hawks. 
  • Forget the Sacramento side of the trade with Philadelphia or why the Kings believe the smart move was trading away 2014 first rounder Nik Stauskas plus a future No. 1 while giving the 76ers rights to swap picks in two upcoming drafts for the sake of clearing cap space. Just note that Philadelphia's continuing plan of wait and see paid off in this case. The 76ers gave up nothing of interest, but certainly improved the present and future just by adding Stauskas, a sharpshooting lottery pick. Now let's see what they do with newly added vets Carl Landry and Jason Thompson. As for the Kings, let's hope they add reported targets Rajon Rondo and Monta Ellis. Combined with DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay, rookie Willie Cauley-Stein and coach George Karl, we're talking reality show scene and not the good kind.

Who's next:

LeBron James - Just a matter of time before he re-signs with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who kept Love, Tristan Thompson and Iman Shumpert with new deals Wednesday. 

LaMarcus Aldridge - It appears three teams remain in play for the Trail Blazers scoring forward with the San Antonio Spurs the perceived frontrunner. The Phoenix Suns moved into contention in part because they added defensive center Tyson Chandler in free agency. Portland's chances might not be the best, but a chance remains that Aldridge stays put for another run with Damian Lillard.

DeAndre Jordan - Does the Pierce signing indicate Los Angeles is keeping their shot blocker? Jordan spent lots of time with the Dallas Mavericks on Day 1. If he indeed wants to play a larger role, the Mavs have plenty of room 

Of the 10 names on this list of potential fits for the Wizards, seven remain available.

MORE WIZARDS: Which Wizards free agent is most likely to re-sign?

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Wizards vs. Sixers: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

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Wizards vs. Sixers: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre, Jr. and the Washington Wizards battle Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, J.J. Redick and the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night.

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


Where: Capital One Arena
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (coverage begins at 7 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Another test

The Wizards continue their difficult stretch coming out of the All-Star break against a very dangerous Sixers team. Philly has proven to be very streaky this season, but right now they are rolling. They come to Washington having won their last seven games dating back to Feb. 6 when they beat the Wizards at the Wells Fargo Center. The Wizards are also playing well, having won eight of their last 11, despite their loss to the Hornets on Friday.

The Sixers are currently seventh in the East and appear on track to make the playoffs. If they keep rising the standings, they could meet the Wizards, who are currently fourth, in the first round. 


Season series

Speaking of the playoffs, this game could end up looming large for postseason seeding. The Sixers have won two of the three matchups between these teams this year. If they win on Sunday, they will take the season series and own the tiebreaker over Washington.

If the two teams tie head-to-head and end up with the same record at the end of the season, it will then come down to conference record. The Sixers currently have a better record against East teams than the Wizards. But if they can beat Philly this time, the Wizards will have a chance to secure the conference tiebreaker down the stretch of this season.


Sixers are tough to guard

The Wizards have found out the hard way this season just how difficult it can be to match up with the Sixers, who are led by two emerging stars in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Embiid is 7-foot-1 with rare abilities to stretch the floor and beat opponents off the dribble. Simmons is 6-foot-10, yet can lead the fastbreak with rare speed and vision to find his teammates with crisp passes.

The mobility for their size is almost unmatched and it has not been easy for the Wizards to answer. In their last meeting earlier this month, Simmons had 15 points, eight assists, six rebounds and three steals. Embiid had 27 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks. The Wizards have to try to limit those guys while also dealing with other challenges like Robert Covington, Dario Saric and J.J. Reddick.


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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

Instead of visiting the White House when they come to Washington this week to play the Wizards, the defending-champion Golden State Warriors plan to hold an event with D.C.-area kids.

Their invitation was rescinded by president Donald Trump following a back-and-forth between the two sides last year. After the Warriors won the title, they openly questioned whether they should follow the tradition given many of the players and coaches disagree with his policies. Trump took the opportunity away before they came to a final decision.


The Warriors' event will be closed off to the media and held at an undisclosed location. It is set for Tuesday, the day before they play the Wizards at Capital One Arena. The Warriors had the option of holding a ceremony with other politicians in the Democratic party, but decided that would send the wrong message. 

"It's their championship. They got disinvited to the White House, so it's up to them what they wanted to do. So they made their plans," coach Steve Kerr said. "I want the players to have a good day and to do something positive and to enjoy what they're doing."

The Warriors are the first NBA team to make this choice since Trump was elected president. Last season, the Cleveland Cavaliers held their celebration with president Barack Obama in November. They did so just days after Trump was elected and LeBron James questioned at the time whether he would visit the White House with Trump in office.


Sports teams visiting the White House goes back to the mid-1800s. The first World Series title team to visit was the 1924 Washington Senators. By the 1960s, NBA teams were going and by the 1980s NFL and NHL teams made it a tradition.

Entire teams snubbing the White House is unusual, but many players have turned down the opportunity. In the NBA, some famous cases include Larry Bird in 1984 and Michael Jordan in 1991, according to Rolling Stone.

Perhaps the Warriors start a trend, or maybe it will be a one-off thing. Regardless, the alternative they chose is a respectable one.