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Truth about why DeAndre Jordan's contract matters for Wizards

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Truth about why DeAndre Jordan's contract matters for Wizards

The Washington Wizards are not in the market for coveted free agent DeAndre Jordan. However, in terms of interest over where the Los Angeles Clippers center signs, they are invested.

It's a Paul Pierce thing.

Jordan ranks among the top free agents this season. Unlike LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard and Marc Gasol, there is some sense that the shot blocking big man could switch teams, which has led to numerous rumors ahead of the start of league-wide free agency on Wednesday.

Here's an assumption and a rather valid one: If Jordan leaves the Clippers, Pierce will not sign there. 

Yes, he's a Los Angeles native. Yes, he has the connection to Doc Rivers, his coach for several seasons with the Celtics and now the Clippers' coach and general manager. The pair were central figures in Boston's 2008 championship.

At this point in the soon to-be 38-year-old's career, winning another title trumps playing in his hometown or a reunion.

If Jordan leaves, the Clippers title window closes.

That's true even with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin on the roster because of limited financial flexibility. As ProBasketballTalk.com blogger-in-chief and Southern California based Kurt Helin notes, "Clippers fans should be nervous — if Jordan bolts Los Angeles has no way to replace him with near the same quality (even without Jordan’s contract LA would be close to the cap and have only the mid-level exception to use; which last year got them Spencer Hawes)."

The rumor mill suggests four teams are in the hunt for Jordan. That includes the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers, but those historic heavyweights apparently are behind the Clippers and Dallas Mavericks in pursuit of the Texas native. The Mavericks are turning over most of their roster and looking to make a splash with their available cap space.

Of course, the Clippers have lots in their favor, including the Los Angeles/Hollywood scene that Jordan likes. Plus, only the Clippers can offer Jordan the guaranteed fifth year, which could ultimately net the big man about another $30 million. 

Maybe the allure of becoming more than a perceived third wheel trumps all. Maybe Jordan really wants to split apart from Paul. Reports of a rift between the dunker and his lob-throwing point guard are out there. Maybe he simply wants to stay put.

Maybe Pierce already knows what he's doing next season. The Wizards remain confident in their chances.

But if the small forward is truly contemplating joining the Clippers, there is no maybe about him waiting on Jordan's decision before making his own. Pierce can visit LA in the offseason - or live their for good when his playing days are over. He can catch up with Rivers on the golf course.

His best bet for a title or at least a run to the conference finals between the two team exists in the Eastern Conference with Washington.

That's arguably true even if Jordan stays. It's certainly the case if he bolts.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Wizards' 122-105 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night...

1. This was a tough one for the Wizards. For the third time this season, they got beaten by the Hornets and for the second straight time it was in a blowout.

They still had their moments, though, including this alley-oop from Tomas Satoransky (11 points) to Markieff Morris (13 points, eight assists, six rebounds). It was the second alley-oop connection for those two in as many games:

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2. This was a play that encapsulated the Wizards' night. Jodie Meeks drew a flagrant foul on Michael Carter-Williams, but took a hard shot to the head:

3. Kelly Oubre, Jr. had a solid game with 11 points, including this big dunk:

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4. Speaking of Oubre, he helped the Wizards close the first half with a late surge. The real highlight was Bradley Beal stealing the ball and hitting a corner three at the buzzer:

5. Beal ended up with 33 points, six assists and six rebounds. Here's an and-1 he got to go down in the second half:

All in all, it was an ugly performance for the Wizards. To cheer you up, we'll leave you with this young fan who had a great time at Capital One Arena despite the result:

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