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What happens with Wizards' free agents after .500 season?


What happens with Wizards' free agents after .500 season?

Instead of the usual five takeaways from a game that has no significance other than whether or not the Wizards could avoid a losing record -- they did with a 109-98 victory over the Atlanta Hawks in the regular-season finale Wednesday -- there was ample discussion before tip off about having too many players on one-year deals. 

Ramon Sessions (22 points) led Washington (41-41) over Atlanta (48-34) to even the season series at 2. It was the Hawks who ended the Wizards' season last year, except it was in Game 6 of the East semifinals at Verizon Center. Nene (19 points, eight rebounds, eight assists) had his best statistical game of the season and exited to a standing ovation.

John Wall brought up who he'd like to back in uniform for the 2016-17 season. Who are the three? And who else has a shot to return? I take a look:

Drew Gooden: Technically he has a contract for next season but it's a team option to meet CBA requirements when he signed the deal last summer under Early Bird Rights. Gooden will be 35. The guess here is the Wizards will go younger and move on. Gooden told CSNmidatlantic.com earlier in the day that he wasn't retiring.

Alan Anderson: A second left ankle surgery in October and a return that kept getting pushed back until after the All-Star break ruined what could've been. Anderson will be 34. Can the Wizards afford to take a risk on him again? He'll be 34 in October. The guess here is no though until this season health has never been an issue with him. He wants back in. Wall wants him back.

Garrett Temple: He was given a chance to become an NBA player because of coach Randy Wittman, who respected his defense-first mentality (Wizards were a top 10 scoring D the previous three seasons), work ethic and penchant for being an occasional three-point shooter and ball-handler in a pinch. Wall gave his endorsement for Temple's return and he comes relatively inexpensive. The guess here is he'll be in uniform here again.

Ramon Sessions: When Andre Miller was no longer getting it done, the Wizards flipped him from a score-first, change-of-pace point guard on a great contract and it also gave them a bigger trade exception. Sessions should get a healthy raise as a backup point guard/scorer from $2.1 million he has made in each of the last two seasons. He'll get offers. The guess here is walks unless he gets a sizable raise with the salary cap going up.

Jared Dudley: He's open to coming back as long as Wittman isn't the coach. But at this point in his career, Dudley wants to make the most money possible. That means he wants security, meaning years. Though he was the other player Wall said he wanted back, the guess here is Dudley walks. 

Nene: The Wizards became a serious team that made two playoff runs because of the Brazilian. This never would've happened with JaVale McGee, who was shipped to the Nuggets for Nene. He made $13 million in the final year of his deal and won't command anywhere near that in the open market but a championship level team that needs a big who can play solid 40-45 games a year can use him at a discount. if Nene wants to play, he'll find a home for something around the veteran mid-level and possibly a ring. The guess here is he walks regardless.

Jarell Eddie: He's played on a minimum salary and could've had a better season had he been used a bit more. But Eddie has made the most of the time he has had and has NBA three-point range, something that's not always a given with a player who lights it up in the D-League. The guess here is the Wizards try to keep him, but Eddie will have other options.

Marcus Thornton and J.J. Hickson: Both were brought on board late to help an injury-plagued roster. Thornton was signed after Gary Neal, who had to have surgery to repair torn cartilage in his hip, was released and Bradley Beal was still out injured. It's difficult to assess exactly where they stands given his little time here but instant offense and a hustle player who can be effective without the ball always are needed in the NBA. The guess here is both go elsewhere. 

MORE WIZARDS: John Wall stands by Wittman though firing imminent

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


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

Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre, Jr. and the Washington Wizards battle Kemba Walker, Dwight Howard, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and the Charlotte Hornets on Friday 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: 7 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (coverage begins at 6 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Radio: 1500 AM

On a roll

The Wizards have some serious momentum going right now. With an impressive win over the Cavs on Thursday, they have now won three straight games and eight of 10 since John Wall went down with a left knee injury. They had a week off due to the All-Star break, but didn't show any rust at all in their first game back.

The Wizards are now 34-24, 10 games above the .500 mark. They are fourth in the East and could move into third on Friday if they win and the Cavaliers lose. Even with Wall out, things continue to look up for Washington.


Hornets have had their number

The Wizards haven't done so well against the Hornets so far this season. Charlotte has taken both meetings and that includes a 24-point win on Jan. 17. That game featured Dwight Howard taunting the Wizards late in the fourth quarter.

Howard has killed the Wizards through two games with averages of 22.0 points and 14.0 rebounds. Jeremy Lamb (20.0 ppg vs. Wizards) has been a big factor as well as All-Star Kemba Walker (21.5 ppg vs. Wizards).

The last time these teams played about a month ago frustrations boiled over in an incident that got Tim Frazier ejected. Michael Carter-Williams picked a fight with Jason Smith and Frazier went off:


Hornets coming in hot

The Hornets are outside the playoff picture at the moment at eight games below .500, but they have won two straight games and Walker and Howard are coming off huge games. In a win over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, Walker dropped 31 points and Howard grabbed 24 rebounds.

Those guys will be riding a high coming into Washington on Friday. But it should be noted that Howard complained after the game how tired he is at this point in the season. That exhausion could affect him more in the second game of a back-to-back.



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5 must-see moments from Wizards' huge road win over Cavaliers, including Markieff Morris' alley-oop

5 must-see moments from Wizards' huge road win over Cavaliers, including Markieff Morris' alley-oop

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Washington Wizards' 110-103 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night...

1. The Wizards didn't start out well, as they trailed by nine points at the end of the first quarter. Kelly Oubre, Jr. stumbled early by missing four of his first six shots and it looked like a carryover of his slump before the All-Star break.

But Oubre got hot in the second quarter and helped the Wizards turn the game around. This was one of his best plays, a two-handed slam that he celebrated with an emphatic scream to the crowd:


2. Tomas Satoransky was one of the stars of the game. He had 17 points to go along with eight assists, four rebounds and two steals. 

Here's one of his dimes, a perfect alley-oop lob to Markieff Morris, who finished with nine points and eight rebounds:

3. Satoransky has reached double-figures in six of the 10 games since John Wall went out with an injury. This was a very impressive move, a stepback fadeaway that was super smooth:


4. Ian Mahinmi made some key contributions including four offensive rebounds and a steal. This was his best basket, a powerful slam that came at a key time:

5. This play helped seal the victory. It was a smart after-timeout set drawn up by head coach Scott Brooks and it worked to perfection: