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Will the Cavs-Celtics trade involving Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas affect the Wizards' chances at all?

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Will the Cavs-Celtics trade involving Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas affect the Wizards' chances at all?

The Cavaliers and Celtics pulled off one of the biggest NBA trades in years, if not decades, on Tuesday night, one that features two All-Star point guards in Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas, a very good player in Jae Crowder, a 2016 first round pick in Ante Zizic and an unprotected 2018 Nets first round pick that could be the key to Cleveland's dreaded life after LeBron James.

Boston and Cleveland entered this offseason as the top two teams in the Eastern Conference, so naturally this should affect the Wizards and other teams in the Eastern Conference a great deal, right? Maybe not.

In fact, this could have little effect on the rest of the East whatsoever, at least in the short-term. That's because both teams got good value back for 2017-18, but neither made a significant leap when it comes to their chances of winning the title next June.

[RELATED: PODCAST - MARCIN GORTAT ON HIS SUMMER]

Yes, All-Star point guards in Irving and Thomas switched sides, and in Crowder the Cavs now have a physical defender who gives opponents fits on the perimeter. That could help the Cavs in the East and if they match up with the Warriors in the NBA Finals once again.

But the Cavs were already going to be very good and before this trade remained the odds-on favorites to win the East. They now remain the favorites and may have taken a slight step forward, as long as Thomas recovers well from the hip injury that ended his 2016-17 season.

In Irving, the Celtics get a guy with an extra year on his contract. He's four years younger than Thomas and isn't currently dealing with an injury. They have to feel good about that, plus they don't lose much in Crowder, given he plays small forward. Even without Crowder, they could have the most depth at that position in the NBA when you factor in Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, Jalen Brown and Marcus Morris. As good as Crowder is, he could have been fighting for minutes in that group.

If the Wizards are to take a step forward or backward in the East, it will likely have nothing to do with this trade. They are counting on improving from within with a core of young players now signed to long-term contracts.

[RELATED: Ranking the top point guards in the NBA]

Overall, the Wizards' odds against the Cavs and Celtics will probably be determined by other things unrelated to this trade, like if LeBron James truly begins his decline or if the Celtics losing Avery Bradley in a previous deal will hurt their ability to stop John Wall and Bradley Beal. 

That last point could be the determining factor in whether the Wizards can leapfrog either the Cavs or Celtics. Boston lost their best answer to what is arguably the best backcourt in the East. 

This trade could, if anything, just make things more interesting for Washington fans. Now the Wizards-Celtics rivalry can center around the debate about which All-Star point guard and former No. 1 pick is better: Wall or Irving? And with the Cavs, the Wizards now have a guy in Crowder who has been a true enemy for years. That matchup just got more intriguing.

The East could be more fun next year due to this trade, but don't expect the odds in Vegas to change much at all because of it.

[RELATED: WALL WORKS OUT WITH LEBRON, TWITTER OVERRACTS]

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Wizards at Nets: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

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Wizards at Nets: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre and the Washington Wizards battle Jahlil Okafor, Allen Crabbe, DeMarre Carroll and the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night.

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

WASHINGTON WIZARDS AT BROOKLYN NETS

Where: Barclays Center
Tip-off: 7:30 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington Plus (coverage begins at 6:30 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Online with no cable TV: fuboTV (try for free)
Radio: 1500 AM

Three things to watch...

Will Wall or Mahinmi play?

The Wizards have two players who may or may not play against the Nets due to injury. John Wall has missed the team's last eight games, but continues to inch closer to his return from having platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment in his left knee. He will likely to return either against the Nets or on Wednesday against the Grizzlies. Given those two games are on back-to-back nights, it wouldn't be surprising to see Wall wait until Wednesday.

Ian Mahinmi has yet to miss a game this season, but was held out of practice on Monday in New York due to a right knee strain. If Mahinmi can't go, that should open the door for Jason Smith to get some rare playing time. Marcin Gortat would also likely play a lot more than usual.

[PODCAST: MORRIS ON WHY THE WIZARDS ARE A TOUGH TEAM]

Will Okafor and Stauskas debut?

The Nets may have two new players in their lineup as Jahlil Okafor and Nik Stauskas are waiting to make their Brooklyn debuts. Both players were acquired in a trade last week with the Philadelphia 76ers and both are looking for a fresh start with more playing time on their new team.

Okafor was the third overall pick in 2015 and Stauskas was the eighth pick in 2014. They offer the Nets two talented young players to build around and, in the short-term, an interesting dynamic for their opponents.

[RELATED: BRADLEY BEAL ON THE ART OF GETTING FOULED]

Can't play down to the Nets

The Brooklyn Nets remain a bad team with a 10-15 record, good for 11th in the Eastern Conference. But bad teams have been quite troublesome for the Wizards this season. They are 6-7 against opponents with sub-.500 records despite having an 8-5 mark against teams with .500 or better records.

The Wizards just lost to the 9-15 L.A. Clippers on Saturday, so they can't take the Nets for granted, even though they swept them last season and have only lost twice to Brooklyn since 2013. One thing the Nets can do this year is score. They are seventh in points per game. The Wizards need to be focused on defense, or the Nets could surprise them like other teams have.

[RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS]

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NBA Rookie of the Year Rankings: Is Simmons still the front-runner?

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NBA Rookie of the Year Rankings: Is Simmons still the front-runner?

Almost two months have gone by since the start of the 2017-18 NBA season and there have been plenty of surprises surrounding the rookies around the league.

Heading into the season, there was a lot of hype behind the current draft class. The Sixers had the first overall pick and they drafted Markelle Fultz with the idea that the guard would help make the team a playoff contender. Fast forward to December and Fultz has only played in four total games because of a shoulder injury.

Meanwhile, Lonzo Ball, the second overall pick in the draft, has had a lackluster season topped off with really poor shooting. Ball had a lot of hype coming into the league because of his collegiate success at UCLA and because of his dad, who most people probably already know about.

RELATED: CHECK OUT OUR NBA ROTY RANKINGS

While Fultz and Ball haven't exactly taken the league by storm, several other rookies have emerged as stars on their respective teams. 

There are guys like Donovan Mitchell and Jayson Tatum, who as rookies have already taken up roles as key scorers for the Jazz and Celtics. These are players who have consistently made an impact for their teams.

Then there are guys like John Collins and Lauri Markkanen, who didn't receive much attention before the draft, but have developed into potental stars who their teams can build around in the future.

One special case is point guard Ben Simmons, the "rookie" who's played like a superstar with the Sixers all season. Even though he missed the entire 2016-17 season with a foot injury, Simmons has taken the league by storm with his incredible athleticism and court sense.

It would have been easy to call Simmons the best rookie in the league a month ago, but now that isn't so clear. Plenty of other rookies have made their case for the honor during these last couple of weeks and that's made the season all the more entertaining.

Still the question remains, with all these talented players running around, who's the best rookie in the league? Here's our current prediction for which players will be the front-runners in the 2017-18 NBA Rookie of the Year race.