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Wizards would love to have Kelly Oubre, Jr. follow John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter in earning big contract

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Wizards would love to have Kelly Oubre, Jr. follow John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter in earning big contract

In signing John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter all to long-term contracts within the last 13 months, the Washington Wizards have secured their future with hopes their continued development as young players will take the team to new heights. That trio will be leading the way for the Wizards for at least the next three seasons and it could be four if Porter does not use his player option for 2020-21. Beal's deal runs through 2020-21 and Wall's doesn't finish until 2022-23.

Not only do the Wizards have those three in place, but they have a substantial amount of money committed. Wall, Beal and Porter are set to earn a combined $98 million in 2020-21. We don't yet know the salary cap for that season, but their long-term payroll makes it interesting to ponder the futures of their other young players like Kelly Oubre, Jr. and Markieff Morris. Could either of them be next in line for a big deal?

[RELATED: John Wall shares big goals for him and Wizards]

Wizards majority owner Ted Leonsis discussed Oubre specifically on Friday after the press conference to announce Wall's four-year supermax extension. Basically, he would love to have Oubre, a 2015 first round pick, force the issue.

"He's another great, high-character kid with great athletic skills. And yeah, he wants to be where these guys are. Our coach really, really likes him. He thinks he can be a difference maker. He kind of has that X-factor in his game," Leonsis said 

"So yeah, he's going to come back and work really, really hard and challenge us to pay him a lot of money, too, which I'm glad to do. I think that that is important, that young players realize we would much rather pay them to stay with the organization than think the grass is greener and that some free agent from some other team is going to come in and make a big difference for us."

[RELATED: Wizards Tipoff podcast - Jason Smith joins the show]

Leonsis also mentioned how Oubre, 21, "was more injured last season than I think people understood." The Wizards small forward had platelet-rich plasma treatment on his right knee in June after battling discomfort throughout the playoffs. Still, Oubre's second NBA season amounted to a step forward, as he doubled his minutes from the year before under new head coach Scott Brooks.

Oubre is set to make about $2.1 million for the 2017-18 season under his rookie scale contract. The Wizards have to decide in October if they want to pick up his fourth-year option for 2018-19, though at this point there is no reason to think that they won't. Assuming they do, that would set Oubre up for a new deal in the summer of 2019. Washington will then have the option of extending a qualifying offer to retain his rights as a restricted free agent, much like they did this offseason with Porter.

Oubre has a long way to go to earn a max contract like his teammates, but two years is a long time. Just look at Porter, who averaged 6.0 points in 19.4 minutes off the Wizards' bench in 2014-15, his second NBA season. Two years later and he was paid $106.5 million on a max contract. If Oubre follows that track, the Wizards could have another big decision to make two summers from now.

[RELATED: Wall reacts to Kyrie Irving's situation in Cleveland]

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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.

PODCAST: WIZARDS MAKE A FREE AGENT SIGNING

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.

RELATED: DURANT MAKES HUGE DONATION TO PG COUNTY SCHOOLS

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. 

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS

 

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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:

PODCAST: WHAT THE SESSIONS SIGNING MEANS FOR SATORANSKY

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:

RELATED: 5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT RAMON SESSIONS

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:

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS