Celtics

NBA Rumors: Wizards would trade John Wall, Bradley Beal

NBA Rumors: Wizards would trade John Wall, Bradley Beal

The Washington Wizards have been the most disappointing team in the NBA this season, and those early returns, including a 5-11 record, could signal the end for the current roster.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski filed a report Monday morning detailing a potential blow up of Washington's current core, including the idea of trading its best players, John Wall and Bradley Beal.

"As the Washington Wizards' season spirals, the franchise has started to deliver teams an impression that every player on their roster -- including All-Star guards John Wall and Bradley Beal -- is available to discuss in trade scenarios, league sources told ESPN," Wojnarowski wrote.

Blowing up the roster makes sense for the Wizards. This squad, as currently constituted, isn't good enough to win an NBA Finals, or even advance past the first or second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. There are too many bad contracts and not a single top 10 or 15 player on the roster.

Wall is a very good point guard, but his contract could limit the amount of teams willing to acquire him. He's 28 years old with a history of injuries, but worst of all, he begins a four-year super-max contract next season that pays him an average of more than $40 million per year. That's not a contract many teams can take on. 

Beal, on the other hand, is a younger and arguably better player, and also has a more team-friendly contract. He is signed for the next three seasons with no player/team options at less than $30 million per year. 

The Wizards' best path to improve is trading Beal and acquiring talented young players and/or draft picks. Washington has traded multiple first-round picks at recent trade deadlines, which has prevented them from surrounding Wall and Beal with good young players on cheap contracts. The Wiz didn't have a first-round selection in 2014, 2016 or 2017.

This dire situation in Washington really isn't a surprise to anyone, except maybe the Wizards themselves. After all, they've talked a lot of trash about how they're one of the best, or the best, teams in the Eastern Conference. But the results prove an entirely different picture.

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Enes Kanter shows big support for 7-foot-7 Tacko Fall in latest tweet

Enes Kanter shows big support for 7-foot-7 Tacko Fall in latest tweet

Enes Kanter seems to be a fan of Boston Celtics' 7-foot-7 rookie Tacko Fall.

Kanter posted a video to Twitter of Fall practicing at Auerbach Center, and he took time to praise Fall's efforts on Twitter.

The Celtics' signed Kanter to a two-year $10 million deal back in July, while Fall entered Boston's system as an undrafted free agent but he impressed in the Las Vegas Summer League. Kanter is the replacement for Al Horford, who left the Celtics over the summer for the Philadelphia 76ers.

The two should be a great duo for the Celtics, as both have the height and skill to be something special this coming season.

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Countdown to Celtics Camp: Record predictions for the 2019-20 campaign

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NBC Sports Boston Illustration

Countdown to Celtics Camp: Record predictions for the 2019-20 campaign

Entering training camp a year ago, expectations were sky-high for the Celtics. Most pundits considered them the team to beat in the East. Vegas fancied Boston as a 59-win team, the second-highest win total behind only Golden State. And a Finals matchup between those two teams was far from a pipe dream.

Fast forward a year and expectations have been tempered. The Celtics lost a pair of All-Stars this summer in Kyrie Irving and Al Horford and, despite signing another in Kemba Walker, the team finds itself widely considered a Tier 2 team in the East behind projection darlings Milwaukee and Philadelphia.

So what happens this year? Do the Celtics go back to being the sort of overachievers that have defined Brad Stevens’ coaching career? Will a younger roster struggle to simply meet even the lowered expectations of this season?

To wrap up Week 1 of our Countdown to Camp series, we asked our NBC Sports Boston panel to look into their crystal balls and predict not only Boston’s final win-loss record but how far they’d advance in the playoffs.

The  Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook projects Boston at 49.5 wins this season. The Bucks (58) and Sixers (55) top the Westgate projections and the next five teams all reside in the west. 

The Celtics went 49-33 last season, settling for the fourth seed in the East. They swept the Victor Oladipo-less Pacers in Round 1 but bowed to the top-seeded Bucks in five games in Round 2.

When you consider that Westgate’s four lowest win totals reside in the East (Knicks, Wizards, Cavaliers, Hornets) and seven East teams sit below 40 wins, it feels like the Celtics should reasonably win 50+ games despite the roster changes.

So we’ll put the Celtics at 52 wins and a spot in the East semifinals. That seeding would likely mean a second-round matchup jousting with either Giannis’ Bucks or Embiid’s Sixers and Boston’s frontcourt development might dictate just how competitive those series could be. Remember, too, Stevens tends to produce his best magic when you least expect it.

The irony, of course, is that the Celtics could win 49 games this season and get bounced in Round 2 again but if they develop chemistry and are more enjoyable to watch then last year’s gang, then Celtics fans will be far more OK with that script playing out a second time — well, so long as players make the sort of strides that suggest more is possible in the coming years.

Abby Chin: 50-32 Eastern Conference Finals

I think purely based on better chemistry and grit, this team will improve on last year’s win total. And, I’ll bank on some luck in the playoff bracket. Maybe with injuries, or regular season Al Horford, Philly and Milwaukee fall to the 2 and 3 seed so the Celtics could avoid them in the first couple rounds.

 

A. Sherrod Blakely: 50-32, East Finals

I'm gonna keep the cookies on the bottom shelf with this one. They are a better team (team not individuals) than they're going to get credit for, and they have a roster that's full of talent with a huge chip on their shoulders from the coach on down. This group will play harder, smarter and win a lot of games they probably shouldn't and by doing so, keep Celtics fans extremely happy all season.

Max Lederman: 51-31, lose in 2nd round

Before last season the Celtics have always overachieved under Brad Stevens. I expect a return to that with lowered expectations this season. The Celtics also had their worst record vs winning teams last year since Brad's 2nd season. They should put up a better fight this season.

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