Wizards

Giants' Bradshaw out vs. Falcons

Giants' Bradshaw out vs. Falcons

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) The New York Giants will play a critical game Sunday afternoon against the Atlanta Falcons without their leading rusher.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin confirmed that Ahmad Bradshaw will not play Sunday due to lingering knee and foot problems.

``It would have been a reach for him to be ready,'' Coughlin said of Bradshaw, who was spotted with his knee heavily wrapped and not participating in any football activities. ``I'm sure he's disappointed right now. With someone like that and his constitution, he thinks that come game day he'll be fine and be able to play. But medically, it was the only wise move to keep him out.''

Bradshaw, who has 869 yards and five touchdowns on the ground this season, has played through injury before. But the sprained knee the six-year veteran suffered Sunday in the 52-27 win over New Orleans did not recover in time for him to practice this week.

With the team already missing their second-leading rusher Andre Brown (out for the season with a broken fibula), the Giants will now turn to rookie David Wilson, who had a spectacular game against the Saints, as well as recent free agent signees Ryan Torain and Kregg Lumpkin, either of whom have yet to carry the ball this season for the Giants.

Coughlin was asked if Wilson, who rushed for 100 yards and had two touchdowns in the win over the Saints, could handle the majority of the carries in Bradshaw's absence and be a 20-carry back.

``I think he could be,'' Coughlin said of the first-round draft pick out of Virginia Tech. ``There's no reason why he couldn't be. Whether he will be or not is a different thing. We have a couple other guys who are going to help us in different ways, but I don't think there's any reason why he couldn't be (a 20-carry back).''

Wilson, who broke the team's single game record of all-purpose yardage with 327 Sunday and became the first player in the history of the NFL to get 200 yards in returns and 100 yards rushing, seems up for the challenge to become the team's No. 1 back.

``Maybe there's a little more anticipation and a little more excitement now,'' Wilson said, after being informed of Bradshaw's status. ``I think we all had a great week in practice and we're showing the coaches that we can get the job done. They shouldn't worry if I have to pull it together on Sunday.''

Both Torain, who rushed for 754 yards and four touchdowns with the Washington Redskins in 2010, and Lumpkin, who rushed for 105 yards in limited duty with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season, were also ready for their chance to contribute. They were both signed Nov. 27 as free agents and have been learning the Giants' offense together since.

``They've worked very hard at it since they've been here,'' Coughlin said. ``They have been in the classroom since they got here to catch up and they've done a pretty good job at it. They've been on other teams, so they know what to expect. Hopefully, if we can categorize how we use them, and their knowledge in that area is sufficient, they'll do fine.''

The Giants also said that cornerback Prince Amukamara (hamstring) and safeties Kenny Phillips (knee) and Tyler Sash (hamstring) will also miss Sunday's game against the Falcons.

Linebacker Michael Boley (back) is listed as questionable, but both Coughlin and Boley believe that he will be able to play against his former team.

Quick Links

The Bradley Beal All-NBA Dilemma: How NBA execs would handle the big question facing the Wizards

bradley_beal_usat.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

The Bradley Beal All-NBA Dilemma: How NBA execs would handle the big question facing the Wizards

“How do you get a player better than Brad if you trade Brad?”

That brain-busting question from a current NBA general manager came before the February 7 trade deadline when rumors involving Wizards guard Bradley Beal swirled.

Another migraine-inducing conundrum is forthcoming whether Beal receives All-NBA honors or not.

Should the league’s upcoming announcement of its first, second and third team include the two-time All-Star, the Wizards may have no choice but to break up the backcourt pairing with John Wall that fueled the franchise’s most sustained success since winning the 1978 title.

This honor comes with a financial reward-- if extended to Beal by the Wizards --  in the form of a supermax contract worth approximately $193 million over four years that would begin in 2021-22. He still has two years and $56 million remaining on the valued five-year, $127 million deal he signed in 2016.

The issue is less about Beal’s hefty chunk of the Wizards’ salary cap, but combining it with Wall’s four-year, $170 million supermax deal that begins next season. Offer Beal the supermax and, should he accept, approximately 71 percent of the team’s future salary cap beginning in the 2021-22 season would be chewed up by two players.

Beal and Wall, when healthy, are All-Stars. They’re not Jordan and Pippen.

NBC Sports Washington spoke with over a dozen league sources in recent weeks including three current or former general managers, other executives, NBA coaches, and scouts, about Beal’s contract situation and the Wizards’ overall equation coming off a 32-50 campaign.

Some dutifully tried putting themselves in the mindset of Washington’s next front office leader knowing Beal’s contract status and other limiting or uncertain factors.

The executives shared opinions on whether to boldly hold or sell high on the Wizards’ best player. Regardless of their stance, their initial instinct almost unanimously landed in the same place as this current lead executive: “I have no idea what you would do.”

*****

There’s an incredibly strong argument for doing nothing. How do you get a player better than Brad if you trade Brad?

Several NBA sources largely acknowledge the choice almost gets removed from the Wizards front office should Beal receive the All-NBA nod. Even if Kemba Walker, Klay Thompson or Ben Simmons trump Beal in the voting, events from early February may effectively force the Wizards’ hand.

Washington faced its second consecutive luxury tax payment, diminishing playoff hopes and the knowledge that Wall would miss the rest of the season with a heel injury.

Despite those negatives and salary cap concerns with only five players catapulting the team over next season’s salary cap, big picture hope existed. The headliners -- Wall, Beal and Otto Porter -- previously put the Wizards in a playoff contender mode. “We're not trading any of those players,” Wizards owner Ted Leonsis said at the time.

There’s a good reason to believe Leonsis meant what he said. Then life intervened and forced change.

Wall’s left Achilles ruptured during the first week of February. The recovery time means an entire calendar year and perhaps the full 2019-20 season. Those negatives, especially with the salary cap, were now amplified.

Washington dealt with that financial scenario two days after the Wall status update by trading Porter and Markieff Morris to slide under the luxury tax.

Another life event requiring a financial decision could happen this week.

*****

There’s no debating whether Beal is worthy of the All-NBA accolade. Some believe he is a favorite to snag one of the two guard spots on the third-team.

The dilemma is can the Wizards justify offering a contract with those hefty terms knowing what’s already on the books, plus the upcoming challenges.

Pass and the likelihood of trading Beal at peak value becomes a leading option. Hold Beal regardless and his trade value effectively decreases over the next two seasons with the possibility he leaves as a 2021 free agent without compensation.

“The Wizards is a hard job right now,” a former GM told NBC Sports Washington. “There’s a lot to figure out. Timelines can’t be certain with John Wall in particular. For Bradley Beal, that's a decision… Hard to walk in [to those interviews) with a specific plan.”

Leave the supermax contract off the table and the human element arises. Those familiar with Beal’s mindset do not see a Robin to Wall’s Batman. Co-headliners, cool, but then pay and appreciate accordingly. Maybe folks could start referring to the pair as Beal and Wall once in a while.

Forget the money, which isn’t Beal’s driving motivation. As one source familiar with Beal’s thinking stated, “Brad needs to be in the playoffs. He’s not disruptive...Brad just wants to win.”

The Wizards might not be in playoff position next season even if Beal maintains his All-NBA level. It's a near lock they won't if the 2012 first-round pick is traded.

Beal averaged 30.9 points in February, the same month he dropped a season-high 46 at Charlotte and his All-NBA buzz soared. Beal joined 2019 MVP finalist James Harden as the only players this season to average at least 25 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1.5 steals.

The wing guard’s leadership kept Washington tangibly in the playoff race until realities of the undermanned roster kicked in.

“I think [Brad is] an all-NBA player in my eyes,” said Wall, an All-NBA selection in 2016. “You know how tough it is to make that team? It’s always tough. The year he’s had speaks for itself.”

How do you trade that player especially one groomed by the organization since selecting him third overall in 2012? You can't -- but the Wizards might not have a choice.

Nobody recognizes this more than Bradley Beal.

"Honestly, I’m here until I’m not here," Beal told NBC Sports Washington earlier this month. "I’m not thinking too strong on it. My personal desire is to be here and see the direction we go. Hopefully, the correct direction.

"I keep hearing the possibility of rebooting, trading Brad and getting assets back. It’s a business. I understand both sides of it. I can’t be mad at it."

MORE WIZARDS NEWS:

Quick Links

Bradley Beal rooted for the Capitals to win the Stanley Cup, so now he deserves to see his hometown team win it this year

bradley_beal_look_usat.jpg
USA Today Sports images

Bradley Beal rooted for the Capitals to win the Stanley Cup, so now he deserves to see his hometown team win it this year

The St. Louis Blues defeated the San Jose Sharks Tuesday to reach the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1970, where they were eliminated by the Boston Bruins.

They will look to even the odds, as they will be taking on the Bruins yet again on Monday night.

Blues fan and St. Louis native Bradley Beal will hope that his hometown squad will take the cup from the reigning champs, the Washington Capitals, and win the matchup against the Bruins.

Beal cheered on the Caps just a year ago and is ready to show out for the surging Blues.

To really put it into perspective how long it has been since the Blues played for the Cup, take a look at the number one song in the country when these two teams faced off 49 years ago. 

The Blues besting the Bruins will be a challenge, and Beal will be ready to root for his squad until the final buzzer.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS: