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Best NBA free agents available for Wizards based on needs and salary cap constraints

Best NBA free agents available for Wizards based on needs and salary cap constraints

Now that Paul George is off the board, heading to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Wizards can move on with their re-signing Otto Porter to a healthy extension. 

They'll have two exceptions under the $99 million salary cap at the mid-level ($8.4 million) and bi-annual ($3 million) which allow them to exceed it.

Their two biggest needs when the period opens officially at 12:01 a.m. are a shooter behind Bradley Beal and a wing and/or on-ball defender. In the latter, they could be able to find both in one package.

Since the Wizards don't have much wiggle room, they'll likely act quickly.

Best fits

  • James Johnson (Heat): I voted for him as Sixth Man of the Year. It was a breakout season. He was able to defend -- and play on offense -- all five positions. Miami didn't make the playoffs, but it was the first team to maximize his skill-set at just $4 million. Chances are the 30-year-old will cash in with a big offer which would put him out of Washington's range. But he averaged a career-high in points (12.9), rebounds (4.9) and assists (3.6) off the bench. Can count the number of players in the league who can defend 1-5 on one hand. Johnson is one of them. 

 

  • Tony Allen (Grizzlies): Averaged 9.1 points in 66 starts but even at 35 he's an All-Defensive player. Allen gets his offense in the open court and off transition rather than half court. He lives to defend.

 

  • Thabo Sefolosha (Hawks): He's a wing defender who can make the occasional three. Earned $4 million and given his limitations and age (33), shouldn't be expensive.

[RELATED: Top 20 NBA Free Agents]

  • Justin Holiday (Knicks): Who wouldn't want to get out of New York? He completed the second year of a two-year deal that paid him $2 million. Dropped a career-high 7.7 points and shot 35.5% from the field. Not staggering numbers but good enough to sell upside if he plays on a good team where he can get set up for better shots. His pricetag should be in the Wizards' wheelhouse.

 

  • Jodie Meeks (Magic): Comes at a low risk with a high reward. The downside is he has played an average of 33 games in each of the last three season. When he plast played a full season, Meeks averaged 15.7 points for the L.A. Lakers. Earned $6.5 million in Orlando last season and it's unlikely he'll be in high demand given his recent injury spate. But he can shoot 40% from three.

 

  • Ben McLemore (Kings): Never took off despite being a lottery pick and Sacramento has given up on the shooting guard. He shot 38.2% from three last season but fell out of the starting lineup in averaging 8.1 points. He's just 24 and earned $4 million in 2016-17.

[RELATED: Wizards' recent history bodes well for Otto Porter's future]

 

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Celtics and Sixers may go relatively unchanged this offseason, as stars have gone elsewhere

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USA Today Sports Images

Celtics and Sixers may go relatively unchanged this offseason, as stars have gone elsewhere

The 2018 NBA offseason in just three weeks has become one of the wildest summers in the league's history between LeBron James signing with the Lakers, and all the characters that followed him, to DeMarcus Cousins surprising everyone to sign with the Golden State Warriors, to Kawhi Leonard getting traded to the Raptors.

As crazy as it all has been, two teams in the Eastern Conference stand out for so far doing very little, either by choice or circumstance. The Celtics and Sixers, the two teams most see as the favorites in the East, appear at least so far to be running it back with the same group of players.

This appears to be the Celtics' intention. After overhauling their roster last summer, they clearly see an opportunity to take a step forward as-is. Boston was one win away from the NBA Finals and will return Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving from injury. With James gone to the West, they can improve significanly just by keeping it all together.

Boston re-signed Marcus Smart and Aron Baynes. Their biggest addition this summer so far has been their first round pick, Robert Williams.

The Sixers, unlike the Celtics, didn't appear to plan on doing it this way. They wanted James and missed out. They reportedly had interest in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, but both went elsewhere. There are no stars left to sign in free agency and the trade market may be drying up.

Philly made some minor moves like trades for Wilson Chandler and Mike Muscala. They may also have a deal for Kyle Korver in the works. They also had two first round picks in Zhaire Smith and Landry Shamet.

There's a chance the Sixers got better than people think, as many of the moves they made seem smart. But they didn't reel in a big fish and will probably come back for the 2018-19 season with a team very similar to the one that made the second round of the playoffs this spring.

The fact the Celtics and Sixers may stand pat is probably a good thing for the rest of the East. Both teams may improve naturally if they are healthier and if their young players continue to ascend. But neither made a game-changing addition, one that would solidify either as an unstoppable superteam in the conference. 

The West is overloaded with title contenders and All-NBA players. The East, meanwhile, is much more open and it may end up staying that way mainly because Boston and Philly have been quiet so far this summer.

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Wizards set introductory press conference for Dwight Howard

Wizards set introductory press conference for Dwight Howard

Wizards team president Ernie Grunfeld has stayed relatively busy this summer crafting his new-look lineup for the 2018-19 season. 

One of the team's key additions, Dwight Howard, is set to be introduced as a member of the Wizards on Monday. 

NBC Sports Washington will air the introductory press conference live at 1 p.m. while also streaming it online.  

Ernie Grunfeld and head coach Scott Brooks are both expected to be in attendance. 

The 32-year-old big man is coming off a 2017-18 season with the Charlotte Hornets in which he averaged 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. 

Since leaving the Orlando Magic after eight seasons in 2011, Howard has played for four different teams in the last six years. 

Howard is an eight-time all-star and a three-time defensive player of the year. 

 

RELATED LINKS: 

John Wall's take on Dwight Howard 

Wizards make Dwight Howard free agent signing official 

By the numbers: Is new Wizards center Dwight Howard still in his NBA prime?