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Bradley Beal turned down 3-point contest after not making All-Star Game

Bradley Beal turned down 3-point contest after not making All-Star Game

The only reason the Wizards don't have a player in the three-point shootout during All-Star weekend is because Bradley Beal rejected an invitation from the league when he didn't make the cut as a reserve for the Eastern Conference All-Star team, the shooting guard told CSNmidatlantic.com on Friday. 

"I feel like if I'm going to be part of the weekend, I want to be an All-Star," said Beal, who is averaging a career-high 22 points and shooting 39 percent from three-point range. His teammate Otto Porter shoots an NBA-high 46.3 percent.

"It wasn't easy turning down. I will say that because I did want to do it. I want to be able to earn everything," Beal said.

Porter told CSN that he didn't receive an invite.

Beal came in second place to Marco Belinelli three years ago in the shootout. He didn’t make the All-Star reserves when coaches’ voting was announced. They chose an East roster that’s heavy on point guards with teammate John Wall, Kyle Lowry, Isaiah Thomas and Kemba Walker behind starter Kyrie Irving. DeMar DeRozan is the only true two-guard selection.

[RELATED: 2017 NBA All-Star Game: Russell Westbrook, John Wall headline list of reserves]

Instead, Beal, who decided Thursday not to participate, will be using the time to recuperate. If he plays in Saturday's game vs. the  New Orleans Pelicans and the next five after that, Beal will have appeared in 51 games going into the break for the Feb. 19 game. He only played in a career-low 55 last season that was marred by a stress reaction in his lower right leg and a minutes restriction. 

Beal has avoided a recurrence of a stress reaction in his lower right leg that has plagued him. He is averaging 34.2 minutes per game which is near a career-high, but coach Scott Brooks has managed his down time and practices to preserve him. 

Beal sat out one game with an ankle sprain and three because of a hamstring strain earlier in the season but has been durable otherwise as a new medical protocol was put in by the organization to prevent the overuse injury that happened in each of his first four seasons under then-coach Randy Wittman. 

"Everything is good. I want to just rest and use the break to my advantage," Beal said. "All-Star is hectic running all over the place. I just want to relax my body. It's precautionary. I'm might go out of town, probably go home (to St. Louis) to see my family." 

When Brooks was hired this summer, the Wizards also revamped the medical staff to focus on more preventive measures following an injury-plauged 2015-16. 

"We are always in constant communciation with our medical team along with Brad," Brooks said. "The staff has done a great job of monitoring guys' minutes in practice and shootarounds, free practice minutes, the game minutes. That's my job. He's right at 34. That's a good number for him."

[RELATED: NBA All-Star 2017: Dunk contest, 3-point, skills challenge fields announced]

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

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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?