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Could Howard, Johnson movement prove tasty for Wizards?

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Could Howard, Johnson movement prove tasty for Wizards?

Minutes before his franchise selected Bradley Beal in the 2012 NBA Draft, Wizardsowner Ted Leonsis said he would find it "unacceptable" should hisbasketball team wind up in the lottery again next year. Fair enough, but it'snot solely up to the players, coaches and management in Washington when itcomes to landing a postseason berth. The other 14 teams in the Eastern Conference will have something to sayabout the playoff race. Well, other than the woeful Charlotte Bobcats, ofcourse. Therefore tracking free agency and other transactions through the prismof the Wizards is not enough. Monitoring the others in the Southeast divisionis however, a good starting point.First off, Washington is not catching Miami unless LeBron James has apetulant moment and insists on taking his talent to some beach other than SouthBeach. In addition, even with the addition of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, theBobcats are not jumping past the Wizards in the standings unless 1980's MichaelJordan dons a uniform.

That leaves the Atlanta Hawks and Orlando Magic, two playoff teams that ifthey were to stay intact likely remain ahead of the Wizards in the divisionstandings. Based on the recent buzz, the idea of either squad looking the samenext season appears iffy at best.Obviously, we start in Orlando where Dwight Howard is fast tracking hisquest to make James' "decision" process seem reasonable bycomparison. The broad-shouldered All-Star center is onlyinterested in playing for and signing a long-term deal with the Brooklyn Nets.The thought of a "Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers for Andrew Bynum" deal makessense for both sides, but apparently, Howard is not interested in a left coaststay.Bully for Dwight, but there is not much the Nets can offer Orlando in returnthat will make the deal interesting for the Magic. Outside of landing a Bynumor coming up with an outside the box deal that brings upside talent the MagicKingdom, Orlando's status as a perennial playoff contender dramatically dips ifHoward is not manning the middle. At some point, the Magicmay realize it's time to move on no matter what. That time might be approaching and if so, the Wizards could take advantage with a rise in the standings.Speaking of the Nets, they are reportedlyin talks with the Hawks about Joe Johnson. Put me in the camp that saysAtlanta must break up the Johnson-Josh Smith-Al Horford dynamic that has provenunworthy of a deep playoff run. Johnson, the one player who actually received max money during the fabledfree agency summer of 2010, is himself an All-Star, but not a franchise player.If Atlanta can find the right deal that brings back talent (Marshon Brooks?) Orfrees up cap space, they have enough talent onboard to remain playoff worthy,though they could take a step back. The drafting of Vanderbilt sharpshooter JohnJenkins might be part ofa contingency plan. Therefore, if you're gauging the Wizards playoffs hopes and dreams, dealing Howardlikely moves Washington up a slot in the Southeast. Trading Johnsonlikely bringsthe Wizards and Hawks closer together.Of course, if the Nets land Howard and Johnson AND DeronWilliams, another team will have just moved into the playoff lock category. So, there's that..

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Hey Wizards - don't fall for this CJ McCollum crossover

Hey Wizards - don't fall for this CJ McCollum crossover

Here's an important thing for the Wizards to avoid when facing off against Portland on Monday night: This CJ McCollum crossover.

As seen in this video by our friends at NBC Sports Northwest, the Trail Blazers' player sent a Spurs defender flying - much to the delight of the Portland bench - with the move.

 

"It wasn't even one of my better crossovers," he said after his team's win. "Honestly, he just reacted."

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By the numbers: Bradley Beal on pace to become one of NBA history's best three-point shooters

By the numbers: Bradley Beal on pace to become one of NBA history's best three-point shooters

Bradley Beal topped Gilbert Arenas for first place in career three-pointers in Wizards/Bullets franchise history on Saturday night in the Wizards' loss to the Toronto Raptors.

Beal, only 25, has put himself in some good company over the years with his outside shooting. Here are some numbers to put it all in perspective.

By The Numbers: Bradley Beal's historic shooting numbers

2,208: Beal made his record-breaking, 869th three on his 2,208th attempt. It took Arenas 2,430 attempts to get there in a Wizards uniform. Arenas, however, reached the mark in 357 games compared to Beal's 408. Beal, now at 2,209, is second on the franchise list for career three-pointers attempted. Based on his career attempts averages, he should get there this season.

100: Beal has made at least 100 three-pointers in five straight seasons entering 2018-19. That is a franchise record. The longest such active streak is held by Jamal Crawford at 14. The longest streak in NBA history is held by Ray Allen at 17.

39.4: Beal's career three-point percentage. He is one of only five players ever to shoot at least 39 percent from beyond the arc while making two or more threes per game in their careers. The others are Kyle Korver, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Buddy Hield, who has only played in 164 games compared to Beal's 408.

223: Beal set the franchise record for three-pointers made in a single season back in 2016-17. He passed Arenas, who twice got to 205, in 2004-05 and 2006-07.

41: Beal also passed Arenas for the most games in franchise history with five or more three-pointers made. Arenas is in second with 40, while Trevor Ariza is in a distant third with 15. Otto Porter Jr., for comparison, has done it nine times. Beal's 41 games with five threes or more rank 18th among active players. Curry is way ahead of everyone else with 183.

37: Beal is one of just eight players ever to begin his career with six straight seasons of 37 percent or better from three. The other seven is mostly a who's who of three-point specialists like Curry, Thompson, Korver and J.J. Redick.

20: Shooting 37 percent or better from three while also scoring 20 points or more is rarer than you may think. Beal has done it twice in his career, same as LeBron James, Damian Lillard and Kawhi Leonard. Only 11 players have accomplished the feat more often. Dirk Nowitzki has done that in nine seasons, most all-time, while Kevin Durant is second with eight.

872: Speaking of Durant, this isn't a historic number, it's just an interesting coincidence. Since Beal entered the league before the 2012-13 season, he and Durant have been nearly identical as three-point shooters. Beal has made 870 threes, while Durant has knocked down 872. Beal has shot 39.4 percent, while Durant has hit 39.6 of them. Another guy who has been extremely similar to Beal is Danny Green, who now plays for the Raptors. He has hit 858 threes during that span at a 39.2 percent rate.

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