In case you haven't figured this out by now, many NBA contenders have three primary objectives this off-season:
- Put their team in position for a strong 2015-16 campaign.
- Put their team in position for a strong 2015-16 campaign without jeopardizing 2016 salary cap space for pursuit of Kevin Durant next summer.
- In case they can't improve their team ahead of the 2015-16 campaign, let everyone know they have plenty of salary cap space for pursuit of Kevin Durant next summer.
MORE WIZARDS: THAT TIME THE NEWEST WIZARD TOOK OVER THE NBA FINALS
The Washington Wizards fall into the top two categories. Same with the Miami Heat and others. Just not the Los Angeles Clippers. They're in that other group.
The Clippers learned Friday afternoon that free agent center DeAndre Jordan agreed to a four-year, $80 million contract with the Dallas Mavericks. Suffice it to say that even after poaching Paul Pierce* from the Wizards, Los Angeles' situation is far from ideal. Essentially, the Clippers don't have many avenues with which to acquire a viable starting center, not to mention backups.
[* So, do we think Pierce is having regrets picking the Clippers over the Wizards or does this indicate the Los Angeles native just wanted to go home? Either way, odds of a second title just went down.]
Not long after this setback came the following tweet from Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.
When things are going so, so wrong, distract the masses with talk of the future. By the way, this isn't the same as the Wizards going into KD2DC mode last year moments after Trevor Ariza signed with Houston. Washington had other options, i.e. signing Pierce and using Otto Porter, not to mention the rising talents of John Wall and Bradley Beal.
The Jordan-less Clippers are certainly not rising in the Western Conference after today's events. They're positioning for Durant in 2016, A+.
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.
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?
The stage has been set for Carmelo Anthony to hit free agency, as the 10-time All-Star was traded to the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday in a three-team deal, one that will lead to a subsequent buyout of his contract. ESPN first reported the news and noted that the Rockets are the favorites to sign him.
The full deal sends Dennis Schroder from the Hawks to the Thunder in exchange for Anthony and a protected first-round pick, and sends Mike Muscala from Atlanta to Philly. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot will go to the Thunder from Philly and Justin Anderson will go from the Sixers to the Hawks.
That's a complicated deal, but it ultimately frees Anthony up to choose a new team. He was set to make $27.9 million from the Thunder next season, but the Hawks are footing the bill to let him walk.
Anthony's skills have declined now that he's 34 years old. Last season, he averaged 16.2 points on 40.4 percent shooting, way down from the 22.4 points he averaged the season before with the Knicks.
Still, Anthony could help a team looking for a scoring punch and the Rockets would like some more help in their quest to take down the Warriors. If he signs there, he will join friend Chris Paul and the 2017-18 MVP, James Harden.
Houston has been the logical landing spot for Anthony ever since news broke that the Thunder were looking for a way out of his contract. If he doesn't go there, perhaps the Lakers would make sense. LeBron James is going to need a lot more help than the roster he currently has around him to make some noise in the crowded Western Conference.
MORE WIZARDS NEWS