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How Beal's contract discussions are same (and different) vs. Wall's


How Beal's contract discussions are same (and different) vs. Wall's

The Wizards and Bradley Beal don't appear to be any closer to reaching terms on an extension -- the window is open until the start of the 2015-16 regular season -- with both sides downplaying to CSNwashington.com during the past few weeks about the progress of talks.

The good thing for them, of course, is that they haven't shut down negotiations over the shooting guard, who'll enter the final year of his rookie deal this season making $5.7 million. It could linger or everything could change at the drop of a dime.

This is something that John Wall went through during the summer of 2013, though his representatives quickly came to terms with president Ernie Grunfeld on a five-year, $80 million extension that kicked in last season. 

The Wizards were sold on Wall, despite not having won more than 29 games in his first three NBA seasons, because they saw his ceiling. With little to work with, Wall made others around him so much better. Offensively, he was limited but getting better and as the roster was reconstructed Wall's production skyrocketed.

Trevor Ariza had the best season of his career with Wall. The same went for Martell Webster. He responded by producing two All-Star seasons and leading his team to the conference semifinals in the postseason. Wall even averaged 18 points and 10 assists vs. the Atlanta Hawks when he returned to play two games with multiple left wrist and hand fractures.


After multiple setbacks with leg injuries, the Wizards determined Wall's health was no longer an issue. That's not the case with Beal, who is coming off a lackluster third NBA season in which he had his third consecutive stress reaction in his lower right leg. The initial one, which happened at the end of his rookie season, was a referral injury after he continued to play on two sprained ankles.

His health has been the sticking point. The sprained ankles continued, including in the series with Atlanta though he played through it. While Beal believes he deserves a max contract -- and when looking around at the deals given out this summer, he certainly has a point -- the Wizards are hesitant to commit to such a four-year deal that's fully guaranteed. Beal averaged just 15.3 points, slightly above his 13.9 as a rookie, and doesn't get to the foul line enough for a player at his position to manufacture offense. That represents a slight shift from the feeling the Wizards had just a year ago.

If Beal goes into training camp in late September without an extension, he'll be asked about it. Based on what he has said recently, he'll shut that down quickly and defer to his agent Mark Bartelstein as he should. There will still be a month left to work things out, otherwise he'll become a restricted free agent next summer and both sides will have to table all discussions until then. The Wizards would be letting the market set his value and then match the best offer to retain him. 

"It all depends. It's your mind-set," Wall, speaking at Las Vegas summer league in July, said about his extension hanging in the balance going into his fourth season. "Me, even if I wouldn't have gotten mine, my whole mind-set was I want to try to get better.

"If the team that you want to go back to might not reconsider you, other teams are looking at you so you still want to have a great year. They always say when it's a contract year everybody steps up and play better. It goes both ways."

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Wizards bringing in UNC teammates Coby White and Nassir Little for pre-draft workout

Wizards bringing in UNC teammates Coby White and Nassir Little for pre-draft workout

The Wizards are holding their highest-profile pre-draft workout yet on Monday, hosting UNC teammates and projected lottery picks Coby White and Nassir Little. 

White earned All-ACC and All-Freshman honors during his lone season in Chapel Hill, averaging 16.1 points and 4.1 assists per game. Little's season with the Tar Heels did not go as smoothly as White's, but he is an NBA-ready athlete with tons of upside. 

Both White and Little could be options for the Wizards at No. 9 and would provide solutions to some of Washington's major needs. White would give the Wizards a primary play-maker while John Wall recovers from his Achilles injury, while Little would fill Washington's hole at small forward and bring some much-needed defense and rebounding to the team.

Before White and Little, the Wizards had brought in very few projected lottery picks during their pre-draft process, outside of Kentucky forward Keldon Johnson and French prospect Sekou Doumbouya. But with the 2019 NBA Draft looming on Thursday, the Wizards are ramping up their search for the player they'll pick at No. 9. 


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Anthony Davis trade to Lakers gives Silver Spring's Josh Hart fresh start with Pelicans

Anthony Davis trade to Lakers gives Silver Spring's Josh Hart fresh start with Pelicans

The Anthony Davis trade will have ripple effects across the NBA, not only on teams, but also on the players involved.

Josh Hart, who was traded from the Lakers to the Pelicans as part of the package for Davis on Saturday, could stand to benefit from the move.

First, here's a look at all of the assets reportedly swapped in the deal, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Now, where does the Silver Spring, Md., native figure in the proceedings?

Hart spent his first two NBA seasons with the Lakers. He averaged 7.9 points in 24.4 minutes per game in his two years in Los Angeles. 

Still, Hart was often the Lakers' third or fourth option at shooting guard behind starter Brandon Ingram and shared minutes with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Reggie Bullock and Lance Stephenson. 

LeBron James and the Lakers' win-now strategy left little room to develop Hart last season.

Now in New Orleans, he is part of a franchise rebuilding around presumptive No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson. The trade gave the Pelicans both a younger roster and a long enough timeline for success to develop players.

That can only be good news for Hart, giving him the chance to start fresh and impress Pelicans general manager David Griffin and head coach Alvin Gentry with his potential. 

Where the Sidwell Friends alum fits into the lineup depends on several factors.

At first glance, the new-look Pelicans could start Lonzo Ball at point guard, move Jrue Holiday to shooting guard, then complete the lineup with Ingram at small forward, Williamson at power forward and Julius Randle at center. 

If both Ingram and Holiday remain healthy, Hart would compete with Stanley Johnson to be the first wing off the bench for New Orleans.

But if Ingram does suffer recurring issues related to blood clots, Hart could press his case to start. 

The only issue complicating his place in New Orleans' plans is the No. 4 pick that was traded from the Lakers.

If the Pelicans keep that pick and draft a wing player like Jarrett Culver, Hart could find himself on the outside looking in again.