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With Mahinmi on mend, Wizards aren't in a rush with trade deadline approaching

With Mahinmi on mend, Wizards aren't in a rush with trade deadline approaching

The NBA trade deadline talk will heat up each day between now and the Feb. 23 deadline at 3 p.m. ET, but a two-month hot streak has the Wizards in no hurry to do anything, league sources tell CSNmidatlantic.com, while Ian Mahinmi tries to work his way back onto the court.

Mahinmi had platelet-rich therapy on both knees Dec. 20 after missing all but one game after left knee surgery and tendinitis in the right one that developed. His recovery is projected to take six weeks, which would line him up to return next week.

His absence has required Jason Smith to log more minutes in his place, and while the Wizards have their ears open it's seems unlikely that they'll make any quick decisions.

For instance, the Orlando Magic are trying to move Serge Ibaka and his $12.5 million salary, according to Sporting News. Ibaka, however, is a free agent this summer where he can earn a hefty raise with the salary cap going up again. Otto Porter, who is having a career season as the NBA's top three-point shooter in accuracy, is a higher priority for the Wizards anyway. 

[RELATED: Report: Carmelo Anthony would allow trade to join East power]

Like this time last season when the Wizards were in desperate need ot a "stretch" power forward with Ryan Anderson available at the deadline, they weren't giving up assets to the New Orleans Pelicans (namely draft picks) for a player who wouldn't be obligated to return. That's why they opted to deal for Markieff Morris instead because he only cost $8 million per yaear on average and was locked in through 2019. Giving up a pick to acquire him with that cost certainity and knowing he'd return made him the better option. 

The 2017 draft is considred to be a much deeper draft which makes the picks more valuable. 

The Wizards, other league sources said, believe that Mahinmi has a chance to play before the All-Star break that begins after a Feb. 16 road game at the Indiana Pacers. That's eight games, starting Tuesday vs. the N.Y. Knicks, but Mahinmi has to go full-contact practice before he can play.

[RELATED: Wizards respond to Brooks' 4th-quarter adjustments]

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Elena Delle Donne the favorite to win WNBA MVP, according to league GMs

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Elena Delle Donne the favorite to win WNBA MVP, according to league GMs

Washington Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne is one of the best players in the WNBA, and thus is always in the discussion for MVP honors. 

And heading into the 2019 season, league GMs give her the best chance of anyone to actually hoist the trophy when it's all said and done. 

In a WNBA.com survey of general managers, 42 percent picked Delle Donne to win MVP in 2019. Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury had the second-most votes at 25 percent, followed by A’ja Wilson of Las Vegas Aces at 17 percent then Las Vegas' Liz Cambage and Jonquel Jones of the Connecticut Sun at eight percent. 

Delle Donne won her first and only WNBA MVP award in 2015 as a member of the Chicago Sky when she averaged a career-high 23.4 points per game. And with the Mystics set to make another run at the WNBA title (58 percent of GMs predicted Washington to have the most regular season wins in the Eastern Conference), she has a great opportunity to get her second this season. 

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Explained: What is an NBA supermax contract and how does it work?

Explained: What is an NBA supermax contract and how does it work?

As All-NBA teams are announced and franchises have to make decisions about contract extensions, fans will see the term "supermax contract" thrown around a lot. 

Here's a quick primer with everything you need to know about the NBA's most lucrative player deals. 

What is a supermax contract?

Officially known as the "Designated Veteran Player Extension," this rule allows teams to re-sign qualified players to maximum five-year contracts worth up to 35 percent of the salary cap with eight percent escalation in each subsequent year.

The length of the supermax deal depends on the player's years of NBA experience and years remaining on his current contract. 

  • A qualified player who has completed seven or eight years of service and has two years left on his contract is eligible for a four-year supermax (keeping the player with the same team for a total of six seasons)
  • A qualified player who has completed seven or eight years of service and has one year left on his contract is eligible for a five-year supermax (keeping the player with the same team for a total of six seasons)
  • A qualified free agent who has completed eight or nine years of service is eligible for a five-year supermax 

Furthermore, teams cannot trade a supermax player for the first year after he signs the contract.  

How much is a supermax contract worth?

Valued up to 35 percent of the salary cap in the initial year and subject to eight percent escalation in each subsequent year, these deals are mammoth money.

For example, the Wizards signed John Wall to a four-year supermax in the summer of 2017 when he had two years left on his contract. The supermax money begins in 2019-20 and pays Wall $38.15 million that year. With annual escalations, his supermax is worth $170.912 million over the four-year lifetime of the deal. 

According to a report by Yahoo's Chris Haynes, Damian Lillard—who has two years remaining on his current deal with the Trail Blazers and is expected to be named to an All-NBA team—will be offered a four-year supermax extension worth roughly $191 million this summer. 

Who is eligible to sign a supermax contract?

Very few players qualify for a supermax contract. First, only a player that has (or will have) completed eight years of NBA service by the end of his current contract is eligible to sign a supermax deal, which can only be offered by the team that drafted him or traded for his rookie contract. 

Then, a player must meet one of the following three criteria.

  • Be named to an All-NBA team in the most recent season or both seasons before it
  • OR, be named NBA Defensive Player of the Year in the most recent season or both seasons before it
  • OR, be named NBA MVP in any of the three previous seasons

Which players have received supermax contracts?

  • Stephen Curry - Golden State Warriors
  • James Harden - Houston Rockets
  • Russell Westbrook - Oklahoma City Thunder
  • John Wall - Washington Wizards

Who could receive a supermax contract this summer?

Anthony Davis is already eligible for a supermax offer from the Pelicans. And depending on the All-NBA, DPOY and MVP selections, the following players also could receive supermax offers:

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo - Milwaukee Bucks
  • Damian Lillard - Portland Trail Blazers
  • Klay Thompson - Golden State Warriors
  • Kemba Walker - Charlotte Hornets
  • Andre Drummond - Detroit Pistons
  • Bradley Beal - Washington Wizards 

What are the drawbacks to supermax deals?

The supermax contract was designed to help teams retain their players by allowing them to offer significantly more money than the competition; however, teams that offer such contracts are squeezing themselves in terms of salary cap room to fill out their rosters. 

No franchise can carry more than two supermax players at 35 percent of the cap each. Functionally, though, it's difficult for a team to have more than one.

Two supermax players would account for 70 percent of a team's salary in any given year, leaving the club virtually unable to sign a competitive supporting cast. 

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