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Morning tip: The real deal when it comes to Bradley Beal


Morning tip: The real deal when it comes to Bradley Beal

Bradley Beal is a max player, and barring any unfortunate circumstances such as a season-ending injury, he'll be paid like one this summer when the Wizards' oft-injured shooting guard hits the market.

He returned from a 16-game absence Wednesday, scoring 11 points in a 106-101 win vs. the Milwaukee Bucks. He's nowhere near his top form and played 23 minutes off the bench but Beal's reappearance has rekindled a lot of what-ifs:

What if he returns to the form he showed early in the season? 

Good for the Wizards and their chances of getting a top 4 seed that guarantees homecourt advantage in the first round. Beal had been out since Dec. 9, everyone under the sun has been injured (add Otto Porter with a sore hip) and the Wizards are just two games from the No. 5 seed in the loss column. Their intentions for the last two seasons have been to max Beal anyway, so if he plays like an All-Star how can that be a bad thing? Figuring out the rotations with Drew Gooden and Nene back playing as well as the emergence of rookie Kelly Oubre is the challenge.

What if another team offers him a max deal when the signing period opens in July?

Beal is restricted. The Wizards would have 72 hours to match and will have the cap room to do it. Not working out an extension before the season began manufactured more cap room for the Wizards to chase other big-name free agents, fill the roster spots that will come open and pay Beal under the Bird rights provision that allows them to exceed the cap. Not an issue. A player's value is determined by the market which is no different than any other business negotiation. It's not about Player A last summer being better than Player B next summer. If players who you are better than get a certain number in their offer during a signing period, you'll get more than that number. If there's high demand but low supply at your position, it raises the pricetag even more. That's the cost of business. Sometimes the market goes up and you pay more. Other times you'll get bargains and pay less. That's how it is. The cap is expanding from $70 million to about $89 million-$90 million starting next season so it's all relative. Contracts will grow. 

What if the Wizards allow him to walk?

Won't happen. The Wizards aren't going to let their No. 3 pick from 2012, who comprises one of the better backcourts in the NBA when he's healthy with John Wall, leave while getting nothing in return. See what happened when the Portland Trail Blazers signed Enes Kanter, a restricted free agent, to a $70 million offere sheet. The Oklahoma City couldn't let him leave after giving up a future first-round pick and Reggie Jackson. Maybe injuries will prevent Beal from reaching his full potential, but before they let Beal go they'd move him in a sign-and-trade instead. In the 2011 CBA, provisions were put in to prevent a repeat of the situation like the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors ended up in with LeBron James and Chris Bosh in 2010 bolting for the Miami Heat which can gut a franchise. Now players are more inclined to work in concert with the team that holds their Bird rights to work out a deal. A sign-and-trade would allow the Wizards to replace the loss with assets while Beal can earn an extra year (about $20-plus million more) in a deal with the receiving team because his Bird rights would transfer. 

What if Beal develops another stress reaction?

Based on the previous three occurrences, this likely won't happen. He hasn't had a second one during the same season and the Wizards held him out a couple of weeks longer this time compared to his last one. And this reaction was the smallest of the four. As long as he doesn't develop a season-ending stress fracture, he should be just fine. Beal, as CSNmidatlantic.com reported to be roughly 35 before he returned, said he "probably" would have to have his maximum minutes played capped to protect him long-term. His less three stress reactions have been preceded by a spike in minutes for long stretches. Keeping him to 35 is not a huge adjustment. Beal was averaging 36.5 minutes before his injury but his usage was rising at an alarming rate. He had seven consecutive games leading up to the re-injury when he played a minimum of 38 minutes. The Wizards have the depth and scoring options (Ramon Sessions, Gary Neal, Kelly Oubre) to compensate. To make the situation more manageable for coach Randy Wittman, bringing Beal off the bench makes this easier. Beal, of course, clearly wants to start again. 

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Wizards' first pre-draft workout to feature Kentucky's Diallo, UMBC's upset hero


Wizards' first pre-draft workout to feature Kentucky's Diallo, UMBC's upset hero

The Washington Wizards will hold their first pre-draft workout on Tuesday at Capital One Arena and the group of six players features some familiar names. 

Included in the mix is guard Jairus Lyles, who starred for the Unversity of Maryland-Baltimore County and helped lead them as a 16-seed over top-ranked Virginia in the NCAA Tournament. It was the first 16-over-a-1 upset in the tournament's history.

Here are the six players with some notes on each one...

Chris Chiozza, guard, Florida (6-0, 175)

Chiozza played four years at Florida and finished as the school's all-time assists leader. He averaged 11.1 points, 6.1 assists and 1.9 steals per game as a senior.

Hamidou Diallo, guard, Kentucky (6-5, 198)

Diallo redshirted in 2016-17 and played one season for the Wildcats. He averaged 10.0 points and 3.6 rebounds while shooting 45.8 percent from the field. Diallo measured 6-foot-6 with shoes at the combine and boasts a 7-foot wingspan.

Tiwian Kendley, guard, Morgan State (6-5, 190)

Kendly was a big-time scorer at Morgan St., averaging 21.0 points as a redshirt junior and 26.1 points as a senior. He took a lot of shots, however, averaging 18.2 field goal attempts on 45.3 percent from the field this past season. Kendley starred at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Maryland before joining the college ranks, first at Lamar Community College.

Jairus Lyles, guard, UMBC (6-2, 175)

Lyles was the leading scorer for the Retrievers this past season as they became the biggest underdog Cinderella in NCAA history, defeating the No. 1 Virginia Cavaliers in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. He averaged 20.2 points and shot 39.0 percent from three on 6.1 attempts. Lyles began his college career at VCU and played high school ball at nearby DeMatha.

Doral Moore, center, Wake Forest (7-1, 280)

A three-year player at Wake Forest, Moore had a breakout season as a junior with averages of 11.1 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. Moore played with Sixers star Ben Simmons in high school.

Ray Spalding, forward, Louisville (6-10, 215)

Spalding played three years at Louisville and averaged 12.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 1.5 steals per game as a junior. He posted a 7-5 wingspan at the NBA Combine. Spalding played with Jazz star Donovan Mitchell in college. 

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2017-18 Wizards roster review: Mike Scott

2017-18 Wizards roster review: Mike Scott

To wrap up the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we evaluate Mike Scott's season...

Player: Mike Scott

Position: Power forward

Age: 29

2017-18 salary: $1.7 million

2017-18 stats: 76 G, 18.5 mpg, 8.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.1 apg, 0.3 spg, 0.1 bpg, 52.7 FG%, 40.5 3P%, 65.8 FT%, 59.0 eFG%, 109 ORtg, 111 DRtg

Best game: 12/9 at Clippers - 22 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 9-for-11 FG, 3-for-4 3PT, 28 minutes

Season review: The 2017-18 Wizards season was full of unpredictability and the most positive surprise had to be the comeback of Mike Scott.

The Wizards signed Scott to a veteran minimum contract last offseason after a workout at Capital One Arena. This came just months after he had felony drug charges dropped in the state of Georgia, he lost 25 pounds and rehabbed a leg injury. That spring he had wondered, and justifiably, if his NBA career was over.

Scott overcame all of those odds to not only return to the NBA, but re-establish himself as a productive player off the bench. No one was more consistent start-to-finish in the Wizards' second unit than Scott was.

Scott earned a significant role in head coach Scott Brooks' rotation out of the preseason and stayed there. He reached double-figures in 31 of his 76 games, second only to Kelly Oubre, Jr. on the Wizards. 

Scott's primary value was on offense. He scored inside and out and got his points with remarkable efficiency. He led the Wizards and was tied for 11th in the NBA in effective field-goal percentage. He was second on Washington in field goal percentage and third in three-point percentage. 

Scott closed the season strong, reaching double-figures in scoring in seven of the last nine regular season games. He carried that over into the playoffs with 46 points through their first three games against the Raptors. 

Now comes the question of how much money Scott earned himself with his comeback year and whether the Wizards can afford keeping him. Since they are in the luxury tax, they will have little money to spend this summer. 

The way to keep Scott would be to use the remainder of their taxpayer mid-level exception, but that figures to be only about $1.9 million, not much more than what Scott made in 2017-18. Given how well he played this season, it would not be surprising if he earns much more than that.

Potential to improve: Free throw shooting, forcing turnovers, ability to guard bigs

More player season reviews:

John Wall, PG

Bradley Beal, SG

Otto Porter, SF

Markieff Morris, PF

Marcin Gortat, C

Kelly Oubre, Jr., SF

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