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Morning tip: Sensible decision by Beal, Wizards to wait


Morning tip: Sensible decision by Beal, Wizards to wait

Now that the expected has happened -- the Wizards and Bradley Beal did not reach an agreement on an extension to his rookie scale contract -- this is what it all means:

  • After receiving a qualifying offer of $7.5 million from the Wizards next summer, which will be a formality, Beal becomes a restricted free agent. This happens the day after the last game of the NBA Finals up to June 30. This doesn't mean that Beal signs it. He won't. It simply gives the Wizards first right of refusal and they'll have 72 hours to match any offer sheet he brings to them from another team. If they declined to extend a qualifier and renounced his rights (this won't happen but in theory it could), he'd then become unrestricted July 1. 

  • Let's say Beal and the Wizards can't come to terms on a multi-year extension next summer. Beal could opt to sign the one-year qualifier, a similar deal that Kevin Seraphin accepted in the summer of 2014. But these are two different players in two vastly different situations. Seraphin was hoping to improve his market value which was low going into the 2014-15 season and he was hoping to build it up for the summer of 2015 (and that strategy failed). Beal's value is sky high so taking such a risk would be nothing short of brain dead. Beal and his agent, Mark Bartelstein, are too smart for that. Now gambling on himself to have an injury-free and productive 2015-16 season, Beal would be playing on a one-year deal for 2016-17 at about $10 million below market value. That's a steep risk to take just to become unrestricted in the summer of 2017. When a player is willing to go to those lengths to extricate himself -- think Greg Monroe with the Detroit Pistons -- he's miserable and just wants out. Beal doesn't want to go anywhere. And the Wizards aren't breaking up one of the NBA's best backcourts with John Wall. 

  • The Wizards own what's called Beal's Bird rights. Once a player is vested for three years with a team it can exceed the salary cap to re-sign him, a mechanism in the Collective Bargaining Agreement that helps teams retain their own free agents. In 2011, when an agreement on a new deal was reached during the lockout with the players union, teams with Bird rights were given more leverage. This came after LeBron James and Chris Bosh left their teams high and dry by bolting for the Miami Heat without them getting fair compensation in return and making rebuilding difficult and parity impossible. The team that owns the Bird rights can offer one extra year and 7.5% raises each year. If Beal were to play 2016-17 on a qualifying offer and leave as an unrestricted free agent the following summer, the maximum he could get is a three-year deal with 4.5% raises each year because his new team wouldn't have Bird rights. It's a punitive measure implemented to balance the scales for teams that have a better chance at retention. If you want to leave the team with your Bird rights, fine, but you're going to take a significant pay cut to do so. The caveat: Beal could become disgruntled or want to leave and force a sign-and-trade. That way, his Bird rights would transfer to his new team and he doesn't sacrifice any money or length of his contract. The Wizards, in such a scenario, would be able to get closer to fair market value in return. When Trevor Ariza left two years ago for the Houston Rockets in free agency, it was orchestrated as a sign-and-trade which allowed the Wizards gain a trade exception used to bring in Kris Humphries. Ariza retained his Bird rights.

  • Next summer is about more than Kevin Durant, who will be an unrestricted free agent. The Wizards have to decide whether or not to pick up final-year options on Kris Humphries, DeJuan Blair and Drew Gooden. Jared Dudley, Gary Neal, Alan Anderson, Nene, Ramon Sessions and Garrett Temple come off the books and will be unrestricted. Martell Webster is in the final fully guaranteed year of his deal, with fourth-year buyout just over $2 million in 2016. There's a lot of movement that will take place. By signing Beal to a max extension now, they'd have less money to fill the holes in the roster. The Wizards are better off waiting -- as David Aldridge of NBA.com explains in more detail here using a great example with how the San Antonio Spurs handled Kawhi Leonard's extension -- to re-sign Beal as an exception to the cap because they can exceed it to do so. Currently, the Wizards are over the $70 million salary cap but under the $84 million luxury tax line for 2015-16. It's a complicated mathematical formula that requires creative accounting but doing it this way will maximize the Wizards' buying power in the open market next summer without negatively impacting Beal's own bottom line.


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Swaggy Picasso's Sole Talk had the Wizards taking notice opening night

Swaggy Picasso's Sole Talk had the Wizards taking notice opening night

The connection between athletes and their fans is a powerful thing in sports. The NBA is one of the trendiest, fashion-forward leagues in the world. From shoe design to overall wardrobe to eccentric personalities...the Association has it all on display for fans across the globe to consume. 

Lloyd Ferguson, a fan himself and native of Silver Spring, Md., is bursting onto the customized sneakers scene as an up-and-coming artist. 

His Instagram (@SwaggyPicasso) serves as his personal laboratory and a platform to share his creations. 

Prior to the start of Thursday night's Wizards-Heat game, NBC Sports Washington invited Ferguson to Capital One Arena for what would become a memorable night for the 23-year-old. 

Chris Miller and Drew Gooden featured Swaggy Picasso on the pregame show for an interview and sneaker showcase.

"The inside of my body was jiggling and moving. I was like 'I gotta keep composed and stay cool. You're on national televison, Lloyd.'" 

You would have never known it. 

Ferguson, who was a basketball player himself locally, grew up a Wizards and D.C. sports fan all around. 

Little did he know several Wizards would take notice of his artwork. 

Kelly Oubre, Devin Robinson and John Wall - each known for their wardrobes and respective styles - stopped by to take a peek at Ferguson's kicks. 

"Their reactions to my art was all I needed, honestly. They see the potential and growth. It's very overwhelming." 

It was a groundbreaking night for a young talent with lofty dreams and aspirations. 

Swaggy Picasso has no plans of stopping anytime soon. 

"I've been busting out these shoes day and night. I don't sleep. My desire to paint shoes is ridiculous." 



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Wizards vs. Raptors: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Wizards vs. Raptors: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

The Wizards take to the court Saturday night looking for their first win of the season against the Toronto Raptors. 

In their first game of the season the Wizards laid an egg after the Miami Heat were missing three rotation players on the second end of a back-to-back. Similar problems emerged even with new offseason additions Jeff Green and Austin Rivers having stellar debuts. Dwight Howard did not play in the contest, still dealing with a butt injury. 

Now, the Wizards will go up against one of the favorites to win the Eastern Conference, the Raptors. They also acquired a former All-Star in Kwahi Leonard this offseason, trading away DeMar DeRozan. Besides the switch, this is pretty much the same squad that knocked the Wizards out of the First Round of the playoffs last season.

On Saturday the Raptors will be coming off a back-to-back after hosting the Boston Celtics on Friday night. Once again, another big opportunity for the Wizards against an Eastern Conference foe early in the season.

The Wizards-Raptors will take place on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 7:00 p.m. at Capital One Arena and will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington.


What: Washington Wizards vs. Toronto Raptors, 2018 NBA regular season Game 2
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
When: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV Channel: The Wizards vs. Raptors will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)
Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards vs. Raptors on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the new MyTeams App.
Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM

6:00 PM: Wizards Outsiders (LIVE)
6:30 PM: Wizards Pregame Live (LIVE)
7:00 PM: Toronto Raptors @ Wizards (LIVE)
9:30 PM: Wizards Postgame Live (LIVE)
10:00 PM: Wizards Outsiders (LIVE)
10:30 PM: Redskins GameDay: D.C. Sports Live (LIVE)


Wizards: Dwight Howard (questionable)
Raptors: Delon Wright (day-to-day), OG Anunoby (probable)


John Wall, Wizards: After speculation on if Wall would return to his peak form, he showed out on Thursday night. With 26 points, nine assists, and four blocks, the point guard was all around the court for the Wizards. 

Otto Porter Jr./ Jeff Green, Wizards: Covering Leonard is going to be a tall task. It is anticipated that the taller Otto Porter Jr. and Jeff Green to be the duo that will be covering the lengthy guard.  Neither guy are going to light-up the stat sheet on the offensive end, but after a nice showing by Green on Thursday look for them to split time defensively. 

Khawi Leonard: Leonard had 24 points and 12 rebounds in his debut with the Raptors, picking up right where he left off before his injury. Will a back-to-back affect the star that hasn't played consistently since 2016? 


Number of all-time Meetings: 95 games
Regular Season Record: Raptors lead 48-37
Postseason Record: Wizards lead 6-4
Last Meeting: Raptors won 102-92
Last 10: Raptors lead 6-4