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Morning tip: Wizards give Beal last shot, but result the same

Morning tip: Wizards give Beal last shot, but result the same

For a team that is just 27 games into their regular season schedule, the 2016-17 Washington Wizards sure seem to get a lot of chances at last-second buzzer beaters. Markieff Morris had an opportunity to be the hero in Orlando. Otto Porter and John Wall have both had their shots. And on Monday night in Indiana, the man many have clamored for all year to take the final shot actually got one at long last.

Just like the others, that one rimmed out, too. This time it was Bradley Beal who had the open look, yet once again the Wizards saw the same result. It was another heart-stopping finish, one that brought Marcin Gortat to the floor in disbelief.

Yes, it was another missed opportunity, another play that will stick in the memory of the player who came up short in the final moment. But, just like most of the other last-second shots before, Beal got an uncontested look. The play drawn up by head coach Scott Brooks worked to perfection and the Wizards had their chance, it just didn't go in.

"I felt like it was good," Beal said. "It was kind of tough with the angle and it being 0.9 seconds, but I’ll take the blame for it. It was definitely a shot I can make. Just move on."

"We’ll take that shot any day of the week," Brooks said. "We did a great job of executing, setting screens and coming off hard. It was a good look. There was 0.9 seconds, so the shot had to get up in a hurry. He had plenty of time to catch and gather. It was a good look. Marcin set a great screen. Unfortunately, it didn’t go our way."

The time left on the clock certainly produced a challenge, but the same was the case for a play just seconds earlier. On that one, Beal knocked it down right before the shot clock ran out and with just 15.7 seconds left in the game. That tied the game at 105-105, though initially it appeared to be a go-ahead shot before a referee review determined his foot was on the three-point line.

Afterwards, Beal - who finished with 22 points on 7-of-19 shooting - still wondered if it should have counted for three.

"It was a three to me, but the refs thought otherwise just like they did for a lot of other calls throughout the game. It is what it is," he said.

"I think he was on the line by half an inch," Brooks added.

The 15.7 seconds remaining were more than enough for Thaddeus Young to sink a running floater on the other end to put the Pacers up 107-105. That snapped a Wizards' three-game winning streak and kept them outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture. A win would have put them in the playoff mix for the first time this season. Though it's still early, that would have been a nice short-term goal for a team that is still recovering from a disappointing 2-8 start.

The Wizards are now 12-15 on the season. They are 10-6 at home with five straight wins at the Verizon Center. On the road, it's been a much different story where they are just 2-9, the second-worst record in the East. 

Like Monday night, they just haven't been able to consistently close the deal.

"We’re so close in these road games. We’re going to have a breakthrough," Brooks said.


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Tomas Satoransky set to enter unpredictable free agent market for point guards

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Tomas Satoransky set to enter unpredictable free agent market for point guards

Of the Wizards' players set to hit free agency on June 30, one who has a good chance to return is point guard Tomas Satoransky. He and center Thomas Bryant are atop the team's priority list with Bobby Portis likely too expensive and Jabari Parker set to enter the market unrestricted.

Satoransky will be a restricted free agent, meaning the Wizards can match any offers made by other teams. And in talking to members of the Wizards' coaching staff and front office, they speak of Satoransky like he is part of their future.

Still, nothing can be assumed and especially in a year in which many teams have money to spend. As Kevin O'Connor of the Ringer noted this week, there is more cap room available this summer than the previous two combined. That could lead to 2016-level contracts where role players get paid like starters and average starters get paid like stars.

What will make Satoransky's market interesting, though, is the fact there are some much bigger names available at his position. At point guard, teams with the most money can go after All-Stars like Kemba Walker, Kyrie Irving and D'Angelo Russell. There is then a robust second tier that includes Malcolm Brogdon, Terry Rozier and Ricky Rubio. Then you have Derrick Rose, Elfrid Payton, Patrick Beverley, Darren Collison and Rajon Rondo.

It is a great year to be a free agent, but maybe not the best year to be a free agent point guard. The position class is absolutely loaded.

Satoransky, though, will still draw plenty of interest and among the teams expected to check in on him are the Mavericks, Pacers, Magic and Celtics, NBC Sports Washington has learned.

The Celtics have already been tied to Satoransky by Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports. But they also have their sights set on some of the bigger fish at point guard with rumors linking them to Walker, in particular.

The Utah Jazz were also set to pursue Satoransky, but their trade for Mike Conley Jr. has taken them off the list. The Phoenix Suns could also emerge as a suitor, though they are being linked to higher profile free agents at this point.

Both the Wizards and Satoransky expressed interest in a contract extension midway through the 2018-19 season, as NBC Sports Washington reported, but those talks didn't get much further. The Wizards ended up putting a lot of things on hold once they drifted out of the playoff race and ultimately fired team president Ernie Grunfeld.

With senior vice president Tommy Sheppard serving in the interim, though, Satoransky has a big proponent calling the shots in the Wizards front office. Sheppard scouted Satoransky before the Wizards drafted him and was key in convincing him to leave Europe for the NBA.

Satoransky likes playing in Washington and recognizes an opportunity at point guard with John Wall set to miss most of next season due to Achilles surgery. But he also recognizes this as a chance to earn the biggest payday of his career.

How much money Satoransky will ultimately receive is hard to predict. Those in his camp are apprehensive to throw numbers out there because even they aren't sure.

One potential comparison could be Raptors guard Fred VanVleet, who makes just over $9 million per year. Though VanVleet is arguably better, Satoransky is hitting the market with more money to go around. 

Many have tried to project Satoransky's market in the past few months. Soon we will find out just how valuable he is.


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Washington Wizards extend qualifying offers to Portis, Bryant and Satoransky, not Dekker

Washington Wizards extend qualifying offers to Portis, Bryant and Satoransky, not Dekker

The Wizards extended qualifying offers to three free agents on Wednesday: Thomas Bryant, Bobby Portis and Tomas Satoransky. Washington did now, however, extend a qualifying offer to Sam Dekker. 

The Washington Wizards reportedly extended a qualifying offer to Thomas Bryant after the center's breakout 2018-19 season, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic. 

After he was picked up by the Wizards off the waiver wires from the Lakers, Bryant worked his way into the Washington lineup by late November. 

With the Wizards he averaged 6.3 rebounds and 10.5 points while he shot a league-high 68.5% on two-pointers. Bryant also shot 33.3% in the three-point range and 46.6% from three-to-10 feet. 

But Bryant also made a big impact with his energy and enthusiasm while the Wizards struggled to compete, making him a favorite amongst his teammates and Washington fans alike. 

Back in April, Bryant expressed a serious interest in staying with the Wizards. For that article, click here.

Washington also extended offers to Bobby Portis anad Tomas Satoransky, as reported by Chase Hughes and Yahoo Sports' Keith Smith.

Last season with the Wizards, Portis shot 39.3% and averaged 14.2 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. Like Bryant, Portis also expressed that he enjoyed playing in Washington, but also said he wanted to make more money. For that article, click here

Satoransky averaged 8.9 points a game in the 2018-19 season, while he shot 39.5% in threes. 

While Washington made qualifying offers to three of its free agents, the Wizards declined a qualifying offer on forward Sam Dekker, as reported by Chase Hughes. 

Last season Dekker averaged 6.1 points per game, while he shot 47.1% in field goals.