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NBA trade deadline: Wizards taking aggressive approach, willing to risk 'rental' to upgrade

NBA trade deadline: Wizards taking aggressive approach, willing to risk 'rental' to upgrade

The Wizards are looking for scoring to add to the bench and a defender, and they're willing to risk to swap a pick for a rental for the last 27 games of the season if it's the right player to make them strong contenders in the East, league sources tell CSNmidatlantic.com on Wednesday.

The trade deadline closes Thursday at 3 p.m. ET and there are a lot of possibilities in play. As it draws near, more activity will happen around the league and the picture will grow clearer exactly what the move will be for Washington (34-21) but they are being aggressive as buyers.

At this stage, it's difficult to find a two-way player without giving up assets that don't include picks and a rotation player. 

[RELATED: Wizards have found mixed results at trade deadline over the years]

If a player has an expiring contract and an unrestricted free agent this summer, he could be free to leave without compensation. Last season, the Wizards wouldn't part with a first-round pick for Ryan Anderson for that reason but did for Markieff Morris who is under contract through 2019.

This year is different. Coming out of the All-Star break, the Wizards find themselves in third place in the East with a chance to leapfrog the No. 2 Boston Celtics and challenge the No. 1 Cleveland Cavaliers who are vulnerable without Kevin Love for six weeks and J.R. Smith still not back in the lineup.

The Wizards have a first- and second-round pick in the June draft.

[RELATED: Pacers testing trade market for superstar Paul George]

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Survey of NBA general managers reportedly shows divide in how teams want to proceed with season

Survey of NBA general managers reportedly shows divide in how teams want to proceed with season

A conference call between NBA general managers and commissioner Adam Silver on Thursday revealed a divide as to how the GMs think the league should proceed if able to finish the 2019-20 season, according to a report by The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor.

GMs were given a survey, the results of which were revealed on the call, and according to the report, they were split on several things:

  • Half the general managers voted to skip the rest of the regular season and go straight to the playoffs

  • More than half voted to reseed the playoffs 1 to 16, regardless of conference

  • About 75 percent voted in favor of a play-in tournament for bubble teams to determine the final playoff seeds; the other 25 percent voted in favor of a World Cup-style group stage

The play-in tournament was reported as a potential option by ESPN on Wednesday. Labeled as a “playoffs plus” format, it would allow teams just outside of the playoff picture like the New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs and Sacramento Kings -- all separated by just 1.5 games -- a way to play themselves into the playoffs if the regular season is in fact canceled. 

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The Wizards, currently the ninth seed in the Eastern Conference and 5.5 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot, weren’t mentioned in the report, but it did say 20-24 teams would be included. This would likely include Washington.

According to O’Connor, teams with top seeds like the East-leading Bucks and West-leading Lakers favor the play-in option over a group stage, likely because they get an easier matchup against lower-seeded teams and a less difficult path to a title. And because teams will always vote in their own best interest, the survey isn’t an indication of what will ultimately happen.

“There was zero commitment to any one plan,” one of the GMs told O’Connor. “But it was a call to gather more information.”

On Friday, Silver will talk with the league’s board of governors to discuss formats to resume the season, a potential timeline for return, and more. But nothing is expected to be determined on that call either.

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Scott Brooks: Bradley Beal is one of the NBA's best overall players

Scott Brooks: Bradley Beal is one of the NBA's best overall players

Wizards head coach Scott Brooks always has nice things to say about Bradley Beal, his star shooting guard. But on Thursday night's 'Wizards Greatest Hits' broadcast on NBC Sports Washington, he took it up a notch with his praise.

While speaking with host Chris Miller as they watched back the Wizards' Jan. 2019 win over the Knicks in London, Brooks shared some very high compliments of Beal.

"He is really one of the best players in the league," Brooks said. "All-around, not only at guard, he is one of the best players in the league. His game has improved so much over the past three years. He's getting better every year."

As they watched the fourth quarter of that Wizards-Knicks game, Brooks went on about how Beal can flip a switch during crunch time and how sometimes all it takes is a quick conversation between them.

"There are times where I need him to take over a game. I just say 'Brad, it's time,'" Brooks said.

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The best line from Brooks may have been when Beal not making the 2019-20 All-Star team came up. Brooks' coaching peers vote on the reserves and they famously left Beal out, which made for some history combined with his scoring average at the time.

Brooks wants to know from other NBA coaches: "If you don't think he's an All-Star, then why are you double-teaming every single time we play?"

If you get an answer to that question, Scott, be sure to let us know.

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