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Open court: Do any Clippers free agents fit Wizards?

Open court: Do any Clippers free agents fit Wizards?

The end for the L.A. Clippers couldn’t have been any more disappointing after a 53-win season and a No. 4 seed. Injuries to Chris Paul and Blake Griffin ended them in the first round though they had a chance to at least get to the West finals.

The Clippers have some attractive free agents and don’t have a lot of salary cap room to refresh their own roster. Their best shot is to use the Bird Rights on their own free agents to retain some of them.

The Wizards will go into the offseason with as many as nine spots open. Their goals are to get younger, more explosive and identify a few two-way players in the process to improve their 21st scoring defense. Adding players indiscriminately isn't an option because of the cap. The big fish (meaning, big-name free agents) will get signed first. Assuming the Wizards land one, even if it's not named Kevin Durant, they'll construct the roster with the remaining money with as many as eight other spots open. More than likely they'll retain 2-4 of their own free agents which will cut that number of open slots from 5-7.

They'll need a solid backup for Marcin Gortat at center, a true scorer behind Bradley Beal and a backup point guard for John Wall.

These are the Clippers’ best free agents available, in order of best fit:

Jamal Crawford: He’s 36 but that doesn’t matter much. He’s a bench player who is instant offense. Crawford won the Sixth Man of the Year award for the second time and made just $5.7 million. He’ll command somewhere in that range with a raise, of course, but the unrestricted free agent also has indicated he’d like to return to L.A. He’s from the West coast and appears to prefer it, but if he’s willing to listen to a pitch his 14.2 points in 27 minutes a game is worth it.

Jeff Green: A 6-9 combo forward, he was on the Wizards’ short list of possibilities two years ago when he was with the Celtics and on the market. He averaged 11.7 points and made 41 starts but can disappear for long stretches. He’s 29 and athletic and played for Scott Brooks when both were with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Now he's unrestricted.

Austin Rivers: A 6-4 guard, he’s a backup who’ll be looking for a raise if he exercises his player option. Still, the raise he'd get over his $3.1 million, if any, would be modest. Rivers' shooting from inside and outside the arc remains sub-par though defensively he has proven to be quite valuable.

Wesley Johnson: A career backup, like Rivers and Aldrich, Johnson was a lottery pick, too, who hasn't lived up to his draft status. A shooting guard, he played for the $1.1 million minimum as well and averaged 6.9 points and 3.1 rebounds in 21 minutes. Johnson can be a spot starter and has potential to be a late bloomer but remains a shooter in the low 30s from three-point range.

Cole Aldrich: It has taken the 2010 lottery quick quite a while to mold himself into a usable center, but he did a decent job as DeAndre Jordan's backup (5.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.1 blocks, 59.6% field goals). Aldrich makes the vet minimum of $1.1 million and should be able to get a raise by exercising his player option, too. Like Green, he played for Brooks in Oklahoma City.

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Hey Wizards - don't fall for this CJ McCollum crossover

Hey Wizards - don't fall for this CJ McCollum crossover

Here's an important thing for the Wizards to avoid when facing off against Portland on Monday night: This CJ McCollum crossover.

As seen in this video by our friends at NBC Sports Northwest, the Trail Blazers' player sent a Spurs defender flying - much to the delight of the Portland bench - with the move.

 

"It wasn't even one of my better crossovers," he said after his team's win. "Honestly, he just reacted."

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By the numbers: Bradley Beal on pace to become one of NBA history's best three-point shooters

By the numbers: Bradley Beal on pace to become one of NBA history's best three-point shooters

Bradley Beal topped Gilbert Arenas for first place in career three-pointers in Wizards/Bullets franchise history on Saturday night in the Wizards' loss to the Toronto Raptors.

Beal, only 25, has put himself in some good company over the years with his outside shooting. Here are some numbers to put it all in perspective.

By The Numbers: Bradley Beal's historic shooting numbers

2,208: Beal made his record-breaking, 869th three on his 2,208th attempt. It took Arenas 2,430 attempts to get there in a Wizards uniform. Arenas, however, reached the mark in 357 games compared to Beal's 408. Beal, now at 2,209, is second on the franchise list for career three-pointers attempted. Based on his career attempts averages, he should get there this season.

100: Beal has made at least 100 three-pointers in five straight seasons entering 2018-19. That is a franchise record. The longest such active streak is held by Jamal Crawford at 14. The longest streak in NBA history is held by Ray Allen at 17.

39.4: Beal's career three-point percentage. He is one of only five players ever to shoot at least 39 percent from beyond the arc while making two or more threes per game in their careers. The others are Kyle Korver, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Buddy Hield, who has only played in 164 games compared to Beal's 408.

223: Beal set the franchise record for three-pointers made in a single season back in 2016-17. He passed Arenas, who twice got to 205, in 2004-05 and 2006-07.

41: Beal also passed Arenas for the most games in franchise history with five or more three-pointers made. Arenas is in second with 40, while Trevor Ariza is in a distant third with 15. Otto Porter Jr., for comparison, has done it nine times. Beal's 41 games with five threes or more rank 18th among active players. Curry is way ahead of everyone else with 183.

37: Beal is one of just eight players ever to begin his career with six straight seasons of 37 percent or better from three. The other seven is mostly a who's who of three-point specialists like Curry, Thompson, Korver and J.J. Redick.

20: Shooting 37 percent or better from three while also scoring 20 points or more is rarer than you may think. Beal has done it twice in his career, same as LeBron James, Damian Lillard and Kawhi Leonard. Only 11 players have accomplished the feat more often. Dirk Nowitzki has done that in nine seasons, most all-time, while Kevin Durant is second with eight.

872: Speaking of Durant, this isn't a historic number, it's just an interesting coincidence. Since Beal entered the league before the 2012-13 season, he and Durant have been nearly identical as three-point shooters. Beal has made 870 threes, while Durant has knocked down 872. Beal has shot 39.4 percent, while Durant has hit 39.6 of them. Another guy who has been extremely similar to Beal is Danny Green, who now plays for the Raptors. He has hit 858 threes during that span at a 39.2 percent rate.

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