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Open court: Do any Raptors free agents fit Wizards?

Open court: Do any Raptors free agents fit Wizards?

After a franchise-record 56 wins in the regular season and advancing to the conference finals for the first time, the Toronto Raptors’ season was a major success despite bowing out to the heavily favored Cleveland Cavaliers in six games.

The Wizards will go into the offseason with as many as nine spots open. Their goals are to get younger without sacrificing experience (like Portland), 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.

RELATED: WANT KEVIN DURANT ON THE WIZARDS? ROOT FOR THUNDER OVER WARRIORS, CAVS

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

Bismack Biyombo: He blew up in the playoffs, and he certainly will decline his $3 million player option for  next season. In a league where going small is emphasized over size, Biyombo is both. He's 6-9 and is strong enough to play center (listed as a power forward) and has elite shot-blocking ability to protect the rim and he's agile enough to switch out onto guards on pick-and-rolls. Biyombo's value, as a result, has skyrocketed despite not being much of an offensive threat outside of garbage putbacks. He'll cost $15 million to $17 million, one front office exec told CSNmidatlantic.com. That'll price him out of D.C. as long as Gortat ($12 million per) remains. A big with Biyombo's skill set as a backup at center, however, is ideal. 

James Johnson: An energy guy, he's a 6-9 career backup at forward. Johnson isn't know as a shooter but was a Toronto fan favorite. He made 37 starts but was hot and cold. Johnson earned $2.5 million, has experience but isn't old (29) and could be an option to fill out a bench. The Wizards were terrible when it came to 50/50 balls and hustle plays. With averages of 5.0 points and 2.2 rebounds, Johnson wouldn't cost as much as some of the options that follow. 

DeMar DeRozan: The 6-5 scorer will decline his player option for $10.1 million but it appears he'll likely remain in Toronto when he renegotiates his deal. He manufactures his offense from the foul line in a way that Beal could only hope and he stays healthier, but in every other category -- particularly when it comes to playoff performance on the road -- Beal has the edge. Wall is a better three-point shooter than DeRozan. In the unlikelihood that Beal and Wizards can't come to terms during his restricted free agency, DeRozan is a solid Plan B. But it won't come to this anyway.  

Luis Scola: The power forward, an unrestricted free agent, was the weak link in an otherwise strong starting five. Scola, 36, saw his time dwindle in the postseason. He's a good bench option if size is needed. Despite his age he started in all 76 games in which he played. Scola was like a fish out of water in the playoffs (25.8% shooting) and lacks three-point range which is what the Wizards need in a four off the bench.

MORE BASKETBALL: KEVIN DURANT TAKING HEAT FROM THUNDER FANS AFTER GAME 6 LOSS TO WARRIORS

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

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

The Wizards head to the West Coast to open a road swing against the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night.

Wizards (0-2) are looking for their first win when the head into Portland to face Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers (2-0).

After this game, the Wizards have a tough stretch ahead of them before playing in D.C. again, playing at: Golden State, Sacramento, LA (Lakers) and Memphis.

WIZARDS vs. TRAIL BLAZERS HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Wizards vs. Miami Heat, 2018 NBA regular season Game 3
Where: Moda Center, Portland, Ore.
When: 10:00 p.m. ET
TV Channel: The Wizards vs. Trail Blazers will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)
Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards vs. Trail Blazers on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the new MyTeams App.
Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM

WIZARDS vs. TRAIL BLAZERS TV SCHEDULE

8:30 PM: D.C. Sports Live (LIVE)

9:00 PM: Wizards Outsiders (LIVE)

9:30 PM: Wizards Pregame Live (LIVE)

10:00 PM: Wizards @ Portland Trail Blazers (LIVE)

WIZARDS vs. BLAZERS INJURY REPORT:

Wizards: Dwight Howard remains day-to-day with a back injury.
Trail Blazers: None

WIZARDS vs. BLAZERS PLAYERS TO WATCH

Bradley Beal, Wizards: After becoming the Wizards franchise leader in 3 points on Saturday, it is likely Beal will have a lot to prove to help the team get its first win.

Otto Porter, Jr., Wizards: Porter has had a slow start, so will he take more shots in Portland?

Damian Lillard, Portland: The Blazers' star is leading the way this season averaging 28.5 ppg and 6.5 assists per game. 

WIZARDS vs. BLAZERS SERIES HISTORY 

Number of all-time Meetings: 111 games
Regular Season Record: Blazers lead 57-54
Last Meeting: Wizards won 106-92 in December 2017

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Dwight Howard 'out' for game vs. Trail Blazers, does not travel with team

Dwight Howard 'out' for game vs. Trail Blazers, does not travel with team

Due to an ongoing buttocks injury, Dwight Howard is listed as "out" for the Wizards' Monday night game in Portland against the Trail Blazers. Howard did not travel out west with the team for the five-game trip, according to NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller.

The news comes just four days after Wizards head coach Scott Brooks told the media that Howard would "definitely" make the trip. 

The veteran power forward was signed to the Wizards on a two-year free-agent deal in July worth $11 million, but has missed the Wizards' first two games of the regular season and all five of the team's preseason games. 

In Howard's absence, Brooks has turned to Ian Mahinmi, but his foul trouble has proved worrisome for the Wizards' lineup so far.

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