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Pargo sidelined by rib injury


Pargo sidelined by rib injury

The three-man race to replace John Wall as the Wizards starting point guard is down to two, at least for the immediate future.

Veteran Jannero Pargo, signed by the Wizards on Monday to provide depth at the guard position, sat out Fridays practice with what he believes is a strained cartilage in his left ribcage.

Pargo, 33, said he felt pain in the area when he tried making a cross-court pass during Wednesdays practice. He did not play in Thursday nights scrimmage and sat out Fridays drills.

I felt something pull or something, Pargo said. Im not too sure what it is right now. Im thinking maybe cartilage, attached to the ribs. But were not sure right now.
I didnt get hit. Thats the scary part about it.

Pargo said hes hoping an X-ray sheds a better light on the injury and provides more insight into how long he will be sidelined.

With Pargo out of the picture, the Wizards will look to A.J. Price and Shelvin Mack to fill the void left by Walls stress injury to his left kneecap, which will keep him out at least another seven weeks.

Price, who turns 26 on Sunday, was signed by the Wizards as a free agent on July 23 after three seasons with the Indiana Pacers. He averaged 3.9 points and 2.0 assists in 44 games last season.

Mack, 22, averaged 3.6 points and 2.0 assists in 64 games as a rookie with the Wizards last season.

Even with Wall in the lineup last season, the Wizards averaged just 19 assists a game, fourth-worst in the NBA.

I think thats what I do best, Price said about distributing the ball. Just control the offense and try to get everybody touches. As a point guard if you do that it makes the game so much easier. Guys tend to play harder on the defensive ended when they get touches.

Forward Trevor Ariza said he was impressed by Prices ball handling in Thursday nights scrimmage in front of season ticket holders at the Patriot Center.

He did what he was supposed to do, Ariza said. He did what hes done his whole career, from my understanding, as a point guard. Hes going to demand the players to be in the right spots. He put us in the right spots and got us the ball where we needed to be effective.

Wizards coach Randy Wittman also tried shooting guard Jordan Crawford at the point on Thursday night, with mixed results.

We lost, so it didnt go too good, Crawford said. Weve got a long way to go. A lot of sloppy play. Weve got to learn each other so its going to take some time.

Crawford said its important for him to show he can play both guard poitions.
Just being a coach on the floor, so Wittman doesnt have to get up and call all the plays.

In the meantime, Pargo has no choice but to sit and wait for his ribs to feel better.

Its just tough, because Ive been here battling since the start of camp, he said. Its not something I normally do, not something Im accustomed to. It doesnt feel good. It doesnt feel right when other guys are out there working and Im not able to.

I played through it Thursday. I practiced. It just kind of hurt even making pass, running up and down the court. Hopefully, we get it checked and its not too bad.

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Now that the Lakers got Anthony Davis, could the Knicks and others turn to Bradley Beal?

Now that the Lakers got Anthony Davis, could the Knicks and others turn to Bradley Beal?

With all but one of the brick-and-mortar movie stores closed down, there are really only two instances that you hear the word 'blockbuster' these days: when describing Marvel movies and for the type of trade we saw this weekend between the New Orleans Pelicans and Los Angeles Lakers.

The Anthony Davis deal is a blockbuster trade in every sense. It is big in the number of pieces involved and because Davis is one of the best players on the planet.

It is important because it could immediately vault the Lakers into title contention. And it provides a new superteam for the league to revolve around and for people to loathe with the Golden State Warriors currently licking their wounds.

But it is also the type of deal that will have major consequences around the league, one that will affect far more than just the teams at the top. It will force a collection of other teams to redraw their blueprints.

The obvious ones are the Knicks and Celtics, the two teams most closely linked to Davis in trade rumors. Now, it is New York that has more urgency, if not desperation, to strike in free agency. Boston to regroup and will probably need to ponder other trades if they want to reassert themselves in the Eastern Conference.

The Davis trade would be a major deal no matter the year, but it is fascinating to evaluate in the context of Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson's injuries. The league went from being very predictable to a wide open pasture of possibilities.

Now, the Warriors are good still but are also a beatable team. A window of NBA parity is cracking open and surely the Lakers won't be the only team to pounce.

Houston, Philadelphia and Oklahoma City are always aggressive and will clearly be thinking big. Portland and Denver could see this as the year to go all-in.

Not all teams looking to make a splash will have money to spend in free agency. That points to an aggressive trade market this summer, but there is arguably one big problem. After Davis, it doesn't seem likely many other stars will be available.

Teams seeking stars via trade have enjoyed plenty of options in recent years between Davis, Kawhi Leonard, Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving, Paul George and Jimmy Butler. The formula is generally fairly simple: an All-Star player on an underachieving team with the end of his contract in sight. Recently, the supply has met the demand.

But currently, few fit that description. There are some like Mike Conley Jr. of the Grizzlies, and Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside of the Heat. But none of those players are All-Stars in their prime.

All of that makes it easy to connect the dots to the Wizards and Bradley Beal. They are in an interesting spot, needing to decide whether to retool for playoff contention or take the long view and undergo some degree of a rebuild.

Beal, as their best player, is the catalyst. There are logical reasons to keep him or to trade him. He is one of the best players in franchise history, is only 25 and he's on a team-friendly contract in the era of the supermax. But the Wizards are going to have a tough time improving their roster with John Wall's Achilles injury and contract, which starts at 35 percent of the salary cap. 

The Wizards have held a stance of not wanting to trade Beal and still do. They also likely wouldn't make such an important decision without a long-term team president in place.

But that won't stop teams from calling and there is already speculation around the league about whether Beal will be dealt. One front office executive told NBC Sports Washington that Beal could be the top prize in the trade market if made available now that Davis is gone. 

For a lot of these situations, trades are more likely when a player is entering his walk year. Beal is signed through the 2020-21 season and, even if he grows unhappy, will say the right things.

He won't create necessary drama. And, if you take him at his word in a February interview with NBC Sports Washington, he wouldn't request a trade himself.

Also, there is a reason to believe keeping Beal wouldn't hurt their ability to rebuild through the draft. With the new lottery system, bottoming out doesn't offer the guarantees that it used to. And even with Beal playing all 82 games last season, the Wizards still lost 50 of them and finished with the sixth-best odds.

Just like some have argued the Wizards have reasons to trade Beal, they also have reasons not to. But that won't stop other teams from picking up the phone.




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Wizards bringing in UNC teammates Coby White and Nassir Little for pre-draft workout

Wizards bringing in UNC teammates Coby White and Nassir Little for pre-draft workout

The Wizards are holding their highest-profile pre-draft workout yet on Monday, hosting UNC teammates and projected lottery picks Coby White and Nassir Little. 

White earned All-ACC and All-Freshman honors during his lone season in Chapel Hill, averaging 16.1 points and 4.1 assists per game. Little's season with the Tar Heels did not go as smoothly as White's, but he is an NBA-ready athlete with tons of upside. 

Both White and Little could be options for the Wizards at No. 9 and would provide solutions to some of Washington's major needs. White would give the Wizards a primary play-maker while John Wall recovers from his Achilles injury, while Little would fill Washington's hole at small forward and bring some much-needed defense and rebounding to the team.

Before White and Little, the Wizards had brought in very few projected lottery picks during their pre-draft process, outside of Kentucky forward Keldon Johnson and French prospect Sekou Doumbouya. But with the 2019 NBA Draft looming on Thursday, the Wizards are ramping up their search for the player they'll pick at No. 9.