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Path to All-Star Game more clear for Bradley Beal than John Wall despite early votes

Path to All-Star Game more clear for Bradley Beal than John Wall despite early votes

The path to a fourth consecutive NBA All-Star Game for John Wall never was going to be easy, and despite having 21 double-doubles, he already appears too far out to have any reasonable shot at getting in through the popular vote. 

Thursday, the first tallies were released, and Wall was seventh among East guards with 87,360, trailing Kyrie Irving (543,030), Dwyane Wade (278,052), DeMar DeRozan (253,340), Isaiah Thomas (193,297), Derrick Rose (129,924) and Kyle Lowry (128,940). Wall's backcourt mate, Bradley Beal, didn't even make the top 10, which is rounded out by Avery Bradley (32,822). 

The Wizards (16-18) haven't had any national TV exposure and have struggled to get above .500, which has been a hindrance. The one time that Wall was voted a starter by fans came two years ago when they had a 22-8 start and routed the New York Knicks in a Christmas Day game at Madison Square Garden.

RELATED: One of the Warriors is getting a crazy amount of votes

The top two guards in the voting will be named the starters. The top three frontcourt vote-getters will start. Media and players, for the first time, can vote to balance the scales. Fan voting counts for 50 percent and media and players are 25 percent each.

Wall's best chance is to be voted in as a reserve for the second year in a row by NBA coaches, but that's going to require a few things in the current voting:

  • Wade has to drop out of the top two guards. He's more popular but not as deserving. If an undeserving player locks up a starting spot, it means there is one fewer spot available on the bench for a deserving player. Rose is the other less deserving player ahead of Wall and wouldn't beat him out unless he vaults to the top two unexpectedly.
  • Irving is a point guard who really is a shooter. He can be used in this exhibition off the ball, which, in theory, still keeps a point guard spot open. That leaves Wall versus Thomas and Lowry, both of whom are on teams that have better records.
  • The Wizards have six more games until the voting closes Jan. 16. It starts Friday against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Sunday at the Milwaukee Bucks, Tuesday versus the Chicago Bulls, Wednesday at the Boston Celtics, Saturday against the Philadelphia 76ers and Monday with the Portland Trail Blazers. Being an over.500 team after this stretch ends will help, though it's unlikely it can vault Wall or Beal high enough.

The next voting update comes Jan. 12 and concludes four days later. The starters will be announced Jan. 19. The coaches' vote is due Jan. 26. There will be five more games, a total of 11, for the Wall and Beal to get the ship on the right course to have any chance of making the cut. 

Even though Beal isn't listed, the path to him becoming an All-Star for the first time is easier with Wade and DeRozan, his toughest competition at shooting guard.

MORE WIZARDS: High-percentage looks likely to continue to be there for Morris, Gortat

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History shows how much the Wizards could get in a trade for Davis Bertans

History shows how much the Wizards could get in a trade for Davis Bertans

Indications both on the record and through back channel reporting remain that the Wizards would like to keep sharpshooting forward Davis Bertans beyond the Feb. 6 trade deadline and attempt to re-sign him in the offseason, once they are allowed to negotiate per CBA rules. The most recent story came from Sports Illustrated and it suggested the Wizards aren't entertaining offers.

Still, nothing can be ruled out. Things can change, teams could increase their offers and trade talks always ramp up as the deadline nears. And, if the Wizards do decide to trade Bertans, it would make sense if the return package was centered around draft picks, given the Wizards are in the middle of a franchise reset where those are at a premium.

So, what type of draft pick could the Wizards get for Bertans? For starters, it doesn't seem likely any collection of second round picks would get the deal done given the caliber of player he is. And while first round picks are most often dealt on draft night, there are still plenty of cases where they were sent in exchange for players at other points on the calendar.

With Bertans in mind, here are some examples of teams getting first round picks for players. You may notice a lot of them involved the Wizards being the team that gave up the draft pick. And a few of them ironically included players who are now in Washington.

February 22, 2017: Wizards traded lottery-protected 2017 first round pick (Jarrett Allen was selected), Andrew Nicholson and Marcus Thornton to the Nets for Bojan Bogdanovic and Chris McCullough

Takeaway: This may be the best comp for a potential Bertans trade because Bogdanovic was on an expiring deal and acquired by a playoff contender at the time looking for a bench shooter. Though Bogdanovic is now a better player than Bertans, at the time he was on the level Bertans is now.

This trade also offers an ideal scenario for the Wizards in that the Nets got a really good player out of it with their draft pick. Allen is one of the game's best young rim protectors.

February 14, 2017: Raptors traded 2017 first round pick (Anzejs Pasecniks was selected) and Terrence Ross to the Magic for Serge Ibaka

Takeaway: Though Ibaka was and is better than Bertans, this type of deal in a basic sense might appeal to the Wizards. The Magic got a first round pick and a quality bench player in Ross. The Magic then used that pick in a separate deal.

February 23, 2017: Rockets traded a 2017 first round pick (Tony Bradley was selected) and Corey Brewer to the Lakers for Lou Williams

Takeaway: Williams, though more accomplished than Bertans, was acquired for the same reason that may make Bertans attractive to teams right now. He is a proven bench scorer with the ability to change the momentum of games. And like the Ibaka deal, the Lakers got both a pick and a serviceable player. If the Wizards could get a first round pick and a player who could help them, that might be hard to pass up.

February 18, 2016: Wizards traded a top-9 protected 2016 first round pick (Georgios Papagiannis was selected), DeJuan Blair and Kris Humphries to the Suns for Markieff Morris

Takeaway: Morris had the pedigree of a recent first round pick with upside, but Bertans might be a more appealing trade piece at the moment. Morris had some off-court issues and a public dispute with an assistant coach and that affected his stock. The Suns getting a pick that was only top-9 protected was an impressive return, even if they didn't make much of it.

February 19, 2015: Three-team deal in which the Celtics traded a top-10 protected 2016 first round pick (Skal Labissiere was selected) to the Suns, the Suns traded Isaiah Thomas to the Celtics, the Celtics traded Tayshaun Prince to the Pistons and the Pistons traded Gigi Datome and Jonas Jerebko to the Celtics.

Takeaway: This one is complicated by the fact three teams were involved. Also, Thomas was a better player than Bertans. But the framework of this deal is worth examining given the potential for the Wizards to get another team involved if they decide to part with him.

October 25, 2013: Wizards traded a top-12 protected 2014 first round pick and Emeka Okafor to the Suns for Marcin Gortat, Shannon Brown, Malcolm Lee and Kendall Marshall.

Takeaway: Yet another trade where the Wizards dealt a first round pick in a win-now move. This one had some throw-in pieces, but Gortat could be seen as a similar level player relative to his position as Bertans is now. And a top-12 protected first round pick would arguably be a solid return for the Latvian Laser.

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Elena Delle Donne has successful surgery, should be ready for 2020 season

Elena Delle Donne has successful surgery, should be ready for 2020 season

Elena Delle Donne had successful surgery to repair three herniated discs in her back, the team announced on Wednesday.

The "minor surgery" took place on Friday, Jan. 24 and was performed by Dr. Andrew Dossett in Dallas, Texas. Delle Donne's timetable is unknown but will be reevaluated around the Mystics training camp in May. She is anticipated to be available for the season opener on May 16.

The Mystics forward suffered the injury during the WNBA Finals. After only playing in the opening minutes of Game 2, she missed the rest of the game. An MRI revealed that she had a herniated disc in her back. It was her third injury in all of her three WNBA Finals appearances.

Still, through the pain, the 2019 WNBA MVP helped her team win their first title. 

Once the Mystics won the WNBA Championship, Natasha Cloud proudly announced that Delle Donne actually had three herniated discs

This surgery will likely limit her availability for playing with the U.S. Women's National Team as they begin their pre-Olympic training, exhibitions and qualifying events. She has yet to appear in any of the 2019-20 events due to her injury.

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