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Selecting the best Wizards,Bullets 3-on-3 basketball teams

Selecting the best Wizards,Bullets 3-on-3 basketball teams

On Friday morning, the International Olympic Committee announced that several new sports will join the Olympic program for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.

Among the disciplines added to the new program include sport climbing, skateboarding, BMX freestyle and 3-on-3 basketball.

3-on-3 Olympic Basketball has been a hot discussion topic for a long time, with fans of all walks of life debating and arguing their choices for the best "Dream Teams."

When the 2020 Summer Olympic Games roll around, eight 4-person teams will compete in men's and women's divisions to crown Olympic 3-on-3 basketball champions for the first time ever.


That got us thinking.

If the Wizards were a country, which current four-person team (3-on-3 squad with one bench player) would they send? 

But then we did more thinking.

What is the best all-time 3-on-3 team in Wizards/Bullets history?

What are the best 3-on-3 units to player for the Wizards/Bullets at the same time?

Here are the results. 


Current Wizards 3-on-3 squad:
Guard: John Wall
Guard: Bradley Beal
Forward: Otto Porter
Sub: Markieff Morris

Analysis: Gotta go small with this team. Wall is a good defender and great at recovery blocks for a guard. Beal has improved at getting to the lane and is great from outside. Otto Porter doesn't need the ball a lot and can do the dirty work inside.

It's a toss up between Morris and Marcin Gortat for the final spot, and Gortat might be a bit too much of a defensive liability.

Wizards/Bullets best all-time 3-on-3 team:
Guard: John Wall
Forward: Chris Webber
Forward/Center: Elvin Hayes
Sub: Wes Unseld

Analysis: So many great players to choose from, it's really quite hard to make a unanimous decision. Wall gets the nod over Gilbert Arenas for a variety of reasons: Creates space better, much better at driving to the lane, vastly better on-ball defender. Plus, even with a Hall of Famer on the floor with him, we worry about Arenas getting his teammates involved. 

Chris Webber has superb passing skills in halfcourt sets, and great ball-handling and can stretch the floor. His versatility is what gave him the nod here. 

From there, it's anybody's choice. We chose Elvin Hayes as the third starter. An elite scorer, rebounder and defender. A hard choice to make, but it's hard not to go with "The Big E."

The final spot comes down to Unseld, Pearl Monroe and Phil Chenier.  A second guard and shooting specialist is probably right right choice here, which would be Monroe or Chenier, but this team is going to win with defense, and Unseld is going to bully the opposition on the blocks. With Hayes and Unseld on the court together, it doesn't matter how many jumpers Wall misses, his teammates will get all the rebounds.

Best Wizards/Bullets 3-on-3 Teams that played Together:
NOTE: We chose the best four players to overlap at least one season together, and only used a player once per decade

1960's (All four played together in 1963)
Guard: Kevin Loughery
Forward: Gus Johnson
Center: Walt Bellamy
Sub: Terry Dischinger

1970's (All four played together in 1972)
Guard: Earl Monroe
Forward: Elvin Hayes
Center: Wes Unseld
Sub: Phil Chenier

1980's (All four played together in 1987)
Guard: Jeff Malone
Forward: Bernard King
Forward/Center: Moses Malone
Sub: John Williams

1990's (All four played together in 1994)
Guard: Rex Chapman
Forward: Juwan Howard
Forward/Center: Chris Webber
Sub: Calbert Cheaney

2000's (All four played together from 2004 until 2010)
Guard: Gilbert Arenas
Forward: Caron Butler
Forward/Center: Antawn Jamison
Sub: Nick Young

2010's (All four played together in 2015)
Guard: John Wall
Guard: Bradley Beal
Forward: Paul Pierce
Center: Marcin Gortat

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Dwight Howard opts into second year of contract with Wizards

Dwight Howard opts into second year of contract with Wizards

The Wizards are set to have Dwight Howard back for a second year, as the veteran center informed the team of his plans to exercise the $5.6 million player option in his contract for the 2019-20 season, NBC Sports Washington has confirmed.

Howard, 33, indicated to Wizards brass in his exit meeting last week he was likely to opt in to the second and final year of his deal, but there was some thought he would wait until closer to the June 29 deadline. The reason why is Howard's continued recovery from the back surgery he had in November, a procedure that kept him sidelined for the final five months of the season.

But Howard has now made his intentions known, giving the Wizards a clearer picture of their offseason. With him in the mix, they essentially have five players under contract next season. They technically have six, though Jabari Parker's $20 million team option is essentially a lock to not be picked up.

Howard appeared in only nine games in his first season with the Wizards. He missed all of training camp and their preseason schedule with back issues, played for just over two weeks in November and then went down for the year. He had the surgery, a lumbar microdiscotemy, on Nov. 30. 

Though his time on the floor was brief, he put up solid numbers with averages of 12.8 points and 9.2 rebounds. The Wizards missed his rebounding in particular, as they finished 27th in the league in the category and 28th in rebounds against.

Howard will certainly hope for a better showing in Year 2 with the Wizards, though there may be no guarantee he actually comes back. The Wizards are currently searching for a new general manager, and that person could choose to go in a different direction if ownership permits them to.

Keep in mind last summer Howard was traded soon after Mitch Kupchak took over the Hornets' front office and the Nets bought him out immediately after acquiring him. Howard's $5.6 million salary is relatively inexpensive, as Brooklyn paid $18.9 million to part ways.

Time will tell if Howard's career continues in Washington, but for now he is slated to come back next season for a second year with the Wizards.

ESPN's Zach Lowe first reported the news of Howard opting in.


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How John Wall's injury affects the Wizards' many decisions this summer

How John Wall's injury affects the Wizards' many decisions this summer

With the 2018-19 season in the rearview for the Washington Wizards, we at NBC Sports Washington are analyzing the five biggest questions of what should be the most consequential offseason they have had in years...


Though there are several events this summer that could ultimately define the Wizards' offseason, one storyline will hang over everything and factor into just about every decision made by the front office and whomever ends up leading it as the team's new general manager. That is the future of John Wall, who is set to miss at least most of next season due to a ruptured left Achilles, in what will be the first year of his supermax contract.

Wall had surgery on Feb. 12. Even if he returns one year after going under the knife, he will still miss roughly 50 games next season. When he does come back, there are no guarantees he will be the same player. He turns 29 in September and a ruptured Achilles is a very serious injury, especially for a guy whose game has traditionally been reliant on speed.

The Wizards, of course, hope Wall will regain his peak form, but even if that happens it is unlikely to be the case right away. It may not be until the 2020-21 season until the Wizards get a true read on Wall post-surgery and how much value he can provide while making the money he is due. 

Speaking of the money, Wall will still take up a considerable chunk of the salary cap despite not playing. He is set to earn 35 percent of the cap next season, which right now is projected at about $37.8 million. Though that could technically fluctuate based on the final cap number, the percentage is what matters. The Wizards will basically have to build a roster with only 65 percent of the cap at their disposal.

There is an argument that Wall's injury is one of the biggest roster-building obstacles in NBA history. Supermax contracts, ones that allow players to make a contract that begins at 35 percent of the salary cap, are a new concept. And no one else has suffered such a serious injury while getting paid that type of money. 

It may not be quite what the Brooklyn Nets overcame in the fallout of their infamous trade with the Boston Celtics, the one that resulted in a net loss of three first round picks. But it's a bad situation, one that will require some creativity from whomever is tasked with pulling the Wizards out of it.

The long-term ramifications will depend on how Wall plays when he returns, but the short-term effect will clearly be felt. First, the Wizards have to have an insurance policy at point guard and a good one if they hope to compete for the playoffs. Maybe that is as simple as re-signing Tomas Satoransky, but regardless they have to shore up that position, knowing Wall's status.

Second, the Wizards need to find bargains to fill out the rest of their roster. They will have to find some cheap players simply to reach the 13-player minimum with Bradley Beal's max deal also on the books. Beal will earn roughly $27.1 million next season.

The biggest question as it pertains to Wall may deal with the NBA Draft on June 20. What if the Wizards get some luck in the May 14 draft lottery, but not enough to get the No. 1 pick (i.e. Zion Williamson), and Ja Morant is the best player on the board? Morant, of course, is the Murray State superstar who lit up the NCAA Tournament in March.

Morant is dynamic and has serious star potential, and he plays point guard. Wall was already asked about the potential of the Wizards drafting a point guard with a high pick. He said he would be fine with it, but that when he returns that draft pick can "be a great back-up" to him.

If the Wizards picked Morant, or even Coby White of North Carolina, it would arguably be the smart move to make. They need to select the best player available, no matter the position. 

But if they do take a point guard, that will present a unique dynamic to their locker room, especially if that player turns into a star. What if Morant comes in and lights it up as a rookie? How will Wall deal with that? And could you then put Morant on the bench when Wall returns, as Wall suggests they would?

Those are hypothetical scenarios that can be addressed if they actually enter the equation this summer and beyond. But there is no question that, even as Wall is sidelined with an injury, his presence will loom over the Wizards in many ways.