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State of the Wizards: Brooks on how Beal can be like Klay Thompson

State of the Wizards: Brooks on how Beal can be like Klay Thompson

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Brooks reacts to Klay Thompson's 60-point night - Wizards head coach Scott Brooks was asked before Tuesday's game against the Orlando Magic what he thought about Klay Thompson going off for an insane 60 points in just 29 minutes the night before. Once he realized where the question was going, Brooks grinned and leaned back in his chair. He then quipped: "It took me about 20 games to 60."

After the room laughed at his joke, and after the reporter point out a SportVU stat that said Thompson only touched the basketball for a total of 90 seconds during the game, Brooks told a story that Thompson's performance reminded him of. It reminded him of a film session he had with Bradley Beal on the road just a week before Thompson's big night:

"It doesn't get any better than that. It's funny, Bradley and I were watching film together just him and I last week and I told him that, I said 'you're one of the few guys in this league that can score 30 and have the ball in your hands less than a minute.' He didn't believe me. So, we looked at a couple of his clips and I [using] slow-motion and slow frames, I said 'look, there's 19 seconds on the shot clock and you've got the ball in your hands.' So, I did the clip. 'You shot the ball, it's out of your hands. Now look at the shot clock.' There was still 19 seconds. So, you shot the ball in what, .5 seconds? He's one of the few guys that can do that. Klay is obviously the same type of player. These guys that come off pindowns, they don't need the ball in their hands. They don't need to dribble the ball around the court five or six times to get a look. They've got the speed, they've got great footwork to come off [screens] and they've got the stroke. When you have bigs that set great screens like they do and we do, guys like Beal get a lot of opportunities to get points without touching the ball a whole lot in his hands."

Thompson looks like a future Hall of Famer at this point, one of the best shooters of all time who is a complete player with above-average skills on the defensive end. Putting Beal in the same category is a lofty comparison at this point.

But Beal is one of the best young guards in the NBA and there's no reason to put a ceiling on him at this stage of his career. Beal, a five-year NBA veteran, is in the middle of his Age 23 season. He's averaging 21.4 points per game on 44.1 percent shooting. Thompson was a three-year pro at Age 23 and scoring 18.4 points on 44.4 percent shooting. Beal is shooting 41.5 percent from three on 6.9 attempts per game. Thompson at the same age was hitting 41.7 percent of his threes on 6.6 shots per game.

Thompson is on a different level than Beal at this point, but he's also three years older. Beal may never get to where Klay is now, but Brooks does make an interesting point in terms of their similarities.

Satoransky's getting less minutes - Brooks' bench continues to evolve and lately that has meant less run for rookie Tomas Satoransky. The 6-foot-7 guard has not played at all in two of the Wizards' last three games, and the outlier was a 3:33 stint against the Nets on Monday.

Trey Burke has been the beneficiary of Satoransky's diminished role, logging 10 minutes against the Spurs and 12 vs. the Nets. Brooks was asked about Satoransky getting less minutes and he had this to say:

"He's putting so much pressure on himself and that's kind of norma. We've all been there as players in this league. There are a lot of things that you have to internalize and execute and the coach wants something, the four guys want something on the court. It's tough. I'm going to be very patient with him. I really believe that he's still a big part of what we do right now. He's just going to have to fit in where he fits in with the minutes. They're not going to be real consistent right now, but you never know. He just has to be ready. I thought Trey the last couple of games gave us a good lift. He has experience and he can manage... at this point he's a better scorer in the pick-and-roll setting. But Tomas is going to continue to work hard, he's a great kid that works hard.

Eastern Conference standings

Game of the week: John Wall 12/7 vs. Magic - 52 points, 8 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 steals, 18-for-31 FG, 5-for-8 3PT, 11-for-14 FT

Quote of the Week

"Our job is to wake up and just play hard. Before you made it to the NBA or got a college scholarship, you played hard every day to get to where you wanted to. To still be talking about playing hard, that's something that you should be able to do after just waking up. Everybody has a job and they have to go work hard. Our job is to come here and play hard and compete. That's the easiest thing that you should do without any contracts or any money, just come in and play basketball … if I had the answer we wouldn't be in this situation."

- John Wall on the Wizards' defensive effort against Orlando on Tuesday night

Tweet (or Instagram) of the Week

Road ahead

Mon. - 118-113 win at Brooklyn Nets
Tue. - 124-116 loss vs. Orlando Magic
Wed. - OFF
Thu. - 7 p.m. vs. Denver Nuggets (CSN)
Fri. - OFF
Sat. - 7 p.m. vs. Milwaukee Bucks (CSN)
Sun. - OFF

[RELATED: Wall faces music alone, questions Wizards' effort]

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5 biggest 2020 offseason questions for the Wizards, like will Davis Bertans re-sign?

5 biggest 2020 offseason questions for the Wizards, like will Davis Bertans re-sign?

Now that their 2019-20 season is finally over after nearly 10 full months, the Wizards' offseason is going to pick up very soon. The draft lottery is on Aug. 20, so just one week after their season finished.

The Wizards are entering one of the most important offseasons for them in recent memory. Here are the five biggest questions they will need to address...

Will Davis Bertans re-sign?

The No. 1 question for the Wizards this offseason centers around their most prominent free agent. Bertans enjoyed a breakout season in Washington after coming over in a trade from the Spurs last summer. But he is an unrestricted free agent and he won't be cheap, as he is now legitimately one of the best three-point shooters in the NBA. He can impact games dramatically despite barely touching the ball.

The WIzards made a bet that they could re-sign Bertans by not trading him at the deadline in February. Now it will be up to general manager Tommy Sheppard to seal the deal. The good news is that there is mutual interest. Bertans likes playing in Washington and is intrigued by the role he could play next season with John Wall and Bradley Beal back. Bertans could be a perfect complement to them and help supercharge the Wizards' offense into one of the very best in the NBA. Re-signing him is the top priority for the team this offseason, as NBC Sports Washington has reported, now they just have to get it done.

Will Scott Brooks be back?

This isn't really much of a question, barring something unforeseen. But it is worth addressing solely because Brooks only has one year left on his contract and that can often force decisions to be made with coaches. The overwhelmingly safe bet is for Brooks to enter the final year of his deal and for both sides to play it by ear. If they reach expectations next season, or exceed them, maybe he sticks around beyond 2020-21. If they don't, both sides can part without calling it a firing.

Back before the pandemic hit, like right when it hit, I was working on a story involving Brooks' contract where I interviewed his agent, Warren LeGarie. The world has changed quite a bit since then, but LeGarie made some interesting points at the time. One is that Brooks has been down this road before, coaching out the final year of a contract. He did that in Oklahoma City once. LeGarie, who has also represented Sheppard, called Brooks "re-energized" by the team's youth movement and "all-in" on their future. He said they would "be open" to continuing the partnership beyond next season if that's where things went. Basically, both sides seem ready to keep it rolling at least into next year and see what happens.

Who will they draft?

If they do re-sign Bertans, they will not have a ton of money left to spend in free agency thanks to the max deal for Beal and the supermax contract for Wall. That leaves trades and the draft as the best way for the team to make significant improvements to their roster. And because they missed the playoffs, the Wizards will have a high first round draft pick, which will give them a chance to add another blue chip young player on a cheap contract.

They have the ninth-best odds in the lottery, which gives them a high possibility of selecting in the top-10 and a 20.2 percent chance of picking in the top-four. If they pick around 10th, then it could be tough for that player to contribute right away, unless they find another Rui Hachimura-type, whom they got at No. 9 last summer. But if they move up closer to the top, they could land an instant impact player like Anthony Edwards of Georgia or James Wiseman of Memphis. Given his position, athleticism and shot-blocking ability, Wiseman seems like the obvious best fit for the team in a dream scenario. There are also some intriguing options like LaMelo Ball, Killian Hayes, Obi Toppin and Tyrese Haliburton who could be in the mix at the top.

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Who starts at forward?

The Wizards have some parts of their roster that are settled going into next year. We know what their backcourt will look like and, unless something shocking happens, we know Hachimura and Thomas Bryant will likely be in the frontcourt. Now, Troy Brown Jr. or Isaac Bonga or even Bertans could fill that fifth spot, but for several reasons it appears to be the most likely area they could find an upgrade.

Brown and Bonga are young players who could be best placed on the bench. Bertans also fits well there given his ability to change games as a microwave scorer and the defensive concerns you would have with him and the rest of the starting lineup. So, if the Wizards do want to use the rest of their money on a free agent, or target something significant in a trade, forward is the place to look. Whether that's a three or a four depends on how they view the short-term future of Hachimura. One name my colleague Chris Miller has thrown out there that makes a lot of sense is Jerami Grant of the Nuggets. He defends multiple positions and defense is a major need for the Wizards. His brother, Jerian, also happens to already be on the team.

Will they swing big or stay measured?

We know the timeline is going to speed up for the Wizards considerably this offseason with Wall coming back and Beal entering another year of his prime. They can't take the longview like they did a year ago. They want to win and that will dictate how they operate this offseason, which means veterans will likely be favored over young players to an extent. But to what extent, we don't know. What the Wizards have to balance is the possibility Wall and Beal do not work out once they reunite. And if things ever did go south, you wouldn't want to leave yourself in a position where you mortgaged the future and are left with nothing to show for it.

Also, when it comes to making win-now moves, there are different degrees of that. There is the method of putting together an experienced, playoffs-worthy bench. And then there is the method of thinking much bigger and trying to obtain another star on the level of Wall or Beal, or one that is even better. That, of course, is easier said than done, but the Wizards do have some options now with all the young players they have and the high draft pick they are set to receive. They have some trade assets to to work with. Stranger things have happened.

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Kendrick Perkins believes Giannis Antetokounmpo got star treatment in suspension for headbutt

Kendrick Perkins believes Giannis Antetokounmpo got star treatment in suspension for headbutt

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo received a one-game suspension for his headbutt of Wizards forward Moe Wagner during the teams' matchup on Tuesday.

Though the suspension itself was not a true surprise, the length of the punishment was. For a move that could have seriously put another player in danger, Antetokounmpo was only forced to miss the final seeding game in Orlando, which did not matter for his team and many expected him not to play in anyways.

On ESPN's The Jump, ESPN senior writer Zach Lowe explained how he was not shocked by terms of the suspension, as it is on par for what the league has done in the past.

"I think the precedent is, one game is typical," Lowe said. "Giannis wasn’t playing this game anyway."

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Former NBA player and current ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins had a very different opinion on the matter.

Stemming from the fact that Antetokounmpo wasn't even planning to play in the game he missed, Perkins viewed the treatment as a weak slap on the wrist by the NBA. He felt as if the star's reputation impacted the punishment and that it sets a bad example for the rest of the league.

"Yes, it was unfair. This is not MMA, this is basketball. You cannot be headbutting people," Perkins said. "Giannis got star treatment because anybody else would have at least got two-to-three games, right? One game suspension for headbutting somebody? This is professional basketball. I do not think it's fair. One game."

Perkins makes a reasonable point, as Antetokounmpo could have easily caused a lot of harm to either his head or Wagner's, and trauma to that area can have serious consequences. Still, it is interesting to see Perkins take that stance when one considers his past experiences in the NBA. Host Rachel Nichols recalled an incident with Tyreke Evans in 2015 in which Perkins appeared to headbutt Evans.

Perkins explained that was different, as he was not deliberately trying to headbutt him. If he had, he says the outcome would have been a lot different.

"My headbutt wasn’t, uh, I didn’t put that into it. We kinda just bumped heads," Perkins said. "You're talking about me and Tyreke Evans. I remember that because I was trying to protest that that wasn’t a headbutt, I didn’t deliberately throw a blow."

"If I woulda headbutted Tyreke I woulda knocked him out!" Perkins said. 

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