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Wizards-Bobcats box score rewind

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Wizards-Bobcats box score rewind

So much transpired during the 108-106 double-overtime loss to Charlotte that a single once-over of the final book proved insufficient. In no particular, some box score and beyond items that stood out to yours truly:

*The plus-minus statistic often leads to misleading conclusions. Not in this game, not since Nene returned to the lineup. Seemingly, whenever the Brazilian big man stepped on or off the court against the Bobcats momentum changed. No Nene starting the first and third quarters, the Wizards fall into double-digit holes. Nene comes in later in those quarters, rallies commence. In a game the Wizards lost by two points, Nene finished +22. In his two games back including Wednesday's one-point overtime loss to Atlanta, the power forward is +31. Again, the Wizards lost the games by a combined three points.

*Taking this point deeper into advanced stats: According to basketballreference.com, Nene owns the highest Win-share (.318) per 48 minutes of any player in the league that has played at least 45 minutes this season.

*Nene made 8 of 13 field goal attempts against the Bobcats. The other 10 Wizards' that played finished 26 of 80. The team in both overtime's, 4 of 17. For the game from anywhere, Jordan Crawford, 4 of 15, Bradley Beal, 3 of 12, Chris Singleton, 3 of 11 and Kevin Seraphin, 3 of 10. Speaking of Seraphin, in the two games with Nene back his plus/minus is -34.

*During the first 47 minutes and 33 seconds, the Wizards made 27 of 30 free throws. Over the final 10 minutes and 17 seconds just 5 of 9. Trailing 92-91 with 17 seconds left in regulation, Martell Webster attempted two free throws. He split the pair, overtime. In the first OT with Charlotte leading 99-97, the Bobcats fouled a 3-point shooting Chris Singleton with 0.4 seconds remaining. Make, miss, make equals second overtime. Washington takes a three point in the final extra session then leads 102-101 with 1:47 left. Singleton is fouled, makes one of two. Next Charlotte possession, Reggie Williams makes his only field goal, a 3-pointer to boot. Bobcats take the lead for good.

*Before the game, Wizards coach Randy Wittman said Nene remained on a minutes count with 20 being the outer limit. In Wednesday's single-OT game, Wittman stayed with the plan by using Nene just under 20 minutes even though that mean keeping his top player on the sideline during the extra session. Following Friday's practice Wittman said of Nene's minutes, "I've got to be careful. It's hard. The impact he has on our team and how he helps our other players especially from an offense standpoint, we've got to be smart too."

If the latest game ended in regulation, Wittman once would have once again taken Nene's time to the edge, but not beyond. Instead, the coach used his gutty veteran for all but five seconds of the two-overtime session. "He makes everybody a little bit better for us," Wittman said postgame. "He's tired now, his conditioning, thought his legs got heavy, but he gutted it out. He wanted to be out there. He gives us somebody we can play through. He just makes us all better. He's a very bright basketball IQ that we need more of."

*Emeka Okafor played 21 minutes, but none in either overtime session. He led the Wizards with nine first half points and grabbed four rebounds in five fourth quarter minutes, though his plus-minus in that final span, -5.

*Three Bobcats fouled out - Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Ben Gordon, Jeff Taylor. The trio combined for 41 points, 6 of 9 on 3-pointers and 14 of 29 overall.

*Kemba Walker, Charlotte's leading scorer on the season, finished 3 of 17 from the field.

*Only 11 games into his pro career, Bradley Beal is bound to establish new personal bests on a semi-regular basis. Against the Bobcats, that meant five assists plus his first double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. The rookie also missed a 3-pointer with 7.8 seconds left in the first overtime and Washington down one point. Overall the Wizards missed 21 of 27 shots from beyond the arc.

*Over his last six games, Beal has made at least 50 percent of his shots only once. In that span, 17 of 63 (26.9 percent).

*Chris Singleton had 13 points and matched his career-high with 12 rebounds before fouling out. He finished with four steals - all in the third quarter. Finished with six of the Wizards 18 offensive rebounds.

*Martell Webster scored a season-high 16 points. His offensive rating - estimate of points produced/scored per 100 possessions - of 159 led the Wizards. On the other end, A.J. Price finished with a 32.

*Jan Vesely started for the fourth straight game, though he's played only 18 minutes combined in the last two outings. In 10 minutes against the Bobcats, Vesely scored two points, had one steal, one turnover, made his one field goal attempt and missed his only free throw. His second free throw attempt on the same possession, an air ball, scrubbed from the record book as several players committed a lane violation.

*Of those who have played in at least 9 of the Wizards' 11 games this season, only Singleton and Webster have yet to start a game.

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Elena Delle Donne the favorite to win WNBA MVP, according to league GMs

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Elena Delle Donne the favorite to win WNBA MVP, according to league GMs

Washington Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne is one of the best players in the WNBA, and thus is always in the discussion for MVP honors. 

And heading into the 2019 season, league GMs give her the best chance of anyone to actually hoist the trophy when it's all said and done. 

In a WNBA.com survey of general managers, 42 percent picked Delle Donne to win MVP in 2019. Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury had the second-most votes at 25 percent, followed by A’ja Wilson of Las Vegas Aces at 17 percent then Las Vegas' Liz Cambage and Jonquel Jones of the Connecticut Sun at eight percent. 

Delle Donne won her first and only WNBA MVP award in 2015 as a member of the Chicago Sky when she averaged a career-high 23.4 points per game. And with the Mystics set to make another run at the WNBA title (58 percent of GMs predicted Washington to have the most regular season wins in the Eastern Conference), she has a great opportunity to get her second this season. 

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Explained: What is an NBA supermax contract and how does it work?

Explained: What is an NBA supermax contract and how does it work?

As All-NBA teams are announced and franchises have to make decisions about contract extensions, fans will see the term "supermax contract" thrown around a lot. 

Here's a quick primer with everything you need to know about the NBA's most lucrative player deals. 

What is a supermax contract?

Officially known as the "Designated Veteran Player Extension," this rule allows teams to re-sign qualified players to maximum five-year contracts worth up to 35 percent of the salary cap with eight percent escalation in each subsequent year.

The length of the supermax deal depends on the player's years of NBA experience and years remaining on his current contract. 

  • A qualified player who has completed seven or eight years of service and has two years left on his contract is eligible for a four-year supermax (keeping the player with the same team for a total of six seasons)
  • A qualified player who has completed seven or eight years of service and has one year left on his contract is eligible for a five-year supermax (keeping the player with the same team for a total of six seasons)
  • A qualified free agent who has completed eight or nine years of service is eligible for a five-year supermax 

Furthermore, teams cannot trade a supermax player for the first year after he signs the contract.  

How much is a supermax contract worth?

Valued up to 35 percent of the salary cap in the initial year and subject to eight percent escalation in each subsequent year, these deals are mammoth money.

For example, the Wizards signed John Wall to a four-year supermax in the summer of 2017 when he had two years left on his contract. The supermax money begins in 2019-20 and pays Wall $38.15 million that year. With annual escalations, his supermax is worth $170.912 million over the four-year lifetime of the deal. 

According to a report by Yahoo's Chris Haynes, Damian Lillard—who has two years remaining on his current deal with the Trail Blazers and is expected to be named to an All-NBA team—will be offered a four-year supermax extension worth roughly $191 million this summer. 

Who is eligible to sign a supermax contract?

Very few players qualify for a supermax contract. First, only a player that has (or will have) completed eight years of NBA service by the end of his current contract is eligible to sign a supermax deal, which can only be offered by the team that drafted him or traded for his rookie contract. 

Then, a player must meet one of the following three criteria.

  • Be named to an All-NBA team in the most recent season or both seasons before it
  • OR, be named NBA Defensive Player of the Year in the most recent season or both seasons before it
  • OR, be named NBA MVP in any of the three previous seasons

Which players have received supermax contracts?

  • Stephen Curry - Golden State Warriors
  • James Harden - Houston Rockets
  • Russell Westbrook - Oklahoma City Thunder
  • John Wall - Washington Wizards

Who could receive a supermax contract this summer?

Anthony Davis is already eligible for a supermax offer from the Pelicans. And depending on the All-NBA, DPOY and MVP selections, the following players also could receive supermax offers:

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo - Milwaukee Bucks
  • Damian Lillard - Portland Trail Blazers
  • Klay Thompson - Golden State Warriors
  • Kemba Walker - Charlotte Hornets
  • Andre Drummond - Detroit Pistons
  • Bradley Beal - Washington Wizards 

What are the drawbacks to supermax deals?

The supermax contract was designed to help teams retain their players by allowing them to offer significantly more money than the competition; however, teams that offer such contracts are squeezing themselves in terms of salary cap room to fill out their rosters. 

No franchise can carry more than two supermax players at 35 percent of the cap each. Functionally, though, it's difficult for a team to have more than one.

Two supermax players would account for 70 percent of a team's salary in any given year, leaving the club virtually unable to sign a competitive supporting cast. 

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