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Wizards free-agent target David West signs elsewhere

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Wizards free-agent target David West signs elsewhere

Speculation over whether former Indiana Pacers power forward David West would join the Wizards, Cavaliers or Spurs is over. Like fellow free agent LaMarcus Aldridge, West is going to San Antonio, according to reports Monday afternoon.

West reportedly agreed to take the $1.4 million veteran's minimum. The 34-year-old opted out of $12 million contract with the Pacers last month.

Reports early in the free agency process listed the Wizards and Spurs as favorites for the rugged forward. The Cavaliers joined the fray soon after. 

The top remaining free agent available (not named LeBron James or Tristan Thompson), West's intentions were clear ever since he announced the opt-out: Contender or bust. With that agenda in mind, it's hard arguing with the five-time NBA champion Spurs. However, West, 34, left some major money on the table.

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Washington had its mid-level exception of under $6 million available. He could have taken the mini mid-level from Cleveland. 

While San Antonio's deal may have involved the fewest dollars, the Spurs arguably have minutes to offer after losing several key reserves over the last few days. Cleveland, the early favorites for the 2015-16 title, already have Kevin Love at power forward are expected to re-sign Thompson.

The fit with the Wizards made sense in that West is a rugged rebounder; strong mid-range shooter and would help any leadership void from Paul Pierce's departure. Washington has not yet replaced free agent big men Drew Gooden or Kevin Seraphin. However, like Nene and Kris Humphries, West is not a stretch-4 option on either end of the court and all three are over 30.

Regardless, the Wizards will look elsewhere to fill their two remaining roster spots. Washington has 13 players under contract, though deals for Jared Dudley and Gary Neal cannot be made official until July 9.

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DeMatha alum and Pacers star Victor Oladipo stretchered off with scary leg injury

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USA Today Sports

DeMatha alum and Pacers star Victor Oladipo stretchered off with scary leg injury

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- The Indiana Pacers lost All-Star guard Victor Oladipo with an apparent right leg injury in the second quarter of Wednesday night's game against Toronto.

Trainers quickly put a towel over the leg and players from both teams surrounded Oladipo as he lay on the floor. Fans gave him a standing ovation as he was carted off the floor on a stretcher.

The injury occurred when Oladipo fell awkwardly while trying to defend an outlet pass to Raptors forward Serge Ibaka, who landed on top of Oladipo with 4:05 to go.

Oladipo made his first All-Star Game last season after being acquired in the trade for Paul George. He is the Pacers' top scorer this season at 19.2 points per game.

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Bradley Beal doesn't care if he's named a 2019 NBA All-Star starter

Bradley Beal doesn't care if he's named a 2019 NBA All-Star starter

The 2019 NBA All-Star starters are set to be announced on Thursday and Wizards guard Bradley Beal is not optimistic he will be chosen. That is despite a growing number of supporters in the media, but Beal understands their votes only count for 25 percent of the equation.

Fan voting makes up 50 percent and NBA players the remaining 25 percent. With Beal in a distant 10th among Eastern Conference guards in the fan voting rounds that have been made public, he has set his expectations accordingly.

"I'm not going to be a starter so it doesn't matter," he quipped after Wizards practice on Wednesday. "I'm positive. Let's just be honest. Right? We all can be honest, right?"

Beal, who made his first All-Star team last season as a reserve, will almost certainly be an All-Star again this year one way or another. Coaches vote on reserves and those will be announced on Jan. 31.

But Beal has a solid case to be a starter despite his Wizards sitting at just 20-26 and outside of the playoff picture. He is posting career-highs in points (24.7), rebounds (5.0), assists (5.0), steals (1.3) and blocks (0.9). He has appeared in all 46 of the Wizards games this season while many of his teammates have been absent due to injury.

Boston's Kyrie Irving appears to be a lock for one of the two starting guard spots in the East. He has a strong case with his numbers, his team's success and has fared well in fan voting. But the second spot has no clear favorite.

Ben Simmons has played well for a good Sixers team. Victor Oladipo of the Pacers also has a case, though due to injuries his numbers have fallen off.

Kyle Lowry has helped the Raptors post one of the league's best records. Kemba Walker of the Hornets has had the best season of his career and plays for the hometown team with the game taking place in Charlotte.

There is also Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat, a future Hall of Famer who might be a starter if it were based solely on fan voting. If he gets support from players or media votes, he could get in as a legacy pick given this is the final season of his legendary career.

Basically, Beal has a lot of competition. He gets it and insists he isn't losing sleep over the pending announcement.

"Even then I don't let it consume me. It's not like a goal of mine like 'oh, I've gotta be an All-Star.' If I am, it's great. It's even more motivation to continue to get better. Even if I'm not an All-Star, I'm not going to be mad or upset," he said.

Beal said his No. 1 goal is winning and mentioned how the Wizards remain six games under .500 despite reeling off seven of their last 10. Washington happens to be hosting the defending-champion Golden State Warriors on Thursday night, so he has plenty on his plate.

Beal will likely be an All-Star representing the Wizards in the Feb. 17 showcase. But it doesn't sound like he will be doing any of the other festivities.

Beal has participated in the three-point contest twice in his career and both times was a runner-up. He has not been invited yet to this year's contest and probably won't participate even if he is asked.

"I would probably take a break this year because it was definitely a lot last year, just all the off-court stuff," he said. "I'm not saying I won't do it for the rest of my career, but I don't think I'm doing it this year."

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