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2020 NBA free agency: New date set for free agency to begin with Anthony Davis the big name, report says

2020 NBA free agency: New date set for free agency to begin with Anthony Davis the big name, report says

The craziness of NBA free agency and the offseason will still happen in 2020, just about 3 1/2 months later than usual.

According to the Athletic, the NBA intends to start free agency on Oct. 18. It could go quickly, as training camps for the 2020-21 season are expected to start on Nov. 10.

The Wizards have five players on expiring contracts, plus two on two-way deals. The big name for them is sharpshooter Davis Bertans. He is set to be an unrestricted free agent, though they have his Bird Rights and could exceed the salary cap to re-sign him before he hits the open market.

Other Wizards players set to hit free agency include point guard Shabazz Napier and center Ian Mahinmi. General manager Tommy Sheppard has indicated he would like to re-sign Bertans, in particular.

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League-wide, much of the free agency focus will be on Lakers big man Anthony Davis, who many expect to decline his player option. Other possible top free agents include Gordon Hayward of the Celtics, DeMar DeRozan of the Spurs and Danilo Gallinari of the Thunder.

What is not yet clear is how the salary cap will be affected by the league's stoppage. Many expect the total number to come down and that will affect how much money players can receive with new contracts.

Free agency starting Oct. 18 means it will begin on a Sunday. It will take place three days following the NBA Draft, which is set for Oct. 15.

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Charles Barkley jokingly admits he doesn't know anyone on the Wizards besides John Wall and Bradley Beal

Charles Barkley jokingly admits he doesn't know anyone on the Wizards besides John Wall and Bradley Beal

Without John Wall, Bradley Beal and Davis Bertans, Washington's three best players, the Wizards hopes of making the playoffs in the NBA's Orlando restart have taken a hit.

On Thursday, Wizards coach Scott Brooks joined the Inside the NBA team on TNT, where Charles Barkley genuinely asked him who has to step up for the team when the games begin.

Brooks' response was unexpected, yet also hilarious. Here was the exchange:

Barkley: "Obviously, without John and Bradley, your two best players, give us two names that really need to step up for you guys."

Brooks: "Well, I think we should play that game where you name two guys on our team besides those two guys." 

Barkley: "Let me tell you something, I don't know anybody on your team! So I want you to tell us two players on your team."

To Barkley's credit, much of the national media has not paid any attention to the Wizards this season. The team only had one game on national TV this season, a November clash with the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers.

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When basketball does resume, the Wizards are six games back of the Orlando Magic for the eighth spot in the East. Washington needs to make up two games over the final eight contests in order to force a play-in game for the conference's final playoff spot.

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Report: Wizards players Thomas Bryant, Gary Payton II test positive for coronavirus

Report: Wizards players Thomas Bryant, Gary Payton II test positive for coronavirus

The Washington Wizards have their first reported cases of coronavirus, as center Thomas Bryant and Gary Payton II have tested positive, according to the Washington Post.

The timing of the tests prevented Bryant and Payton II from traveling with the Wizards to Orlando, FL as they entered the NBA's restart bubble at Disney World. The team, however, is hopeful they can join them before long.

Head coach Scott Brooks first dropped a hint on Thursday night when addressing the media on a video conference call from Orlando.

"A couple of guys did not make the trip. Hopefully they will be joining us soon. But with the CBA medical [restrictions] I can't get into who did not participate," Brooks said.

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That suggested coronavirus was the likely reason. If it were another injury, he could specify just as they did with Bradley Beal days earlier when they explained why he wasn't going to play in the restart. A basketball injury also wouldn't prevent them from traveling.

Coronavirus generally stays in the system for 10 to 14 days. It is unclear when Bryant and Payton II contracted the virus, or when they tested positive. The Wizards' first exhibition game is July 22. They play their first regular season game on July 31.

Bryant and Payton II are the first cases involving the Wizards made public. It is not known whether any others have tested positive previously, as team officials have deferred to league statements on related matters.

There have been dozens of positive tests throughout the league in recent months, including some that shut down practice facilities.

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