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5 guards the Wizards could target in NBA free agency including Quinn Cook and Patrick Beverley

5 guards the Wizards could target in NBA free agency including Quinn Cook and Patrick Beverley

The Washington Wizards will not have much money to spend in free agency and they have some of their own players to re-sign, which could affect the positions they target. With that in mind, here are some potential bargain options expected to be available this summer at the guard position...

Patrick Beverley, PG

Age: 30 (turns 31 in July)
2018-19 team: Clippers
2018-19 salary: $5M
2018-19 stats: 7.6 ppg, 3.8 apg, 5.0 rpg, 0.9 spg, 40.7 FG% (2.5/6.1), 39.7 3PT% (1.4/3.6)

Analysis: This could make sense if the Wizards realize quickly in free agency that Tomas Satoransky isn't coming back. If Satoransky returns, and that's what the Wizards hope, then Beverley would probably be too expensive. But from a playing style standpoint, he fits perfectly with what they desperately need. The Wizards were one of the worst defensive teams in basketball last season and lacked an overall edge. Beverley would form a tough frontline with Bradley Beal and add outside shooting.

Rajon Rondo, PG

Age: 33
2018-19 team: Lakers
2018-19 salary: $9M
2018-19 stats: 9.2 ppg, 8.0 apg, 5.3 rpg, 1.2 spg, 40.5 FG% (3.8/9.4), 35.9 3PT% (1.1/3.1)

Analysis: Here's another option that only really works if Satoransky leaves. But Rondo would be cheap by starting point guard standards and, in theory, could help the Wizards on the defensive end. If Washington is hell-bent on competing for the playoffs this season, Rondo could be among their best options to run point. He still can't shoot, but could run the offense as a stopgap until John Wall returns.

Wayne Ellington, SG

Age: 31
2018-19 team: Heat/Pistons
2018-19 salary: $6.3M
2018-19 stats: 12.0 ppg, 1.5 apg, 2.1 rpg, 1.1 spg, 42.1 FG% (4.1/9.8), 37.3 3PT% (2.9/7.8)

Analysis: The Wizards may not be able to afford Ellington, but he shouldn't command major money, so it's possible. He would be an excellent fit on their bench and could probably play alongside Beal in three-guard lineups. The biggest selling point point is shooting. Ellington would give the Wizards another three-point threat and they are probably going to need some shooters this offseason, especially if they let Bobby Portis walk in free agency.

Ian Clark, SG

Age: 28
2018-19 team: Pelicans
2018-19 salary: $1.8M
2018-19 stats: 6.7 ppg, 1.6 apg, 1.5 rpg, 0.4 spg, 39.4 FG% (2.5/6.4), 32.7 3PT% (1.1/3.4)

Analysis: Clark wouldn't cost much, especially given he's coming off a down year. He is supposed to be a consistent three-point shooter, at least he was in Golden State. When he hit free agency two years ago, he was coming off a year in which he shot 37.4 percent from three. But since, he has shot just 32.2 percent. The Wizards could take a flier on him much like they did with Jodie Meeks. The Meeks deal didn't work out, but maybe Clark would.

Quinn Cook, PG

Age: 26
2018-19 team: Warriors
2018-19 salary: $1.5M
2018-19 stats: 6.9 ppg, 1.6 apg, 2.1 rpg, 0.3 spg, 46.5 FG% (2.8/5.9), 40.5 3PT% (1.1/2.7)

Analysis: Cook is from the D.C. area and starred at DeMatha High School. He is a 41.8 percent three-point shooter for his career and proved in this year's playoffs he can be counted on in big moments. But there is speculation that he and Kevin Durant want to play together next year and the Wizards don't have a realistic shot at signing the latter. The Wizards, though, could possibly offer Cook a chance to start. Maybe that could help sway him.


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Bradley Beal snubbed in NBA 2K20 ratings

Bradley Beal snubbed in NBA 2K20 ratings

Bradley Beal has been snubbed yet again.

First All-NBA, now Beal was not even included in the NBA 2K20 top 20 rankings, which were released on a livestream on Monday.

LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard topped the rankings, followed by Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant and James Harden. 

In what we're sure was a completely scientific poll, SLAM Gaming asked its followers if NBA2K got the rankings right. And, at least as of post time, nearly two-thirds of participants said no. 

Ahead of Beal in the rankings included Kemba Walker, Donovan Mitchell and Jimmy Butler. Zion Williamson was the top rookie in the ratings. 

Beal averaged 25.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game last season. That's clear above Mitchell (23.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists per game) and Butler (18.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists per game).

The ratings are reportedly determined by a statistically based formula, though that hasn't ever stopped fans from expressing their ire at the game's rating gurus. 

Including John Wall in 2017. 


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Wizards Summer League superlatives: Rui Hachimura, Troy Brown Jr. were the stars

Wizards Summer League superlatives: Rui Hachimura, Troy Brown Jr. were the stars

The 2019 Las Vegas Summer League is in the books and this one was much more interesting for the Wizards than they have been in recent years. This year, they had a host of first and second-round picks play for them, as well as some players they recently acquired in their trade with the Lakers.

Here are some superlatives to put a bow on the Wizards' time in Vegas...

Best player: Troy Brown Jr.

Though he only played one game and one quarter before he was shut down with a left knee contusion, Brown was quite clearly the best player on the Wizards' Summer League roster. In his only full game, he put up 18 points and 15 rebounds. Though he only shot 40.6 percent in his brief time in Vegas, he looked like a guy who was advanced beyond the league's level of competition.

For Brown, the question is how much it matters because he essentially did what he should do as a second-year player. It is encouraging and he should draw confidence from the experience. But now he has to show he can produce like that in real NBA games.

Best newcomer: Rui Hachimura

Hachimura only played three of the Wizards' five games and in his first two outings produced uneven results. But his third game was pure dominance, as he posted 25 points, nine rebounds, two blocks and two steals. He proved a quick learner by adjusting and improving game-by-game.

All in all, it was a solid start to Hachimura's career. He displayed versatility and smarts both on offense and defense. It should give Wizards fan hope he can contribute as a rookie.

Most improved: Isaac Bonga

Many of the players on the Wizards' roster were not returning from last summer, but Bonga showed a nice leap year-over-year from what he did for the Lakers in 2018. Though he wasn't one of the Wizards' best players, he ended up with solid numbers of 8.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.0 blocks per game. He shot 45.5 percent from the field in 20.2 minutes of action.

The best thing Bonga showed for the Wizards is his athleticism. He is a full 6-foot-9, yet has the mobility of a guard. He is a long ways away from being NBA-ready, but at 19 years old gives the Wizards an intriguing prospect to stash in the G-League.

Needs improvement: Issuf Sanon, Moe Wagner, Admiral Schofield

It wasn't the best Summer League showing for Sanon, the Wizards' 2018 second-round pick. He only played a total of 48 minutes in four games and shot 18.2 percent with 1.5 points per game. The Wizards were experimenting with his position, playing him both at point and off the ball, and he didn't look comfortable doing either.

Granted, Sanon's biggest strength at this point is his defense, but he doesn't seem to have any NBA-ready offensive skills. Unless he gets up to speed quickly, he will have to become really, really good on defense to make the leap overseas.

Like Bonga, Wagner debuted after coming over in the Lakers trade. But Wagner didn't have the best time in Las Vegas, as he shot just 31 percent from the field and 7.1 percent from three. It was a small sample size of just four games, but Wagner is known as a shooter and didn't look like one in the Summer League. He also had trouble on defense against quicker match-ups.

Schofield, the Wizards' 2019 second-round pick, shot poorly (38.5 FG%, 22.2 3PT%) and struggled to find his role on defense. He has some intriguing qualities, but it might take him some time to figure out how to compete against NBA athletes while lacking height and quickness to play the way he did in college.

Biggest surprise: Jemerrio Jones

Perhaps this should not be surprising because it is what Jones is known for, but his rebounding really stood out. He played only about 27 minutes in three games, yet pulled in 13 boards. That breaks out to 4.3 rebounds in 8.9 minutes per game, or about one rebound every other minute. He averaged 17.4 rebounds per 36 minutes.

Keep in mind he is only 6-foot-5. Based on efficiency, Jones was the Wizards' best rebounder and he is the size of a shooting guard. He has a lot to improve on before he can stick around in the NBA, but it will be fun watching him grab 15-plus boards on the regular this season with the Go-Go. 

Biggest disappointment: Wizards' opponents

If there was one prevailing theme in the 2019 Summer League it was teams holding out their top draft picks either due to actual injuries or the fear they will suffer one. The Wizards saw this firsthand. They even did it themselves by keeping Hachimura out of two of their games.

The Wizards played the Pelicans without first overall pick Zion Williamson or Jaxson Hayes, the eighth pick, or even Nickeil Alexander-Walker, the 17th pick. They played the Hawks without De'Andre Hunter (fourth pick) or Cam Reddish (10th pick). And the Nets and Clippers didn't have any top draft picks of note.

The Wizards did get to see third overall pick R.J. Barrett and the Knicks in their final game. New York also had Mitchell Robinson and Kevin Knox, as well as Iggy Brazdeikis, who was a Summer League standout. But neither Hachimura or Brown played in that game for Washington.