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5 wings the Wizards could target in NBA free agency including Wilson Chandler and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

5 wings the Wizards could target in NBA free agency including Wilson Chandler and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

The Washington Wizards will not have much money to spend in free agency and still 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 wing position...

Wilson Chandler, SF

Age: 32
2018-19 team: Sixers/Clippers
2018-19 salary: $12.8M
2018-19 stats: 6.0 ppg, 1.6 apg, 4.2 rpg, 0.5 spg, 41.8 FG% (2.2/5.4), 37.3 3PT% (1.2/3.1)

Analysis: Chandler is the biggest reach of the group given he's just coming off a four-year deal worth $46.5 million and if he gets anything close to that, he will be too expensive for Washington. But Chandler is also coming off a down year and is now 32 with some injury concerns. Even with the exorbitant spending expected this summer, he's likely in line for a pay cut. If his price comes down, he could be a good option for the Wizards who have a need for physical defense and three-point shooting, two things he would provide.

Darius Miller, SF

Age: 29
2018-19 team: Pelicans
2018-19 salary: $2.2M
2018-19 stats: 8.2 ppg, 2.1 apg, 1.9 rpg, 0.6 spg, 39.0 FG% (2.7/7.0), 36.5 3PT% (1.9/5.3)

Analysis: The biggest selling point for Miller is his three-point shooting. He has shot 38.2 percent from long range in his career and just two years ago, in 2017-18, hit 41.1 percent on 4.4 attempts per game. He is a poor rebounder for his size and isn't great on defense, but he would be inexpensive and has only missed 13 games the past two seasons combined. 

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, SF

Age: 24
2018-19 team: Nets
2018-19 salary: $2.5M
2018-19 stats: 8.9 ppg, 1.6 apg, 5.3 rpg, 0.7 spg, 41.1 FG% (3.4/8.3), 18.4 3PT% (0.2/0.8)

Analysis: Hollis-Jefferson was on a steady, upward trajectory through his first three seasons, but had a down year in 2018-19 and now will hit free agency unrestricted as the Nets opted not to extend him a qualifying offer. Having a bad walk year could mean he will be signed as a bargain this summer, likely on a short-term deal if he wants to raise his stock and reset for another contract. He has never been a good shooter, but rebounds well for his position and plays fairly good defense. So, he could help the Wizards with some of their most pressing needs.

Justin Anderson, SF

Age: 25
2018-19 team: Hawks
2018-19 salary: $2.5M
2018-19 stats: 3.7 ppg, 0.5 apg, 1.8 rpg, 0.5 spg, 40.8 FG% (1.3/3.3), 31.2 3PT% (0.5/1.6)

Analysis: The Wizards passed on Anderson in the 2015 draft and a lot of fans at the time thought that was a mistake. But in his four NBA seasons, he has yet to find consistency and now hits free agency at 25 and still looking for his niche in the league. He can't shoot and is basically an offensive liability, but has shown flashes on defense and can use his athleticism in transition. He could be thought of as a poor man's Kelly Oubre Jr. and someone who could probably be signed for cheap. Also, he's a local guy so that could make the Wizards appeal to him.

James Ennis, SF

Age: 28 (turns 29 in July)
2018-19 team: Rockets/Sixers
2018-19 salary: $1.6M
2018-19 stats: 6.7 ppg, 0.7 apg, 3.1 rpg, 0.7 spg, 46.9 FG% (2.4/5.1), 35.3 3PT% (0.9/2.7)

Analysis: Ennis turned down his player option to enter free agency after splitting last season with the Rockets and Sixers. He is a decent three-point shooter and rebounder who can play tough defense when he's locked in. The Wizards could see him as a depth option with a lack of players currently penciled in at his position.


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Ted Leonsis expects Bradley Beal to take his time to consider new contract offer

Ted Leonsis expects Bradley Beal to take his time to consider new contract offer

CAPITAL ONE ARENA -- There has been no mystery for the Wizards and their intentions to offer All-Star shooting guard Bradley Beal a contract extension this Friday, July 26, the first day that they can. General manager Tommy Sheppard told ESPN their plan to offer Beal the full max, projected at $111 million over three years, a contract that would begin with the 2021-22 season.

Wizards managing partner Ted Leonsis then reiterated as much following the team's press conference on Monday to introduce their new front office leadership.

"Brad is such a high integrity person and he wants the best for our fans and the best for our organization. So, of course, we will go pay respect to him and his management team and his family," Leonsis told NBC Sports Washington.

What Leonsis is not certain of, however, is whether Beal will actually sign the contract. There are reasons why he won't – like the fact he could make over double the money in a five-year deal if he bets on himself, makes All-NBA next season and qualifies for a supermax.

Beal was apprehensive about signing a supermax this summer when asked about it in April. He said he needed to see the direction the organization was going because he wants to win more than he wants to squeeze every dollar out of his next contract.

Beal shared those thoughts about a contract that was expected to be worth $194 million over four years. Now it's less money the Wizards can offer.

Leonsis doesn't know what Beal will ultimately decide, but he does believe it will take time before the team hears his verdict.

"I don't expect Bradley Beal to say 'thank you' and sign the contract when Tommy goes to see him on the 26th," Leonsis said.

The challenge for the Wizards when it comes to selling Beal on their future is that they just reset the organization for the long-term. They restructured their front office to add Sashi Brown as chief operations and planning officer, beefed up their medical staff with Dr. Daniel Medina and created a new athlete development and engagement department led by John Thompson III. 

But these changes won't bear fruit immediately. They need Beal to see what they see down the road, how the foundation they have laid could lead to a winning basketball team.

Leonsis said he kept Beal updated on the process of finding new executives every step of the way. Leonsis, Sheppard, Brown, and others now need to get Beal on board with the long-term vision.

"All those things are put in place to show him that we're tooling this together for the long-term," Sheppard told NBC Sports Washington.

"Everything we're putting in today will be exponential. It is a commitment to grow and for a long time, not just for today or this summer for free agency. This is for the rest of your career."


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Ted Leonsis maintains optimism amid harsh reality of John Wall injury

Ted Leonsis maintains optimism amid harsh reality of John Wall injury

CAPITAL ONE ARENA -- It might be quite a while before we see John Wall on the court playing for the Wizards again.

It was already well-known Wall will miss extended time as he recovers from a ruptured Achilles tendon, a rehab that usually takes at least 11 months. But it is starting to sound more and more like he won't play in the 2019-20 season at all.

Wizards managing partner Ted Leonsis shared that harsh reality on Monday during a press conference at Capital One Arena.

"Our highest-paid player, our five-time All-Star, may not play at all next year. He probably won't play at all next year," Leonsis said.

If Wall follows the general timeline for the surgery, he could come back sometime early in 2020. A 12-month recovery would have him return in early February.

If Wall missed all of next season, he would return to start the 2020-21 campaign after a 20-month recovery. That would be nearly double the rehab time many players have taken for the same injury over the years. He would be 30 years old by then.

But Wall and the Wizards have reason to be extra patient. He is entering the first season of a four-year, $170 million supermax contract. Punting the first year, even if he is making $38 million, could be worth it in the long run if it means he returns to his All-Star form.

The Wizards are also likely to have a gap year of sorts anyways. They retooled their roster with young, inexperienced players. The odds they make the playoffs this season are lower than they have been in years. The Wizards are taking the long view and they know getting Wall's rehab right is paramount.

Leonsis and team officials currently get daily reports on Wall's progress. After making the supermax investment, they are taking extra measures to ensure he is holding up his end of the bargain. The Wizards closely monitor his weight and have a rotation of physical therapists working with him every day.

If it were up to Wall, he would be more likely to return next season. The team is the side taking extra caution.

"Trust me, nobody wants to get back to the court more than John Wall," GM Tommy Sheppard told NBC Sports Washington. 

"But I've tried to manage this with him and say there is no calendar or clock that is going to tell you to come back. You're going to come back when you're 100 percent healthy. Anybody who has watched him in the playoffs play with broken hands and all of the aches and pains he's had over the years and he still showed up and played at a high, high level. You know you need to monitor him a little more than most. That's the kind of player that is going to try to sneak back on the court any time he can."

What Leonsis said publicly has been the belief behind the scenes in the Wizards organization for quite some time. They are preparing for next season as if he won't play, 

"We have to see if John Wall comes back and how he looks and how he plays," Leonsis told NBC Sports Washington. "If John Wall can come back at 80 percent the year after [in 2020-21], I would be really happy because then we would have a great, great backcourt."