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Emma Meesseman just rejoined the Mystics. Here's why she'll be gone for a month

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Emma Meesseman just rejoined the Mystics. Here's why she'll be gone for a month

Only three games into the 2019 season and the Washington Mystics are already parting ways with Emma Meesseman again.

Just for a few weeks.

She will be gone for upwards of a month as she plays with Belgium in the EuroBasket Championships. This week she leaves the Mystics to begin practicing with her national team. 

Belgium, off of a bronze medal in 2017 and a fourth-place finish in 2018 at the EuroBasket Championships, has aspirations of getting back on the medal stand behind Meesseman. However, they have a tough group with Russia, Belarus, and Serbia in Group D, all teams ranked higher than the Belgians. 

The three games that Meesseman played with the Mystics was her first action with the team since September 2017. Missing all of the 2018 WNBA season for rest, the then-five-year veteran was not a part of the Mystics' best season in franchise history. She could be the missing piece to take the team one step further this year.

“It’s great that you know we have our core from last season and then to be able to add a superstar like Emma to that mix is pretty crazy to think about,” Delle Donne told reporters on media day. "When we’re really spreading the floor playing positionless basketball, there’s nothing that fits our system more than Emma’s style of play."

With her back, the team is 2-1, with both wins coming on their home court. 

Meesseman has come off the bench twice for the Mystics this year and started for the injured Elena Delle Donne on opening night. The 26-year-old, in her short start, has averaged 13.3 points per game and led a bench squad that contributed to two blowouts. 

Group play at the EuroBasket Championships will start on June 27 and end on June 30. This makes the earliest Meesseman could possibly come back to the team is July 5 when the Mystics play at the Las Vegas Aces. That would have her missing nine of the team's 34 games.

But, if Belgium makes a run she could be gone longer as the EuroBasket Gold and Bronze Medal matches are on July 7. 

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NBA G League cancels remainder of 2019-20 season

NBA G League cancels remainder of 2019-20 season

Though the NBA got positive news on Thursday that the 2019-20 season would resume, the NBA G League did not.

In a statement, the NBA G League announced that it would be canceling the remainder of the 2019-20 season, including the playoffs. The league had halted action on March 12, just 16 days before the regular season was scheduled to come to an end. The Capital City Go-Go, the Wizards' G League affiliate, were 22-21 when play paused. 

“While canceling the remainder of our season weighs heavily on us, we recognize that it is the most appropriate action to take for our league,” NBA G League president Shareef Abdur-Rahim said in the release. “I extend my sincere gratitude to NBA G League players and coaches for giving their all to their teams and fans this season.  And to our fans, I thank you and look forward to resuming play for the 2020-21 season.”

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At this point in time, there is no concrete plan for when the NBA G League's 2020-21 season will begin. Coronavirus concerns coupled with the fact that the NBA will have to delay the start of its next season most likely mean it will be a little while before a date is determined.

Awards for the 2019-20 season, including Most Valuable Player, Coach of the Year and Rookie of the Year, will be announced in the coming weeks, according to the press release.

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Proposed NBA draft lottery odds rules could hurt the Wizards

Proposed NBA draft lottery odds rules could hurt the Wizards

The news the Wizards are among the 22 teams invited to resume play in Orlando, FL is good, as more basketball is always a positive thing. But on Thursday, as the rest of the league's return-to-play proposal was released, there was a small note in the fine print that could end up hurting the Wizards.

It involves the draft lottery odds. The eight teams whose season ended are locked into their lottery position. That means the Wizards, who are currently ninth, can now only hurt their chances, not improve them.

If they were to bottom out and lose a bunch of games in Orlando, they can't move any higher than ninth. Given they are only 1 1/2 games ahead of the Charlotte Hornets, who hold the eighth-best lottery odds, there is a possiblity they go into lottery night with fewer ping-pong balls than a team that holds a higher win percentage.

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Even with only eight games left in the new regular season format, the Wizards could have moved up to have the seventh-best odds. That would have given them a 31.9 percent chance at a top-four pick. If they stay at ninth, they will have 20.2 percent odds to pick in the top four.

It is also important to note the Wizards will be playing those eight games against all good teams. The 22-team cutoff took out the league's bottom-dwellers.

There is, however, a flip-side that has some positives. The fact they can't improve their lottery odds means they have no reason to tank. That allows them to go to Orlando and battle for a playoff spot without keeping one eye on their future. They don't have incentive to shut down players or anything of the sort.

But if they make the playoffs, they would be taken out of the lottery. And in that scenario, they would pick at 15th or lower.

The new lottery odds rule is one of the more unique changes the NBA made to resume play. And it could arguably end up affecting the Wizards more than any other team.

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