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John Wall understands why former Kentucky teammate Eric Bledsoe wants trade from Phoenix Suns

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USA Today Sports Images

John Wall understands why former Kentucky teammate Eric Bledsoe wants trade from Phoenix Suns

John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe joined forces to make a very good team at the University of Kentucky back in 2009-10 before all three became NBA first round picks. In the eight years since, Wall has played in the posteason four times while neither Cousins or Bledsoe have been as fortunate.

Last season Cousins got his wish with a trade out of Sacramento and now Bledsoe is seeking the same out of Phoenix. After four years in Phoenix, Bledsoe wants to win and Wall understands his plight.

"I talk to him all the time," Wall said. "He's just sitting back and being a professional. He can't do nothing about it. He doesn't want to be there. He wants to go somewhere else. It's kind of all in the Suns' hands and where they want to trade him to and what they want to get back for him. He's still working out every day and being a dad at home."

Bledsoe appeared in three games for the Suns this season before leaving the team following a trade request. Now GM Ryan McDonough is working the phones, hoping to find a good deal for both sides.

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Bledsoe hasn't had the individual success of Wall or Cousins in the NBA, but he's a very good player. He's averaged at least 17 points per game for four straight seasons. He wants to show what he's capable of on the playoff stage like Wall has for years now.

The Wizards have done a better job building a team around Wall than the Suns did with Bledsoe or the Kings did with Cousins and Wall is thankful.

"I don't know what those organizations are like because I never played for them. I know DeMarcus dealt at times with trying to get his attitude under control. Also, they tried to add veterans and people around him to be a playoff team in the tough Western Conference and they didn't get to that point. They thought their best situation was to get him out of there.

"Eric's situation was that they had some great pieces and some great teams. [Markieff Morris] was with him over there. They had a season where they almost made the playoffs with 48 wins and they didn't make it. He's going into his eighth year and he hasn't made the playoffs [since 2013]. The team is getting younger and younger and he wants to get out of there and get to a team where he can make the playoffs. I got the opportunity to be in the playoffs after my fourth year. They kind of adjusted for me while he had to keep going through it."

The Wizards have given Wall a supporting cast to win, something his college teammates continue to covet. No wonder Wall has decided to stay long-term in Washington.

[RELATED: BEAL NOT HAPPY WITH WIZARDS' EFFORT VS. SUNS]

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Wizards' 2018-19 storyline No. 4: How will all the expiring contracts work out?

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USA Today

Wizards' 2018-19 storyline No. 4: How will all the expiring contracts work out?

With Wizards training camp set to begin next week, we at NBC Sports Washington are counting down the five biggest storylines for the team as they start a new season. Today, at No. 4, a look at the amount of expiring contracts on the roster and how those situations will work themselves out…

One way or another, what happens for the Wizards in the 2018-19 season will be determined in part by seven players operating in the final years of their contracts. That seven does not include Dwight Howard, who has a player option for the 2019-20 season worth just $5.6 million. If he’s lumped into that group, only the L.A. Clippers have more players entering walk years.

The Wizards players in their contract years include Markieff Morris, Kelly Oubre, Jr., Austin Rivers, Tomas Satoransky, Jeff Green, Jodie Meeks and Jason Smith. That will present a unique dynamic to the Wizards’ roster and it may affect guys differently.

Some may thrive, knowing how much money they stand to gain with a big year before free agency. Others may succumb to the pressure as they find their niche on a team with a lot of added depth at several positions.

Let’s start with Rivers. The challenge for him will be going through his contract year while taking a reduced role from what he was used to with the Clippers. Last season, he started in 59 games and averaged 33.7 minutes and 13.2 field goal attempts.

Now in Washington, Rivers has to play second fiddle to two All-Star guards in John Wall and Bradley Beal. The minutes and shot attempts will almost certainly go down in a year where he would understandably want all of his numbers to go up.

Green may also have a smaller role than what he was in Cleveland where he started 13 games and averaged 23.4 minutes. But this is his fourth straight year playing on an expiring contract and knows what he’s getting into. He should be fine.

Meeks and Smith are in an interesting spot because they are longtime NBA veterans who don’t have defined roles entering this season. They, of course, would like to put up good enough numbers to earn their next NBA contracts, but will have a tough time getting minutes.

Oubre and Satoransky are in unique spots because this is the first time in their careers they have played in contract years. Oubre, in particular, has a lot of money on the line as a former first round pick who is just 22 years old.

A big year for him could mean a lucrative contract next summer. He has seen how breakout seasons in walk years has helped Beal and Otto Porter, Jr. get paid and surely wants to follow that same career path. The Wizards would certainly welcome that type of emergence from Oubre, as he could drastically transform their ceiling as a team.

Satoransky, 26, is older than Oubre, but has intriguing potential based on his athleticism and versatility. The problem, however, is that recent history shows his minutes are anything but guaranteed.

Morris is in his own category among the Wizards’ expiring contracts because he’s 29 and probably facing his best opportunity for a long-term payday. Morris also has some money to recoup from taking a hometown discount from the Suns years ago, one that didn’t pay off as he hoped.

Howard, though technically under contract for 2019-20, is susceptible to the same factors as the others on expiring deals. If he puts up strong numbers and helps the Wizards succeed, he could opt out and cash in.

The Wizards are confident the expiring contracts will not be a detriment to their locker room. But in order for that to be the case, the players will need to compartmentalize and focus on the team’s goals rather than their own. For some, that might be easier said than done.

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5 things to know about Wizards training camp invitee Lavoy Allen

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USA TODAY Sports

5 things to know about Wizards training camp invitee Lavoy Allen

On Wednesday the Washington Wizards added a six-year NBA veteran Lavoy Allen to their list of training camp invitees. 

At 29, Allen comes to the Wizards after being picked up by the Capital City Go-Go in the G-league's expansion draft.

Here are five things to know about the newest Wizard:

1. Allen spent the last season in the G-league

Although he has spent six years in the NBA, he was not as fortunate during the 2017-18 season. Last year he was on the court with the Northern Arizona Suns and only played in 10 of the squad's 50 games.

Averaging 21 minutes of action, he scored nine points a game and grabbed just over six rebounds. 

The last NBA franchise he played on was the Indiana Pacers, who declined their team-option in 2017.

2. At 6-9, Allen Recorded 22 rebounds in an NBA game 

Allen's second year in the association was arguably the best of his career. Ascending as a rotational for the Philadelphia 76ers, Allen started a career-high 37 games during the 2012-13 season.

None of his starts were bigger for him than a February win over the Charlotte Bobcats when he brought down 22 rebounds, 11 of them on the offensive end. He also recorded 14 points on 7-for-16 shooting. 

3. He's the all-time leading rebounder in Temple history 

As one of the best Owls to ever suit up, Allen has etched his name in the Temple record books. With 1,147 boards there is not a single Owl that has more.

During his collegiate career Allen carried Temple to four NCAA Tournaments. He also holds the record for games started and rebounds in a single season at Temple.

4. Played in France for a season after being drafted by Philadelphia

Philadelphia was the team that took a chance on the talented forward/center. After getting selected 50th in the 2011 draft, Allen had to wait before he jumped onto an NBA court. Due to the lockout, Allen had to play in France for IG Strasbourg, until the labor dispute was over.

5. Wrote "Go Pacers" on the Cleveland Cavaliers' Quicken Loans Arena 

At first this seems like the ultimate sign of disrespect. Then you look at everyone else's scribble on the hardwood and it is less impressive.

Still not too many players have this as a headline during an NBA playoff game. Less than two months after this picture, he was out of job.

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