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Source: Wizards keeping Bradley Beal, Trevor Ariza, Jeff Green through Thursday's NBA trade deadline -- and beyond

Source: Wizards keeping Bradley Beal, Trevor Ariza, Jeff Green through Thursday's NBA trade deadline -- and beyond

On a night where the Wizards made significant changes to their roster, some familiar names do -- and will -- remain.

Washington, not surprisingly, has no intention of trading two-time All-Star guard Bradley Beal, a source tells NBC Sports Washington, despite having moved forwards Otto Porter and Markieff Morris the evening before Thursday's NBA trade deadline. 

Forwards Trevor Ariza and Jeff Green are also staying put despite the opportunity to trade the unrestricted free agents for future assets ahead of Thursday's 3. p.m. trade deadline. Ariza and Green remain in Washington's plans this season and beyond a source tells NBC Sports Washington. 

The 25-year-old Beal leads Washington with 24.8 points per game.  While other teams covet Beal's perimeter game, the Wizards prefer keeping their leading scorer as the organization transitions into a different phase with point guard John Wall sidelined for approximately the next 12 months with a ruptured left Achilles heel.

After Wall's season ended in late December with a heel injury, Beal's stewardship steadied a rocky season, though Washington's loss Wednesday at Milwaukee dropped the Wizards to 22-32 overall. The Wizards, 10th in the Eastern Conference, are four games behind Miami for the eighth and final playoff berth.

Washington created significant financial savings by dealing Porter's contract -- $55 million over the next two seasons -- to the Bulls for forward Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis. Moving the remainder of Morris' $8.6 million expiring contract to New Orleans for guard Wesley Johnson pushed the Wizards below the luxury tax line by a mere $232,000, per ESPN.

While the Wizards may retain Portis, a burly power forward entering restricted free agency this summer, declining Parker's team option for $20 million this summer creates the desired salary cap space. Johnson's $6.1 million salary expires this summer.

By dealing Porter, the Wizards have only four players under contract for next season: Beal, Wall, Ian Mahinmi, and rookie Troy Brown. Portis joins Tomas Satoransky, Thomas Bryant and Sam Dekker among Washington's group of restricted free agents.

That future flexibility -- a phrase that encapsulates what transpired Wednesday -- affords Washington a chance to keep Ariza, a two-way threat who brings a sturdy locker room presence.

The Wizards traded for the veteran forward in December with Kelly Oubre Jr. and Austin Rivers going to the Suns. Rumblings existed at the time about the team hoping to keep the 33-year-old around beyond this season. 

It appears the feeling is mutual. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Ariza is "enthusiastic" about re-signing with the Wizards. Ariza, averaging 14.8 points in 24 games with Washington, signed a one-year, $15 million contract with Phoenix.

Green, 32, played for the veteran's minimum this season after signing with his hometown team during the summer. The former Georgetown star is turning in the best across-the-board shooting season of his 10-year career while offering versatility playing power forward and center.


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Now that the Lakers got Anthony Davis, could the Knicks and others turn to Bradley Beal?

Now that the Lakers got Anthony Davis, could the Knicks and others turn to Bradley Beal?

With all but one of the brick-and-mortar movie stores closed down, there are really only two instances that you hear the word 'blockbuster' these days: when describing Marvel movies and for the type of trade we saw this weekend between the New Orleans Pelicans and Los Angeles Lakers.

The Anthony Davis deal is a blockbuster trade in every sense. It is big in the number of pieces involved and because Davis is one of the best players on the planet.

It is important because it could immediately vault the Lakers into title contention. And it provides a new superteam for the league to revolve around and for people to loathe with the Golden State Warriors currently licking their wounds.

But it is also the type of deal that will have major consequences around the league, one that will affect far more than just the teams at the top. It will force a collection of other teams to redraw their blueprints.

The obvious ones are the Knicks and Celtics, the two teams most closely linked to Davis in trade rumors. Now, it is New York that has more urgency, if not desperation, to strike in free agency. Boston to regroup and will probably need to ponder other trades if they want to reassert themselves in the Eastern Conference.

The Davis trade would be a major deal no matter the year, but it is fascinating to evaluate in the context of Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson's injuries. The league went from being very predictable to a wide open pasture of possibilities.

Now, the Warriors are good still but are also a beatable team. A window of NBA parity is cracking open and surely the Lakers won't be the only team to pounce.

Houston, Philadelphia and Oklahoma City are always aggressive and will clearly be thinking big. Portland and Denver could see this as the year to go all-in.

Not all teams looking to make a splash will have money to spend in free agency. That points to an aggressive trade market this summer, but there is arguably one big problem. After Davis, it doesn't seem likely many other stars will be available.

Teams seeking stars via trade have enjoyed plenty of options in recent years between Davis, Kawhi Leonard, Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving, Paul George and Jimmy Butler. The formula is generally fairly simple: an All-Star player on an underachieving team with the end of his contract in sight. Recently, the supply has met the demand.

But currently, few fit that description. There are some like Mike Conley Jr. of the Grizzlies, and Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside of the Heat. But none of those players are All-Stars in their prime.

All of that makes it easy to connect the dots to the Wizards and Bradley Beal. They are in an interesting spot, needing to decide whether to retool for playoff contention or take the long view and undergo some degree of a rebuild.

Beal, as their best player, is the catalyst. There are logical reasons to keep him or to trade him. He is one of the best players in franchise history, is only 25 and he's on a team-friendly contract in the era of the supermax. But the Wizards are going to have a tough time improving their roster with John Wall's Achilles injury and contract, which starts at 35 percent of the salary cap. 

The Wizards have held a stance of not wanting to trade Beal and still do. They also likely wouldn't make such an important decision without a long-term team president in place.

But that won't stop teams from calling and there is already speculation around the league about whether Beal will be dealt. One front office executive told NBC Sports Washington that Beal could be the top prize in the trade market if made available now that Davis is gone. 

For a lot of these situations, trades are more likely when a player is entering his walk year. Beal is signed through the 2020-21 season and, even if he grows unhappy, will say the right things.

He won't create necessary drama. And, if you take him at his word in a February interview with NBC Sports Washington, he wouldn't request a trade himself.

Also, there is a reason to believe keeping Beal wouldn't hurt their ability to rebuild through the draft. With the new lottery system, bottoming out doesn't offer the guarantees that it used to. And even with Beal playing all 82 games last season, the Wizards still lost 50 of them and finished with the sixth-best odds.

Just like some have argued the Wizards have reasons to trade Beal, they also have reasons not to. But that won't stop other teams from picking up the phone.




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Wizards bringing in UNC teammates Coby White and Nassir Little for pre-draft workout

Wizards bringing in UNC teammates Coby White and Nassir Little for pre-draft workout

The Wizards are holding their highest-profile pre-draft workout yet on Monday, hosting UNC teammates and projected lottery picks Coby White and Nassir Little. 

White earned All-ACC and All-Freshman honors during his lone season in Chapel Hill, averaging 16.1 points and 4.1 assists per game. Little's season with the Tar Heels did not go as smoothly as White's, but he is an NBA-ready athlete with tons of upside. 

Both White and Little could be options for the Wizards at No. 9 and would provide solutions to some of Washington's major needs. White would give the Wizards a primary play-maker while John Wall recovers from his Achilles injury, while Little would fill Washington's hole at small forward and bring some much-needed defense and rebounding to the team.

Before White and Little, the Wizards had brought in very few projected lottery picks during their pre-draft process, outside of Kentucky forward Keldon Johnson and French prospect Sekou Doumbouya. But with the 2019 NBA Draft looming on Thursday, the Wizards are ramping up their search for the player they'll pick at No. 9.