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There's more to the 2019-2020 Wizards beyond Bradley Beal

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There's more to the 2019-2020 Wizards beyond Bradley Beal

Big free agent names like Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irvining, Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard all were off the menu for GM Tommy Sheppard this offseason.

But that didn't mean Sheppard didn't make some solid under-the-radar moves to position Washington for the years ahead. 

In his Thursday column, NBC Sports' NBA insider Tom Haberstroh writes that there is more to the 2019-2020 Wizards team than meets the eye. 

They quietly added one of the league’s best snipers in stretch-four Davis Bertans, who made a blistering 58 percent of his corner 3-pointers last season.

Bertans was drafted by the Pacers in 2011, but remained in Europe until he was signed by the Spurs in 2016. After three seasons in San Antonio he is heading to Washington via a three-team trade with Brooklyn. 

Sheppard also resigned 21 year-old big man Thomas Bryant for just $17 million over 3 years. Bryant averaged 10.5 ppg and 6.3 rpg in his first full season after being discarded by the Lakers the previous year. Even without John Wall, Haberstroh believes Bryant should help Washington take a step forward. 

Notably, without John Wall, the Wizards posted a positive net rating last season with Beal, (Troy) Brown Jr and Bryant on the floor, per PBP Stats. Getting Bryant on a three-year, $17 million deal was a shrewd move by Tommy Sheppard. 

The Wizards used their No. 9 pick on Gonzaga PF Rui Hachimura, who has scored 14 and 19 points in his first two Summer League games, respectively. He's expected to rotate with Bertans and the 19 year-old sophomore Brown at the four. 

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There's an impressive list of names reportedly joining Bradley Beal in bid to buy the New York Mets

There's an impressive list of names reportedly joining Bradley Beal in bid to buy the New York Mets

Apparently, the New York Mets are popular.

In a group that looks more like some sort of ESPY's afterparty guest list, Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal is reportedly joined by names such as Super Bowl LIV champ Travis Kelce, NFL Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher, Tennessee Titans running back DeMarco Murray, former Cleveland Browns offensive lineman Joe Thomas, current Denver Nuggets center Mason Plumlee, oh, and some people named Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez in a bid to buy the Mets. 

That's quite an eclectic group. 

They've already submitted their initial bid of $1.7 billion, according to the New York Post. Hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen has reportedly made a top bid so far of $2 billion. The report says Mets COO Jeff Wilpon would prefer to sell to the "J-Rod" led group if its offer is close to the best bid at the end of the auction. Both have apparently already put up $300 million of their own money towards the potential purchase.

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According to ESPN, the group is awaiting word from MLB commissioner Rob Manfred on what will happen next. 

Really the more pressing question though has to be how they all came together. Who would've thought Mason Plumlee and J-Lo would go into business together. Or Beal and Kelce. 

Either way, it's a story that continues to gain traction, and clearly has the star power to make for an interesting future for the Mets organization should the deal go through.  

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Admiral Schofield dropped a lot of weight during quarantine, hoping it can help in several ways

Admiral Schofield dropped a lot of weight during quarantine, hoping it can help in several ways

The NBA is full of very large people, so many that the outliers are the ones who are of average, everyday person size. The guy who is six feet tall stands out in an NBA locker room sort of like a 7-footer would walking through a crowd at a mall.

Wizards rookie Admiral Schofield, though, stood out in his own way in training camp last September. The guy was absolutely jacked, and his name is also Admiral. What a cool name.

Schofield sort of got known for his build and that led to many pointing out how he came from a family of NFL players. There was even a story about the Ravens being interested in him coming out of college.

After four months in quarantine and out of the limelight, Schofiled has now gone through a fairly significant body transformation. He said he has lost close to 20 pounds, choosing to shed a lot of his muscle with some very specific goals in mind.

First, a look at the before and after. Here is an example of Schofield during the season, looking like he could bench a hospital:

And here is him now, about 20 pounds lighter:

Now, for the reasoning. Schofield, who is now down to around 225 pounds, said it's partly so he can be more versatile.

"I was able to get down to a weight where I'm able to play even more positions for the team, and to just be more active on the floor and go longer with higher energy," he said. "I'm just trying to be an all-star in my role and affect winning."

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If Schofield added some speed and agility, that could be good for him. He entered the league as an undersized forward with an undefined role. Being lighter on his feet could allow him to possibly defend guards. And, if he kept some of his bulk and strength, he could still be effective against taller players. 

Schofield didn't offer many details on how he dropped the weight, but he did get very pointed when talking about how it could help his career. He said getting down to the weight he is currently at was a goal of his dating back to his time at the University of Tennessee.

"It's about being able to go as long as possible. That's what it's about. It's about being able to play for 10 years, being able to play for 12 years. Playing with that weight is not good for your knees, it's not good for your joints," he said.

Schofield has been mentioned by Wizards coaches and executives as someone who could find a new role with Davis Bertans out. It sounds like he could also look like a different player, now with less weight to carry around.

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