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Tomas Satoransky set to enter unpredictable free agent market for point guards

Tomas Satoransky set to enter unpredictable free agent market for point guards

Of the Wizards' players set to hit free agency on June 30, one who has a good chance to return is point guard Tomas Satoransky. He and center Thomas Bryant are atop the team's priority list with Bobby Portis likely too expensive and Jabari Parker set to enter the market unrestricted.

Satoransky will be a restricted free agent, meaning the Wizards can match any offers made by other teams. And in talking to members of the Wizards' coaching staff and front office, they speak of Satoransky like he is part of their future.

Still, nothing can be assumed and especially in a year in which many teams have money to spend. As Kevin O'Connor of the Ringer noted this week, there is more cap room available this summer than the previous two combined. That could lead to 2016-level contracts where role players get paid like starters and average starters get paid like stars.

What will make Satoransky's market interesting, though, is the fact there are some much bigger names available at his position. At point guard, teams with the most money can go after All-Stars like Kemba Walker, Kyrie Irving and D'Angelo Russell. There is then a robust second tier that includes Malcolm Brogdon, Terry Rozier and Ricky Rubio. Then you have Derrick Rose, Elfrid Payton, Patrick Beverley, Darren Collison and Rajon Rondo.

It is a great year to be a free agent, but maybe not the best year to be a free agent point guard. The position class is absolutely loaded.

Satoransky, though, will still draw plenty of interest and among the teams expected to check in on him are the Mavericks, Pacers, Magic and Celtics, NBC Sports Washington has learned.

The Celtics have already been tied to Satoransky by Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports. But they also have their sights set on some of the bigger fish at point guard with rumors linking them to Walker, in particular.

The Utah Jazz were also set to pursue Satoransky, but their trade for Mike Conley Jr. has taken them off the list. The Phoenix Suns could also emerge as a suitor, though they are being linked to higher profile free agents at this point.

Both the Wizards and Satoransky expressed interest in a contract extension midway through the 2018-19 season, as NBC Sports Washington reported, but those talks didn't get much further. The Wizards ended up putting a lot of things on hold once they drifted out of the playoff race and ultimately fired team president Ernie Grunfeld.

With senior vice president Tommy Sheppard serving in the interim, though, Satoransky has a big proponent calling the shots in the Wizards front office. Sheppard scouted Satoransky before the Wizards drafted him and was key in convincing him to leave Europe for the NBA.

Satoransky likes playing in Washington and recognizes an opportunity at point guard with John Wall set to miss most of next season due to Achilles surgery. But he also recognizes this as a chance to earn the biggest payday of his career.

How much money Satoransky will ultimately receive is hard to predict. Those in his camp are apprehensive to throw numbers out there because even they aren't sure.

One potential comparison could be Raptors guard Fred VanVleet, who makes just over $9 million per year. Though VanVleet is arguably better, Satoransky is hitting the market with more money to go around. 

Many have tried to project Satoransky's market in the past few months. Soon we will find out just how valuable he is.

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Florida Gators mascot weighs in on Bradley Beal's All-Star snub

Florida Gators mascot weighs in on Bradley Beal's All-Star snub

On the eve of the NBA All-Star game, Bradley Beal attended a basketball game at his alma mater instead of preparing for the NBA All-Star game. 

Beal, of course, was not named an All-Star despite displaying the highest scoring average ever for a player not named to the league's midseason exhibition. 

Beal felt disrespected by it, his fiancee Kamiah Adams and his agent Mark Bartelstein were certainly mad about it, Moe Wagner faulted himself and the rest of the Wizards for the All-Star snub.

You can now include the University of Florida mascot as someone who's less than pleased with the NBA's head coaches for failing to vote Beal in as an All-Star reserve. 

In a tweet from Adams, Albert the Gator is holding up a sign that says, "Bradley Beal should be an All-Star. #SNUBBED."

Beal spent his freshman season playing at Florida before he was drafted third overall by the Wizards in 2012. 

Whether you think Beal was snubbed or believe winning should be valued more than counting stats, it's hard to ignore just how many people have made it clear they disagree with Beal's exclusion from All-Star weekend. 

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Davis Bertans makes final round, finishes third in 3-point contest

Davis Bertans makes final round, finishes third in 3-point contest

CHICAGO -- Wizards sharpshooter Davis Bertans advanced to the final round of the NBA All-Star three-point contest on Saturday night at the United Center, but did not have enough to take home the trophy.

Bertans put up a score of 22 in the final round and was quickly eliminated by Devin Booker of the Suns, who responded with a 26. Buddy Hield then scored a 27 to win the competition on a walk-off by hitting the final money ball.

"Once I got a 22, I was sure I'm not winning. I thought I would need at least a 25 to keep the hopes alive," Bertans said.

Bertans started slow in the first round, making only two shots in the first two racks. But he had a major rally once he crossed the halfway point. Bertans first sank a Mountain Dew three-ball, which was placed six feet behind the three-point line. Then, he cleared the money ball rack in the slot.

Bertans also made four-of-five on the money-ball rack in the second round. The players get to choose where to place that rack and he was asked afterward why he chose the right wing:

"I think the 9-for-10 explains why, right?"

Bertans recorded a 26 in the first round, which was just one off the top scorers, Devin Booker and Hield, who tied at 27.

The NBA three-point contest record for a single round is 28, set by Booker back in 2018. But with the new system of two shots worth three points, plus more time allotted per round, there is potential for higher scores than ever before.

Bertans ended up in third place. He was hoping to be the first Washington player to win the competition since Tim Legler in 1996.

Third, though, is something Bertans can be proud of.

"Being in the final, I definitely represented myself really well and I hope I get another chance," he said.

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