Quick Links

When does NBA free agency begin? When is the NBA Draft? Important 2019 offseason dates for the Wizards

When does NBA free agency begin? When is the NBA Draft? Important 2019 offseason dates for the Wizards

With a general manager search already underway, the potential for a Bradley Beal supermax contract offer and a high first round pick, this summer figures to be one of the most consequential for the Washington Wizards in recent memory.

There are many days to mark on the calendar as ones that will have major implications for their future. Here is a comprehensive list...

May 14: NBA Draft lottery

This one of the most important dates of the Wizards' offseason. They will have the sixth-best odds. If they get lucky and land a top-four pick, it could change their outlook significantly.

May 14-19: NBA Draft Combine

Top NBA Draft prospects will take measurements like height, weight, wingspan and vertical leap. The Wizards will also get a chance to interview candidates for their first round pick.

May 30: NBA Finals begin

June 20: NBA Draft

The Wizards will have a high first round pick, which should be the first major move for the new GM. The team does not currently own a second round selection.

June 24: NBA Awards show (MVP, defensive player of the year, etc.)

The All-NBA teams will have already been announced some time in late May, so there may not be much reason for Wizards fans to watch the NBA Awards. Their best shot may be Thomas Bryant for most improved and he is a significant longshot.

June 29: Deadline for all player and team options

This will be a very important day for the Wizards. They have to decide on Jabari Parker's team option worth $20 million for next season and Dwight Howard will have to make the call on his 2019-20 player option worth $5.6 million.

June 30: Last day of league year, deadline for teams to make restricted free agents qualifying offers of 125% of their salary; last day to sign extensions; figures for next salary cap year determined

The Wizards will have to decide on restricted free agents Bobby Portis, Parker, Tomas Satoransky, Bryant, Chasson Randle and Sam Dekker for qualifying offers.

July 1: First day of new league year, free agent moratorium begins allowing teams to negotiate with players and reach verbal agreements

This is when all the fun begins. Though the Wizards could technically have some real money to spend in free agency, it all depends on whom they re-sign.

July 5-15: NBA Summer League

The Wizards will have their first round pick in action for the first time in Las Vegas. Also likely to be on the summer league team are Troy Brown Jr., their 2018 first round pick, as well as some of their G-League mainstays like Devin Robinson and Chris Chiozza.

July 6 (12:01 p.m.): Moratorium ends to sign free agents and make trades

Whatever the Wizards do in the first few days of free agency and the trading period can become official once this deadline passes.

July 13: Deadline for teams to revoke qualifying offers to RFAs

July 15: Deadline to sign first round picks

September 5: Deadline to sign second round picks

September, TBA: Training camp opens


Quick Links

How point guard injuries could define the Wizards' 2019-20 season in multiple ways

How point guard injuries could define the Wizards' 2019-20 season in multiple ways

This week at NBC Sports Washington, we are looking at the five biggest storylines for the Washington Wizards as they get set for 2019-20 training camp, which begins next week. Today, a look at their injured point guards...

There were many surprises with the Wizards' offseason from the time it took to hire a new general manager to letting some good players leave in free agency to even taking Rui Hachimura with the ninth overall pick. Up there among their most surprising moves has to be how they chose to handle the point guard position.

With All-Star John Wall out at least several months and possibly the entire season, the Wizards opted to let Tomas Satoransky depart as a free agent and signed two players in Ish Smith and Isaiah Thomas who are arguably back-ups at this point in their careers.

Smith offers more guarantees because of health, but he's 31 years old, shot just 41.9 percent from the field last season and is a below average defensive player. He didn't start a single game last year for a Pistons team that finished with a .500 record. And he wasn't backing up a superstar, either.

Thomas, 30, played in only 12 games last season and 32 the year before. Over the past two seasons, he has shot just 36.7 percent from the field and 29 percent from three. That is nowhere close to his All-Star days.

Behind those two is a series of question marks at the No. 3 point guard spot. They could roll with Justin Robinson, but he's an undrafted rookie. They will have Chris Chiozza in training camp, but he was an undrafted rookie last year and has only 33 minutes of NBA game experience.

Then there are guys like Jordan McRae and Troy Brown Jr., who can technically play point guard but are probably best-suited to do other things. The same goes for Bradley Beal, who could see more time on-ball this season depending on how the point guard position shakes out.

Usually, who is the third point guard isn't that big of a deal for NBA teams. But that is currently a major question for the Wizards with Wall out long-term and Thomas now likely to miss the start of the regular season due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.

Thomas already brought injury concerns with his surgically repaired right hip. And though thumb injuries are rarely chronic, it is on his shooting hand.

The Wizards appear likely to go throughout the entire preseason and then start the regular season without their two most accomplished point guards. It could be Smith and a hodge podge behind him. That could get interesting as the Wizards face Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and James Harden all within their first four games.

All of this brings us to Wall. Much of this won't affect him directly, as the Wizards aren't going to rush him back from rehabbing his ruptured left Achilles because they lack depth at his position.

But Wall's recovery will be a major storyline this training camp and this season, even if it is being conducted behind the scenes with few public updates. The Wizards have indicated he will probably miss all of this season. But the usual timeline for recovery from his injury doesn't call for that.

As D.C. fans saw with the 2012 Washington Nationals and pitcher Stephen Strasburg, a team's play can create an entirely new context for how a player's injury is handled. What if the Wizards are unexpectedly fairly good? What if they have realistic playoff odds in February and March, when Wall is over a year removed from his surgery?

There is an argument Wall should return this season even if the Wizards are out of the playoff mix. He could have plenty of time to recover, longer than most who have done it before, and still play dozens of games.

That would give the Wizards a baseline test for Wall as they enter an important offseason next summer. They would know what they have in their highest-paid player before they construct their roster around him. If he doesn't return next season, there will be a good deal of guesswork.

But if the Wizards are a surprise team, even one just punching for a low-tier playoff seed, it could add a completely different element. Then matters take on a different tone as the competitive drive and futures of all parties involved come into play.

It could make for a fascinating debate. But no matter what happens, it's already clear this Wizards season is going to be partly defined by injuries to their point guards, one way or another.

Quick Links

Mystics respond to Liz Cambage's comments on social media: 'LOL'

Mystics respond to Liz Cambage's comments on social media: 'LOL'

After Game 3 of the WNBA Semifinals, Las Vegas Ace Liz Cambage did not mince words about her competition in the paint. 

In a postgame interview with ESPN2, Cambage told Kim Adams that the Washington Mystics have “small forwards guarding me. If they can’t handle it, get in the weight room or get out of the post."

Clearly that did not sit well with the Mystics players. That was evident on social media Sunday night.

Myisha Hines-Allen and Natasha Cloud jumped on the floor to show their strength.

Cloud went one step further to support her teammate LaToya Sanders. As a 6-3 center/forward Sanders, has been the main defender on the 6-8 Cambage for the series.

And Cloud also had a passive-aggressive retweet that reference's Cambage's comments.  

Shatori Walker-Kimbrough also had a laugh.

Until this series, the Mystics had kept the unstoppable Cambage at bay. All three regular-season contests the Mystics kept her to 16 points or fewer. A majority of that credit should be given to Sanders. The first two games of the series saw that flip, but still, she was nowhere near her performance in Game 3 with 28 points on 12-for-15 shooting.

If the Mystics needed any more motivation, they got it from Cambage. That is on top of them striving to get back to the WNBA Finals after falling short this year, the franchise still without a WNBA Championship, having the 2019 MVP on the roster and - as Imani pointed out on Twitter - the Mystics still have a 2-1 series lead.