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Wizards end Summer League with loss to Mavs, but solid outings for Troy Brown and others


Wizards end Summer League with loss to Mavs, but solid outings for Troy Brown and others

The 2018 Las Vegas Summer League is over for the Washington Wizards and, despite their losing record, they have to feel pretty good about how things went.

Their top prospects played well for the most part, including first round pick Troy Brown, Jr. Second round pick Issuf Sanon got a small taste of the action, but took an important step in his nascent development. And they should feel better about Devin Robinson's future after how he fared in his second year in the league.

Here's analysis of their 96-92 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night and some big-picture thoughts on the guys who stood out...

Robinson almost killed a guy: This wasn't Robinson's best game, as he finished with 13 points on 4-for-14 from the field. But he may have had his best play of the Summer League and the best play for any Wizards player in Vegas.

Robinson was fed in stride on the fastbreak and there was nothing Dallas' Kyle Collinsworth could to do stop him:

How about that pass from Brown? The vision and ability to put it right on the money with Robinson on the run was nothing short of amazing. Keep in mind the guy is only 18 years old.

Let's take another look at the slam:

Though his shot wasn't falling, Robinson contributed in a variety of ways. He had 12 rebounds, four assists, a block and a steal.

What a Summer League overall for Robinson. It doesn't guarantee much about his future, but it does help his case as he seeks a more permanent role in the NBA.

Sanon hit some shots: Through his first three Summer League games, Sanon went scoreless. He broke out in his fourth and once he did, the shots just kept on falling.

Sanon hit not one but three three-pointers all in the third quarter. He hit one from the corner, one from the slot and one from the center. Here is his first three:

That was also a nice pass from Thomas Bryant, who has impressed as a passer out of the post in Vegas. But regarding Sanon's shots, it's clear he's got confidence in his stroke and at a base-level showed he is comfortable shooting from three-point range.

Tomas Satoransky explained last year as a rookie how it's tough to adjust to the NBA three-point line coming from European play. Sanon may have a few years to wait before he comes over to the U.S., but Friday was a good sign.

Sanon ended up with nine points and an assist.

Brown impressed: Most of Brown's games in the Summer League went much like this one did. He started slow shooting the ball, found a rhythm and never looked back. Brown had a decent first half of eight points, but then broke out in the third quarter with eight points in the frame on 4-for-6 shooting.

He ended up with 25 points (10-for-21 FG, 2-for-6 3PT), six rebounds, three assists and three steals. It may have been his most well-rounded offensive game out of his five total outings.

Brown knocked down several outside shots, including a corner three and one from about 26 feet out to beat the shot clock. He also mixed in a variety of shots around the rim, including an and-1 on the fastbreak.

The Wizards relied heavily on Brown as their point guard, even when he shared the floor with Chris Chiozza. They clearly want to get a good look at him playing that position, perhaps to determine whether they need to seek another point guard in free agency. As currently constructed, they have Satoransky and Austin Rivers behind John Wall. If Brown can be relied on as a third or fourth point guard option, they won't have to add a guy on a cheap deal like they did this past season with Ramon Sessions and Ty Lawson.

Brown will have to prove his ball-handling is good enough to play point in the real NBA, but he showed promise in the Summer League. He has a tight handle, at least going right, and clearly has some skills passing the ball. The fact he does not yet have a reliable outside shot, however, will be a consideration in playing him at point guard. Also, whether he can guard small and quick guards has to be determined.

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Elena Delle Donne the favorite to win WNBA MVP, according to league GMs

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Elena Delle Donne the favorite to win WNBA MVP, according to league GMs

Washington Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne is one of the best players in the WNBA, and thus is always in the discussion for MVP honors. 

And heading into the 2019 season, league GMs give her the best chance of anyone to actually hoist the trophy when it's all said and done. 

In a WNBA.com survey of general managers, 42 percent picked Delle Donne to win MVP in 2019. Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury had the second-most votes at 25 percent, followed by A’ja Wilson of Las Vegas Aces at 17 percent then Las Vegas' Liz Cambage and Jonquel Jones of the Connecticut Sun at eight percent. 

Delle Donne won her first and only WNBA MVP award in 2015 as a member of the Chicago Sky when she averaged a career-high 23.4 points per game. And with the Mystics set to make another run at the WNBA title (58 percent of GMs predicted Washington to have the most regular season wins in the Eastern Conference), she has a great opportunity to get her second this season. 


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Explained: What is an NBA supermax contract and how does it work?

Explained: What is an NBA supermax contract and how does it work?

As All-NBA teams are announced and franchises have to make decisions about contract extensions, fans will see the term "supermax contract" thrown around a lot. 

Here's a quick primer with everything you need to know about the NBA's most lucrative player deals. 

What is a supermax contract?

Officially known as the "Designated Veteran Player Extension," this rule allows teams to re-sign qualified players to maximum five-year contracts worth up to 35 percent of the salary cap with eight percent escalation in each subsequent year.

The length of the supermax deal depends on the player's years of NBA experience and years remaining on his current contract. 

  • A qualified player who has completed seven or eight years of service and has two years left on his contract is eligible for a four-year supermax (keeping the player with the same team for a total of six seasons)
  • A qualified player who has completed seven or eight years of service and has one year left on his contract is eligible for a five-year supermax (keeping the player with the same team for a total of six seasons)
  • A qualified free agent who has completed eight or nine years of service is eligible for a five-year supermax 

Furthermore, teams cannot trade a supermax player for the first year after he signs the contract.  

How much is a supermax contract worth?

Valued up to 35 percent of the salary cap in the initial year and subject to eight percent escalation in each subsequent year, these deals are mammoth money.

For example, the Wizards signed John Wall to a four-year supermax in the summer of 2017 when he had two years left on his contract. The supermax money begins in 2019-20 and pays Wall $38.15 million that year. With annual escalations, his supermax is worth $170.912 million over the four-year lifetime of the deal. 

According to a report by Yahoo's Chris Haynes, Damian Lillard—who has two years remaining on his current deal with the Trail Blazers and is expected to be named to an All-NBA team—will be offered a four-year supermax extension worth roughly $191 million this summer. 

Who is eligible to sign a supermax contract?

Very few players qualify for a supermax contract. First, only a player that has (or will have) completed eight years of NBA service by the end of his current contract is eligible to sign a supermax deal, which can only be offered by the team that drafted him or traded for his rookie contract. 

Then, a player must meet one of the following three criteria.

  • Be named to an All-NBA team in the most recent season or both seasons before it
  • OR, be named NBA Defensive Player of the Year in the most recent season or both seasons before it
  • OR, be named NBA MVP in any of the three previous seasons

Which players have received supermax contracts?

  • Stephen Curry - Golden State Warriors
  • James Harden - Houston Rockets
  • Russell Westbrook - Oklahoma City Thunder
  • John Wall - Washington Wizards

Who could receive a supermax contract this summer?

Anthony Davis is already eligible for a supermax offer from the Pelicans. And depending on the All-NBA, DPOY and MVP selections, the following players also could receive supermax offers:

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo - Milwaukee Bucks
  • Damian Lillard - Portland Trail Blazers
  • Klay Thompson - Golden State Warriors
  • Kemba Walker - Charlotte Hornets
  • Andre Drummond - Detroit Pistons
  • Bradley Beal - Washington Wizards 

What are the drawbacks to supermax deals?

The supermax contract was designed to help teams retain their players by allowing them to offer significantly more money than the competition; however, teams that offer such contracts are squeezing themselves in terms of salary cap room to fill out their rosters. 

No franchise can carry more than two supermax players at 35 percent of the cap each. Functionally, though, it's difficult for a team to have more than one.

Two supermax players would account for 70 percent of a team's salary in any given year, leaving the club virtually unable to sign a competitive supporting cast.