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What does Bradley Beal think of contract extension offer? ‘I haven’t thought about it’

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The first day they could, the Washington Wizards put a three-year, $111 million contract extension offer on the table for Bradley Beal. It sent a message to him: We want you here, we want to build around you in the future.

Beal’s reaction? So far a shrug.

Chris Miller of NBC Sports Washington sat down with Beal and asked him about the extension.

“Honestly you might slap me, but I haven’t thought about it,” Beal said. “I’m just getting better and letting my agent, Tommy [Sheppard] and everybody else deal with it.

“I just go hoop. Every day I see somebody and they ask ‘Beal, you leaving?’ and I’m like ‘I’m still living in D.C., I ain’t going nowhere.'”…

“It’s a great thing that a lot of people love your game and want you on their team, but I love the situation I have too.”

Beal doesn’t want to be traded because he would like a supermax contract extension — five years, $250 million — but only the Wizards can give him that money, and only if he makes an All-NBA team (or is named MVP). Beal finished seventh in All-NBA guard voting last season, but there are just six guard spots on the team (Beal received the most votes of any player not to make the All-NBA team at any position). He rightfully feels he has a shot at it.

However, even if he doesn’t, he can make more money by playing out this contract, which still has two-years, $55.8 million left. He can sign a four-year extension next summer, or wait until 2021 when he is a free agent and sign a five-year, $214 million ($43 million per year) with the Wizards or leave and sign a four-year, $159 million ($40 million a season) contract with another team. The only reason to take the current deal is security, and Beal seems ready to bet on himself.

The Wizards do not want to trade him because they are trying more of a re-tooling on the fly than a complete rebuild, and they want Beal at the heart of what they do. Even with Tommy Sheppard as the new GM — hopefully thinking more long-term rather than just short-term with his moves — this is an owner in Ted Leonsis who wants to make the playoffs every year. Beal helps them win games (although probably not enough to make the playoffs this year, considering the roster around Beal).

If Beal seems to be in line for an All-NBA spot this season, the Wizards have a $250 million question to answer — do they want to pay him that much? Would that force them to open up the trade market for Beal (like Sacramento with DeMarcus Cousins, for example)? The Wizards already have John Wall on a supermax, having two contracts like that on the books will make it hard to put players around them and win a lot (that does not even get into the question of how Wall bounces back from these injuries and what kind of player he becomes). Trading Wall right now is next to impossible with his contracts and injuries.

For now, it looks like things will just play out without a move. The Wizards do not want to trade Beal, but he’s betting on himself for a bigger payday.

So he says he’s not thinking about it and leaving it to his agent, which whether you believe him or not plays out the exact same way.

Hall of Famer Paul Westphal diagnosed with brain cancer

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Paul Westphal, the Hall of Fame guard who played at the peak of his career with the Phoenix Suns (and earlier won a championship with the Boston Celtics) has been diagnosed with brain cancer.

Longtime sportswriter Mike Lupica made the announcement.

Glioblastoma is a particularly aggressive and difficult form of cancer to treat.

Westphal was born and raised in the South Bay area of greater Los Angeles and went on to play his college ball at USC. He was the No. 10 pick of the Boston Celtics in the 1972 NBA Draft and went on to play three seasons with the Celtics, winning a title with them in 1974.

After that he went on to Phoenix, where he was an All-Star player and was named to the All-NBA team four times. Westphal also played for the Knicks and Sonics during his career. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame last September.

After playing he became a coach, spending at least part of seven seasons as the Suns head coach, plus he coached the Kings for three seasons.

One of the best-liked people in NBA circles, there are a lot of people in Westphal’s corner today and going forward.

 

Draymond Green fined $50,000 for tampering with Devin Booker

Draymond Green fined
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“It’s great to see Book playing well and Phoenix playing well, but get my man out of Phoenix It’s not good for him, it’s not good for his career. Sorry Chuck, but they’ve gotta get Book out of Phoenix. I need my man to go somewhere that he can play great basketball all of the time and win, because he’s that kind of player.”

That was the Warriors’ always outspoken Draymond Green on Inside the NBA on TNT Thursday, talking about the play of Devin Booker and the fast start of the Suns in the bubble.

The second he said it, Ernie Johnson asked, “Are you tampering?” Green said, “maybe.”

The NBA said yes and has fined Green $50,000 for “violating the league’s anti-tampering rule.”

In past years the NBA has mostly ignored player-to-player tampering, but after complaints from owners last season the league is cracking down on — at the very least — public tampering by players. Going on a popular national show to say Booker should leave Phoenix qualifies.

Just a reminder for fans of a team desperate for a star and suddenly looking at Phoenix, Booker has four years left (after this one) on his max contract extension. The Suns are building around him and Deandre Ayton — and right now it looks like it’s working (coach Monty Williams should get a lot of credit for that). The Suns aren’t looking to trade, Booker isn’t looking to leave (and has no leverage anyway), and the Suns seem to be building something real down in the Valley of the Sun.

 

Watch Luka Doncic post 36-19-14 with just dazzling passing (video)

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The Bucks’ have one of the best defenses in NBA history, allowing 7.9 fewer points per 100 possessions than league average. The Mavericks have the highest offensive rating (116.5) in league history.

Something had to give.

And it was Luka Doncic – to teammate after teammate after teammate.

Doncic had 36 points, 19 assists and 14 rebounds in Dallas’ 136-132 overtime win over Milwaukee yesterday. He was in complete control as a scorer and passer, showing just how far he has come.

The Bucks already secured the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. But they played hard, forcing overtime. Giannis Antetokounmpo looked like the MVP with 34 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks.

Doncic was just better.

Report: NBA could play next season at multiple regional bubbles

Warriors star Stephen Curry
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Other than waiting for the coronavirus pandemic to subside – a possibility – the NBA faces MAJOR challenges next season.

The bubble is working for finishing this season. But that’s with just 22 teams rather than the full 30. And this is just for a few months, not a full season. Players are already bristling about how long they’re separated from their families.

Yet, what’s the alternative to a bubble? It looks like the only safe way to play professional sports.

Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated

We’re a ways off from next season, but league sources have told me that the NBA is looking at options that include creating regional bubbles, should the COVID-19 pandemic still prevent normal business in the fall. Teams would report to a bubble for short stints—around a month—which would be followed by 1-2 weeks off.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Orlando is a consideration, and Las Vegas — a finalist for this summer’s restart — would reemerge as a possible site too, sources said.

This is an interesting possibility.

Smaller bubbles would reduce the odds of a coronavirus outbreak that undermines the whole league. But what happens if one bubble has coronavirus issues? Teams’ schedules could get significantly unbalanced quickly.

The shorter bubble lengths would allow players to spend time with family more frequently. But how many players would contract coronavirus while between bubbles? Look how many players got coronavirus during this last layoff.

There are no easy solutions amid this pandemic. This is one of many imperfect ideas that should at least be considered.