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Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, John Wall team up for Hurricane Florence relief

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Along with Michael Jordan, several other NBA players, teams, and the league have decided to team up in the wake of Hurricane Florence. Relief for the eastern seaboard, specifically the Carolinas, has been the subject of many charitable efforts thus far.

Now we can add Chris Paul, John Wall, and Stephen Curry to the list of players trying to help the beleaguered coastal states.

All three players are natives of North Carolina, with Curry being from Charlotte, Wall being from Raleigh and Paul being from Winston-Salem. The three are the public face of an effort to raise $500,000 to help aid in post-hurricane relief.

Via Twitter:

The damage from Florence has been significant. According to one report from NBC News, home losses in the town of New Bern, NC (pop: 30,101) have reached an estimated $32 million.

Moody’s Analytics released a report that said that a conservative estimate of total damage caused by Florence is in the range of $17 billion.

Video from the North Carolina Department of Transportation published on social media this week confirmed how great the flooding was just in terms of visual scale.

If you’d like to help donate to the effort, you can do so by clicking the link in Curry’s tweet or following the link here.

Grading the Washington Wizards offseason

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NBCSports.com’s Dan Feldman is grading every team’s offseason based on where the team stands now relative to its position entering the offseason. A ‘C’ means a team is in similar standing, with notches up or down from there.

There’s a fine line between a young team building chemistry while growing and a team that has stalled.

The Wizards appeared to cross that threshold last season.

For just the second time in seven years, Washington’s record didn’t improve from the previous year. Also for the just the second time in five years, the Wizards didn’t reach the second round.

The last time both happened, they fired coach Randy Wittman. They didn’t dump Scott Brooks this year. With his contract, he’s entrenched.

But they did shake up the roster with a few moves that carry the potential to help Washington escape this muck or backfire in spectacular fashion. For a team that has become so uninspiring, the risk should be welcome.

Trade Marcin Gortat for Austin Rivers? Sure. Perimeter talent comes at a premium. Bigs are more easily replaceable.

Sign Dwight Howard? Sure. For all his foibles, Howard remains an elite rebounder, high-quality interior defender and helpful pick-and-roller. The taxpayer mid-level exception is a bargain for a starter of his caliber.

Sign Jeff Green? Sure. He’s coming off a career year, as he finally better understands how he can – and more importantly, can’t – contribute to winning. A minimum salary suits him.

Howard and Rivers particularly certainly add personalities to a locker room with John Wall and Bradley Beal. But Wall and Gortat already clashed. How much worse could it be with Howard? Rivers will get along better with teammates when his dad isn’t coach, and he has become more self-aware. (The same can’t necessarily be said about Howard.)

These are manageable issues relative to what Washington could have faced.

Credit Wizards owner Ted Leonsis for hanging above the luxury-tax line. After paying the tax for the first time in franchise history last season and not getting even a single playoff-series victory, he could have rushed to trim salary. Trading the No. 15 pick – instead used on Troy Brown Jr. – to unload a bad contract would have been quite typical for this franchise.

This doesn’t mean Leonsis will keep spending big forever. Next summer looks like a possible a breaking point if Washington doesn’t produce this season.

Starting power forward Markieff Morris and promising but inconsistent forward Kelly Oubre Jr. will become free agents. Wall’s super-max extension will kick in. Otto Porter, Beal and Ian Mahinmi will remain on massive deals.

Unless they’re far more willing to spend than understood, the Wizards would be wise to get out ahead of an even more daunting luxury-tax crunch. Just letting Morris and/or Oubre walk would be disappointing.

But there’s still time for a preemptive solution. It didn’t have to happen this offseason.

I’m not certain the Wizards will be better this year. But in a summer they appeared likely to take a step back, they gave themselves a real chance to be better. This was the right time to invite variance, and Washington did it shrewdly.

Offseason grade: B-

John Wall: Team USA has ‘different atmosphere’ with Gregg Popovich succeeding Mike Krzyzewski

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John Wall said he wasn’t give a fair shot to make Team USA for the 2014 World Cup. Then, he (correctly) predicted he wouldn’t make the 2016 Olympic roster, either.

If the Wizards star resented USA Basketball, he’s using Gregg Popovich succeeding Mike Krzyzewski as coach as an opportunity to move on.

Ben Standing of The Sports Capitol:

Jerry Colangelo remains managing director. So, it isn’t a completely new regime.

Nor is it a different landscape for Wall’s roster competition. The Americans are loaded at point guard. Beyond Wall, the player pool for the 2019 World Cup and 2020 Olympic includes:

If Wall is committed to making Team USA, he has a chance. But the bar is quite high.

John Wall says he talked to DeMarcus Cousins about joining forces but timing wrong

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John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins are buddies, going back to Kentucky in college when they teamed up (with Patrick Patterson) on a 35-3 team that went to the Elite Eight before bowing out.

Since they both got to the NBA the duo has talked about teaming up again — and they did so last summer, too, the timing was just off. Wall spoke to Ben Standig of The Sports Capitol about it (the story is behind a pay wall, but if you’re a DC sports fan you should be investing in their coverage).

“At the time I [thought] we needed a center who could play right [away],” Wall told The Sports Capitol about his free agency talks with Cousins. “Nine times out of 10 [Cousins] is not going to be ready at the beginning of the season. I think we need a guy who can be a starting center right now.”

Cousins, coming off a torn Achilles, more likely will not be ready to play until, at best, between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Cousins signed with Golden State, a team that can wait for him to get healthy and not pressure him to be back because they need the wins.

Washington will need the wins from their opening game (and they have a big, nationally televised game Oct. 20 against Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors). Washington ended up signing Dwight Howard at center, who is healthy and was solid for Charlotte last season.

NBA players discuss teaming up all the time, but usually practical considerations get in the way. That’s what happened here. Cousins wasn’t getting July 1 offers and started calling around, but the Wizards were never going to be a good fit. Not now, anyway.

Cousins will be a free agent again next summer, and then the Kentucky reunion talk can start again.

John Wall talks living in Miami, off-season workout grind

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The Washington Wizards have disappointed the past couple of seasons. Injuries and poor chemistry on and off the court have held the team back, leading to a first-round exit last season and a second-rounder the season before. With Boston, Philadelphia, and Toronto taking steps forward, can Washington push through its barriers?

John Wall tells Chris Miller NBC Sports Washington he is putting in the work to do just that.

In this video, Wall talks choosing to live in Miami in the offseason and the summer grind of workouts.