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NBA Training Camp Questions: Northwest Division

Nate Duncan looks at the key training camp questions for the Northwest Division.



With training camps just around the corner, NBA teams have key questions to answer as camp gets underway that could determine much of their outcome for this season. In a continuing series, we look at the training camp questions for the Northwest Division.

Utah Jazz

How long does it take for the Jazz to pick up Quin Snyder’s system?

New coach Quin Synder was a key part of the Atlanta Hawks’ shift to a more free-flowing, ball-movement based offensive system last year. He will attempt to institute that this year with the Jazz, but these young players are not used to playing that way. The Jazz also lack the kind of ball skills and shooting at the big positions that Atlanta used so effectively a year ago with Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, and Rudy Gobert as Utah’s first three bigs. While they may get it eventually, it is going to take time and could lead to some ugly ball early in the season.

How ready is Dante Exum?

Exum remains an excellent long-term prospect, but it is unlikely he can contribute to winning basketball right away. The Jazz have little at backup point guard behind Trey Burke, so it seems likely that Exum (who considers himself a point guard first) will get those minutes. Whether he can really break into the rotation and merit minutes alongside Burke is an open question given the deficiencies in his floor game and lack of high-level experience. While he showed some flashes, his limitations were on display in Summer League and in his stint with the Australian National Team, for which he was basically out of the rotation by the latter stages of the World Cup.

Will Alec Burks and Enes Kanter ink rookie extensions?

We will cover the topic of rookie extensions in greater depth before the season starts, but the chances of a deal getting done with either player are complicated by uncertainty of how much the cap will rise in future years, as well as league-wide trends regarding the utility of bigs who don’t protect the rim or shoot threes (Kanter) and the high value placed on quality wings (Burks).

Who is in the big rotation?

Whether Kanter is signed to an extension could affect the big rotation. If he is signed to big money, it is almost certain he will start and get the second-most minutes among the bigs, even if he starts slowly. Kanter has suffered from a knee injury through the summer that required platelet rich plasma therapy in June, and no reports indicate he has been cleared yet.  Thus, it is possible though unlikely that either Gobert or Trevor Booker could establish themselves ahead of him. Gobert is coming off fantastic summer league and national team runs in which he dominated the paint, but it is unclear whether he can start with Favors on offense due to their limited skill levels. Booker started capably as a fill-in for Washington, and even finished some games in the playoffs. However, it seems unlikely Utah would demote the long-term potential of Kanter to start a limited-upside player of Booker’s ilk.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Who starts at center?

In some ways, this is almost an existential question for Oklahoma City, an organization that is both a model and a magnet for criticism for its perceived stubbornness. The positives are obvious–this has been a top-three franchise in the NBA since 2010. But that success has shed light on a number of controversial decisions, like the refusal to go into the luxury tax, the trade of James Harden, eschewing the full mid-level exception the last three years, and of course continuing to start Kendrick Perkins.

Let’s not forget that Perkins used to be a very solid player prior to tearing his ACL in Game 6 of the 2010 Finals. In rewatching the Celtics’ classic series against the Bulls in 2009, it was remarkable how spry he looked. But that was also five years ago.

Perkins has been under fire since at least the Spurs series in 2012. He contributes almost nothing offensively aside from setting screens, and he lacks the athleticism to really defend the pick and roll and the basket effectively either. Yet he has always retained his starting position, both for cultural reasons and due to the lack of a true center waiting in the wings. Those days are now over, as Steven Adams appears ready to assume the mantle as a superior player. Will he sufficiently outplay Perkins in camp to force Scott Brooks’ hand despite the political difficulties in playing a 20-year-old over the long-term starter and locker room leader?

Are Jeremy Lamb and Perry Jones ready to contribute?

Lamb started the 2013-14 season well and was in the rotation until the arrival of Caron Butler in another veteran-favoring move. By the playoffs, Lamb barely played and was not a contributor in his few minutes during the Spurs series. But he is the only hope on the roster for a two-way wing who could allow OKC to play its terrifying small lineup with Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka at the big positions and avoid giving up too much defensively. To get on the floor, he will have to greatly improve his focus defensively, as he is still quite prone to losing his man or failing to provide the appropriate help when required.

Will the offense become more complex?

Count Coach Scott Brooks’ offense as another perceived example of the Thunder’s stubbornness. Brooks has long been criticized for a lack of imagination on offense, although there is a legitimate argument that a dearth of quality decision-makers aside from Durant and Russell Westbrook makes concentrating the ball in their hands a necessity. Nonetheless, it appears that the Thunder are too easily shut down in crunch time during the playoffs. Will Brooks take steps to improve the ball movement in camp by installing more complex schemes?

Denver Nuggets

Who starts at center?

With no indications JaVale McGee will be healthy when camp opens, the battle comes down to J.J. Hickson and Timofey Mozgov. Hickson may have hurt his own chances with a five-game suspension for the start of the year, so it seems certain Mozgov will at least start the year at center. Hickson has always struggled defensively at either big position due in large part to his lack of awareness, and last year was no exception. Mozgov is the only established plus interior defender on the team, and the easiest path to improvement for Denver is boosting the league’s 21st-ranked defense a year ago.

Does Kenneth Faried sign a new deal?

We will look at his value in more depth in the weeks to come, but in short this will be a fascinating extension negotiation. Faried was prominent in trade talks a year ago and seemed like more of a backup due to his inability to space the floor, but a solid end to the season (he really improved as a postup threat) and a breakout World Cup has boosted his profile. Of particular note this summer was his defensive performance. Despite being a solid athlete at the four, Faried has never been a good defender even out on the floor, much less in the post. That changed at the World Cup, and the hope is it can carry over to the regular season.

Of course, the massive uncertainty regarding the future salary landscape also plays a role here. With new TV contracts reportedly close to agreement, perhaps teams and agents will have a better understanding of the cap going forward by the October 31 deadline for extension.

How are the injuries progressing?

Denver was riddled with injuries a season ago, with McGee, Danilo Gallinari and Nate Robinson the most prominent victims. McGee’s status remains unclear, while Gallinari is still recovering from ACL surgery last winter after what he believes was a botched initial procedure at Colorado’s Steadman Clinic in 2013.  Robinson hopes to be ready for training camp, which would be a swift recovery after his own January ACL surgery.

Portland Trail Blazers

Can C.J. McCollum become a rotation player?

The Blazers have few camp questions coming in since their rotation appears pretty much set. But a key this year will be the development of the second-year combo guard (and Basketball Insiders contributor) from Lehigh. After missing half the season due to a second broken foot, McCollum never really got going and was out of the rotation almost entirely by the playoffs until Mo Williams was injured. With Williams now departed to Minnesota and Steve Blake more of a caretaker type at the point, the Blazers have no established scorers off the bench. If McCollum or Will Barton cannot fill that role, the second unit could have major issues. Those would be exacerbated if the Blazers have worse health than a year ago, when their starting lineup was together for all but two games.

What is the plan to improve the defense?

The slack in Portland is clearly the defense, which struggled mightily in the playoffs against Houston and San Antonio and ranked only 16th in the league during the regular season–low for a 54-win team. Coach Terry Stotts has never really presided over a quality defensive team as a head coach.

The key for Portland will be individual improvement. Damian Lillard must improve at the point of attack getting over screens. This is a key because Robin Lopez usually hangs back in the paint due to his lack of mobility. Nicolas Batum is another player who has great physical tools defensively who has never translated them into above-average defensive play.

Minnesota Timberwolves

How does Andrew Wiggins look?

This is the paramount question for Minnesota going forward. Wiggins has great physical tools, but has exhibited a general lack of scoring feel. Flip Saunders will want to see at least occasional flashes from Wiggins of an ability to put the ball on the floor and finish strong at the basket as the first indication that he can fulfill his physical potential and become a superstar.

Can Nikola Pekovic and Gorgui Dieng play together?

With the acquisition of Thaddeus Young, these two will not start together. But they both merit large enough roles that the Wolves will at least try them as a pairing. Dieng will have to play the four on both ends to make it work, as Pekovic is completely devoid of shooting range and can’t really close out on anyone away from the basket. But Dieng himself is more of a center. The odds seem against this pairing working, especially with Ricky Rubio and likely Wiggins as relative non-shooters on the perimeter, but the two are talented enough that it is worth a try.

Will anyone remember Anthony Bennett is on this team?

The 2013 No. 1 overall pick had the most disappointing rookie season for such a draftee in recent memory. The acquisition of Young in the same trade that brought Bennett to Minnesota was not exactly a vote of confidence for the rookie, and there appears little chance for him to play his way into a role larger than fourth big man this season. But the Wolves’ previously discussed lack of shooting will provide a role for Bennett if he can make enough jumpers, something he has not come close to so far in his career.

Nate Duncan is an NBA analyst and attorney. He writes regular features for Basketball Insiders and chats weekly at 11 Eastern on Tuesdays.

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2021 Olympics Basketball Betting Picks



On Wednesday, the Olympics’ schedule for men’s basketball begins with the United States taking on Iran at 12:40 a.m. (EST). This is one of the listed games for Group A. For the preview, prediction, and betting picks for the USA vs. Iran matchup, this other article is available for bettors. Then, for Group B, Italy will play against Australia at 4:20 a.m. (EST). For the second Group A matchup on Wednesday, the Czech Republic will face France at 8:00 a.m. (EST). These games can be watched live via Peacock, NBC’s exclusive streaming service. Viewers can also watch the televised games with NBA League Pass.

Bovada and MyBookie are two excellent betting sites for gambling on men’s basketball during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The best NBA betting apps are from MyBookie, BetUS, Bovada, Intertops, and BetOnline. When bettors use MyBookie, the app offers a $500 deposit bonus for new users. For the Italy vs. Australia and France vs. Czech Republic games, if an individual wants to bet on the best moneyline, DraftKings is the superior choice. For a side note, these games are being played at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

Italy vs. Australia – Group B

Spread: Italy +7 (+112), Australia -7 (-108)

Total: 171.5

Over/Under: -108, -112

Best Moneyline: Italy +240, Australia -330

Accessibility: NBC Sports App

Italy Starting Lineup: 

PG: Nico Mannion 

SG: Stefano Tonut

SF: Simone Fontecchio

PF: Michele Vitali

C: Nicolo Melli 

Australia Starting Lineup:

PG: Patty Mills

SG: Matthew Dellavedova 

SF: Joe Ingles

PF: Aron Baynes

C: Jock Landale 

Italy defeated Germany 92-82 on Sunday, July 25. Forward Simone Fontecchio led the team in statistics, finishing his performance with 20 points, four rebounds, three steals, and one block. Stefano Tonut had 18 points, three rebounds, two assists, and three steals. Italy’s bench players combined for 28 points in their 10-point win over Germany. Hawks’ forward Danilo Gallinari scored 18 points from the bench, too. One big advantage the Italians had over the Germans was their three-point shooting accuracy. They shot 15-for-31 (48.4 percent) from beyond the arc. Plus, Italy had a total of 11 steals overall, and this was on top of an 11-0 run to help seal their first victory.

Moreover, Australia defeated Nigeria 84-67 on Sunday, July 25. The top story after this win was Australia’s bench players outscoring their starters. The Aussies’ starters scored 26 points versus Nigeria, while the reserve players had 58 points! A win is a win, but some players needed to elevate their intensity, such as Jazz’s Joe Ingles. In 33 minutes, he scored only 11 points  In 35 minutes played, guard Patty Mills ended his performance with 25 points, four rebounds, six assists, and four steals. Forward Nick Kay had 12 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and one block. While the Aussies did out-rebound the Nigerians 44 to 38, they also had a much higher free throw shooting percentage, shooting 17-for-19 (89.5 percent) from the free throw line.

Prediction – Australia wins by four points

Australia is the favored team over Italy. They held Nigeria to 67 points. Aside from Gallinari’s decent performance from the bench against Germany, some bettors are not expecting the Italians to be able to keep up with the Aussies this time around. According to Bovada, Australia has -350 odds of defeating Italy, whereas the Italians have +275 odds of pulling off the upset. In all fairness, picking Australia is the best bet. Not to mention, it is the safest bet concerning the uncertainties each of the players are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

France vs. Czech Republic – Group A

Spread: France -9.5 (-105), Czech Republic +9.5 (-115)

Total: 165

Over/Under: -110

Best Moneyline: France -450, Czech Republic +355

Accessibility: NBC Sports App

France Starting Lineup:

PG: Nando De Colo

SG: Evan Fournier

SF: Nicolas Batum

PF: Guerschon Yabusele

C: Rudy Gobert

Czech Republic Starting Lineup:

PG: Tomas Satoransky

SG: Blake Schilb

SF: Jaromir Bohacik

PF: Ondrej Balvin

C: Jan Vesely

France defeated Team USA 83-76 this past Sunday. In 34 minutes played, shooting guard Evan Fournier ended his performance with 28 points, four rebounds, one assist, and one steal. Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert finished his game with 14 points, nine rebounds, and one assist. The bench players combined for 17 points against USA. Moustapha Fall scored seven points and acquired four rebounds. On top of Brooklyn Nets’ small forward Kevin Durant fouling out, Team USA missing too many baskets led to a satisfying victory for France. The French shot 29-for-62 (46.8 percent) from the field, whereas the Americans shot 25-for-69 (36.2 percent) from the field. France also out-rebounded USA 42 to 36. Furthermore, Fournier and Gobert are once again starting for France versus Czech Republic.

In the Czech Republic’s 84-78 victory over Iran, bench player Patrik Auda led the team in scoring, with a total of 16 points in 23 minutes played. He also had six rebounds against Iran. Blake Schilb had 14 points, four rebounds, five assists, and one block in 24 minutes played. Schilb is projected to be in the starting lineup against France. While the Iranians shot 31-62 (50 percent) from the field, the Czechs had a field goal shooting percentage of 44.6 percent. This was based on shooting 33-for-74. If the Czech players prefer quantity over quality, they will most likely struggle versus France’s starting lineup. Additionally, it helped for the team to out-rebound Iran 43 to 33. We’ll see if the Czech Republic can maintain their rebounding abilities against fresh NBA-tested competitors.

Prediction – France wins by six points

Sports bettors might be tempted to pick an upset on Wednesday, but then again, we have little data to base our predictions on this early during the Tokyo Olympics. France was good enough to defeat Team USA, so picking them to win over the Czech Republic makes perfect sense. And, when we look at the number of different French players who have NBA experience, the best possible pick becomes as clear as daylight. Expect the Czechs to hang with the French throughout the majority of the four quarters. However, France will pull away in the closing minutes to earn their second victory in the Tokyo Games.

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Team USA vs. Iran – Preview, Prediction, & Betting Picks



Team USA is coming off their first Olympics’ loss in men’s basketball since 2004. In the post-game press conference after USA lost 83-76 against France, head coach Greg Popovich said, “When you lose a game, you’re not surprised. You’re disappointed. I don’t understand the word ‘surprised.’ That sort of disses the French team, as if we’re supposed to beat them by 30. That’s a hell of a team.” Leading up to this matchup, another contributing factor for the team’s loss was Wizards‘ guard Bradley Beal bowing out of the Olympics after being placed in the COVID-19 health and safety protocols during training camp. In the 2020-21 NBA season, Beal averaged 31.3 points per game. Regarding the injury report, as of July 27th, there are no reported injuries for these two teams.

Moreover, the USA’s second men’s basketball game of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is schedule for Wednesday, July 28th at 12:40 a.m. (EST). Unfortunately, the next two USA men’s basketball games are not guaranteed to air live on television in the United States. However, the games can be watched on NBC channels (delayed) and NBC’s exclusive streaming service known as Peacock. Plus, the NBC Sports mobile app will stream the games live. Free trials are also available for Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV, fuboTV, Sling TV, or AT&T TV Now. The game can also be watched via NBA League Pass. For betting on medal and group winners for men’s basketball, Bovada offers the best service.

Game Details

Date & Time: Wednesday, July 28th at 12:40 a.m. (EST)

Location: Saitama Super Arena; Saitama, Japan

Availability: Peacock (live) & NBC (delayed)

Spread: USA -41.5 (-110) (per DraftKings Sportsbook)

Over/Under: 166.5

Best Moneyline: USA -8000, Iran +2500 (per DraftKings Sportsbook)

Team USA Starting Lineup:

PG: Damian Lillard 

SG: Zach LaVine 

SF: Kevin Durant

PF: Draymond Green

C: Bam Adebayo 

Team Iran Starting Lineup:

PG: Mohammad Jamshidi

SG: Behnam Yakhchali

SF: Arsalan Kazemi

PF: Samad Nikkhah Bahrami

C: Hamed Haddadi

Bovada and MyBookie are two available betting sites for gambling on men’s basketball during the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. The best NBA betting apps are from MyBookie, BetUS, Bovada, Intertops, and BetOnline. With MyBookie, the app offers a $500 deposit bonus for new users. For the USA vs. Iran matchup, if an individual wants to bet on the best moneyline, DraftKings is another option as well.

USA vs. Iran Preview

Referencing Bovada’s Olympics odds, Team USA is the favorite to win gold in men’s basketball, with odds showing -250. Slovenia and Australia are tied for second, possessing +800 odds. With odds showing +75000, Iran ranks 12th for odds to win the gold medal. They could still win their fourth consecutive gold medal in basketball, but this team appears to be different from previous USA men’s basketball teams. Their performance against the French was pitiful. Anyways, according to the DraftKings Sportsbook, this past Sunday, USA opened as 12.5-point favorites versus Iran. However, yesterday the oddsmakers changed their projection to 29.5-point favorites. As of Tuesday, July 27, DraftKings Sportsbook has USA listed as 41.5-point favorites over Iran.

Team USA’s starting lineup in the Olympics consisted of Zach LaVine, Damian Lillard, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and Bam Adebayo. In the team’s 83-76 loss against France, with a total of 18 points, Milwaukee Bucks‘ guard Jrue Holiday led the team in scoring. However, Holiday’s performance was not sufficient enough to carry the team. His teammates around him failed to contribute at a higher level. In 25 minutes played, Bam Adebayo closed out his performance with 12 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, two steals, and one block. Damian Lillard also scored 11 points, three rebounds, and three assists. For the winning team, the leading scorer for France was Evan Fournier, finishing his game with 28 points and four rebounds. The French ended their first win on a 16-2 run late in the fourth quarter.

While the turnovers and field goal percentages were identical between these two teams, the difference-makers were personal fouls. For free throw shooting percentage, France shot 17-for-24 (70.8 percent) from the free throw line, whereas USA shot 16-for-21 (76.2 percent). Additionally, France committed 21 fouls in the match, which was all right considering USA had a total of 25 personal fouls called against them. Despite small forward Kevin Durant scoring 10 points, he also fouled out of the game. This was another poor game plan by Coach Popovich. This was especially evident in the team’s consecutive losses against Australia and Nigeria during those exhibition games. Practice games or not, USA looked less than mediocre, never mind lethargic and disinterested.

Then again, Iran is also trying to recover from an 84-78 loss versus Czech Republic. Guard Behnam Yakhchali led the team on the stat sheet, ending his performance with 23 points, three rebounds, and four assists in 36 minutes played. In 29 minutes on the court, Mohammad Jamshidi had 16 points, one rebound, and seven assists. For the Czech Republic, with 16 points, Patrik Auda led his team in points. While the Czechs out-rebounded the Iranians 43 to 33, they also had fewer turnovers. The winning team had 15 turnovers, while Iran had 21 overall.

The team came close to erasing a 21-point deficit. Iran’s past starting lineup was Benam Yakhchali, Mohammad Jamshidi, Samad Bahrami, Arsalan Kazemi, and Hamed Haddadi. Though, this is subject to change. The projected starting lineup is listed in the game details section shown above. Yakhchali will once again be returning as a guard, and of course, he led the team in scoring against the Czech Republic. 

Prediction: USA wins by 15+ points

Team USA is nearly a 42-point favorite against Iran. Based on their previous 89-79 defeat versus France, it is certainly hard to believe this team will beat a team by 40 points. Many bettors were not expecting for Durant to foul out, either. After their seven-point loss, Bovada adjusted the odds of USA winning their group. Now, France has the favored -550 odds of winning Group A, whereas USA has +400 odds. Though, between USA and Iran right now, the Americans are obviously the best of the worst. All things considered, USA will likely have their first bounce-back victory, but the question right now is, how many points will they win by?

Some bettors are speculating a 12-point margin of victory, however, others are suggesting 23 points. A prediction of at least 15 points sounds reasonable. Why? It’s because Iran’s men’s basketball team has lost multiple games already. In the FIBA World Cup Qualifying Round (2019) for Group F, Japan defeated Iran 70-56. Then, Spain defeated Iran 73-65 later in the year. Iran losing 84-78 versus the Czech Republic just adds to this notable trend. Nevertheless, while some could say that Iran is due for their first win, so is the USA. The Americans have not lost multiple games since 2004. In the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, the USA lost 92-73 versus Puerto Rico, 94-90 against Lithuania, and 89-81 versus Argentina. Time will tell if the Americans can turn over a new leaf.

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NBA Trade Rumors: Bradley Beal never requested a trade, remains committed to Wizards



This NBA offseason has been a frustrating one for some die-hard fans, especially Washington Wizards‘ fans. On June 18, 2021, news broke concerning shooting guard Bradley Beal announcing his commitment to play for the USA Basketball Men’s National Team. A few weeks ago, it was reported by USA Basketball that Beal would not play in the Tokyo Olympics. And, this was because the 28-year-old three-time NBA All-Star had to enter the COVID-19 health and safety protocols. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the Missouri native.

In an interview published by CBS Sports on July 15, 2021, regarding the chance to play for USA Basketball, Beal told CBS’ Michael Kaskey-Blomain, “It’s an honor. It’s something that you take for granted. Not a lot of guys in the league get this opportunity. We all know that. We didn’t live up to what we wanted to a few years ago (in the 2019 FIBA World Cup), and so now we have an opportunity to get back what’s rightfully ours.”

In 2010, Beal won the FIBA-Under 17 World Cup MVP. Though, everyone can see his passion for basketball. Needless to say, it is an awful experience for any athlete to have to bow out of the Olympics. In addition to this unfortunate news, there is all kinds of speculation across the Internet concerning Beal’s future with the Wizards. From, it was reported two days ago that Beal would welcome a trade if he was moved to the Boston Celtics. The report also included three other teams: Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat, and Philadelphia 76ers. This latest news information was originally reported by Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer. Last Saturday, Fischer stated, “Boston’s path to securing Beal would appear far more costly, as the Celtics’ offer almost certainly has to include Jaylen Brown and all of their future draft picks they are able to part with.”

Although the report could still be accurate, many fans are asking for more evidence to help support this claim. This is Beal’s team; he was drafted by Washington third overall in the 2012 NBA Draft. Would the Wizards be wiling to trade their star player for Jaylen Brown and potential future draft picks? This remains to be seen. Plus, everyone should keep in mind that although Beal was open to a trade, at least he never demanded an immediate trade. The latest news is likely just trade rumors and meaningless gossip.

Moreover, the 2020-21 Wizards finished 34-38 (.472), ranking third in the Southeast Division and eighth overall in the Eastern Conference. The team lost four games to one in the first round of the postseason against the 76ers. The Wizards have not appeared in the NBA Finals since the 1978-79 season, and they have not won the championship since the 1977-78 season, when they defeated the Seattle Supersonics in Game 7 105-99. Not to mention, the Wizards were called the Bullets back then.

After the season ended, the organization agreed to part ways with head coach Scott Brooks. Perhaps Coach Brooks leaving the team is leading Beal to ask more questions about his own future. According to one report by NBC’s Pro Basketball Talk, Beal was irked over the organization hiring Wes Unseld Jr. over Sam Cassell for the vacant head coach position. How much does this play into trade talks?

Well, we all know that Beal is a competitive player, so three consecutive losing seasons by Washington might not be cutting it for him. Then again, a great player should be willing to give a new coach a chance. Last season, in 60 games played, the six-foot-three guard averaged 31.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game. The 9-year NBA veteran also shot 48.5 percent from the field and 34.9 percent from beyond the arc. In the 2021 All-Star Game, in 31 minutes played, Beal scored 26 points.

On October 17, 2019, Beal signed a two-year, $72 million extension with Washington. He earned $28.7 million this past season, and he will earn $34.5 million in the upcoming 2021-22 season. Beal’s player option for the 2022-23 season is also $37.2 million. So, folks should keep in mind that Beal is still showing his loyalty to the Wizards. He is only considering a trade request before the draft. The key word here is “considering.” Having said this, not even LeBron James is safe from a trade in this league. Ok, maybe only James is safe.

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