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Top Stories of the Week: NBA Free Agency Kicks Off!

NBA: Playoffs-Boston Celtics at Washington Wizards Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Free Agency is about to be official. And let’s make this your open thread to kick things off!

To summarize, here are the main storylines as it pertains to the Wizards:

Otto Porter: Will he or won’t he get a big extension to stay in D.C.?

The Wizards had three top-three overall draft picks from 2010 to 2013. John Wall, the 2010 first overall pick signed his five-year max extension one year before his rookie deal expired in 2014. Bradley Beal verbally agreed to sign his five-year max extension in 2016 so Washington could pursue other free agents. After Ian Mahinmi, Jason Smith,(and Andrew Nicholson) were signed, Beal made it official.

This year, it’s not so clear as to whether Otto Porter will quickly get his maximum extension from the Wizards, though you can expect Washington to make a big offer tonight.

Even though Washington has the right to match any offer sheet Porter may sign with another team, they only have three days to match it. Therefore, this becomes a real-life case of Game Theory is Porter does sign an offer sheet with another team — if the Wizards are trying to test “his market value.” Jake Whitacre laid out a good case on all the options the Wizards have on the table.

Bojan Bogdanovic has a qualifying offer, but I’d expect a longer wait

The Wizards extended Bogdanovic (and Porter) qualifying offers earlier this week. Before you freak out that these two are on a one-year extension, this is just a formality. It allows the Wizards to keep the upper hand in salary matching negotiations. Otherwise, they’re as good as gone. And you didn’t want THAT (just yet), right?

We haven’t heard much on which teams may be lining up for a chance to get Bogdanovic. But don’t confuse him for Fenerbahce’s Bogdan Bogdanovic, who agreed to sign a three year, $36 million deal with the Kings Wizards fans freaked out when that happened, as you might expect, as CSN Mid Atlantic’s Steve Disizian noted..

Could Paul George come to Washington?

UPDATE on July 1 at 12:40 a.m. ET - Paul George will be traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis., according to reports The original points are below.

The NBA player who teams are salivating over is Pacers forward Paul George. Though he won’t be an unrestricted free agent until the 2017-18 season, George has apparently told friends that he intends on playing for the Lakers next season. We have heard rumblings of this in the past month. But the most recent confirmation of this came from Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times last Thursday.

Though George apparently wants to go to L.A., that isn’t stopping other teams from making a push for him. John Wall is openly recruiting George to come to Washington, perhaps as soon as this season according to an interview with ESPN’s Marc J. Spears.

That said, the Wizards don’t have much of a shot for his services. First, the Pacers could trade him to Washington, perhaps for a package that includes Otto Porter in a sign and trade scenario. But forget about what the Pacers want for a second. The Wizards are essentially mortgaging the future for a player who’s only going to be in D.C. for one season.

So if George is traded to D.C. for Porter, plays in Washington for one season and THEN goes to the Lakers in July 2018, then I’m not sure if the trade is worth it. That said, our own Mike Sykes believes that making a run for George is worth it, even if it isn’t successful.

What About Carmelo Anthony to D.C.?

The New York Knicks are a dumpster fire right now. They fired Phil Jackson, their President of Basketball Operations earlier this week. And the Knicks’ top players, Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis, just aren’t happy with them right now.

Frank Isola of the New York Daily News wrote last Tuesday that he still wants to stay in New York. But apparently, he may consider playing for either the Philadelphia 76ers or the Wizards so he can stay close to family. There’s a lot of talk about whether Anthony would get bought out by New York so he can enter free agency immediately, or if he could be traded.

Anthony is one of the best scorers in the NBA, and would certainly give Washington an additional offensive boost. However, I don’t think it makes sense to bring in a player on a big deal when he’s at the tail end of his prime — especially when core players like Wall and Beal are still in their mid-20’s. That’s just me though.

John Wall offered four-year contract extension

Update on July 1 at 12:50 a.m. ET: Looks like the big news seems to come right after these types of links posts get published.

But according to multiple reports, the Wizards have also offered John Wall a four year, $178 million extension, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN. Wall could earn as much as 35 percent of the salary cap starting in the 2019-20 season, but he hasn’t decided to take the extension just yet. I wouldn’t take that as a sign that he’s thinking of leaving D.C. But he is certainly mulling over his options.

My take on Free Agency

I may be complacent, but I think the Wizards should sign and keep both Otto Porter and Bojan Bogdanovic. Both of them are strong shooters, and fit in very well in the Wizards’ offense. The Wizards also have the upper hand on negotiations to keep them, so why not use it?

Let’s also not forget that Porter may have played four years in the NBA, but he just celebrated his 24th birthday on June 3. He may be a seasoned veteran, but the best years of Porter’s career should be ahead of him. And in Bogdanovic’s case, we only saw him here for a few months. I’d like to see what he can do here over the course of an entire season.

That said, if Paul George is truly available for a trade, the Wizards should make a push for him. But ONLY IF he signs an extension to stay here well past the 2017-18 season. The Wizards will be in a much worse situation should George bolt for the Lakers in 2018 after a one-year rental in D.C.

If there’s someone who more or less concurs with me, Candace Buckner of The Washington Post has her take here.

And in regard to the max extension to John Wall, I hope he takes it.

Your Open Thread

Okay, that’s enough talk from me. Free agency is about to be official. Chat away on this thread, and let’s see what happens with these storylines — as well as the NBA at large.

Enjoy the start to your Fourth of July Weekends everyone!