The first games of the regular season are in the books! So let’s get to the Top Stories of the Week!
Wizards begin the regular season with a loss (when they should have won)
The Wizards did something that they very rarely do. Start a game at home. This season, the Wizards began with a two game homestand before heading off on an early season road trip out west.
The first game against the Heat ended up in a 113-112 loss after Kelly Olynyk made a shot with just 0.2 seconds left. Except that it came after a no-call on Otto Porter. The Wizards should protest the game, even if it’s unlikely that they get anything out of it.
Then on Saturday, they lost again to the Raptors 117-113. Toronto didn’t have their new star Kawhi Leonard. So much for hoping to start the 2018-19 season on the right note.
The Wizards are on a five game road trip this week starting with a Monday game against the Trail Blazers. Then they’ll play the Warriors, Kings, Clippers, and Grizzlies. Given how this team started the season, this is probably going to be a long road trip in more ways than just the number of days they are out.
The G-League’s new select contracts: Possibly (?) good for the Wizards, a slight at the Mystics
Last week the NBA G League announced that some elite high school players may be offered one year contracts worth $125,000 to allow them to go pro without having to go through one year of college basketball. It’s unclear how that will affect NBA teams like the Wizards because select contract players are likely going to the regular NBA Draft the next season and play for a different organization. But it could be good for the Go-Go and ticket sales.
If you followed the Mystics and the 2018 WNBA season last year, the players have been very vocal about a lack of equal pay, often in revenue sharing terms. WNBA players are estimated to receive about 20 to 25 percent of basketball revenue, but they also are not guaranteed to get a certain percentage. As the WNBA grows its revenue, the players’ percentage is likely going down. The maximum salary in the 2018 season was $115,000 and next year it’s $117,500. So G-League players on select contracts are going to be making more than players like Elena Delle Donne.
Natalie Weiner of SB Nation and Tamryn Spruill of Swish Appeal wrote columns on why it’s an affront to WNBA players. The players in the W aren’t demanding to get paid John Wall super max contracts ... but why aren’t they guaranteed a revenue split? And why are they flying coach on airlines that may result in teams forfeiting games?
Anyway, Delle Donne would certainly agree that the new G-League contracts are bad optics from the NBA to the W:
I think that the G League contracts are a good experiment to try for elite boys basketball prospects. But it’s only fair that the WNBA find some additional solutions to pay its best players more money.
And more stories from us this past week
- Otto Porter is getting hate for not shooting the ball more. He’s doing just fine. This is not a video game where Wall, Beal, Porter, and Dwight Howard average 25 points a game each.
- Ian Mahinmi est toujours Le Roi des Fautes. Traduction en l’anglais? We need you Dwight!
- Kelly Oubre’s restricted free agency will be one of the more interesting ones we’ve seen in some time.
- Kristi Toliver has joined the Wizards’ coaching staff. She is the first active WNBA player to be an NBA coach.
- Father time has hit a lot of Wizards this season. Literally that is.
- And some last minute projections!
That’s it from me. Enjoy the rest of your weekends!