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Top Stories of the Week: The Wizards’ playoff dream effectively ends, Bradley Beal’s supermax hopes, why we should appreciate Ian Mahinmi

The Wizards begin their fools’ gold run before the end of the season, but it isn’t for Beal. And I’m glad that Mahinmi has a week on his homeland as welll.

New York Knicks & Washington Wizards Media Sessions
Most people don’t think Ian Mahinmi “deserves” his contract and didn’t “deserve” French Week. But he has also been a stand-up guy through all of the hate he’s getting.
Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Another week is in the books for the Wizards’ 2018-19 season. Let’s review it and get to some other things.

The Wizards win three of their last four, but forget about the playoffs!

The Wizards are 30-40, just three games behind the Miami Heat for the eighth seed AND the Southeast Division championship. Bradley Beal scored 40 points in each of his last two games, but as Alan Jenkins noted last Friday, the one loss to the Hornets on Friday effectively eliminated them from playoff contention.

Don’t tell that to owner Ted Leonsis, though. The Capitals won the Stanley Cup, the Mystics made the WNBA Finals and the Valor won the Arena Football League championship so the Wizards and especially the fans should be content with winning games regardless of whether a loss could help them even more down the line. After all they could get the top pick of the 2019 Draft if they miss the playoffs, right?

At least some Wizards fans want Bradley Beal to shut it down. But Beal would like to keep playing. He would want his own supermax contract too.

Bradley Beal is still playing heavy minutes despite the fact that the Wizards have slim playoff hopes mathematically. So ... why is Brad playing? Is Ernie Grunfeld trying to make Wizards fans suffer more?

Nope. Beal obviously wants to play and keep the Wizards in the playoff hunt until the end. But he also has a personal interest to keep playing and keep being a great option for fantasy basketball junkies. If he makes an All-NBA Team, it will go a long way toward helping him make a case to get a supermax by the Wizards.

Beal could earn a supermax because he is still on a contract with just one team, that team being the Wizards. The earliest he could get it is after he completes his eighth NBA season. After the 2019-20 NBA season, he could earn such a salary which is 35 percent of the soft salary cap. If Beal can make an All-NBA team this season, there is certainly a chance that the Wizards will extend a supermax extension to him, just like they did to Wall in the 2017 NBA offseason.

That said, Beal will almost definitely NOT get into the All-NBA team if the Wizards refuse to play him for the rest of this season. Furthermore, they’ve already seen that John Wall’s supermax contract is likely going to be a disastrous supermax deal — even before it STARTS to take effect in the 2019-20 NBA season. In fact, the Wizards were rumored to be shopping him around to anyone who would want him in the 2018-19 season until he ruptured his Achilles tendon.

And finally, if Beal does make an All-NBA team, will the Wizards offer him a supermax? After all, they offered Wall the same thing and that contract already looks like a franchise killer rather than an enabler. If Beal doesn’t get into the All-NBA team after playing a full season, this topic will be moot. But if he does, then the Wizards will be put into a bind this summer.

Ian Mahinmi deserves a week of appreciation. French Week is one way to do that.

I’ll admit and say that French Week’s timing was bad from this respect. Ian Mahinmi hasn’t played since Feb. 4 and didn’t even get garbage time last Friday, Mar. 15 in a loss to the Hornets for the French Heritage Game.

And his four-year $64 million contract ... I know. But I don’t regret having a week for France which is going to feature Mahinmi.

In a five-game homestand which ends Monday against the Jazz, the Wizards played or will play against three teams with French players. Last Wednesday, Washington played against the Magic which featured Evan Fournier. Last Friday, the Hornets came to town with Tony Parker and Nicolas Batum. And on Monday, the Utah comes to town with their defensive menace Rudy Gobert.

But what about Mahinmi himself? Here are some more things about his life off the court — and why he may be a mentor to the younger players on this team in that respect.

  • Mahinmi is a father of three daughters and he wants them to be THE BEST — In an interview with Candace Buckner of The Washington Post, he said that he wants them to be the “strongest, [most] independent, smartest, [most] beautiful—how am I going to make those girls become leaders? All of that! This is my call.” Who says that girls have a glass ceiling? Not Ian!
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Laugh itself-( @judahavenue )

A post shared by Ian Mahinmi (@ianou76) on

  • Mahinmi’s fashion influence ties his initial link with basketball — Mahinmi is a founder and partner in the French Deal luxury apparel brand and items are often over €500, if not €1,000 each. In an interview with Ian Pierno of SLAM, Mahinmi mentioned that his love for French hip-hop music (which you can listen to some here and here) is where he got interested in basketball. There’s a good chance that when you see Mahinmi walking around town, he’s wearing French Deal because he’s the FRENCH DEAL.
  • Mahinmi bringing flavors of the States to France — When he played for the Indiana Pacers from 2012-16, Mahinmi partnered with the people behind Steak ‘n Shake, a burger chain based in Indianapolis. Mahinmi opened a few restaurants, mostly in the Paris area in the last couple years. Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports has more on that.

You can read our content on French week in the link below.

Alright, that’s what I have for the week. Enjoy the rest of your Sundays!