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March Mailbag answers: Wizards backup point guard options, supermax salaries, WNBA season concerns

Here are the answers to selected questions we received in our latest mailbag.

New York Knicks v Washington Wizards
Shabazz Napier has made a good first impression with the Wizards.
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Thank you to everyone who asked questions for the March 2020 mailbag. Selected questions are below. Hopefully, we’ll have more questions in mid-April, when we start seeing more clarity on the current NBA season, and the WNBA season that lies ahead.

Who should be the main backup point guard next season? Ish Smith or a re-signed Shabazz Napier? — constantlymobin (Twitter)

Assuming John Wall plays the entire 2020-21 NBA season, I’d say that they should keep both Smith and Napier. Though Wall would presumably play most of the games next season, he may not play particularly effectively. Napier only played 15 games so far in a Washington uniform, but he has certainly been a boost at the one as a playmaker, and generally, a better defender than former Wizards point guard Isaiah Thomas was.

Will the NBA delay the 2020 Draft, which is scheduled to be held on June 25, 2020? — expatde

Short answer, yes. NBA scouts can’t watch or visit college or other draft prospects at the moment. And the league has also planned for that possibility.

Teams are worried about not going to be as much time to scout, interview, work-out and fully evaluate players before drafting, which leaves more things to chance. There could be more draft busts and steals than in a typical year.

If Bradley Beal were to make an Alll-NBA team what would his max salary number be? — wizwoneword

I assume you are referring to a supermax amount. If Beal makes the All-NBA team this season, his next contract extension can give him a first-year salary of at least 35 percent of the salary cap. The salary cap this season is about $109.14 million, so that would allow him to earn a salary of about $38.2 million.

There is something to take into account, though. The NBA salary cap will likely go down in 2020-21 because of lost revenue due to COVID-19. Therefore, Beal’s salary may not be much more (or even less) than it is right now. In hindsight, it was likely a great financial decision for Beal to sign a two-year $72 million contract extension last October.

Should Rui Hachimura start at SF and David Bertans start at PF, or should Bertans still come off the bench? — constantlymobin (Twitter)

For the time being, I think it’s best to keep the status quo, mainly because Hachimura is not quite ready to play at that position just yet with his sub-30% shooting from the three-point line.

Will the 2020 WNBA season happen at all? Why hasn’t the WNBA done anything yet in regard to the coronavirus? — multiple emails

As of now, everything is still on schedule for the WNBA season. But considering that the Olympics are likely postponed until next year, there’s a good chance the WNBA will postpone or cancel the season altogether due to COVID-19. If you wanted me to give my opinion on what will happen to this year’s WNBA season as of right now, I predict it will be cancelled. They’re just waiting for the “right time” to do it.

Such an announcement would be unfortunate, but we still don’t know when the coronavirus pandemic will subside, whether it’s by June, September, next year, or ever.