Washington Wizards Rumors

Eastern Rumors: Harrington, Wiggins, Love

July 24 at 6:33pm CDT By Cray Allred

The Wizards would like to have Al Harrington back, and the matter of whether he plays for the team next year is essentially up to him, according to J. Michael of CSNWashington.com. The 34-year-old has decided to play in the NBA next season after contemplating retirement. More from the Eastern Conference:

  • Andrew Wiggins‘ name has come up in trade talks with the Wolves, but the Cavs haven’t offered him as part of any proposal for a Kevin Love trade, tweets Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio. That nuanced accounting of the discussions might illuminate some of the conflicting reports about Cleveland’s true willingness to part with the No. 1 pick.
  • Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer thinks the Cavs shouldn’t trade for Love unless they receive full assurance that he will commit for at least two years to the team, considering how difficult it would be to transition from a young, sub-.500 club to a championship contender in just one season. Love is reportedly agreeable to remaining with Cleveland alongside LeBron James, but hasn’t indicated a willingness to opt in for next season’s player option in order to delay his free agency for another year.
  • The Celtics haven’t completely given up hope of landing Love, but they’re prepared to move on, a source tells A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com. That’s why Boston is among the teams trying to function as the third team in a swap that sends Love elsewhere.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Teams With Hard Caps For 2014/15

July 24 at 2:29pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The NBA’s salary cap is really a misnomer of sorts, since it doesn’t truly cap salaries. Look no further than last year’s Nets for confirmation of that. They doled out nearly $103MM in salaries, incurring more than $90.57MM in luxury taxes and smashing the record for the greatest expenditure on a single roster in NBA history.

The NBA’s salary cap is commonly referred to as a “soft cap,” but there are still ways that teams can impose a “hard cap” upon themselves and set a finite limit to their spending. If a team’s salary exceeds the luxury tax threshold ($76,829,000) by more than $4MM, that team is not permitted to acquire a player via sign-and-trade, or to use the non-taxpayer’s mid-level or biannual exceptions. The only exceptions available to such a team are the taxpayer’s mid-level of $3,278,000, the minimum-salary exception, and whatever form of Bird rights they have on their own free agents. As soon as a team completes a sign-and-trade deal, uses its BAE, or uses more than $3,278,000 of its MLE to sign a player, that club becomes hard-capped at $80,829,000 for the 2014/15 season. In other words, team salary can’t exceed that amount at any point between now and June 30th, 2015.

For some clubs, that hard cap isn’t a major concern. For instance, the Suns still have about $18MM in breathing room below the hard cap, so they have plenty of flexibility to re-sign restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe to a max contract if need be. On the other hand, the Clippers are only about $1MM below the hard cap, so any trades or signings they make for the rest of the season will have to be constructed to ensure their team salary doesn’t surpass that $80.829MM cutoff.

More clubs may trigger hard caps as the offseason wears on, but here are the teams that are now locked into a hard cap for the 2014/15 season, along with an estimation (via Basketball Insiders) of their current team salaries and the reason(s) why the hard cap was created:

Hawks
Hard cap created: Acquired Thabo Sefolosha via sign-and-trade
Estimated team salary: $60,975,564

Rockets
Hard cap created: Acquired Trevor Ariza via sign-and-trade
Estimated team salary: $68,125,942

Wizards
Hard cap created: Acquired Kris Humphries via sign-and-trade; acquired DeJuan Blair via sign-and-trade; signed Paul Pierce via non-taxpayer MLE
Estimated team salary: $76,646,603

Suns
Hard cap created: Acquired Isaiah Thomas via sign-and-trade
Estimated team salary: $51,805,537

Warriors
Hard cap created: Signed Shaun Livingston via non-taxpayer MLE
Estimated team salary: $72,232,245

Pacers
Hard cap created: Signed C.J. Miles and Damjan Rudez via non-taxpayer MLE
Estimated team salary: $74,798,942

Clippers
Hard cap created: Signed Spencer Hawes via non-taxpayer MLE; signed Jordan Farmar via biannual exception
Estimated team salary: $79,679,772

Grizzlies
Hard cap created: Signed Vince Carter via non-taxpayer MLE; signed Beno Udrih via biannual exception
Estimated team salary: $75,529,943

Trail Blazers
Hard cap created: Signed Chris Kaman via non-taxpayer MLE; signed Steve Blake via biannual exception
Estimated team salary: $69,322,824

Kings
Hard cap created: Signed Darren Collison via non-taxpayer MLE
Estimated team salary: $75,852,705

Players Who’ve Signed Qualifying Offers

July 22 at 10:02am CDT By Chuck Myron

Kevin Seraphin is by no means an exceptional NBA player, but Friday he did something that only 16 others have done since the implementation of rookie scale contracts in 1995: he signed his qualifying offer. Usually, the one-year qualifying offer is a mere placeholder for negotiation between a team and a restricted free agent, a vehicle for the club to retain its right to match offers from other teams. Still, a few players have gone ahead and taken the qualifying offer out of a desire to hit unrestricted free agency as soon as possible. A larger group among the 17 who have signed qualifying offers did so because there was no better offer on the market, and presumably Seraphin is among them.

Occasionally, a marquee restricted free agent will threaten to sign a qualifying offer to attempt to spook his team into a more player-friendly negotiating stance, lest the team lose the player to unrestricted free agency a year later. A report suggested that Greg Monroe might have done so this month, but rarely does this tactic come to fruition. The most sought-after restricted free agent to sign his qualifying offer was probably Ben Gordon in 2008, though it’s worth noting that the strategy seemed to work for him, as he fled for a lucrative deal with the Pistons the next summer.

Most players who sign qualifying offers don’t stick with their teams for long. Spencer Hawes is the only player to sign a contract with the same team with which he signed a qualifying offer the year before.

Not every player who receives a qualifying offer is coming off a rookie scale contract. Any player with three or fewer years of NBA experience is subject to restricted free agency if his team tenders a qualifying offer. In some cases, players have signed qualifying offers and have still been eligible for restricted free agency the next offseason. The Lakers carried two such players in 2012/13. Devin Ebanks and Darius Morris had signed qualifying offers in 2012 to remain with the team for that season, though the Lakers declined to tender qualifying offers to either of them in 2013.

With the help of RealGM.comShamSportsStorytellers ContractsPatricia Bender’s database and our own archives, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of players who’ve signed qualifying offers since 1995, including information on the next NBA deal each player signed. They’re listed in reverse chronological order below:

  • Kevin Seraphin signed a qualifying offer of $3,898,692 from the Wizards on 7/18/14.
  • Ivan Johnson signed a qualifying offer of $962,195 from the Hawks on 9/18/12. Has not signed another NBA contract.
  • Devin Ebanks signed a qualifying offer of $1,054,389 from the Lakers on 8/13/12. He signed a non-guaranteed training camp invitation from the Mavs on 9/13/13, but he didn’t make the opening-night roster.
  • Luke Harangody signed a qualifying offer of $1,054,389 from the Cavaliers on 7/3/12. Has not signed another NBA contract.
  • Darius Morris signed a qualifying offer of $962,195 from the Lakers on 7/2/12. He agreed to sign a non-guaranteed training camp invitation from the Sixers on 9/12/13, but he didn’t make the opening-night roster. He later surfaced on a 10-day contract with the Clippers, signed 1/6/14.
  • Nick Young signed a qualifying offer of $3,695,857 from the Wizards on 12/19/11. He was traded to the Clippers 3/15/12, and signed for one year, $5.6MM with the Sixers on 7/6/12.
  • Marco Belinelli signed a qualifying offer of $3,377,604 from the Pelicans on 12/13/11. He signed for one year, $1.957MM with the Bulls on 7/24/12.
  • Spencer Hawes signed a qualifying offer of $4,051,024 from the Sixers on 12/10/11. He re-signed with the Sixers for two years, $13.1MM on 7/12/12.
  • Raymond Felton signed a qualifying offer of $5,501,196 from the Hornets on 9/23/09. Signed with the Knicks for two years, $14.56MM on 7/12/10.
  • Ben Gordon signed a qualifying offer of $6,404,750 from the Bulls on 10/1/08. Signed with the Pistons for five years, $58MM on 7/8/09.
  • Robert Swift signed a qualifying offer of $3,579,131 from the Thunder on 9/11/08. Has not signed another NBA contract.
  • Mickael Pietrus signed a qualifying offer of $3,470,771 from the Warriors on 10/1/07. Signed with the Magic for four years, $21.2MM on 7/10/08.
  • Melvin Ely signed a qualifying offer of $3,303,813 from the Hornets on 10/2/06. He was traded to the Spurs on 2/13/07, and agreed to sign for two years, $1,893,739 (minimum salary) with the Pelicans on 9/13/07.
  • Vladimir Radmanovic signed a qualifying offer of $3,166,155 from the Thunder on 9/19/05. He was traded to the Clippers on 2/14/06, and agreed to sign for five years, $30.247MM with the Lakers on 7/12/06.
  • Stromile Swift signed a qualifying offer of $5,993,105 from the Grizzlies on 9/30/04. Signed with the Rockets for four years, $22.4MM on 8/2/05.
  • Michael Olowokandi signed a qualifying offer of $6,061,214 from the Clippers on 9/23/02. Signed with the Timberwolves for three years, $16,226,100 on 7/17/03.
  • Rasho Nesterovic signed a qualifying offer of $2,436,813 from the Timberwolves on 8/25/02. Signed with the Spurs for six years, $42MM on 7/16/03.

Note: Retired team names (Charlotte Bobcats, New Orleans Hornets, Seattle SuperSonics) have been updated to the current names to avoid confusion. 

Eastern Notes: Williams, LeBron, Love

July 21 at 9:21pm CDT By Zach Links

Nine years after leading the North Carolina men’s basketball team to a national championship, Marvin Williams is thrilled to return the Tar Heel state as a member of the Hornets, writes Steve Reed of The Associated Press.  Meanwhile, at the introductory presser, head coach Steve Clifford said that while he views the 6’9″ Williams as a combo forward, he believes his best position is at the four. Here’s more out of the East..

  • Maverick Carter, LeBron James‘ business partner, says he didn’t push James to return to the Cavaliers, nor did anyone else in his inner circle. “This was a decision that LeBron made in his heart,” Carter told ESPN.com’s Jason Whitlock. “We didn’t push him to do it. We don’t push him to do anything. If he asks our opinion or what did we think about the pros and the cons, we help him think through it. We don’t push him.”
  • Should the Cavs trade for Kevin Love?  Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski sure thinks so.  “There’s absolutely not one second of hesitancy. I’d trade for Kevin Love,” Krzyzewski said on the John Feinstein Show, according to the Andy Greder of the Pioneer Press. “That’s not saying anything bad about any of the other (players reportedly involved in a trade). Love’s an all-star. He’s a double-double guy, but he’s a double-double guy that can spread the floor,” Coach K said.
  • The Wizards still have $4.3MM of their Trevor Ariza trade exception after using some of it on Kris Humphries, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders.   Speaking of that sign-and-trade deal for Hump, the Wizards sent a 2015 second-rounder to the Celtics.  It’ll be top-49 protected, according to Pincus (link).
  • Sixers second-round picks K.J. McDaniels, Jerami Grant, and Jordan McRae are out to show they were draft steals, writes Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I definitely feel like I can play in this league,” said McRae, who spoke with Hoops Rumors before the June draft. “Just getting a chance to play against guys like [Bulls rookies] Tony Snell, Doug McDermott, it was just playing hard against them and see where I stack up.”

Contract Details: Collison, Young, Hinrich

July 21 at 8:19pm CDT By Zach Links

The difference between Darren Collison‘s first year salary and the $5.305MM mid-level exception is precisely equivalent to the rookie minimum salary, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders points out (on Twitter). That allows the Kings to use that remaining portion of their mid-level to sign a rookie for three or four years rather than just the two that the minimum-salary exception would allow. Here’s a round up of the latest contract details to come to light this evening..

  • Nick Young will make $4,994,420 this season and $21.3MM over the course of his four-year contract with Lakers, according to Pincus (on Twitter).  Swaggy P’s new deal with the Lakers became official earlier today.
  • Kirk Hinrich‘s new deal with the Bulls includes a 15% trade kicker, Pincus tweets.  In 73 games (61 starts) last season for the Bulls, Hinrich averaged 9.1 PPG and 3.9 APG in 29 minutes per contest. Hinrich has put up a 10.8 PER over the last two seasons, a far cry from the 17.0 PER he put up in his best season for the Bulls (2006-07).
  • The third and final year of Kris Humphries‘ contract with the Wizards is non-guaranteed, tweets Pincus.  It was previously unclear whether that third year was non-guaranteed or simply a team option.
  • Marc Stein of ESPN.com (on Twitter) has the goods on Ryan Kelly‘s two-year deal with the Lakers.  Kelly will earn $1.65MM in 2014/15 and ~$1.72MM in 2015/16.
  • Trevor Booker‘s deal with the Jazz has just $250K guaranteed in year two, Pincus tweets.  It was previously reported that the second season on Booker’s deal was not fully guaranteed.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Wizards Acquire Kris Humphries From Celtics

July 19 at 3:07pm CDT By Chuck Myron

3:07pm: The protected second-round pick going to the Celtics is for the 2015 draft, the Wizards announced. It’ll be Washington’s own second-rounder, since that’s the only one the Wizards had. 

SATURDAY, 12:42pm: The sign-and-trade trade has been officially executed, per a team release from the Celtics.

6:08pm: Michael passes along (via Twitter) that the year in which the Wizards will send that protected second-round pick to the Celtics is yet to be determined.

5:14pm: Boston is receiving a future protected second-round pick in the deal, Wojnarowski reports. It’s so heavily protected that the Wizards are unlikely to ever have to convey it to the Celtics, tweets Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.

4:25pm: The Celtics and Wizards have reached agreement on the sign-and-trade arrangement, Michael reports. It’s still unclear what Boston is receiving, however.

4:10pm: The first-year salary for Humphries will be $4.3MM, tweets J. Michael of CSNWashington.com, so assuming there are no other players involved, that’s the amount of the trade exception the Celtics will receive.

2:14pm: Boston has had only preliminary discussion with the Wizards about a sign-and-trade involving Humphries, but the Celtics nonetheless appear willing to take part, Wojnarowski reports (on Twitter).

TUESDAY, 1:30pm: Kris Humphries has agreed to join the Wizards on a three-year, $13MM deal, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). The Celtics and Wizards are working to make it a sign-and-trade that would allow the capped-out Wizards, who’ve already used their mid-level exception on Paul Pierce, to give Humphries a deal that large, according to Bleacher Report’s Jared Zwerling (Twitter links). Washington would use a trade exception from its deal to send Trevor Ariza to the Rockets to accommodate the trade for Humphries, as Zwerling explains. The final season of Humphries’ contract will be a team option, according to Wojnarowski, though it’s possible that it will simply be non-guaranteed.

Houston’s sign-and-trade for Ariza has yet to become finalized, but it’ll allow Washington to create a trade exception worth approximately $8.5MM, depending on the value of the salary in the first year of Ariza’s new deal. That’s more than enough room for Humphries, who’ll replace Trevor Booker after he agreed to join the Jazz earlier today.

It’s unclear what the Celtics would receive in the deal, though it appears they’ll net a trade exception of their own. Humphries recently reiterated his openness to a deal that would keep him in Boston, a stance he took for much of the second half of the season after rumors earlier in the year that he wanted out. The Celtics had interest, as did the Heat, Hornets, Clippers, Mavs and Timberwolves at various points this month, but ultimately Washington won out.

The Arn Tellem client averaged 8.4 points and 5.9 rebounds in 19.9 minutes per game for the Celtics this past season, but he’s only two seasons removed from back-to-back double-digit averages in scoring and rebounding for the Nets. Zach Links of Hoops Rumors pointed to Humphries’ track record in predicting that he would end up with a tidy payday, and while he won’t sock away $12MM as he did last season, he still remains well above the minimum salary.

Eastern Notes: Knicks, Wizards, Stuckey

July 18 at 11:33pm CDT By Cray Allred

GM Steve Mills insisted the Knicks never feared they would lose Carmelo Anthony, adding that he thinks the roughly $5MM discount Anthony took over the life of his deal will indeed make a difference for the team, as Mills said during an interview on the MSG network. John DeMarzo of the New York Post rounds up his comments, including remarks in which Mills confirmed earlier reports that the team believes it has too many guards. Mills identified shooting guard as a specific position of overload and pointed to depth at power forward and center as a priority. Here’s more from out East:

  • When Phil Jackson, Knicks owner James Dolan and Dolan’s business partner Irving Azoff were having initial conversations about Jackson joining the Knicks, it was Azoff, the longtime music mogul, who first suggested that Jackson take on the role as team president. Jackson, along with co-author Hugh Delehanty, shared more about his return to the Knicks in an excerpt of his latest book in the New York Daily News.
  • Kevin Seraphin‘s acceptance of the Wizards qualifying offer doesn’t rule out other potential moves for Washington, according to J. Michael of CSNWashington.com (via Twitter). Michael mentions a scoring guard as a remaining priority for the Wizards that could result in another signing.
  • Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News writes that Rodney Stuckey‘s frustrating tenure with the Pistons was emblematic of the franchise’s instability following the team’s run as a contender up through 2008. If Stuckey can deliver on the promise from early in his career, Goodwill believes the Pacers will have a bargain on their hands.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Kevin Seraphin Signs Wizards Qualifying Offer

July 18 at 6:02pm CDT By Cray Allred

Kevin Seraphin has signed the Wizards $3.89MM qualifying offer, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The move will put Seraphin on a one-year contract and make him an unrestricted free agent once this season closes. It’s rare that a player accepts the one-year agreement, but not unheard of.

The four-year center was interested in returning to the Wizards, although in the hopes of receiving more playing time after seeing a career-low 10.1 MPG in 2013/14. Washington was only believed to be interested in bringing back Seraphin at salary below the qualifying offer’s value, which would indicate they anticipated matching another team’s offer sheet for more years at a lesser annual rate, or envisioned negotiating such a deal directly with Seraphin. There had been no reports of other teams showing interest in the big man’s services this offseason.

The Klutch Sports Group client has career averages of 6.4 PPG and 3.7 RPG, having come off the bench for the majority of his career. His sophomore campaign saw him at his most effective, when he turned in career-highs in PER (15.8) and true shooting percentage (54.9%). Seraphin will have his work cut out for him to earn meaningful minutes, as Marcin Gortat and Nene are set to return, along with newly acquired backups Kris Humphries and DeJuan Blair.

Wizards, Garrett Temple Agree To Deal

July 18 at 2:36pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Wizards have struck a deal with Garrett Temple that will allow the free agent guard to return to Washington, reports J. Michael of CSNWashington (Twitter link). It’ll be a two-year contract for the minimum salary that includes a player option for the final season, Michael adds (on Twitter). The move had been expected, as Michael wrote earlier this week.

Still, there were other teams in the market for the 28-year-old client of John Hamilton, as the Heat, Magic and Bulls all appeared to show interest. One report indicated he was leaning toward signing with Miami, while another contended that the wasn’t considering any offer from the Heat. Temple said early this month that he’d look at other teams but that he’d “love” to sign a new deal with the Wizards.

Temple bounced around the fringes of the league at the beginning of his career, playing for three teams in each of the 2009/10 and 2010/11 seasons. He finally gained firm footing with the Wizards in 2012/13, starting 36 games, but Washington had less call for him this past season, and his 1.8 points and 8.5 minutes per game were the lowest of his career. The new deal nonetheless signals that the Wizards have trust that Temple would perform capably if pressed into more action this coming year.

Wizards Re-Sign Drew Gooden

July 18 at 2:04pm CDT By Chuck Myron

FRIDAY, 2:04pm: The deal is official, the team announced.

“The addition of Drew was a big part of our success late last season and we are excited to have him back with us,” Wizards GM Ernie Grunfeld said. “His skills will help to solidify our front court rotation and his experience will help us continue to grow as a team.”

TUESDAY, 4:56pm: It’s a one-year deal for the minimum salary, according to J. Michael of CSNWashington.com.

2:34pm: Drew Gooden has agreed to remain with the Wizards, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders, who believes the deal is for one year (Twitter link). It’s not clear just how much the veteran big man will receive, but Washington, which is capped out and has already committed its mid-level exception to Paul Pierce, has Gooden’s Non-Bird rights, so it can give him a 20% raise on his minimum salary from last season.

Gooden was a late-season revelation after signing a pair of 10-day contracts before inking a deal that covered the rest of the season. The Dan Fegan client averaged 8.3 points and 5.2 rebounds in 18.0 minutes per game for the Wizards in 22 regular season appearances after spending most of the season at home following Milwaukee’s decision to cut him via the amnesty provision last summer.