Washington Wizards Rumors

Wizards Officially Announce Six Camp Deals

September 29 at 9:22am CDT By Chuck Myron

The Wizards have officially announced the signings of Vander Blue, Xavier Silas, David Stockton, Rasual Butler, Damion James and Daniel Orton. The team statement is an acknowledgement of reports regarding all six, all of whom had already agreed to join the team for training camp.

They’re all non-guaranteed arrangements for the minimum salary. The length of Orton’s deal is unclear, but the rest are on one-year contracts, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders, so that makes them eligible for Exhibit 9 Contracts that limit the team’s liability if they’re injured during training camp.

The group of six joins 13 Wizards with fully guaranteed pacts, along with Glen Rice Jr., whose minimum salary pact is partially guaranteed for $400K, roughly half its value. A report from J. Michael of CSNWashington last week seemed to indicate that James and Silas had an edge for the team’s 15th regular season roster spot, though Michael wrote earlier that there’s a decent chance the team won’t carry a full complement of players for opening night.

Eastern Notes: Butler, Rondo, Deng

September 28 at 11:43am CDT By Eddie Scarito

All things being equal, the Bulls would prefer to reach an extension with Jimmy Butler rather than let him hit restricted free agency next summer, as K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune notes. Of course, finding an amenable price point is the challenge, as Chuck Myron of Hoops Rumors examined as he wrote about Butler as an extension candidate.

Here’s more from the east:

  • Prior to breaking his hand, Rajon Rondo was the subject of trade talk around the league. While this latest setback certainly harms Rondo’s trade value, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com thinks there’s still time for it to be rebuilt and the Celtics to determine if they want to re-sign Rondo long-term or deal him.
  • During the Heat‘s media day Luol Deng spoke with Surya Fernandez of FoxSports.com. When asked about replacing LeBron James at small forward, Deng said, “I would never try to replace anybody, whether somebody is better than me or if I’m better than somebody. I think that we all bring different things. The biggest mistake I would make is to try to be LeBron. I’m not LeBron. My whole life — I’m 29 years old — I’ve never been able to be somebody I’m not. So I just got to be myself, work hard and try to do my best. My ultimate focus is what can I bring to this team and that’s it.”
  • Deng also was asked about Danny Ferry‘s comments and he said, “It’s been behind me, honestly. I think that it just came back to the surface (in Media Day) because it’s the first time I’m seeing everybody but honestly I think that after I made my statement it was over with. I can’t control what everyone thinks or how everyone feels. My position is I really forgive Danny Ferry and people make mistakes. I’m ready to move on. Whatever it is or whatever it came from, let’s just make sure it doesn’t happen again to someone else and make sure we just improve as human beings and how we view other people. That’s really about it.
  • After a breakthrough campaign last season the Wizards look to take the next step towards being a contender in the east. Adi Joseph of USA Today previews Washington’s 2014/15 season and projects they will snag the No. 3 playoff seed.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Southeast Notes: Taylor, Wizards, Heat

September 27 at 11:54am CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Hornets have announced that Jeff Taylor won’t be participating in any team activities while the NBA investigates his part in an alleged domestic violence incident, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer reports (Twitter links). The team has spoken with Taylor about their decision and he accepts it, Bonnell notes.

Here’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Wizards have one roster spot up for grabs with six players on non-guaranteed deals competing for it. J. Michael of CSNWashington.com analyzes the players and what each can bring to the court for Washington.
  • The Heat have placed a priority on maintaining cap flexibility for the 2016 free agent class, which essentially makes this year’s squad a rental team, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel opines. The only two players on Miami’s current roster that are sure to be on the 2016/17 team are Chris Bosh and Josh McRoberts, Winderman notes.
  • John Denton of NBA.com breaks down the point guards on the Magic‘s roster, and what to watch for from each as training camps are set to begin.

Wizards Sign David Stockton For Camp

September 26 at 8:00pm CDT By Chuck Myron

MONDAY, 9:22am: The deal is official, the team announced.

FRIDAY, 8:00pm: The signing has occurred, as is shown in the RealGM transactions log.

THURSDAY, 3:05pm: David Stockton is planning to sign a deal to join the Wizards for training camp, reports Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link). Washington is limited to giving out only the minimum salary to the son of Hall-of-Famer John Stockton, though there’s a chance that his deal will include a nominal partial guarantee.

The Wizards had apparently been set to audition the younger Stockton earlier this week, and he’d also reportedly earned workouts with the Thunder and Jazz. The 5’11″ guard went undrafted out of Gonzaga this past June, though he latched on with the Suns for summer league, scoring a total of six points in less than 19 minutes over two games. He put up 7.4 points and 4.2 assists in 27.8 minutes per game as a senior this past season.

Washington had been carrying 19 players, including 13 on fully guaranteed deals and a partially guaranteed pact with Glen Rice Jr. Stockton is set to become the lone player without NBA experience in camp with the Wizards, adding to the challenge of making it to opening night.

Wizards Sign Rasual Butler For Camp

September 26 at 7:47pm CDT By Chuck Myron

SEPTEMBER 29TH: The deal is official, the team announced.

SEPTEMBER 26TH, 7:47pm: The signing has occurred, according to the RealGM transactions log.

SEPTEMBER 22ND, 3:42pm: The Wizards and Rasual Butler have struck agreement on a non-guaranteed deal, reports Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link). It’s almost certainly for the minimum salary, since that’s all the Wizards can give.

The 35-year-old veteran of 11 NBA seasons finds himself in a situation similar to a year ago, when he joined the Pacers on a non-guaranteed deal for the minimum salary. He stuck with the team for the entire season, so the Joel Bell client surely hopes the narrative continues along that course. Butler didn’t see much playing time with the Pacers, averaging 7.6 minutes in 50 regular season games, but he made it into 11 of Indiana’s 19 playoff games, averaging 6.4 minutes per postseason appearance. Helping him find a place on the floor was his three-point stroke. He shot 41.9% from behind the arc during the regular season and 41.7% during the playoffs.

Washington appeared to be auditioning Jamaal Franklin and Vander Blue, as we passed along earlier, so it looks like the Wizards are actively working toward their final additions for camp. They added Xavier Silas and Damion James last week to a roster than includes 13 fully guaranteed contracts and Glen Rice Jr. on a partially guaranteed deal.

Wizards Sign Vander Blue For Camp

September 26 at 7:44pm CDT By Chuck Myron

MONDAY, 9:22am: The deal is official, the team announced.

FRIDAY, 7:44pm: The signing has occurred, as the RealGM transactions log indicates.

WEDNESDAY, 10:27am: The Wizards have struck a deal to bring shooting guard Vander Blue to training camp, reports Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link). Washington is limited to giving out only the minimum salary, but it’s unclear if there’s any guaranteed money involved for the Makhtar N’Diaye client.

Blue, 22, reportedly worked out earlier this week along with Jamaal Franklin at the Verizon Center, the home court of the Wizards, in what appeared to be an audition for the team. It seems that Blue showed enough to join an NBA club for camp for the second consecutive fall after he went undrafted out of Marquette last year. He failed to make it to opening night with the Sixers this past season, but he joined the Celtics in January on a 10-day contract and saw brief action in three games. It was an otherwise whirlwind season for the 6’4″ Blue, who played in Israel and with three different D-League teams. He was also part of the Spurs summer league team this year.

It’s been an active last couple of weeks for the Wizards, who’ve come to terms with Xavier Silas, Damion James, Rasual Butler and Daniel Orton, adding to a roster that already included 14 fully guaranteed deals and a partially guaranteed contract for Glen Rice Jr. Silas and James appear to be on the inside track to earn a spot for the regular season, though there’s some doubt that the team will carry a full 15-man roster come opening night. In any case, the addition of Blue means there’s still room for one more camp invitee beneath the preseason roster limit of 20 players, whether it’s Franklin or David Stockton, who’s also reportedly worked out for the team, or someone else.

Eastern Notes: Garnett, Vogel, Heat, Walker

September 26 at 10:59am CDT By Chuck Myron

Kevin Garnett finally dismissed all doubt that he would return for the coming season, telling reporters that while he considered retirement, he’s once more decided to put it off, notes Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News (Twitter link). A report in June indicated that Garnett would be back with the Nets, but Garnett hadn’t spoken publicly about his plans. Retirement could be a ways off, as the 38-year-old said he won’t rule out playing beyond this season, the final year of his contract, as Bondy also relays (via Twitter). Still, Garnett’s comments gave Tim Bontemps of the New York Post the sense that he’s planning to hang it up next summer (Twitter link). There’s more from the player once known as The Kid as we detail the latest from the Eastern Conference:

  • Garnett was in touch with Paul Pierce as the Wizards signee went through free agency and called his departure for Washington “bittersweet,” as Bontemps chronicles (Twitter links). KG said he was in the dark during former coach Jason Kidd‘s exit from the Nets, however, as Andy Vasquez of The Record tweets.
  • Frank Vogel is entering the final year of his contract to coach the Pacers, but he tells Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports that he’d like to remain in the job “forever.” President of basketball operations Larry Bird has suggested that the team is open to negotiating an extension with Vogel before this season begins, as Agness points out.
  • The Heat never made offers to veterans Andray Blatche, Ramon Sessions, Jordan Crawford, Wayne Ellington and others, team president Pat Riley and GM Andy Elisburg say, according to Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. Winderman surmises that the frustration that many veterans stuck at the end of the Heat’s bench expressed last year made the team wary of adding too many players with expectations of playing time.
  • The Hornets are just beginning extension talks with Kemba Walker, but GM Rich Cho indicated to reporters Thursday that he’s pleased with the point guard’s growing maturity, as Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders points out.

And-Ones: Pistons, LeBron, Contract Details

September 25 at 10:29pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Pistons have a new direction as a franchise now that Stan Van Gundy has taken over as team president and head coach. In their season preview the crew at Basketball Insiders don’t see the team becoming contenders just yet, and their predictions have Detroit finishing either third or fourth in the Central Division.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Nuggets signees Joe Alexander and Marcus Williams, new Lakers Keith Appling, Jabari Brown, Roscoe Smith and Jeremy Tyler, Heat additions Andre Dawkins and Shawn Jones, Wizards wing men Xavier Silas and Damion James, and Hasheem Thabeet of the Pistons are all on non-guaranteed one-year contracts for the minimum salary, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders details (All four Twitter links here).
  • LeBron James might be gone from Miami, but he takes with him a number of lessons the Heat organization taught him about professionalism, Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com writes. James is a much different person than when he was with the Cavs the first time, notes Windhorst, and the additions of Shawn Marion, Mike Miller, and James Jones are indications that Cleveland wants to bump up the work ethic and preparation habits of their younger players.
  • When asked about departed free agent Trevor Ariza, who left the Wizards to sign with the Rockets this summer, Marcin Gortat believed Ariza’s decision wasn’t about finances, tweets Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post. Gortat said, “In my opinion I think he was trying to get back to the West. I don’t think it was about the money.”

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Southeast Notes: LeBron, Bosh, Hornets

September 25 at 9:00pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

LeBron James says it would have been more difficult for him to leave the Heat if they’d beaten the Spurs in the Finals this year and that he hadn’t envisioned returning to play in Cleveland until the end of his career. James made his comments to CNN’s Rachel Nichols, who released a preview of the full interview, which airs Friday (video link).

Here’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • With LeBron gone Chris Bosh will become the focal point of the Heat‘s offense, something the player is greatly looking forward to, Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report writes. Bosh’s former coach Sam Mitchell believes his former player will answer the bell, saying “Pat Riley gave him the contract that said, ‘You’re going to be the guy. People think Chris is not that guy. When the offense is running through him, they’re going to find out, I guarantee you. One of those Big Three in Miami had to take a backseat and check his ego at the door. If Chris hadn’t done it, they may not have two championships. Now, I think Chris is going to play even better than he did in Toronto. I really do, because now he has something to prove all over again.”
  • Hornets GM Rich Cho said there have been some initial discussions between the franchise and Kemba Walker about a possible extension, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports (Twitter link). Walker can become a restricted free agent next summer.
  • The Wizards enter the new season with higher expectations than usual, Joseph White of USA Today writes. Coach Randy Wittman embraces the pressure that comes with those expectations, saying, “Listen, as a coach, you want to have these expectations. I’d much rather be sitting here talking about high expectations than you so-called experts thinking we might win 15-16 games. Last year doesn’t mean nothing. Last year we’ve got to use. Are we going to use it as a stepping stone to this year? When I say we’re back to ground zero, everybody’s 0-0 right now.”
  • Embattled Hawks GM Danny Ferry is slowly gathering supporters around the league, Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. But this support may not ultimately help Ferry keep his job, notes Vivlamore, and the executive’s fate most likely rests with whomever the new controlling owner of the franchise is.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Southwest Notes: Chandler, Pelicans, Blue

September 24 at 9:42pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Tyson Chandler said Tuesday that he feels “indebted” to the Mavs for bringing him back to the team, observes Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Mavs owner Mark Cuban hinted that he intends to keep Chandler around after his contract expires at season’s end, as Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com notes.

Here’s the latest out of the Southwest Division:

  • The Spurs worked out Vander Blue last week before Blue committed to a camp deal with the Wizards, reports Shams Charania of RealGM. Blue was a part of San Antonio’s summer league team in July.
  • Cuban is excited about the Mavericks 2014/15 campaign, Price writes in the same piece linked above. Cuban said, “I am so fired up, you have no idea. You know how important I think chemistry is, so just being able to get a feel for how all the guys get together and how they get along [is important]. Everybody’s fired up, everybody pushing each other. Dirk Nowitzki has got a big old smile on his face, so it’s exciting.”
  • The small forward position looks to be the Pelicans‘ weakest link heading into training camp, John Reid of the Times-Picayune opines. That’s why newly signed John Salmons has a chance to make an impact this season, and he’ll compete for a starting job with Darius Miller and Luke Babbitt, notes Reid.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.