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Washington Wizards

House Has CT Scan On Wrist

  • Wizards rookie Danuel House had a CT scan on his right wrist today, tweets J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic. The undrafted shooting guard out of Texas A&M has played just one game this season and will probably be sent to the D-League when he does return. House has just a $100K guarantee on his $905,249 salary for next season.

Marcus Thornton Out Of Wizards' Rotation

Following a 2015/16 campaign in which he was waived in February and finished with a shooting percentage south of 40%, Marcus Thornton managed to land a guaranteed one-year deal with the Wizards this past offseason. However, when it comes to Washington’s rotation, Thornton currently finds himself on the outside looking in, as Chase Hughes of details. One report last week suggested that Thornton is the Wizards player most likely to be waived if the team wants to add someone to the roster.

MRI On Wall's Finger Negative

  • An MRI on John Wall‘s right-hand pinkie finger came back negative, says Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press. The Wizards guard is expected to play through the injury so long as he’s able to properly stabilize it and that it doesn’t impact his shot. “One thing I know about John, being around him for the six or seven months now, he is as tough as they come,” head coach Scott Brooks said. “He’s going to put himself out there, which is definitely something that I admire.”
  • Danuel House, Sheldon McClellan and Daniel Ochefu have been able to breath easier since Tuesday, writes Candace Buckner of the Washington Post. January 10 marked the day that the three undrafted rookies saw their partially guaranteed contracts become guaranteed with the Wizards. Buckner discusses their frames of mind prior to the deadline.

Wizards Notes: McClellan, Thornton, Wall

Sheldon McClellan, whose contract with the Wizards became fully guaranteed over the weekend, is earning the trust of the team’s coaching staff, J. Michael of Comcast Sportsnet writes. Washington’s bench was an area of concern heading into the season, but it appears McClellan is on his way to solidifying a role in the second unit.  “I like what Sheldon has been able to do. He plays hard,” coach Scott Brooks said. “When you play hard it gives you a chance to stay on the court and make good things happen for your team. I think he does that”

Here’s more from Washington:

  • If the Wizards decide to open up a roster spot, Marcus Thornton is the player most likely to be waived, Michael writes in a separate piece. McClellan’s success has pushed Thornton to the bench, leaving the 29-year-old without any minutes over the team’s last two games.
  • Daniel Ochefu‘s roster spot appears to be safe, Michael contends in the same piece. The Wizards are still waiting for Ian Mahinmi to recover from a pair of knee injuries, which leaves the team in need of frontcourt players.
  • Rival executives don’t view John Wall as a franchise player in the same way they view other team’s top players, such as Russell Westbrook and James Harden, as Bobby Marks of The Vertical relays (Twitter video link). Marks also examines the 2011 draft where the Wizards took Jan Vesely with the No. 6 overall pick and wonders what the team would look like had it selected Klay Thompson or Kawhi Leonard.

Nets Could Target Otto Porter In Free Agency

Otto Porter will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season and the feeling within the Wizards’ organization is that he will draw interest from the Nets, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes.

GM Sean Marks has attempted to land restricted free agents in the past, but he failed on all three of his attempts. The Nets signed Donatas Motiejunas to an offer sheet earlier in the month, but the Rockets decided to match before they released the big man. Allen Crabbe signed an offer sheet with Brooklyn during the offseason, but Portland decided to match the offer and retain its play-maker. The same situation occurred with Tyler Johnson and the Heat over the summer.

Porter is enjoying an excellent fourth season in the league and he reportedly could command a maximum-salary offer in restricted free agency. The small forward is averaging 14.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game while sporting an 18.1 player efficiency rating.

Wizards Were Close To Signing Deng

The Wizards and Luol Deng were working on a three-year deal worth roughly $52MM before the small forward received the four-year, $72MM deal from the Lakers, Zach Lowe of reports. Lowe adds that Washington was stunned to learn of Los Angeles’ offer, which Deng ultimately agreed to.

Injury Notes: Nance, Nowitzki, Parsons, Oladipo

Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. has a bone bruise in his left knee and will be out indefinitely, the team announced on its website. He suffered the injury Tuesday in Charlotte. Nance had an MRI today to confirm the injury, but further results were limited because of swelling. He will be re-evaluated Sunday, and the Lakers plan to issue an update on availability after that examination. Nance has played in 28 of the team’s 31 games this season, all off the bench.

There’s more injury news from around the NBA:

  • Dirk Nowitzki won’t play tonight, but the Mavericks hope to have him back soon, according to Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. Nowitzki is almost fully recovered from a strained right Achilles and could play Friday against the Clippers or Monday against the Pelicans. “I’ll probably get a good workout tonight and see how it responds,” Nowitzki said. “I’ll probably get my first practice [Thursday] and see how it feels, basically go from day to day. It’s been encouraging. It hasn’t gotten worse from some of the stuff we’ve been doing. Hopefully, I’ll be out there soon.”
  • Grizzlies forward Chandler Parsons is active for tonight’s game with the Pistons, tweets Ronald Tillery of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Parsons, who was still recovering from offseason surgery on his right knee when the season started, has appeared in just six games. He suffered a bone bruise on his left knee shortly after returning.
  • Thunder guard Victor Oladipo says his injured right wrist is improving, but he will sit out his fifth straight game tonight, writes Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman. Despite his optimism, coach Billy Donovan said there has been “no change at all in terms of what he can and can’t do” since suffering the injury in a December 11th game. “He is getting better,” Donovan said. “I don’t want to come across like he’s not. There is improvement there, but it’s not at a point where he can do enough in terms of catching, passing, shooting, playing right now.”
  • Back tightness forced Hawks center Dwight Howard to sit out tonight for the second straight game, according to Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution“It’s a lot better than it was a couple days ago,” Howard said. “It continues to get better.” Howard, who signed a three-year, $70.5MM deal with the Hawks in July, has had back issues before. In 2014/15, back and knee problems limited him to 41 games with the Rockets.
  • The Jazz expect to have point guard George Hill back in the lineup soon, although it may not happen until next week, report Aaron Falk and Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune. Hill went through an intense workout Tuesday as he tries to overcome a sprained toe that has sidelined him for nearly a month.
  • Wizards center Ian Mahinmi had platelet-rich plasma treatments on both knees this morning, tweets Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. Knee problems have limited him to just one game after signing a four-year, $64MM contract this summer.

Several Teams Interested In Will Barton

The Wizards and Pelicans are among the teams to reach out to the Nuggets regarding the availability of Will Barton, Chris Haynes of reports (Twitter link). Haynes adds that the talks are simply exploratory at this point.

Barton is having a solid season, averaging 13.8 points and nearly a steal per game while making 36.8% of attempts from behind the arc. He missed 12 games earlier in the season because of an ankle injury, but he appears to be healthy at the moment.

The shooting guard started for the team in his first 13 games, but he was pushed back to the bench last week with Gary Harris returning to the lineup. In the three games since Harris returned, Barton has seen only 26.3 minutes per game, down from 31.6, which was his average while starting in Harris’ place. With Harris back and No. 7 overall pick Jamal Murray looming as the long-term option in Denver, Barton could see his further reduced as the season progresses.

Multiple teams reportedly offered the Nuggets a first-rounder in exchange for Barton over the summer, but Denver opted to keep the shooting guard. The 25-year-old is on a team-friendly deal, which pays him slightly over $3.53MM this season and the same figure during the 2017/18 campaign.

Ian Mahinmi To Miss Six Additional Weeks

Ian Mahinmi will undergo platelet-rich plasma treatment on both of his knees and is expected to miss roughly six weeks more weeks of action, as J. Michael of Comcast Sportsnet relays via Twitter. The treatment will be conducted at the Andrews Institute for Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Pensacola, FL.

He underwent surgery to repair a partially torn meniscus in his left knee on October 14 and he was hoping to return later this month. However, during his rehabilitation, he sustained a bone bruise on his left knee and he experienced tendinitis in his right knee.

The Wizards signed Mahinmi to a four-year, $64MM deal during the offseason. He has only been able to play in one game for the team so far this season due to his knee injuries.

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