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Washington Wizards

John Wall, Bradley Beal Discuss Relationship

When John Wall admitted earlier this year that he and Bradley Beal had “a tendency to dislike each other on the court,” it led to a series of reports and columns suggesting that perhaps the Wizards wouldn’t be able to keep both players for the long term. But with Beal beginning a new five-year contract and Wall not going anywhere anytime soon, the duo is looking forward to a productive future, as Michael Lee of The Vertical writes.

“This is my brother at the end of the day,” Beal said of Wall. “Nothing is going to change. If I didn’t want to be here, if we did beef, I wouldn’t have signed my contract. That’s what it ultimately comes down to.”

Wall agreed with Beal’s assessment of the situation, pointing out that he “wouldn’t have begged him to come back” if he wasn’t optimistic about the long-term outlook in D.C. The Wizards’ point guard also believes his comments about the duo’s on-court growing pains were somewhat misconstrued.

“I think everybody blew it out of proportion for no reason,” Wall said. “I mean, if you look at any two great teammates, and two young, great guys, that’s talented and want to be great, you’re going to have ups and downs. Everything is not going to be perfect.”

Beal’s new five-year contract with Washington is a maximum-salary deal that will pay him nearly $128MM, an enormous sum for a player who has been plagued by injury issues and hasn’t had a true breakout season yet. But Wall is hoping that Wizards fans will be patient with Beal and allow him to continue to improve.

“He had injuries the last couple of years and they’re like, ‘He don’t deserve it.’ Let him get a chance to earn it,” Wall said. “Let him be an All-Star. Let him see if he can be healthy for a whole season and see what he can do. … I want him to be an All-Star, just like I am. It’s no fun when it’s just one guy. If another guy is there, it makes it more fun.”

Wizards Notes: Wall, Beal, Nicholson

Offseason In Review: Washington Wizards

Over the next several weeks, Hoops Rumors will be breaking down the 2016 offseason for all 30 NBA teams, revisiting the summer’s free agent signings, trades, draft picks, departures, and more. We’ll evaluate each team’s moves from the last several months and look ahead to what the 2016/17 season holds for all 30 franchises. Today, we’re focusing on the Washington Wizards.

Free agent signings:

Draft-and-stash signings:

Camp invitees:


  • Acquired Trey Burke from the Jazz in exchange for the Wizards’ own 2021 second-round pick.

Draft picks:

  • None

Departing players:

Other offseason news:

Check out our salary cap snapshot for the Washington Wizards right here.

The Wizards spent the last few years preparing for the summer of 2016. Every transaction was scrupulously completed with future flexibility in mind, as the team had an eye toward offering Maryland native Kevin Durant a maximum salary deal. Durant didn’t even take a meeting with Washington, opting to join forces with the Warriors instead. In addition to striking out on Durant, Washington also missed out on other major targets, such as Al Horford and Ryan Anderson. The franchise quickly pivoted to other options and ultimately ended up exhausting its cap space on ancillary parts.NBA: Washington Wizards-Media Day

Ian Mahinmi, who signed a four year, $64MM deal with the team, was brought in to be a force in the paint. Mahinmi has always been known for his defense — he was the third-best center on that end of the floor, according to ESPN’s Real Plus/Minus — but he’s been quietly improving his offensive game as well. He allowed Indiana to play a pace-and-space type offense because of his understanding of the game and his ability to quickly make the right reads and deliver crisp, clean passes. New coach Scott Brooks, who signed a five year, $35MM contract with the team this offseason, should be able to employ a similar game plan with pick-and-rolls mixed in.

Mahinmi’s arrival brought speculation that Marcin Gortat could be on his way out, though a torn meniscus suffered by Mahinmi has temporarily quieted that talk. The two centers shouldn’t see too much court time together because of their overlapping skill-set, including a relative lack of shooting range. Playing the duo together would severely clog the lane, and with only 48 minutes available for the five spot, it’s logical to conclude that a trade may be forthcoming. Gortat has proven to be the better player thus far, but he’s on a team-friendly contract that will pay him $36MM over the next three years. He would fetch more for Washington in a trade should the team decide to make a move.

The Wizards’ other offseason moves also suggest they may be gearing up for a Gortat trade. In addition to Mahinmi, the team signed Jason Smith and Andrew Nicholson. In today’s NBA, Smith and Nicholson are best suited to play the five as well, though both players can handle minutes at the power forward position.

Nicholson is an especially intriguing addition — he’s a bruiser down in the paint with an arsenal of post moves, whose game fits nicely with both Mahinmi and Gortat. I envision him getting some playing time alongside Markieff Morris as well. Washington’s frontcourt is crowded, especially with Otto Porter splitting time at the four with Morris. The Wizards’ depth affords them the ability to deal Gortat for a guard or wing, but the league is jam-packed with non-shooting big men, so finding a suitor will be tricky.

Depth in the backcourt is another story. The team signed Tomas Satoransky  and traded for Trey Burke, yet neither option is proven. Burke didn’t live up to expectations in Utah, so the Wizards will be banking on an improvement from the 23-year-old. His development, along with Satoransky’s transition to the league, could be key to the team’s success this season.

Washington also brought in Marcus Thornton to round out the guard rotation and he should see significant minutes off the bench. The lack of quality perimeter options on the second unit is alarming for a team that has injury concerns with both of its starting guards.

Bradley Beal is fresh off landing a five-year, maximum salary contract, and the Wizards will need him to stay on the court if they’re going to climb the standings in the Eastern Conference. Beal has missed 81 regular season games over the first four years of his career and prior to him signing his lucrative new deal, there was talk that he could be under minute restrictions for the rest of his career due to health concerns. Meanwhile, John Wall underwent multiple knee surgeries over the summer, though he looked sharp in limited minutes during the preseason. If either player misses significant time this season, Washington will struggle to stay in the playoff race.

The Wizards underperformed last season, failing to make the playoffs and notching only 41 wins. This year, they’ll have an opportunity to steal the division crown, since every team in the Southeast is undergoing some degree of transformation: Miami will begin the season without any member of The Heatles for the first time since the 2002/03 campaign; the Hawks will attempt to shoehorn Dwight Howard into their pace-and-space system; the Magic bolstered their frontcourt, but it remains to be seen how the new arrivals will mesh; and the Hornets enjoyed career years from several key players last season, which resulted in them losing a few of their valuable reserves in free agency.

The Southeast division will be up for grabs and while the Wizards didn’t land a top free agent during the offseason, a top seed in the Eastern Conference standings is within their reach.

Salary information from Basketball Insiders used in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Wizards Waive Eddie, O’Bryant, Ware

The Wizards have pared down their roster to 15 players in preparation for the regular season, waiving Jarell Eddie, Johnny O’Bryant and Casper Ware, Shams Charania of The Vertical reports (via Twitter). As a result of parting ways with Eddie, Washington will be on the hook for his partially guaranteed salary of $175,000 for this season, unless he is claimed off waivers by another team. No money will remain on the books for O’Bryant and Ware, as their deals were completely non-guaranteed. This also means that Sheldon McClellan and Danuel House  have made the Wizards’ regular season squad, Charania adds.

Ware, who last appeared in the NBA during the regular season in 2013/14 with the Sixers, spent this past campaign overseas where he split time between Tianjin Ronggang (China) and ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne (France). In 31 combined games, the guard averaged 15.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 27.3 minutes per outing. His shooting line was .394/.354/.793.

Eddie, 24, played in 26 games for the Wizards a season ago, notching averages of 2.4 points, 0.9 rebounds and 0.2 assists in just 5.7 minutes per outing. His slash line was .308/.319/1.000.

O’Bryant appeared in 66 games for the Bucks in 2015/16, averaging 3.0 points and 2.7 rebounds in 13.0 minutes per outing. His shooting line on the campaign was .411/1.000/.675.

Wizards Worked Out Hasheem Thabeet

  • Former second overall pick Hasheem Thabeet hasn’t played in an NBA game in more than two years, but he’s still working hard to salvage his career, as Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders details. Kennedy takes a closer look at Thabeet’s training regimen, adding that the Knicks, Lakers, and Wizards have all recently worked out the 29-year-old.

2016/17 NBA Over/Unders: Southeast Division

The 2016/17 NBA regular season will get underway next week, which means it’s time to start getting serious about predictions for the upcoming campaign. With the help of the lines from offshore betting site, we’re running through the predicted win totals for each of the NBA’s 30 teams, by division, and having you weigh in on whether you think those forecasts are too optimistic or too pessimistic. Having looked at the Atlantic, Northwest, Central, and Southwest divisions so far, we’re moving on to the Southeast today…

Atlanta Hawks

(App users, click here for Hawks poll)

Charlotte Hornets

(App users, click here for Hornets poll)

Washington Wizards

(App users, click here for Wizards poll)

Orlando Magic

(App users, click here for Magic poll)

Miami Heat

(App users, click here for Heat poll)

Previous voting results:


  • Boston Celtics (52.5 wins): Under (54.59%)
  • Toronto Raptors (50.5 wins): Over (54.63%)
  • New York Knicks (38.5 wins): Over (71.41%)
  • Philadelphia 76ers (23.5 wins): Under (54.62%)
  • Brooklyn Nets (20.5 wins): Under (60.74%)


  • Utah Jazz (49 wins): Under (68.72%)
  • Portland Trail Blazers (45.5 wins): Over (69.92%)
  • Oklahoma City Thunder (43.5 wins): Over (65.71%)
  • Minnesota Timberwolves (40.5 wins): Over (50.11%)
  • Denver Nuggets (37 wins): Under (68.81%)


  • Cleveland Cavaliers (56.5 wins): Over (66.5%)
  • Detroit Pistons (44.5 wins): Over (55.03%)
  • Indiana Pacers (44.5 wins): Over (73.06%)
  • Chicago Bulls (38.5 wins): Over (61.9%)
  • Milwaukee Bucks (34.5 wins): Over (67.48%)


  • San Antonio Spurs (58.5 wins): Under (57.4%)
  • Houston Rockets (44 wins): Over (52.76%)
  • Memphis Grizzlies (42.5 wins): Over (59.69%)
  • Dallas Mavericks (38.5 wins): Over (69.71%)
  • New Orleans Pelicans (37 wins): Under (70.9%)

Wizards Pick Up 2017/18 Option On Kelly Oubre

OCTOBER 21: The Wizards have made it official, formally picking up Oubre’s third-year option, per RealGM.

AUGUST 2: In an unsurprising move, the Wizards will exercise the third-year option on Kelly Oubre‘s rookie contract, reports J. Michael of Washington won’t have to rush to make the move official, since the deadline for rookie-scale option decisions is still nearly three months away.

Rookie-scale contracts for first-round picks feature two guaranteed seasons, followed by two non-guaranteed team options. Teams must make decision on those options a year in advance, by October 31. Generally, those third- and fourth-year salaries are so affordable – particularly under the new salary cap – that it makes sense for teams to exercise those options unless the player has been a total bust.

Oubre, the 15th overall pick in last year’s draft, didn’t receive a ton of playing time in his rookie season, but flashed potential when he saw the floor. The 20-year-old, who played his college ball at Kansas, appeared in 63 games for the Wizards in 2015/16, averaging 3.7 PPG and 2.1 RPG in 10.7 minutes per contest.

Oubre’s contract will pay him about $2MM this season, while his third-year option for 2017/18 will be worth about $2.093MM. A year from now, the Wizards will have to make a decision on Oubre’s fourth-year option for 2018/19, which will pay him $3.209MM if it’s picked up.

Andrew Nicholson Looking Sharp

  • The Wizards are impressed by Andrew Nicholson‘s game so far during the preseason, Candace Buckner of The Washington Post writes. “He gets buckets,” Thornton said of Nicholson. “You throw it down to him, 90 to 95 percent of the time it’s going to be a foul or a bucket. We joke around about that every day. We call him a ‘walking bucket.’” Coach Scott Brooks called Nicholson “very fundamental sound” and added that the big man simply isn’t going to make many mistakes. The 26-year-old power forward signed a four-year, $26MM deal with the team during the offseason.

Wall's Progress Hurts Ware's Chances

Ian Mahinmi Out 4-6 Weeks With Knee Injury

The Wizards frontcourt depth has taken a hit to start the season with the news that Ian Mahinmi has suffered a partially torn medial meniscus in his left knee, according to a press release from the team. An MRI revealed the partial tear and Mahinmi underwent successful surgery on Friday evening, according to the report. He is expected to be sidelined for four to six weeks as a result.

After starting just 21 of his 367 career NBA games before last season, Mahinmi received a more significant role from the Pacers, and started all 71 of the games he played for the team in 2015/16. Mahinmi parlayed his solid year in Indiana into one of the more impressive free agent contracts of the summer, agreeing to a four-year, $64MM deal with the team in July.

The 29-year-old was slotted as the primary backup to center Marcin Gortat, with the Wizards reportedly expecting big things this season from Mahinmi. With Jason Smith, Johnny O’Bryant and Andrew Nicholson the only current options on the roster to absorb Mahinmi’s minutes, none of whom are true centers, Washington may need to consider adding another big man to the roster for insurance.

In three preseason games for the team, Mahinmi shot 55.6% from the field and averaged 4.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.0 assist and 1.0 steal in 13.6 minutes per outing.

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