Washington Wizards

Northwest Notes: Durant, Thunder, Blazers

The Blazers acquired Mike Miller from the Cavs earlier this week but he’s probably not sticking around for long.  The veteran is a “strong candidate” to negotiate a buyout with Portland, Marc Stein of ESPN.com hears, and the Grizzlies, Thunder, and Mavs already appear to be interested.  While we wait for more on that, here’s more from the Northwest Division..

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Knicks, Others Eye Kevin Seraphin

The Knicks, Lakers and Wizards continue to show interest in Kevin Seraphin, league sources tell Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops (Twitter link). Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports reported interest from the Lakers early this month, and Scotto added the Wizards a few days later, but this appears to be the first time New York has come up in connection with the center.

The Knicks are also among the teams with interest in Carlos Boozer, but it’s not clear if New York sees the pair of big men as an either-or proposition. The Knicks and Lakers have their $2.814MM room exception available, but the Wizards have his Bird rights, so they can outbid other teams.

The Wizards were expected earlier this month to attempt to find a team willing to sign-and-trade for Seraphin, a maneuver that would ostensibly allow Washington to create a trade exception. In any case, Seraphin seemed a long shot to return to the Wizards at season’s end, as he’s reportedly been looking for a chance to compete for the starting job, though, according to Scotto, Washington at least touched base with him this month. The Wizards have Marcin Gortat entering year two of a five-year deal to man the pivot. Starting would also be a difficult proposition for Seraphin in New York, where free agent signee Robin Lopez seems firmly entrenched, and the same is probably true of the Lakers, who traded for Roy Hibbert.

The Suns and Mavericks also reportedly showed interest earlier this month, though it’s unclear if they’re still in the mix. The Spurs apparently had tentative interest in case David West signed elsewhere, but West took the minimum to play for San Antonio.

Which team needs Seraphin the most: The Knicks, Lakers or Wizards? Leave a comment to let us know.

Aaron White Signs To Play In Germany

JULY 28TH, 7:54am: The deal is official, the team announced (hat tip to Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia).

4:42pm: White’s deal with Telekom is for one year, Castillo reports (on Twitter).

JULY 21ST: 9:44am: Aaron White, whom the Wizards drafted 49th overall last month, is finalizing a deal with Telekom Baskets Bonn of Germany, a source tells Enea Trapani of Sportando. J. Michael of CSNWashington.com reported soon after the draft that the power forward from Iowa would “definitely” play overseas this year instead of with the Wizards, and White told Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post a few days ago that he probably would. Still, agent Chris Emens didn’t rule out the idea that White would sign with Washington before the season. Emens added that he and White were open to whatever the Wizards thought was best for his development, and the agent later said that he was talking to both the Wizards and international teams.

The 6’9″ White’s numbers surged this past season, his senior year at Iowa, when he averaged 16.4 points per game, up from 12.8 as a junior. He also collected 7.3 rebounds in 31.5 minutes per contest this year and was firmly in the mix to become a second-round pick. Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress ranked him as the draft’s 49th-best prospect, right where the Wizards took him, while Chad Ford of ESPN.com had him No. 60, citing his mobility and finishing skills as pluses and his lack of a jump shot as a minus.

The Wizards will retain their rights to White as long as they make a one-year, non-guaranteed offer for the minimum salary by September 6th, which is likely a formality. The 22-year-old, who turns 23 that month, indicated to Castillo that he was wary of signing with the Wizards and failing to make the team out of camp, a signal that he wouldn’t want to take a non-guaranteed pact. Instead, it seems he’s off to Germany after having put up just 3.0 PPG and 3.7 RPG in 17.5 MPG for Washington’s summer league entry.

Southeast Notes: Dudley, Beasley, Haslem, Daniels

Jared Dudley said in a recent interview with Grantland’s Zach Lowe that he would have considered the Wizards in free agency if he had opted out of his contract, writes Ben Standig of CSNWashington.com. Dudley, who was also considering a return to Phoenix, was traded from Milwaukee to Washington earlier this month and said the Bucks didn’t show much interest in retaining him if he had opted for free agency. Dudley surprised many when he opted in for $4.25MM next season before the trade, but he used the case of the still-unsigned J.R. Smith to explain his reasoning. “I wanted to opt out,” Dudley said. “The whole thing was to opt out. At the same time, you never want to opt out — you want to have a deal in place or at least have a backup plan.” Dudley underwent surgery Tuesday for a herniated disk in his lower back and is expected to be out of action for three to four months.

There’s more news from the Southeast Division:

  • Michael Beasley could have a chance to make the Heat roster if he is willing to come to camp without a guaranteed contract, contends Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. The columnist sees Zoran Dragic as a “lock” to earn a roster spot because of his brother, Goran, while Josh Richardson‘s potential combined with a small contract gives him a good chance as well. Winderman adds that based on Beasley’s Instagram account, he is clearly taking another shot at the NBA.
  • At 35, the Heat’s Udonis Haslem is giving no thought to retirement, according to Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post. “I feel fine,” Haslem said. “I feel like I could go three or four more years depending on how Coach might need to use me or what the situation might be.” Haslem’s workload was down again in 2014/15, logging less than 1,000 minutes for the second straight season. However, he may be called on more often next year, especially if backup center Chris Andersen gets moved to help avoid the repeater tax. Haslem’s spot on the roster is secure, as he is signed for a guaranteed $2.9MM.
  • Nobody questions the shooting ability of the HornetsTroy Daniels, but he’ll have to do more than that to earn a secure spot in the NBA, writes Fran Blinebury of NBA.com. The 24-year-old is already on his third team, and Charlotte coach Steve Clifford said the guard’s “physical development” will be key to his NBA future. “I’ve wanted to see him add weight and gain strength, which I think will help him at both ends of the floor,” Clifford said. “He can shoot the ball from long range. He has a good feel of how to play. Right now, in order to take advantage of the skills he has worked on, he has to get stronger.”

2015/16 Roster Counts: Washington Wizards

During the offseason it’s OK for teams to carry as many as 20 players, but clubs must trim their rosters down to a maximum of 15 by opening night. In the meantime, some teams will hang around that 15-man line, while others will max out their roster counts. Some clubs may actually have more than 15 contracts that are at least partially guaranteed on the books. That means they’ll end up paying players who won’t be on the regular season roster, unless they can find trade partners.

With plenty more movement still to come, here’s the latest look at the Wizards’ roster size, the contract guarantee status of each player, and how each player came to be on Washington’s roster.

(Last Updated 7-24-15, 7:00pm)

Fully Guaranteed (15)

Partially Guaranteed (0)

  • None

Non-Guaranteed (0)

  • None

10-Day Contracts (0)

  • N/A


Wizards, Bradley Beal Talk Extension

JULY 22ND, 12:31pm: The Wizards and Beal’s camp have talked and continue to do so, but no deal is close, sources with knowledge of both sides tell Michael. Washington wants any long-term deal to include some kind of escape hatch for the team, while Beal, too, would want a chance to opt out if he were to take less than the max, Michael writes.

JULY 12TH, 7:24pm: The Wizards will begin serious talks with Bradley Beal, who is entering the final year of his rookie scale contract that pays him $4.7MM, regarding a contract extension, J. Michael of CSNWashington.com reports citing two sources with knowledge of the situation.

Beal’s agent Mark Bartelstein told Michael early on Sunday that actual negotiations with Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld will start as early as this upcoming week. “We had to get past that first nine or 10 days of free agency. With that chaotic period over, Ernie and I will talk and see where we are,” Bartelstein said.

It was reported in May that the Wizards have made it clear that they’re committed to paying Beal the maximum salary. Giving Beal the max would be a bold move for Washington because the deal would kick in just as the salary cap jumps to a projected $89MM for 2016/17. Michael reported back in October that the club was planning an extension for the promising shooting guard.

Eastern Notes: Mejri, Dudley, Jackson, Ennis

Tunisian center Salah Mejri, in whom the Cavaliers were reportedly interested this spring, has an offer from an NBA team, sources tell Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia (Twitter link). Real Madrid, his Spanish club, informed Mejri a few days ago that he would be released, as David Pick of Eurobasket.com reported (Twitter link). Mejri went undrafted in 2008, so no NBA team holds his rights, unlike center Sasha Kaun, Cleveland’s own draft-and-stash prospect who’s reportedly been in talks recently with GM David Griffin. Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Jared Dudley will miss approximately three or four months after undergoing surgery Tuesday to fix a herniated disk in his lower back, the Wizards announced. The team was aware that he was playing in pain last season before acquiring him via trade from the Bucks this month, according to Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post. The timetable means he stands to miss nearly a month of the regular season, though it also indicates he could return before opening night.
  • Top free agents don’t often choose to go to Detroit, so the Pistons had little choice than to pay top dollar to retain restricted free agent Reggie Jackson, argues Terry Foster of The Detroit News. Jackson’s five-year, $80MM deal is receiving widespread criticism, but coach/executive Stan Van Gundy thinks the conventional wisdom will change, as Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press relays. “We’re excited about that and I think that also … that as we get two years down the road and look at what’s going on in this league and where the numbers are gonna go and the way we know that Reggie’s gonna play, we know this is going to be a bargain in this league,” Van Gundy said.
  • James Ennis struggled mightily in summer league, and the Heat would be on the hook for at least 50% of his salary this season if he remains on the roster through August 1st. However, the team has given him positive feedback and is paying for him to take part in a skill development camp in California, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Jackson suggests that’s a sign that the Heat will retain Ennis through the looming guarantee date. The Herald scribe speculates that Henry Walker, who’d earn a $100K partial guarantee if he sticks through that same August 1st date, is at greater risk to be let go, since the Heat held him out of summer league.

Bucks Nearing Deal With Chris Copeland?

9:13pm: Copeland had a strong workout with the Bucks today, but the Spurs and Thunder are still in the mix for his services, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports tweets.

7:30pm: The Bucks and Copeland are working to finalize a deal, and it is expected to be completed sometime this week, Marc Stein of ESPN.com tweets.

JULY 21ST, 12:22pm: Copeland has traveled to Milwaukee for a meeting with the Bucks and perhaps to take a physical, Woelfel tweets.

JULY 17TH, 2:09pm: Some higher-ups from around the league think the Bucks have become the front-runners for Copeland, Woelfel reports (Twitter link).

JULY 14TH, 11:42am: The Bucks are interested in Chris Copeland, but they have yet to make an offer to the unrestricted free agent forward, reports Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times (Twitter link). Milwaukee is still looking to replace the perimeter shooting it gave up in the Ersan Ilyasova trade, Woelfel notes, pointing to Copeland’s career 37.3% three-point shooting.

That three-point shooting percentage was above 40% before this past season, when he nailed only 31.1% and dropped out of the Pacers rotation in the second half as many of Indiana’s regulars returned to health. His season ended prematurely when he was stabbed and suffered a broken elbow in April outside a New York nightclub.

Milwaukee is among four teams on Copeland’s radar, and the 31-year-old is expected to decide between them in the next couple of days, Woelfel tweets. The Wizards were linked to the John Spencer client early in free agency.

Copeland signed a two-year, $6.135MM deal with Indiana two years ago, when he was coming off a surprisingly successful rookie season with the Knicks, with whom he made his NBA debut six years after going undrafted out of Colorado. He wasn’t able to duplicate that performance with the Pacers, who declined their chance to match competing bids for him this summer when they elected not to make a qualifying offer that would have been worth nearly $3.919MM.

Southeast Notes: Heat, Smith, Magic, Anderson

The second part of summer league for No. 10 overall pick Justise Winslow was full of more challenges than he might have expected, but the performance of Josh Richardson, whom the Heat drafted with their other pick, at No. 40, was more impressive than it figured to be, as Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel examines. Winderman, in a broad look at what Miami accomplished during summer league, writes that he wouldn’t be surprised if the Heat invited undrafted center Josh Smith to camp. Smith, from Georgetown, is not to be confused with the more well-known Clippers signee of the same name. Here’s more from around the Southeast Division:

Southeast Notes: Heat, Richardson, Taylor, Bynum

Faced with a luxury tax problem, the Heat have been aggressively trying to deal Mario Chalmers and Shabazz Napier, reports Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. An unidentified GM from another team said Miami’s preference is to deal Chalmers because he is due to make $4.3MM next season. Miami would reportedly settle for a second-round pick — or even less — to get Chalmers’ salary off its books. The GM adds that Chris Andersen is another candidate to be dealt, although the center has not been offered to the GM’s team. He also says the Heat are not trying to trade Josh McRoberts.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Miami will make an offer to Josh Richardson to keep his rights, but may encourage the rookie guard to play overseas, Jackson writes in the same story. Richardson will have to choose whether to seek a spot with a foreign club or try to make the Heat’s roster in training camp. Richardson hasn’t decided if he is willing to spend a year overseas, saying the NBA “has always been my dream; nobody wants to play anywhere else.” The Heat currently have 17 players under contract, stacking the odds against Richardson earning a roster spot.
  • Former Hornet Jeffery Taylor has been offered a two-year contract by Maccabi of the Israeli Premier League, tweets David Pick of Eurobasket.com. Pick termed the situation a “done deal” if Taylor agrees. Last month, the Hornets decided not to extend a qualifying offer to Taylor, making him an unrestricted free agent. He spent three years in Charlotte, although his second season was cut short by an Achilles tear and the third was interrupted by a 24-game suspension imposed by the league.
  • Barcelona may offer a contract to former Wizards guard Will Bynum, according to Enea Trapani of Sportando. Bynum spent most of the 2014/15 season in China, but signed with Washington late in the year and appeared in seven games.

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