Jordan McRae‘s 54-point outburst in the G League probably won’t get him a standard NBA contract even though the Wizards have a roster spot to fill, writes Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. McRae signed a two-way deal with Washington in September, but has only appeared in eight NBA games with minimal playing time.
With his Capital City team short-handed Friday, McRae took over the offense and poured in the most points in a G League game this season. McRae is averaging 29.5 PPG in the G League and set the league’s single-game record with 61 points in 2016.
Still, the Wizards are more likely to add a player on a 10-day contract than convert McRae’s deal, a source tells Buckner. Washington has been at 13 players since waiving Ron Baker on January 7 and has until Monday to get back to the league minimum.
Financial considerations are also working against McRae. Giving him a standard contract for the rest of the season would increase the Wizards’ projected luxury tax bill by about $1.2MM, Buckner estimates, much more than a series of players on 10-day deals.
There’s more Wizards news to pass along:
- Bradley Beal will be one of the hottest names on the trade market if the Wizards decide to move him, and Ken Berger of Bleacher Report examines the best potential fits. A rival executive told Berger that the Raptors might be willing to offer Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright and a first-round pick, while the Celtics could part with Jaylen Brown, a first-rounder and either Marcus Morris or Aron Baynes and the Pacers might get involved with an offer of Darren Collison, Myles Turner and a first-rounder. Washington has denied that Beal is available, but the team’s future tax situation could affect the decision if the Wizards slip further out of the playoff race.
- Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, who pledged earlier this week that the team will never tank, elaborates on those comments in a story by Buckner and Scott Allen. Leonsis points to the Sixers, who spent several years trying to rebuild by obtaining high lottery picks, and notes that only Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid panned out. “So, you know, that process is pretty risky in and of itself,” he said. “I don’t think you can tell players, coaches, staff: ‘Don’t make the playoffs and tank!’”
- In the same piece, Leonsis addresses fan anger with team president Ernie Grunfeld, who has been running the organization since 2003. “You live with it every day when you own a sports team,” said Leonsis, who also owns Washington’s Stanley Cup-winning NHL franchise. “All I have to do is look at last year with the Capitals. ‘Fire the coach. Fire the GM. Trade Alex Ovechkin. Trade Nick Backstrom.’ And that turned out okay. So, yes, I see all the things on Twitter. I read everything. I’m not all that happy with our performance, but you have to make non-emotional [decisions], what’s right for the franchise, what’s right for the team.”