Wizards Notes: McRae, Beal, Leonsis, Grunfeld

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.”
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19 thoughts on “Wizards Notes: McRae, Beal, Leonsis, Grunfeld

    • Guest617

      tatum’s the future, plus hayward 30M contract ties-up too much at that position. c’s need length/athleticism= AD

  1. Lousy (rumored) offers for Beal. No wonder Wiz aren’t interested. Turner is the only guy that might get someone’s attention, but he’s a poison pill.

    • Nebraska Tim

      The proposed Raptors offer is especially light.

      It would likely need to include another 1st round pick, and even then it’s not a great return for Beal in my opinion.

  2. Grant

    I understand the cap reasons why mcrae doesn’t get a contract but I don’t see why they can’t throw him out there for some more PT and see what he can do

  3. Guest617

    wiz gotta trade wall for anything and build around beal or they’re done. pg’s are a dime/dozen

    • hiflew

      Nobody is trading for Wall when he is hurt and the Wizards won’t be able to trade him next year when his cap number goes up so much. The Wizards just have to ride the John Wall wave no matter where it takes them.

  4. Rewane

    “…only Embiid and Simmons worked out”. As if finding two young stars around the same age through the draft isn’t decent enough l.

    • hiflew

      When you have 5 top 6 picks (including 2 #1’s) in a row, I think just getting 2 to work out in any real way is very disappointing. Of course expecting superstars out of all of them is too much, but Noel, Okafor, and Fultz (have) barely even contributed. The Wizards were basically in the same situation (a 1, 2 3’s and a 6 in a row) as Philly and had a better success rate with Wall, Beal, and Porter with only Jan Vesely as a bust.

      Philly’s drafts have not been a complete flop obviously, but I don’t think you could look at “the process” and not say it wasn’t at least a little disappointing.

      • Jeff Zanghi

        I honestly don’t get why the sixers and then the rest of the league it seems… gave up/is giving up on Okafor. The dude essentially averaged a double-double then was relegated to mop-up duty. I think the 76ers messed that one up… even if it was a matter of developing and trading him vs keeping him — they had some real talent there and let it go to waste.

        As for Fultz… it’s still to early to fully call him a bust whereas Noel just never seemed to put it all together despite the talent being there.

        I agree more or less that hitting on just 2 of those top picks shows how risky of a proposition tanking/drafting can be — I also don’t think it’s fair to just flat out say the only hot on 2/6 and that alone should scare off all other teams considering the route.

    • Dodgethis

      How many top picks did they have? They botched it. They could have a starting 4 like golden State in the making. Instead they are barely passable.

      • Yeah the process hasn’t worked. Simmons and Embiid aren’t even a great fit together on the court, and you gut depth for a 29 year old who wants to retire in six years and also isn’t an ideal fit with Ben and Joel. And for what? Mediocrity as far as I can tell, thus far.

  5. x%sure

    Turner & Collison is $13.4MM, Beal $25.4, not matching, so how good is that source?

    Turner is 4/$72 after this year, and the Pcers have many expiring. Bojan B. left Washington in good regard if I recall. Turner would earn his keep with Bojan & Porter as forwards.
    It’s doable, Beal for Turner, Bojan and Cory Joseph to fill in at PG for 2019.

    • hiflew

      Actually, none of those three proposed deals works in the trade machine. The closest is the Toronto deal. All it needs is an addition of Malachi Richardson, which would be easily done. I still don’t think it is enough for Beal though.

      • Nebraska Tim

        super light proposals for Beat…

        Though with Ernie Grunfeld, maybe he’ll even throw in a 1st round pick.

        • x%sure

          I agree, I would turn them all down if there were no pressure to deal. But I think there will be.

          WAS should get a 1st too with my trade, but it won’t be very high, and Porter & Bojan are both 3s. WAS is playing Porter a lot at 4 but not at 2– the roster makeup has a lot to do with that… If he is flexible to shift, that would be key.

  6. Jamespfunk

    Wall is contract is untradeable but I was wondering if getting multiple teams involved and including Beal would be enough for someone to take the Wall contract. Wizards need to get out from under that contract and start over.

  7. Nebraska Tim

    Beal should not be traded by Ernie Grunfeld.

    Grunfeld has proven that he has no idea what he’s doing. He’s made a terrible mess.

    The decision on Beal should go to a GM who is actually competent. And even then, I believe a competent GM would hold on to Beal.

  8. Jeff Zanghi

    This could be an interesting scenario for the Celtics… obviously the above trade “rumors” aren’t even remotely complete pictures (for one they don’t even come close to matching $ wise) but as a big Celtics fan I’ve been hard pressed to be okay with a deal that sends any of the young up and comers out for anyone but AD… however Beal is YOUNG and good… so this might actually be an alternative to AD I could get on board with.

    Don’t get me wrong AD is still the far superior player — and I actually think the Celtics could pull off both (but it would mean trading essentially ALL of the young players and assets on the team not names Kyrie Irving) — should they do that? Idk it’s tempting to say the least to think of a big 3 of Kyrie, Davis and Beal… but it’s also hard to pass up all of the potential of Tatum, Brown, several 1RD picks, etc. etc.

    Either way this is something to keep an eye on as its one of the first legit scenarios I could see the Celtics being willing to include Brown/Tatum/etc to get something done.

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