Washington, who was the last standard restricted free agent left on the board, said he was relieved to finally re-sign with Charlotte, nearly two full months after free agency opened at the end of June. He also touched on Miles Bridges‘ return, playing under head coach Steve Clifford, rookie additions Brandon Miller and Nick Smith, and what he’s been working to improve on this offseason, among other topics.
As far as the team’s goal, Washington says the Hornets are focused on something he has yet to achieve in his four-year career — making the playoffs.
“That’s the main focus for us,” Washington told Boone. “Since I’ve been here I haven’t been in the playoffs at all. So I want to get a taste of that. I want to see how it feels, and I want to eventually win in the playoffs. I think we have a good coaching staff, we have a good front office, we have good players. So, I think we have everything it takes to be there. It’s just about us being consistent each and every day and trying, but we have to fight and make it happen.”
Here’s more from the East:
- Veteran center Thomas Bryant says he prioritized the Heat in free agency because “they really wanted me,” according to Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. A skilled scorer, Bryant thinks his offensive versatility will help Miami. “I feel like I can help this team based on what I’ve seen as an interior presence, interior scoring, my versatility out there to be able to shoot the three and make mid-range jump shots and score at the rim,” Bryant said. “But I feel like the versatility that I will bring to the table will really help the team in a great way.” Bryant, who signed a two-year deal with the Heat that includes a player option, will be competing for backup center minutes, Chiang notes.
- The Heat have a full 21-man offseason roster at the moment, but five players are on Exhibit 10 training camp deals, three are on two-way deals, and Orlando Robinson‘s contract is only partially guaranteed for $75K. In practical terms, that means the Heat only have 12 players with guaranteed standard contracts. Assuming Robinson makes the roster out of camp, Miami will still need to add at least one player to its standard regular season roster, Chiang adds in the same article. As Chiang writes, in the new CBA teams can carry fewer than 14 players on standard deals for a total of 28 days in a season, and only up to 14 consecutively.
- The Pistons have an intriguing blend of youth combined with veterans who can shoot. While the young core gains more experience, Detroit’s depth should provide new head coach Monty Williams plenty of options ahead of training camp, per Keith Langlois of Pistons.com.
- Svi Mykhailiuk recently signed a one-year deal with the Celtics that — for now — is partially guaranteed at $200K. Jared Weiss of The Athletic examines what the veteran wing might provide for Boston, writing that Mykhailiuk is a talented if inconsistent offensive player who has some defensive limitations. Still, his size, shooting and complementary play-making could be useful off the bench, according to Weiss.