Charlotte Hornets – Hoops Rumors Legitimate NBA free agent and trade rumors. 2020-01-17T22:00:23Z https://www.hoopsrumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Ray Spalding Joins Hornets On Two-Way Deal]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=150617 2020-01-16T13:01:38Z 2020-01-16T02:05:58Z 8:05pm: Spalding’s two-way deal is now official, the team confirmed in a press release.

6:21pm: The Hornets will sign Ray Spalding to a two-way contract, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The 23-year-old forward was in training camp with the Rockets and joined their G League affiliate after being waived just before the start of the season. He was averaging 15.4 points and 8.4 rebounds in 20 games with Rio Grande Valley.

Spalding got 14 games of NBA experience last year as a rookie. Thirteen of those were with Mavericks and the other one came after joining the Suns on a 10-day contract last February.

By signing today, Spalding will be eligible to spend up to 24 days in the NBA between now and the end of the G League regular season in March.

The Hornets opened a two-way slot by waiving Robert Franks earlier today, which marks the deadline for issuing two-way contracts this season.

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Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Hornets Waive Robert Franks]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=150270 2020-01-16T12:59:00Z 2020-01-15T22:51:40Z The Hornets have opened a two-way slot by waiving Robert Franks, the team announced on Twitter.

The 23-year-old forward signed a two-way deal with Charlotte in July after going undrafted out of Washington State. He didn’t appear in any NBA games, but was averaging 18.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in 22 games with the Hornets’ G League affiliate in Greensboro.

Today marks this season’s deadline for signing two-way players, so another move could be coming from Charlotte later tonight.

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Luke Adams <![CDATA[Borrego Finding Good Balance Between Young Players, Vets]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=150598 2020-01-15T20:40:19Z 2020-01-15T20:40:19Z Hornets head coach James Borrego had done an admirable job this season finding plenty of playing time for his youngsters without alienating the veterans on the roster, as Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer details.

Borrego vowed during the preseason that he wouldn’t let salaries dictate which players get the most minutes and has stuck to that approach as his team, which currently holds the No. 9 seed in the East, has exceeded expectations. Devonte’ Graham, Terry Rozier, PJ Washington, and Miles Bridges are the top four Hornets in minutes per game, but vets like Cody Zeller, Nicolas Batum, and Bismack Biyombo have had regular roles too.

“I feel like he has made us older guys a part of this thing as well,” Hornets forward Marvin Williams said of Borrego. “Obviously, Nic would love to play more, but he’s a team player. There are times when I maybe would like to play more, but that’s not my job (to decide).”

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Luke Adams <![CDATA[Central Notes: Drummond, Lue, Cavs, Bulls, Rose]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=150457 2020-01-14T22:59:56Z 2020-01-14T16:03:45Z It appears likely that the Pistons will ultimately make a deal involving Andre Drummond before the trade deadline, writes James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. However, teams aren’t offering first-round picks right now for the big man, per Edwards, who notes that initial talks between the Pistons and Hawks only involved expiring contracts.

While those offers seem likely to improve by February 6, it still remains unclear how much teams will be willing to give the Pistons for a player who could be had in free agency this summer. Edwards examines a few rumored suitors, arguing that the Hawks and Hornets make more sense than clubs like the Knicks, Celtics, and Cavaliers.

As Edwards explains, both Atlanta and Charlotte will have plenty of cap flexibility to sign Drummond this offseason, but haven’t historically been popular destinations for free agents. Giving up an asset for the Pistons’ center now and getting him familiar with the organization for a few months before free agency could give those clubs a leg up on a long-term deal in the summer, Edwards writes.

As we wait to see what happens with Drummond, here’s more from around the Central:

  • Now a top assistant for the Clippers, Tyronn Lue admits that he wishes he were still the Cavaliers‘ head coach, per Joe Vardon of The Athletic. “Yeah, I do,” Lue said after a long pause. “What I tried to build there, I think the culture I tried to set … I thought we could do it together. Koby (Altman) being a young GM, me being a young coach, having young players. I won a championship there, so you have a chance and an opportunity to do something different, and you should have that leeway to be able to go through a couple challenging years. To win a championship and go to the Finals should buy you a little time, you would think.”
  • The Bulls‘ first half didn’t play out like the team had hoped, but head coach Jim Boylen insists there have been positive signs of progress over the last three months, as K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago details. “I’m not discouraged. I’m kind of excited that we have established some things,” Boylen said. “Our shot profile is top-five in the league. Our defense on any given day is between five and nine, top-10 in the league. That’s what we’re building. And we’ll continue to work.”
  • Derrick Rose has been one of the Pistons‘ most valuable players this season and is helping the team stay competitive, but head coach Dwane Casey doesn’t want the veteran guard playing 30+ minutes per night, as he has recently. Chris McCosky of The Detroit News takes a look at Casey’s dilemma.
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Alex Kirschenbaum <![CDATA[Young Hornets Showing Growth]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=150102 2020-01-12T17:11:59Z 2020-01-11T21:10:57Z At the midpoint of the Hornets‘ 2019/20 NBA season, the team has shown growth under second-year head coach James Borrego, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer notes.

Bonnell goes on to report that the Hornets are the only team with a losing record that is still among the top-10 in the league in net rating in clutch time, thanks mostly to the clutch play of promising youngsters Devonte’ Graham, PJ Washington and even the 25-year-old Terry Rozier. Bonnell cautions optimistic fans that just two of the team’s 15 victories came against teams with winning records, and notes that the 15-26 team is still firmly in rebuild mode.

Rozier, an expensive free-agent gamble inked this summer to a three-year, $57MM contract to be the team’s starting point guard, has become effective as the team’s starting shooting guard after the ascendant Graham emerged as the best option to run the point for the Hornets.

Bonnell wonders if the 6’1″ Rozier can be a long-term fit as the team’s shooting guard, and whether forwards PJ Washington and Miles Bridges, similarly built at 6’7″, can truly coexist starting alongside each other in the frontcourt long term. Bonnell feels that shooting guard and center should be the Hornets’ next big positional targets in the 2020 NBA draft.

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Chris Crouse <![CDATA[NBA G League Assignment/Recalls: 1/7/20]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=149813 2020-01-08T03:40:06Z 2020-01-08T03:39:45Z Here are Tuesday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

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Luke Adams <![CDATA[And-Ones: Edwards, Cap Room, Sellers, Betting]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=149745 2020-01-07T17:26:52Z 2020-01-07T17:26:52Z With LaMelo Ball and R.J. Hampton battling injuries this winter and James Wiseman leaving Memphis to begin preparing for the 2020 draft, Georgia guard Anthony Edwards is one of the few candidates for the No. 1 pick that NBA evaluators can actually watch these days. And, as Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated relays, scouts have been impressed so far by what they’ve seen from the freshman.

“[Edwards] is a pro, everything about him. Athleticism. Skill. The ability to score,” one NBA scout told Spears. “He can defend. He is one of those guys that will be better on the next level because he will be playing with better teammates. When he walks onto the floor, you have the feeling that you’re watching a pro. And then the game starts and he shows you he is one with his versatility and skill.”

While he currently ranks behind Ball on ESPN’s big board, Edwards is considered a candidate to be the first player drafted this spring. So far, there’s no consensus among experts on which prospect will be the top pick, and Edwards tells Spears that his goal is to become that player.

“That’s my dream, to be the No. 1 pick,” Edwards said. “So, all I’m doing is just working hard. And whoever gets the pick, they will do whatever they want to do with. I just pray it would be me.”

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • The Hawks, Grizzlies, Cavaliers, Hornets, Knicks, Trail Blazers, Suns, and Pelicans are the teams expected to have cap room available during the 2020 offseason. Danny Leroux of The Athletic examines how much spending power those teams will have and what factors could affect their flexibility.
  • In his in-depth preview of the 2020 trade deadline, ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider link) breaks down the most and least valuable contracts for each team and speculates on the topics currently under discussion in each front office.
  • Dan Devine of The Ringer identifies 11 teams that may be sellers at next month’s trade deadline, including obvious candidates like the Knicks and Cavaliers, as well as teams that will be more reluctant to sell, such as the Kings and Timberwolves.
  • Wayne Parry of The Associated Press explores how professional sports leagues – including the NBA – are cashing in on legalized sports betting by selling data to bookmakers.
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Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/6/20]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=149694 2020-01-07T04:58:31Z 2020-01-07T00:56:26Z Here are Monday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA G League:

  • The Hornets recalled forwards Caleb Martin and Jalen McDaniels from the Greensboro Swarm, according to a team press release. Martin, an undrafted rookie, has appeared in five games for the Hornets, averaging 1.8 PPG in 6.4 MPG. Martin has appeared in 17 games for the Swarm, averaging 19.4 PPG, 5.9 RPG and 3.8 APG in 35.1 MPG. McDaniels, a second-round pick who has made two cameos with the Hornets, has appeared in 20 games with the Swarm, averaging 17.3 PPG and 7.7 RPG.
  • Point guard Chris Clemons has been recalled by the Rockets, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle tweets. Clemons had a 40-point game for the Rio Grande Vipers on Sunday. The previous Sunday he racked up 16 points and nine assists for the Rockets against New Orleans.
  • The Mavericks assigned small forward Isaiah Roby to the Texas Legends, the team’s PR department tweets. The second-round pick has been rehabbing a foot injury.
  • The Suns recalled Jalen Lecque from their Northern Arizona affiliate, the team tweets. The undrafted rookie guard has yet to make his NBA debut.
  • The Pacers recalled star guard Victor Oladipo from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the team tweets. Oladipo practiced with the Mad Ants as he continues his rehab from a right knee ailment.
  • The Raptors assigned Matt Thomas to Raptors 905, Blake Murphy of The Athletic tweets. He’ll play in a G League contest on Monday, then return to the NBA club and suit up against Portland on Tuesday, Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports tweets. The shooting guard has been sidelined by a finger injury and hasn’t played for the Raptors since November 23.
  • Raptors forwards Stanley Johnson and Malcolm Miller have also been assigned to Raptors 905, Murphy adds in another tweet. Johnson, who asked to be sent to the G League, will also play on Monday as he works his way back from a groin injury, according to Lewenberg (Twitter link). Miller has appeared in 20 games with the NBA club this season but is only averaging 5.5 MPG.
  • The Lakers recalled Talen Horton-Tucker from South Bay, the G League affiliate tweets. The second-round rookie has appeared in two NBA games this season.
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Alex Kirschenbaum <![CDATA[Young Hornets Benefit From G League]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=149549 2020-01-06T04:32:06Z 2020-01-05T20:59:39Z Hornets player development coach Nick Friedman has been tasked with improving the on-court performances of young players like Caleb Martin and Jalen McDaniels, who spend time with both the Hornets and their G League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm, The Charlotte Observer’s Rick Bonnell reports. Friedman operates as a liaison for Hornets head coach James Borrego.

Player development via the G League worked wonders in the 2018/19 season for Devonte’ Graham (who spent 13 games in Greensboro) and Dwayne Bacon (17 games). Graham is enjoying a breakout sophomore season in Charlotte, averaging 19.0 PPG and 7.9 APG for the 15-23 Hornets, who are just two games out of the No. 8 seed in the East.

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Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Kevin Love Doesn't Make Sense For Hornets]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=148975 2020-01-02T19:17:11Z 2020-01-01T22:48:03Z Breakout Hornets point guard Devonte’ Graham is shooting just 27 percent from the field over the last nine games and that’s a sign that opponents are respecting him, former teammate Kemba Walker told Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.

“You learn, you grow and you adapt,” Walker said. “He’s showing the whole NBA how good a player he is, so that kind of attention is going to come. You just have to accept it as kind of a respect thing.” Earning a $1.4MM salary this season, Graham is one of the league’s biggest bargains. He is averaging 18.9 PPG, 7.7 APG, and 3.9 RPG for the 13-23 Hornets.

Graham’s recent shooting woes have decreased his field goal percentage this season to just 37.6% overall. That said, he still boasts two solid shooting percentages. Graham is connecting on 39.1% of his triples and 80.3% of his free throws with the Hornets.

  • Trading for Cavaliers big man Kevin Love wouldn’t make sense for the Hornets, Bonnell writes in a mailbag post. While the team needs star power, Love is owed more than $90MM beyond this season and will be 34 when that contract expires in 2023, Bonnell continues. Even if the Hornets sneak into the playoffs, they wouldn’t be set up to advance with Love, limited on defense, as the No. 1 option, Bonnell adds.
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Luke Adams <![CDATA[NBA Trade Candidate Watch: Southeast Division]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=148920 2019-12-31T21:58:07Z 2019-12-31T21:58:07Z Over the course of the 2019/20 NBA season, up until February’s trade deadline, we’re keeping an eye on potential trade candidates from around the NBA, monitoring their value and exploring the likelihood that they’ll be moved. Each of these looks at possible trade candidates focuses on a specific division, as we zero in on three players from that division.

This is our third look this season at potential trade candidates in the Southeast, but it remains to be seen how the division’s five teams will approach the trade deadline.

The Heat are in position to buy, but can’t really take on any extra salary due to their hard cap. The Hawks and Wizards are lottery-bound, but might not have many valuable veteran trade chips to sell. The Magic and Hornets, meanwhile, are in a tight race for the No. 8 seed and could still go in either direction.

As we wait to see what the Southeast teams decide, here are three more possible trade candidates from out of the division:

Evan Fournier, G/F
Orlando Magic
$17.2MM cap hit; $17.2MM player option for 2020/21

Fournier has been a solid contributor in Orlando for years, but he has taken his game to the next level so far in 2019/20. His 19.5 PPG and .417 3PT% would be career highs, despite the fact that his MPG (30.9) are as low as they’ve been since 2014/15.

Fournier’s impressive production will create an interesting dilemma for the Magic. He’s the team’s most dynamic scorer, especially on the perimeter, and if he keeps playing this well, he’ll almost certainly opt out at season’s end for longer-term security. Will the Magic be willing to pay to keep him, like they did with Nikola Vucevic and Terrence Ross?

If the front office is at all uncertain about Fournier’s long-term future in Orlando – or is simply growing concerned about the team’s upside as currently constructed – it would make sense to see what sort of return he could bring back in a trade. While there’s no indication so far that the Magic are seriously considering that possibility yet, executives around the NBA reportedly believe there’s a chance Fournier will be moved this winter.

Justise Winslow, G/F
Miami Heat
$13MM cap hit; $13MM guaranteed salary in 2020/21; $13MM team option for 2021/22

The Heat like Winslow and won’t simply attach him to a trade offer this winter as a sweetener. But it’s hard to ignore the fact that he has only played in 10 games this season and Miami hasn’t missed a beat, posting an 18-5 record in the games he has missed.

If the Heat do want to try to add an impact player in a trade before this year’s deadline, Winslow is their most logical trade chip. Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro are too valuable to move, and the team-friendly contracts for Kendrick Nunn and Duncan Robinson make them keepers too. Miami wouldn’t hesitate to offer a first-round pick for the right player, but due to previous deals, none of the club’s next five first-rounders are trade-eligible.

Winslow, who is still just 23 years old, is a rare asset. His upside gives him the sort of positive trade value that other high-priced veterans like Dion Waiters and James Johnson don’t have, and his $13MM cap hit makes him the sort of useful salary-matching piece that many contending teams lack.

The Heat would probably prefer to keep Winslow if they can, but if they want to upgrade their roster this winter, he might represent the key to doing so.

Marvin Williams, F
Charlotte Hornets
$15MM cap hit; UFA in 2020

A three-and-D veteran like Williams would be an ideal fit for a number of playoff-bound clubs, and a report earlier this month indicated that multiple teams were indeed keeping an eye on the Hornets’ forward.

While Williams’ playing time is down this year, he’s shooting as well as ever, with a career-best 58.3% on two-pointers to go along with 39.8% on three-pointers. And his expiring contract makes him a logical target for teams that prefer to keep future cap sheets clear.

There are just two obstacles standing in the way of a potential deal. For one, Williams’ $15MM cap charge may complicate matters — a non-taxpaying team would need $10MM in outgoing salary to match it, while a taxpaying team would have to send out even more. The second roadblock? The fact that Charlotte remains very much in the playoff hunt.

Despite their unimpressive 13-22 record, the Hornets are just two games out of the No. 8 seed in the East, so it’s a bit early to throw in the towel. I think the front office would still be open to moving Williams for the right offer even if the eighth seed is within reach, but a deal seems more likely if Charlotte slides further down the standings.

Revisit the rest of our 2019/20 Trade Candidate series right here.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Terry Rozier Fined $25K]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=148707 2019-12-29T16:21:02Z 2019-12-29T16:21:02Z
  • The NBA has fined Hornets guard Terry Rozier $25K for throwing the ball into the stands at the end of Friday’s loss to the Thunder.
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    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Southeast Division]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=148609 2019-12-28T15:18:13Z 2019-12-28T03:00:42Z Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we take a look at players from the Southeast Division:

    Allen Crabbe, Hawks, 27, SG (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $74.8MM deal in 2016
    Remember when the Nets thought so highly of Crabbe they signed him to a giant offer sheet? And the Trail Blazers valued him so much they matched the offer sheet? And then Brooklyn wanted him so badly it traded for Crabbe the following summer? It all seems so silly now. The Nets were willing to give up two future first-rounders to get rid of Crabbe. Now in the final year of that odious contract, he’s averaging 5.0 PPG and shooting 28.8% from 3-point range. Crabbe will probably be looking at veteran’s minimum offers next season as he attempts to reboot his career.

    Bismack Biyombo, Hornets, 27, C (Up) – Signed to a four-year, $72MM deal in 2016
    Like Crabbe, Biyombo got silly money in the summer of 2016 after a solid playoff performance with Toronto. Orlando quickly got a case of buyer’s remorse and he was eventually shipped to Charlotte in 2018. To his credit, Biyombo has worked his way into the rebuilding Hornets’ rotation. He’s posted double digits in points six times this month while averaging 8.0 RPG in 22.1 MPG. Traditional big men like Biyombo are being phased out of the league, so he won’t attract a lot of interest. But he’s shown he can be a rotation piece somewhere.

    Meyers Leonard, Heat, 27, PF (Up) – Signed to a four-year, $41MM deal in 2016
    Another player who cashed in during the summer of 2016, Leonard has never averaged more than 8.4 PPG or 5.1 RPG. Other than avid Heat fans, few people realize that Leonard has started 30 games for one of the Eastern Conference’s best teams. He doesn’t often finish games but he’s endeared himself enough to coach Erik Spoelstra to keep his spot in the lineup. Leonard doesn’t shoot a lot of threes but he makes them (48.3%). He’s also making an impact on the boards (23 in the last two games). As a stretch four alone, Leonard will draw interest as an unrestricted free agent.

    D.J. Augustin, Magic, 32, PG (Up) – Signed to a four-year, $29MM deal in 2016
    Markelle Fultz is playing regularly but Augustin is still receiving steady playing time from coach Steve Clifford. Augustin threw in a two-point clunker against Chicago on Monday but in his previous four games he averaged 18.5 PPG and 5.3 APG. While Augustin’s overall shooting numbers are down, he can still be a productive rotation player. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Orlando brought back Augustin in a reserve role. If not, he still has enough left in the tank to be someone’s backup floor leader.

    Davis Bertans, Wizards, 27, SF (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $14.5MM deal in 2018
    Bertans was enjoying a breakout season until he was sidelined recently by a quad injury. Bertans was averaging 15.4 PPG and 4.9 RPG in 30.0 MPG while mostly coming off the bench for Washington. The Wizards have been feeding Bertans to ball beyond the arc and he’s consistently delivered, averaging 43.4% from deep on a whopping 8.6 attempts per game. Bertans’ prolific long range shooting is bound to get the unrestricted free agent some lucrative offers in this summer’s weak free agent class.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Injury Updates: Fox, Bagley, James, Looney, Washington, Winslow]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=148619 2019-12-28T15:16:05Z 2019-12-28T00:14:48Z The Kings offered some good news on guard De’Aaron Fox‘s latest ailment, according to a team press release. Fox left Thursday’s game in the first quarter against Minnesota with back spasms. A precautionary MRI revealed no structural damage and he will be listed as day-to-day. Big man Marvin Bagley III, who also made an early departure on Thursday, will have his left foot evaluated by a specialist Saturday.

    We have more injury-related news:

    • Lakers star LeBron James thought he’d miss some time after getting injured on Christmas Day but that may not be the case, according to an ESPN report. James has a groin contusion and is listed as questionable to play against Portland on Saturday.
    • Big man Kevon Looney will miss the Warriors’ games this weekend with abdominal soreness, Logan Murdock of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Looney has played just 10 games this season, mainly due to a hamstring issue.
    • Hornets rookie forward PJ Washington is listed as probable to play on Friday, the team’s PR department tweets. Washington suffered a fracture of his fifth finger on his right hand during a game against Chicago on December 13.
    • The injury to Justise Winslow‘s back is now listed as a bone bruise rather than a strain, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel tweets. The Heat’s point forward has not played since December 6.
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    Chris Crouse <![CDATA[Southeast Notes: Beal, Bryant, Washington, Martin]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=148587 2019-12-28T15:12:02Z 2019-12-27T21:57:57Z The Wizards may play it safe with regards to Bradley Beal‘s injury, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports writes. Beal left Thursday’s contest against the Pistons with lower right leg soreness and while it doesn’t sound like it will be a debilitating injury, it makes sense for the 9-21 Wizards to be as cautious as possible with their franchise star.

    Beal is questionable for Saturday’s contest vs. the Knicks. Here’s more from the Southeast Division:

    • Thomas Bryant said he doesn’t have an exact return date, but he is “very, very close” to returning, The Athletic’s Fred Katz tweets. Bryant practiced with the Wizards today and will practice with the Capital City Go-Go on Saturday.
    • Isaiah Thomas said he apologized to a lot of people in the Wizards organization for the incident with fans in Philadelphia, including owner Ted Leonsis, Hughes tweets. Thomas served a two-game suspension for the incident.
    • It sounds like PJ Washington will make his way back into the lineup for the Hornets, as Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer writes. The rookie has missed the past few weeks with a broken finger.
    • In a separate piece, Bonnell details how Cody Martin has been exceeding expectations for the Hornets. Charlotte selected the small forward with the No. 36 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
    • Coach Steve Clifford said Al-Farouq Aminu had a “setback” this week in his recovery from a knee injury, John Denton of NBA.com tweets. The Magic signed Aminu to a three-year deal this offseason.
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