Chasson Randle

World Cup Notes: Olynyk, Canada, Select Team

As first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, a knee injury will prevent Heat forward Kelly Olynyk from playing for Team Canada during this year’s World Cup in China. The Heat confirmed as much today in a press release announcing Olynyk’s right knee bone bruise.

According to Wojnarowski and the Heat, Olynyk is expected to be ready for the start of the NBA regular season. However, it’s not clear whether he’ll be healthy enough to fully participate in training camp next month. If he’s not, it could mean added reps for the likes of Meyers Leonard, James Johnson, Duncan Robinson, and/or some camp invitees.

As for Team Canada, their World Cup squad takes yet another hit. It has been overshadowed by all the Team USA withdrawals, but Team Canada has also experienced an exodus of NBA players from its roster, as we detailed last week. Olynyk joins Jamal Murray, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Tristan Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Dwight Powell, and many other Canadians on the list of players won’t be participating in the 2019 World Cup.

Here are a few more notes related to the World Cup:

Chasson Randle Signs With Chinese Team

AUGUST 14: Randle has signed a “lucrative” contract with Tianjin, a source tells Carchia (Twitter link).

AUGUST 13: Free agent point guard Chasson Randle is close to reaching a deal with Tianjin in China, a source tells Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. The club plays in the Chinese Basketball Association.

After winning a EuroLeague title with Real Madrid in 2018, Randle caught on with the Wizards for most of the 2018/19 NBA season, appearing in 49 games (two starts) for the club. The former Stanford guard averaged 5.5 PPG and 2.0 APG with a .419/.400/.694 shooting line in 15.2 minutes per contest, serving as Washington’s primary backup point guard after John Wall‘s injury.

A recent report suggested that as many as six NBA teams were keeping an eye on Randle, but it’s possible those clubs weren’t willing to offer him many guarantees in terms of salary, a rotation role, or even a regular season roster spot.

ESPN’s Jonathan Givony also indicated on Monday (via Twitter) that Randle would be one of the players suiting up for the “L.A. Select Team,” which will scrimmage against Team USA’s World Cup roster this week. It’s unclear if Randle’s reported negotiations with Tianjin will affect his involvement in those scrimmages.

And-Ones: Extension Deadlines, Team USA Scrimmages, James

The deadline for players to sign rookie extensions prior to opening night this upcoming season is Monday, October 21 at 6 p.m. ET, according to Bobby Marks of ESPN. That group of 18 eligible players includes Pascal Siakam, Brandon Ingram and Jaylen Brown.

The extension deadline is the same for a veteran with multiple years remaining on his contract who has met certain criteria, including All-Star guard Bradley Beal. Players with one year left (including a player option) have until June 30, 2020 to sign an extension.

Regular season rosters will also be set on October 21, while Saturday, October 19 will be the last day a team can waive a player with a non-guaranteed contract and not incur a cap hit, Marks adds (Twitter links here).

We have more from the basketball world:

  • The USA Basketball World Cup team will scrimmage against a collection of G League and fringe NBA players over the next three days, Jonathan Givony of ESPN tweets. There are 15 players remaining on the USA roster with Monday’s withdrawal by Kyle Lowry and 12 will make the final roster that will compete in the FIBA tournament in China. The group they’ll scrimmage will be called the L.A. Select Team and be coached by Jeff Van Gundy. That team will include players who participated in FIBA qualifiers, including Scotty Hopson, Chasson Randle and Ben Moore, Givony adds in another tweet.
  • Former Suns and Pelicans guard Mike James has signed with CSKA Moscow, according to a tweet from the team. James played a total of 36 NBA games in 2017/18, averaging 9.3 PPG and 3.5 APG in 19.1 MPG. James appeared in 30 Euro League games with Olimpia Milano last season, averaging a league-high 19.8 PPG and 6.8 APG. James and the Italian team mutually parted ways late last month.
  • The NBA released 2019/20 season schedules for every team on Monday. You can find them here.

Six Teams Interested In Chasson Randle?

Free agent guard Chasson Randle has received interest from the Hawks, Trail Blazers, Heat, Bucks, Warriors and Bulls, tweets Ben Stinar of Amico Hoops.

Randle, 26, became an unrestricted free agent in June when the Wizards opted not to tender a qualifying offer. He appeared in 49 games in his lone season in Washington, posting a 5.5/1.1/2.0 line in about 15 minutes per night and shooting 40% from 3-point range. Randle played a combined 26 games for the Sixers and Knicks during the 2016/17 season before spending 2017/18 in the EuroLeague with Real Madrid.

Unless someone offers him a fully guaranteed deal, Randle will likely face a process similar to how he earned a roster spot with the Wizards. He signed a training camp contract in September, but was waived before the season began. He had a strong showing during camp with Washington’s G League affiliate in Capital City and was signed for the rest of the season in late October.

Randle was waived again on November 12, but rejoined the Go-Go three days later and re-signed with the Wizards after Austin Rivers and Kelly Oubre were traded in mid-December.

Tomas Satoransky, Bobby Portis Receive Qualifying Offers

10:10pm: The Wizards are not tendering qualifying offers to Dekker or Chasson Randle, tweets Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington. They’ll become unrestricted free agents.

9:29pm: Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports and Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington are reporting that the Wizards have extended qualifying offers to guard Tomas Satoransky and forward Bobby Portis just hours after also tendering a QO to center Thomas Bryant.

The qualifying offers for Satoransky ($3,911,484) and Portis ($3,611,813) are similarly affordable to Bryant’s QO ($3,021,354), so it comes as no surprise that Washington has made all three young players restricted free agents this summer.

Hughes also notes that while forward Sam Dekker has not yet been extended a qualifying offer by the team, they have until June 29 to make a final decision. His QO is similar in amount ($3,916,575) to the three aforementioned players.

Satoransky, 27, took on a larger role later on in the 2018/19 season after starting point guard John Wall went down with injury. He ended up averaging a career-best 8.9 PPG and 5.0 APG while starting 54 games.

Portis, 24 and a former first-round pick of the Bulls, also had a career season in Washington after being traded from Chicago before the trade deadline. He ended up starting 22 of the 28 games he played for the Wizards, and posted 14.3 PPG, 8.6 RPG, and a .458/.403/.809 shooting line.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/13/19

Here are Wednesday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Sixers have re-assigned Zhaire Smith and Justin Patton to their G League affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats, the club announced (via Twitter). Smith was available to play for Philadelphia on Tuesday night, but didn’t get a chance to make his NBA debut.
  • After scoring a game-high 28 points to help lead the Capital City Go-Go to a Tuesday win, Chasson Randle was recalled from the G League today by the Wizards, per the team (via Twitter). Randle is part of Washington’s rotation tonight vs. Orlando.
  • The Suns recalled rookie guard Elie Okobo from the G League in advance of their game tonight vs. Utah, the team announced in a press release. Okobo had 19 points, five assists, and five rebounds for the Northern Arizona Suns on Tuesday.
  • Rookie forward Chimezie Metu was assigned to the G League today by the Spurs, according to a team release. Metu is active for Austin’s game tonight vs. Iowa.
  • The Thunder recalled dunk contest champion Hamidou Diallo from the G Leauge today, tweets Brett Dawson of The Athletic. Diallo, who is active tonight for the Thunder, recorded 18 points and nine rebounds for the Oklahoma City Blue on Tuesday.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/12/19

Here are Tuesday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Grizzlies recalled Tyler Dorsey from the G League affiliate, the Memphis Hustle, the team announced (Twitter link).
  • The Celtics assigned Robert Williams to their G League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, the team announced (Twitter link).
  • The Wizards assigned Chasson Randle to their G League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go, per a press release. Randle has averaged 5.7 PPG and 2.0 APG in 15.2 minutes per game with Washington.
  • The Jazz assigned Grayson Allen to the Salt Lake City Stars, the team announced today in a press release. Allen, on his 11th assignment of the season, will suit up for Utah’s G League affiliate tonight.
  • The Sixers recalled rookie Zhaire Smith, who was available for Philadelphia’s game tonight, according to the team (via Twitter). Smith, who has yet to make his NBA debut, didn’t see any action vs. Cleveland.

Southeast Notes: Waiters, Howard, Walker, Randle

Heat guard Dion Waiters was cleared for a full-contact practice this week, his first full session since undergoing ankle surgery in January, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

When asked whether Waiters could return by the end of the calendar year, coach Erik Spoelstra delivered a blunt assessment.

“I don’t know. Basically right now, it’s day-by-day evaluations,” Spoelstra said. “But he’s doing a lot more on the court, which is good.”

Waiters has missed Miami’s first 30 games this season, working to get back to 100 percent and improve his conditioning. The Heat mostly kept his status and progression quiet up until Tuesday, when news suddenly broke of his full participation at practice.

“It’s very encouraging,” teammate Dwyane Wade said on Tuesday. “I think today was the first day that we were on the same unit. He has so much talent. He’s one of the guys that playing against him, I’ve seen the talent that he has on both ends of the floor. Then, obviously, I watched him when he was here and he was healthy, and he played very well.

“You want him to get back healthy, understanding that he can definitely help us with his ability to score the basketball, to make plays and to defend. It’s going to take him a while to get to where he wants to get to, but he’s getting closer each day. It’s good to see him out there.”

Waiters, 27, was a key cog in the Heat’s late season run two years ago. He’ll provide the team with a much-needed boost of energy upon his return after it was revealed Goran Dragic would miss two months with a knee injury, further depleting the club of ball-handlers.

There’s more from the Southeast Division tonight:

  • Wizards center Dwight Howard shared his first health update since undergoing back surgery, explaining his improvements to NBC Sports’ Chris Miller. “Physically, I’m a lot better than I was before the surgery,” Howard said. “The nine games I played, I basically played on one leg. So, you know, I’m just happy that that’s out the way and I can rehab and get ready for the second half of the season.” The Wizards could greatly benefit from Howard’s return, with the team just 12-20 on the season and 4-6 in their last 10 games.
  • Hornets guard Kemba Walker remains focused on improving his team, despite the mass speculation about his upcoming free agency. “That’s just how it is. I know how it goes,” Walker told Jeremy Woo of the Crossover. “It’s something I try not to think about. There’s nothing I can do about it right now. I don’t know my future at this point.” Walker will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
  • Despite his one-year deal with the Wizards being non-guaranteed, Chasson Randle is excited for his new opportunity to play in Washington. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Randle told Candace Buckner of the Washington Post on Tuesday. “I’m in Atlanta playing for the Wizards. It’s just awesome to be here.” Randle, who went undrafted in 2015, held NBA experience with the Sixers and Knicks before joining the Wizards. He signed his contract with the team on Tuesday.

Wizards Sign Chasson Randle

DECEMBER 18: The Wizards have officially signed Randle, the team announced today in a press release.

DECEMBER 17: The Wizards will sign point guard Chasson Randle to a one-year, veteran’s minimum contract, according to Candace Buckner of The Washington Post (Twitter link).

Washington waived Randle before the season began, then re-signed him to a standard NBA contract in late October to meet roster requirements. The 25-year-old was subsequently waived again on November 12 before he appeared in a regular season game with the Wizards.

The signing of Randle gives the Wizards some guard depth after Kelly Oubre and Austin Rivers were traded to the Suns as part of the Trevor Ariza deal. It also once again allows Washington to meet the minimum roster requirements, since the team had slipped to 13 players on standard contracts upon acquiring Ariza.

Randle has played for the Wizards’ G League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go since he was waived. He has averaged 23.0 PPG and 4.0 APG with the Go-Go through seven games. The Stanford University product appeared in 26 games last season with the Sixers and Knicks. He averaged 5.3 PPG and 1.3 APG in 11.5 minutes per game during his brief NBA stint.

Examining Suns’, Wizards’ Latest Roster Moves

Shortly after completing their trade that sent Trevor Ariza to Washington and Kelly Oubre and Austin Rivers to Phoenix, the Suns and Wizards each lined up an additional roster move — the Suns are parting ways with Rivers, while the Wizards are re-signing Chasson Randle.

Rivers’ release was somewhat unexpected, and there’s more to the Wizards’ decision to re-sign Randle than initially meets the eye, so let’s take a closer look at each move…

Suns parting ways with Austin Rivers:

The Suns, who have had a revolving door of starting point guards this season, were said to be shopping for a play-making guard when they put Ariza on the trade block. The centerpiece of the deal they ultimately made was another forward in Oubre. However, their return also included Rivers, who is capable of handling the ball, even if he’s not a traditional point guard.

As such, it came as a surprise when Phoenix quickly reached an agreement to part ways with Rivers. The Suns and Rivers’ camp reportedly agreed that he’d be a better fit with a more veteran team that’s in playoff contention.

The Suns, under new interim GM James Jones, had already shown a willingness this year to part ways with a useful veteran player well in advance of the NBA’s typical buyout period, as they reached an agreement to cut Tyson Chandler in early November. In Chandler’s case though, the Suns at least got a little money back in a buyout. As Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports confirms (via Twitter), Rivers’ release won’t include any form of buyout, since he doesn’t have his next team lined up yet.

It’s possible that no good would have come of keeping Rivers around for the next couple months — maybe he would have been upset about being sent to the worst team in the West and wouldn’t have been a good fit in Phoenix’s locker room. Perhaps the Suns couldn’t have flipped him for anything worthwhile in another deal before the deadline.

Still, it looks like an odd move on the surface. The Suns recently carried 13 players for nearly two full weeks and still had just 14 players on their squad before making the Ariza trade, so it’s not as if they’re desperate to open up a roster spot.

Even if Rivers had no interest in suiting up for the Suns, they could have kept him under contract for the time being to see if his $12.65MM expiring contract had any use on the trade market. Once they formally waive Rivers, the Suns’ most valuable expiring contract will be Dragan Bender‘s, worth $4.66MM. That’s not a big enough cap figure to match a contract in the $10-15MM range if another trade opportunity opens up for Phoenix, which could limit the club’s options at the deadline.

Wizards re-signing Chasson Randle:

The Wizards‘ latest reunion with Randle may not be as interesting as the Suns’ release of Rivers, but it’s somewhat noteworthy.

The NBA allows teams to dip down to 13 players for two weeks at a time before getting back up to the minimum of 14 players, and the Wizards have been bouncing back and forth between 13 and 14 players so far this season in an effort to keep their projected luxury-tax bill in check. Washington had already waived and re-signed Randle once earlier this fall in order to reach the league’s minimum roster requirements.

The Wizards slipped back to 13 players as a result of the Ariza deal and have until New Year’s Eve to add a 14th player, so they’ll once again sign Randle to get back to the minimum. However, in this case, it appears they’ll sign him well before that deadline arrives. As cap expert Albert Nahmad observes (via Twitter), re-signing Randle right away instead of waiting the two weeks will cost the Wizards about $294K in salary and tax savings. So why bring back Randle so soon?

Well, having traded away Rivers and Oubre, the Wizards could use the depth. John Wall, Bradley Beal, Tomas Satoransky, and two-way player Jordan McRae are essentially the only backcourt players available for Washington at the moment, so if one of those players were to go down with an injury, the club would be in a pretty tough spot. Given the Wizards’ limited backcourt options, Randle, who didn’t appear in a game during his earlier stint with the team, might actually get a chance to play this time around.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.