Chasson Randle

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.

And-Ones: Team USA, Jefferson, Jennings, Bass

With another round of World Cup qualifiers scheduled to begin next week, USA Basketball has officially announced its latest 12-man roster for games against Argentina (November 29) and Uruguay (December 2). The roster is made up primarily of G League players, though NBA free agents Tyler Zeller, Jarnell Stokes, and Eric Moreland are also on the squad. Other former NBA players on the roster include Chasson Randle, DeAndre Liggins, and John Jenkins.

With one more qualifying window scheduled for February after next week’s set of games, Team USA is in prime position to secure a spot in the 2019 World Cup. Team USA currently has a 7-1 record in qualifying contests, which puts the club in a tie with Argentina for first place in Group E. Puerto Rico and Uruguay are tied for third at 5-3. The top three teams in the group will earn spots in the World Cup, and the fourth-place team will have a chance to qualify as well.

Let’s round up a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world…

  • With some help from ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, longtime NBA forward Richard Jefferson published a piece on ESPN.com this week, sharing some of his memories from his NBA career and discussing his move into broadcasting.
  • After becoming a free agent this week, veteran guard Brandon Jennings may take the G League route as he tries to work his way back into the NBA, tweets Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports. However, Smith notes that nothing’s official yet.
  • Smith also checks in a pair of former NBA forward playing in China, reporting (via Twitter) that Brandon Bass is hoping to return to the NBA later in 2018/19, once the Chinese Basketball Association season ends. Jared Sullinger is also putting up huge numbers in China and is in good shape, according to Smith, who tweets that the former Celtic may be ready for another shot in the NBA.
  • Former Trail Blazers guard Tim Quarterman signed this week with Israeli team Ironi Naharyia, per his agency Prostep Sports (Twitter link). Quarterman was waived by the Rockets this past April.

Wizards Notes: Roster Opening, McRae, Wall, Porter

After waiving Chasson Randle on Monday, the Wizards are now once again the only team in the NBA with two open roster spots. As we noted last night, the team will have to fill the 14th spot on its roster within the next two weeks, but Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington says not to expect any sort of major move.

Instead, the Wizards could take their time to re-add a 14th player, saving a little money on their projected luxury tax bill every day they keep that roster spot open. When they do get around to signing someone, Randle could be an option to rejoin the team, since he figures to remain in the organization with the Capital City Go-Go, as Standig observes. Following Randle’s release, Scott Brooks said the young guard is “definitely an NBA player.”

Two-way player Jordan McRae has also been cited as a candidate to join the Wizards’ 15-man roster, but he’s dealing with a groin injury at the moment, a source tells Standig. McRae is expected to be available later this week.

Here’s more on the Wizards:

  • Jeremy Woo of SI.com lays out the case for why trading John Wall might be in the Wizards’ best long-term interests, pointing to teams like the Heat and Suns as potential trade partners. Woo is the second national reporter to make this argument this month, and his points are similar to ones ESPN’s Zach Lowe made last week — Bradley Beal is too valuable to move him, and Otto Porter wouldn’t bring back much in return.
  • Speaking of Porter, the Wizards’ highest-paid player was on the bench in the fourth quarter for a third straight game on Monday, as Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington details. Porter has been shooting well from three-point range lately, but Scott Brooks wants to see a more well-rounded game from the forward, particularly on defense, says Standig. “It’s just the way it is,” Brooks said when asked about Porter on Monday. “Some games Otto is not going to have good games. Tonight isn’t one of them. He’ll bounce back. The guy is a winner. He knows how to play.”
  • If the Wizards don’t get back up to .500, they’d join an ignominious group of taxpaying teams with losing records, writes Fred Katz of The Athletic.
  • Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report recently spoke to executives and agents to get their thoughts on how to fix the struggling Wizards.
  • In case you missed it on Monday, several teams around the NBA are reportedly keeping a close eye on the Wizards to see if they make role players like Markieff Morris, Kelly Oubre, or Jeff Green available via trade.

Wizards Waive Chasson Randle

The Wizards have waived point guard Chasson Randle, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Randle was in camp with Washington but was waived shortly before the start of the regular season. The 25-year-old did not appear in any games with the Wizards after the team re-signed him to a standard NBA contract in late October to meet roster requirements.

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.

With Randle waived, that could pave the way to the Wizards calling up Jordan McRae, tweets Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. The Wizards signed McRae, 27, to a two-way deal in September. He has appeared in 63 career NBA games, including four with Washington this season.

Whether it’s McRae or someone else, the Wizards will need to sign a 14th player to its roster within two weeks as the CBA stipulates teams cannot carry just 13 on standard deals beyond that time period.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/11/18

Here are Sunday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/5/18

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

  • The Suns assigned rookie guard De’Anthony Melton to the Northern Arizona Suns, according to a team press release. Melton has already played a game for Northern Arizona this season, posting 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists in 45 minutes. The second-round pick has appeared in two games with Phoenix.
  • The Knicks assigned big man Luke Kornet to the Westchester Knicks, the NBA team tweets. Kornet has appeared in four games with the Knicks this season, going scoreless in 13 minutes.
  • The Wizards recalled guard Chasson Randle from the Capital City Go-Go, according to a team press release. Randle will travel with the team on its upcoming road trip to Dallas, Orlando and Miami. Randle led all scorers in the Go-Go’s home opener on Saturday with 37 points.
  • The Pacers assigned center Ike Anigbogu to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, according to a team press release. The 2017 second-rounder has made one brief appearance with Indiana this season.
  • The Clippers recalled guard Jerome Robinson and guard Sindarius Thornwell from the Agua Caliente Clippers, the team tweets. Robinson, the No. 13 overall pick in this year’s draft, has made five appearances with the Clippers this season, averaging 2.4 PPG in 4.2 MPG. Thornwell, a 2017 second-round selection, has yet to make his season debut with the Clippers after appearing in 73 games last season.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 10/31/18

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

  • The Wizards have assigned Chasson Randle to their Capital City affiliate, the team announced on Twitter. Washington waived Randle in training camp, but he signed with the team yesterday because the 14th roster spot needed to be filled.
  • The Hawks assigned swingman Daniel Hamilton to their affiliate in Erie, according to the team’s website. He returned to practice last week after recovering from a tear in his right rotator cuff and has yet to play this season.
  • The Sixers announced that Jonah Bolden has been sent to their Delaware affiliate. A draft-and-stash player who played in Israel last season, Bolden has appeared in four games for Philadelphia.

Wizards Sign Chasson Randle

3:07pm: The Wizards have officially signed Randle, the team announced today in a press release. As ESPN’s Bobby Marks outlines, Randle will earn $7,624 per day on his new minimum salary deal, which will increase Washington’s projected tax bill by $14,956 per day.

1:09pm: The Wizards intend to sign point guard Chasson Randle to an NBA contract, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Randle was in camp with Washington this fall, but was waived by the club just before the regular season began. Two and a half weeks later, he’ll be re-added to the roster.

As we explained earlier today, NBA teams are generally required to carry at least 14 players on their 15-man regular season rosters, but league rules allow clubs to carry less than that amount for up to two weeks at a time. Because the Wizards only had 13 players on their roster for the first two weeks of the season, a transaction to add a 14th man was required.

Washington was considered likely to stay in-house to fill that roster spot, and it will be Randle who gets the call after having reported to the Wizards’ G League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go. The 25-year-old last appeared in the NBA during the 2016/17 campaign, when he played eight games for the Sixers and 18 for the Knicks. He averaged 5.3 PPG and 1.3 APG in 11.5 minutes per game during his brief NBA stint.

While Randle will fill the Wizards’ 14th roster spot for now, he’s not locked in for the rest of the season. His new one-year contract will be non-guaranteed, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). The league-wide salary guarantee date is January 10, so Randle will have to stick on the roster through that date in order to fully guarantee his salary.