Garrison Mathews

Wizards Notes: Mathews, Beal, Rotation, Hachimura

Having been one of the first NBA teams to arrive at the Walt Disney World campus on Tuesday, the Wizards announced today (via Twitter) that their quarantine period has ended and they’ll conduct their first practice later this afternoon.

However, one player who won’t participate in that practice is two-way guard Garrison Mathews. Sources tell Fred Katz of The Athletic (Twitter link) that Mathews didn’t travel to Orlando with the team for personal reasons. According to Katz, Mathews hasn’t tested positive for the coronavirus, but it remains unclear whether he’ll join the team later or miss the rest of the season.

Mathews, a rookie out of Lipscomb, appeared in just 18 games for the Wizards during the season, averaging 12.6 minutes per contest, so he wasn’t exactly an indispensable rotation piece. Still, Matthews would likely have moved up on the depth chart with Bradley Beal sidelined for the restart, so if he doesn’t eventually join the club at Disney, he’ll be missed.

Here’s more on the Wizards:

  • Although Beal was shut down for the rest of the season due to a rotator cuff injury, Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard said this week that he doesn’t think surgery “is an option at all” for the All-Star guard. Rest and a longer training camp period should have Beal ready to go for 2020/21, according to Sheppard. “I think if we had another month of ramp-up time, Bradley would probably be ready to play,” Sheppard said, per Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. “These are eight games vs. 82 next season and all the seasons beyond that. I think it’s worth mitigating the risk right now for what’s ahead.”
  • In a separate story for NBC Sports Washington, Hughes contends that Beal’s performance this season showed that we still don’t know exactly what his ceiling is.
  • With Beal, Davis Bertans, and John Wall not participating in the summer restart, a handful of younger Wizards will get a chance to take on larger roles, according to Jackson Filyo of WashingtonWizards.com, who points to Troy Brown Jr., Rui Hachimura, Thomas Bryant, Moritz Wagner, and Jerome Robinson as players who could step up. “I’m so excited for this opportunity,” Hachimura said, per Hughes. “I think we have a chance to make the playoffs.”

Wizards Notes: Mathews, Wall, Payton, Bertans

Wizards rookie wing Garrison Mathews will miss multiple weeks with a right ankle sprain, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. Mathews, who is on a two-way contract, rolled his ankle when he stepped on Celtics forward Jayson Tatum‘s shoe. Mathews is averaging 6.2 PPG while shooting 42.9 % from long range.

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  • Point guard John Wall is participating in three-on-three scrimmages against members of the player development staff, Hughes relays in a separate story. It’s another step in Wall’s recovery from a ruptured left Achilles tendon. He had recently progressed from running and dunking to one-on-one contact drills with coaches, Hughes adds. However, there’s no expectation Wall will play this season. “I don’t know if he’s going to play this year. I don’t know if he’s not going to play,” head coach Scott Brooks said.
  • Guard Gary Payton II has earned a spot in the rotation, Jackson Filyo of the team’s website notes. Payton was signed under the league’s hardship exception last month due to a wave of injuries. “I’ve been hungry ever since I got here,” Payton said. “In and out of the G League, trying to find somewhere to stick. I think these guys here appreciate what I do and value what I do, so I go to bat for them every day.” In his first nine games with Washington, Payton is averaging 5.8 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 3.0 APG and 2.3 SPG in 23.6 MPG.
  • Davis Bertans returned to action on Friday with a minutes restriction, Candace Buckner of the Washington Post tweets. The stretch four was out for nine games with a quad injury. Bertans, who has an expiring $7MM contract, is averaging 15.4 PPG while making 43.2% of his 3-point attempts.

Wizards Notes: Culture, Bryant, Smith, Mathews

The culture in Washington has changed dramatically from last season and Ish Smith believes the team the Wizards could be on a similar path to the one the Nets are on, as he told Hoops Rumors and other media in attendance after the team’s recent win over the Celtics.

“Brooklyn, I thought, did a great job of it last year. They’ve been doing a great job over the last two years – they haven’t had any true superstars, but now they do,” Smith said. “They’ve just been playing hard and guys have emerged out of nowhere.

“You look at Joe Harris; Joe Harris wasn’t a household name, now he is one. Spencer Dinwiddie, I can go down the line, all of those guys who played really, really well and held down the fort – and they made it to the playoffs last year. Obviously, D’Angelo [Russell] was a household name and everybody knew who he was, but I thought Brooklyn had laid that [foundation] down. We’re just trying to play hard, try to play smarter. We’re embodying who Coach [Scott] Brooks is. Coach Brooks is a fighter and that’s who he was his whole career. I think we’re doing a great job of doing that these last few games.”

The Wizards have had a stockpile of injuries and players without much brand recognition have stepped up. Here’s more on the unique squad out of Washington:

  • The front office would like to promote Anzejs Pasecniks, who is on a two-way deal, to the 15-man roster, though good luck guessing which player would be waived if that happens. Gary Payton II‘s contract for the season became fully guaranteed on Tuesday, which makes the Wizards roster 15-for-15 in guaranteed contracts.
  • Thomas Bryant could make his return to the court this weekend. The Wizards play the Hawks on Friday and the Jazz on Sunday.
  • Wizards guard Jordan McRae spoke about how Smith, has impacted the club “Ish [Smith] is doing what Ish does. We’ve been going through droughts where we can’t score. Him being the point guard, him being the leader that he is, he’s taken it upon himself,” McRae said. We recently detailed how Smith is channeling his inner Steve Nash for the Wizards.
  • Brook said there is no update on Garrison Mathews, who is dealing with an ankle sprain, Fred Katz of The Athletic relays on Twitter.

Southeast Notes: Graham, Love, Mathews, Richardson

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.

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  • 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.
  • Garrison Mathews said he was capable of torching an opponent with his shooting ability prior to his 28-point outburst against Miami on Monday, according to Mike DePrisco of NBC Sports Washington. The Wizards signed the undrafted rookie to a two-way contract in early July. Mathews, who made four 3-pointers and 12 free throws against the Heat, spoke of his offensive prowess during a pregame TV interview. “I’m not just a basketball player, I’m a professional shooter,” he said. A 6’5″ shooting guard out of Lipscomb, Mathews averaged 20.8 PPG and 5.5 RPG in his final season at Lipscomb, knocking down 3.2 threes per game at a 40.3% rate.
  • Josh Richardson could have been a perfect complementary piece to Jimmy Butler if the two were together with the Heat, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel opines. Miami needed to include Richardson in their sign-and-trade deal for Butler to make the salary requirements work. Richardson wound up in a better situation with Philadelphia, who have legitimate title aspirations than if he had been dealt to Minnesota last season when the Heat tried to put together a package for Butler, Winderman adds.

Additional contributions by Alex Kirschenbaum.

Wizards Notes: Centers, Miles, Schofield, Ratings

The Wizards are trying to survive with no healthy centers on their roster, writes Fred Katz of The Athletic. The foot injury that sidelined Thomas Bryant for at least three weeks was terrible news for a team that is already missing Ian Mahinmi because of an Achilles injury and Moritz Wagner with a sprained left ankle.

Rui Hachimura and Davis Bertans both started in the frontcourt in Tuesday’s loss to the Magic, while 6’5″ Admiral Schofield was called up from the G League for reinforcement. Katz notes that Wagner should return soon, but he’s averaging more than seven fouls per 36 minutes, so he may have a problem staying on the court.

The Wizards aren’t likely to make a roster move to address the predicament, Katz adds. Jordan McRae and Justin Robinson have partially guaranteed contracts, but management likes both players and isn’t likely to cut them for short-term help. The same holds true for two-way players Chris Chiozza and Garrison Mathews. After a 6-13 start, the focus of this season will remain on player development rather than wins and losses.

There’s more from Washington, D.C.:

  • C.J. Miles had successful surgery today to fix damaged ligaments in his left wrist, the Wizards announced on Twitter. No timeline has been set for Miles’ return, and there were concerns that surgery might keep him out of action for the rest of the season.
  • Before Schofield joined the Wizards last night, he played 38 minutes in a G League game for the Capital City Go-Go, relays Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. He became the first player in franchise history and one of only a handful throughout the league who have appeared in two games in one day. “This is one of those days where you get to fall in love with the game again because it’s so much basketball,” said Schofield, who played 7:19 against Orlando. Robinson was also called up after playing in the early game, but wasn’t used.
  • The Wizards have suffered the largest decline in local television ratings of any NBA team, tweets John Ourand of Sports Business Journal. Washington’s games are drawing a 57% smaller audience than they did last season.

Wizards Waive Pasecniks, Jones

The Wizards have waived center Anzejs Pasecniks and forward Jalen Jones, the team’s media relations department tweets.

Both players were recently signed to Exhibit 10 contracts and will likely wind up with the team’s G League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go.

Pasecniks, a seven-footer from Latvia, was acquired by the Sixers on draft night in 2017 after he was selected with the 25th overall pick by Orlando. He played overseas the last two seasons for the Spanish team Gran Carania. Philadelphia renounced his NBA rights, clearing a path for him to join the Wizards for Summer League play.

Jalen Jones, a 6’7″ forward out of Texas A&M, has appeared in 32 total games for the Pelicans, Mavericks, and Cavaliers over the last two seasons. He was waived from his two-way contract with Cleveland in January and finished the 2018/19 season with Baskonia in Spain.

Jordan McRae and Justin Robinson are likely to get the last two roster spots now that Pasecniks and Jones have been waived, Fred Katz of The Athletic tweets. McRae’s veteran minimum salary includes a guarantee of $600K if he’s on the opening night roster. His $1.6MM contract would fully guarantee if he’s still on the Wizards through December 20th.

Robinson’s $988K contract doesn’t become fully guaranteed until January 10th. Robinson, a 6’2” guard, was signed in July after going undrafted out of Virginia Tech.

Guard Chris Chiozza will likely receive the team’s other two-way contract, Candace Buckner of the Washington Post tweets. Chiozza was signed to a training camp deal last month. The Wizards’ other two-way player is guard Garrison Mathews.

Wizards Sign Garrison Mathews To Two-Way Contract

The Wizards have officially signed undrafted rookie Garrison Mathews to a two-way contract, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic (Twitter link). RealGM’s log of NBA transactions confirms that the move has been completed.

Mathews’ agreement with the team was first reported shortly after the draft last month by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

A 6’5″ shooting guard, Mathews has been one of the NCAA’s premier marksmen in the NCAA over the last four years. He averaged 20.8 PPG and 5.5 RPG in his final season at Lipscomb, knocking down 3.2 threes per game at a 40.3% rate, and was named the ASUN Player of the Year.

Washington entered the 2019/20 league year with two open two-way slots. Devin Robinson was the only two-way player under contract with the Wizards to finish the 2018/19 campaign, and the team announced that he wouldn’t return after word broke in April that he had been arrested following a nightclub fight.

Wizards Expected To Sign Garrison Mathews, Justin Robinson, Armoni Brooks

After selecting Rui Hachimura and acquiring Admiral Schofield in Thursday night’s draft, the Wizards are poised to add a few more rookies to their roster, according to various reports.

Lipscomb shooting guard Garrison Mathews will sign a two-way contract with the Wizards, a league source tells ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Twitter link).

Washington has also agreed to deals with undrafted Virginia Tech guard Justin Robinson and undrafted Houston guard Armoni Brooks, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston, respectively (Twitter links).

Mathews, one of the premier marksmen in the NCAA over the last four years, averaged 20.8 PPG and 5.5 RPG in his final season at Lipscomb, knocking down 3.2 threes per game at a 40.3% rate. The ASUN Player of the Year is set to claim one of the Wizards’ two-way contract slots for the 2019/20 season, per Givony.

Robinson, meanwhile, has agreed to a multiyear deal that will feature a “substantial” guarantee, says Charania. Interim GM Tommy Sheppard suggested that Robinson will likely end up in the G League with the Capital City Go-Go, but has a chance to stick with the Wizards, tweets Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. Robinson averaged 13.5 PPG, 5.0 APG, and 3.2 RPG with a .418 3PT% in 24 games in his senior season at Virginia Tech.

As for Brooks, he’s coming off a junior season in which he posted 13.4 PPG and 6.3 RPG in 37 games for Houston. Of his 425 field goal attempts, 310 came from beyond the arc. Berman doesn’t provide any additional details on Brooks’ deal with Washington, but says he’ll sign with the team as an undrafted free agent (Twitter link).

Southeast Notes: Wizards Workouts, Hornets, Hawks Offseason

The Wizards brought in three guards and three forwards during a pre-draft workout on Monday, according to the team’s website. They took a look at backcourt candidates Shannon Bogues (Stephen F. Austin), Shizz Alston Jr. (Temple) and Jamall Gregory (Jacksonville State) and forwards Trey Mourning (Georgetown), Ed Polite Jr. (Radford) and Trey Porter (Nevada).

The Wizards will be looking at six more prospects on Tuesday, including four guards — Matt Morgan (Cornell), Marcquise Reed (Clemson), Garrison Mathews (Lipscomb) and B.J. Stith (Old Dominion), according to another website post. They’ll also work out big men James Thompson IV (Eastern Michigan) and Raasean Davis (N.C. Central).

We have more Southeast Division news:

  • The Wizards have a workout scheduled with USC shooting guard Kevin Porter Jr., Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington tweets. They’ll also bring in forward Jordan Caroline (Nevada) in the near future, Jordan Schultz of ESPN tweets. Porter ranks No. 20 overall on ESPN’s Jonathan Givony’s draft board.
  • Arkansas big man Daniel Gafford heads the list of six prospects the Hornets will bring in on Tuesday, according to a team press release. Gafford sits at No. 41 on Givony’s board. They’ll also take a look at guards Ky Bowman (Boston College), Amir Coffey (Minnesota), Miye Oni (Yale)  and forwards Cody Martin (Nevada) and Chris Silva (South Carolina).
  • Should the Hawks dive into free agency? Should they deal their two lottery picks to move up in the draft? These are some of the questions that ESPN’s Bobby Marks tackles in Atlanta’s offseason preview.

Atlantic Notes: Kawhi, Lowry, Knicks, C’s, Sixers

While their star players haven’t been forced out of action like some Warriors have been, the Raptors are dealing with some health issues of their own in these NBA Finals, writes Joe Vardon of The Athletic.

According to Vardon and Sam Amick of The Athletic, the leg injury that has been bothering Kawhi Leonard since the Raptors’ series against the Bucks is a left knee issue. While the right quad injury that sidelined Leonard for nearly all of 2017/18 hasn’t been a problem, his knee pain stems from overcompensating for that quad issue, Vardon writes.

Meanwhile, Vardon also provides more specifics on Kyle Lowry‘s left hand injury, noting that the Raptors’ All-Star point guard has a ligament tear in his thumb. Lowry has previously hinted that he may need to undergo a surgical procedure on the injury after the season, but he appears set to play through it for the rest of the Finals.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic: