Jodie Meeks

2018 Free Agent Stock Watch: Washington Wizards

The Wizards made the bold decision to commit max money to three organization grown players long-term and will permanently have their hands full managing their finances as a result. In order to make the strategy work, they’ll need to be responsible with where they spend the rest of their budget.

While the club already projects to dip into the luxury tax this season and next (with over $29MM in guaranteed money tied up in Marcin Gortat and Ian Mahinmi in 2018/19 alone), they’ll get a chance to practice financial restraint this summer with a handful of free agents that they can afford to part ways with if they feel the need to.

Tim Frazier, PG, 27 (Down) – Signed to a two-year, $4.1MM deal in 2016
One season removed from a fantastic stint as a spot starter in New Orleans in 2016/17, Frazier hasn’t had much of an impact since coming over in a draft day trade last June. The Wizards were in need of a reliable backup point guard when they targeted Frazier but seem to have grown comfortable with the idea of Tomas Satoransky handling backup point guard duties in John Wall‘s absence. For that reason, Frazier will probably have to choose between rounding out the club’s rotation as a third-string playmaker or look elsewhere.

Sheldon Mac, SG, 25 (Down) – Signed to a two-year, $1.8MM deal in 2016
A torn Achilles has rendered Mac unable to suit up in 2017/18. He’ll hit restricted free agency in the summer but don’t expect any suitors until he can prove that he’s healthy enough to battle for a rotation spot. That’ll likely have to happen in the G League.

Chris McCullough, PF, 23 (Down) – Signed to a three-year, $3,8MM deal in 2015
The Wizards, to this point, have shown little interested in working McCullough into their rotation. The 23-year-old showed some flashes of promise during his rookie campaign with the Nets in 2015/16 but then again many fringe NBA players have looked half-decent in Brooklyn’s lineup the last few years. If all goes well, McCullough will find another squad to break training camp with next fall. It’s hard to say whether or not there will be much more beyond that.

Jodie Meeks, SG, 30 (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $6.7MM deal in 2017
After several years of struggling to stay on the court, Meeks has shown that he can contribute modestly off the bench. While his player option for 2018/19 comes in at a rather cheap $3.5MM for a player with his experience, don’t be surprised if the veteran elects to return. There may be a team out there willing to give the career .417 three-point shooter more than that on the open market but an argument can be made that Meeks could benefit more in the long run from simply focusing on staying healthy and relevant where he is, while worrying about free agency in 2019.

Mike Scott, PF, 29 (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $1.7MM deal in 2017
The Wizards got a key rotation piece for dirt cheap over the summer and the forward has done nothing but raise his stock over the course of the season. Expect teams to take an interest in the veteran role player with impressive efficiency numbers and the ability to put points on the board. Washington would likely be happy to retain him but will be limited in what they can offer him.

Jason Smith, C, 32 (Down) – Signed to a three-year, $15.7MM deal in 2016
Smith hit free agency at the perfect time back in 2016. This summer, in contrast, teams won’t be so willing to cough up significant money for career reserves with forgettable portfolios. Smith’s stints with the Magic, Knicks and Pelicans hardly justified the contract he signed two summers ago but he’s done even less since arriving in Washington. For that reason, expect him to accept his $5.5MM player option.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Southeast Notes: Waiters, Hawks, Meeks

When Dion Waiters hurt himself last March he had the option to pursue a surgical treatment that would have sidelined him for eight to 10 months, Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel writes. The Heat guard, and at that point pending free agent, opted against going under the knife to repair his ankle and instead has been strengthening it and undergoing treatment.

Winderman stresses that Waiters only brought up the injury when asked at the Heat’s media day on Wednesday but admitted that some days are better than others.

I’ll get four or five treatments every day,” Waiters, who re-signed with the Heat this summer, said. “Some days you’re going to feel great, some days it might be just one of them days. You have to push through it and be smart about the whole situation.

In 46 games with the Heat last season, Waiters averaged 15.8 points per game. This year his contract will pay an additional $1.1MM if the guard stays on the court for 70 games, one of several incentives built into contracts that Miami extended this offseason.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • On the verge of what could be his first full season since 2014/15, Wizards guard Jodie Meeks is eager to show that he can still contribute to an NBA team. “Just because I want to show that I’m healthy,” Meeks told Candace Buckner of the Washington Post. “I’m not old and washed up or whatever you want to call it.
  • A hamstring injury will sideline Hornets forward Treveon Graham, the team’s PR department tweets. Graham is one of five players on non-guaranteed deals hoping to make the team’s opening day roster.
  • The Hawks will receive $100K for taking DeAndre Liggins‘ deal off of the Clippers’ hands, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. We wrote about the September 25 deal here.

Southeast Notes: Waiters, Wade, Meeks, Magic

Dion Waiters is for all intents and purposes the man who replaced Dwyane Wade as the Heat‘s shooting guard in Miami. After inking a four-year, $52MM pact recently, he will be the franchise’s immediate fixture in the lineup and the community. Yet, if Waiters has his way, Wade will eventually join him back home in Miami, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes.

Waiters, 25, came into his own with the Heat in 46 games last season, averaging 15.8 PPG and 4.3 APG while playing over 30 minutes per game. As Waiters tells Jackson, he’s admired Wade from afar and made his desire to learn from the longtime Heat legend this offseason.

“We’ve got the same initials, our games are similar,” Waiters said. “Difference is, he’s got them three rings. He’s a Finals MVP. Top three best shooting guards all time. I’m chasing that. He’s one of my favorite players, one of the players I idolized my game after. When he’s playing against me, I’m checking things he’s doing.”

Wade, 35,  has an option for $24MM for 2017/18 but the Bulls are not interesting in pursuing a buyout at this time. If Wade does end up on the open market, a reunion with the Heat seems like a possibility and one that Waiters — whose social media has hinted at his desire to play with Wade —  would be rooting for.

Here are additional notes surrounding the Southeast Division:

  • When picking a destination this offseason, Jodie Meeks knew playing alongside John Wall and under head coach Scott Brooks was an appealing scenario, CSN Mid-Atlantic’s Chase Hughes writes. The Wizards won 49 games last season and with a productive, young core in the nation’s capital, Meeks will have a chance to be part of a winning team next season.
  • Magic president Jeff Weltman told media in a recent Q and A that his team is still looking for shooting upgrades, per Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel (via Twitter).

Southeast Notes: Hornets, Crawford, Mack

The Hornets have taken significant steps forward this offseason but one of the big questions heading into the 2017/18 campaign will be whether wings Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Nicolas Batum will be able to thrive together.

In a recent mailbag, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer tackled the question arguing that the lanky pair help the squad more than hinder them. Bonnell refers to the Hornets’ defensive woes as the major culprit for Charlotte’s disappointing 2016/17 campaign, saying that taking Kidd-Gilchrist out of the picture would only make matters worse.

Bonnell does add, however, that the Hornets would be wise to feature rookie Malik Monk as soon as he’s able to prove that he’s reasonably competent on the defensive end. If he slots in at the two, Batum could then slide up to the three.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Hawks acquired Jamal Crawford in the three-way deal that sent Danilo Gallinari to the Clippers and immediately began pursuing a buyout with the 36-year-old veteran. Exact details of the buyout are not yet known but Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets that the guard’s cap hit will be around $11MM in 2017/18.
  • There’s no disputing Shelvin Mack‘s track record of success, he suited up for the 60-win Hawks of 2014/15 and served a valuable role for the 2016/17 Jazz squad that climbed back to relevance. According to John Denton of Orlando’s official website, the former Butler Bulldog thinks that even the Magic can be winners in the immediate future.
  • After a breakout 2013/14 campaign in which he filled in admirably for an injured Kobe Bryant, Jodie Meeks has posted three forgettable, injury-plagued seasons. Now a member of the Wizards, the soon-to-be 30-year-old is ready to reset and start anew. “I came back from my thumb at the end of the season,” he told Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic. “I played okay and finished out the season healthy. This summer I got some rest. Now I’m working out again and I feel fine.
  • After riding the pine for the Wizards in 2016/17, Sheldon Mac and Daniel Ochefu have taken noticeable steps forward, Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic writes.

Jodie Meeks Signs Two-Year Deal With Wizards

July 12, 4:10pm: The signing is official, according to

JULY 2, 11:38am: The Wizards have added some more outside shooting to their roster, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical (via Twitter). League sources tell Charania that Washington has reached an agreement with veteran free agent Jodie Meeks, who will sign a two-year, $7MM contract.Jodie Meeks vertical

Meeks has seen his last two seasons derailed by injuries, having appeared in just 39 total games for the Pistons and Magic since the start of the 2015/16 campaign. However, he was an effective outside threat for Orlando when he suited up last year, averaging 9.1 PPG on 40.9% three-point shooting.

According to Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post (Twitter link), the Wizards will sign Meeks using their bi-annual exception. The BAE can be used for deals worth up to $6,744,500 over two years, so that makes sense. However, using that exception would limit the Wizards to a hard cap of $125.266MM for the 2017/18 league year.

Washington has about $94MM in guaranteed salaries on its books prior to adding Meeks or re-signing Otto Porter, so if the team intends to match a max offer for Porter, that hard cap could become a problem. If the Wizards instead opt to use a portion of their taxpayer mid-level exception to complete the Meeks signing, the team wouldn’t be subject to a hard cap.

The addition of Meeks probably doesn’t bode well for Bojan Bogdanovic‘s return to the Wizards. Meeks figures to fill a similar role in Washington, and Bogdanovic will likely be able to land a better offer from another club, with the Wizards focusing on Porter.

Since the offseason began, the Wizards have now traded for Tim Frazier and committed to sign Meeks in an effort to bolster one of the NBA’s lowest-scoring benches.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Southeast Notes: Meeks, Porter, Reed, Magic

The Wizards will use their mid-level exception instead of their bi-annual exception to sign Jodie Meeks, tweets Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post. The change was made to avoid being hard-capped by the expected re-signing of Otto Porter. Meeks will still receive $7MM over two seasons; the money will just come from a different source (Twitter link). The Wizards still haven’t received the Nets’ offer sheet for Porter, adds J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic (Twitter link).

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Clippers, Warriors, Hawks, Sixers and Pacers all remain in the market for Heat back-up center Willie Reed, tweets David Aldridge of TNT. Miami also hopes to re-sign him.
  • The Magic’s new management team is taking a cautious attitude toward rebuilding, relays Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. Orlando has been quiet during the first week of free agency, despite coming off a 29-53 season and having up to $15.1MM available to spend. “There’s a lot less money in the free-agent market this year than there was last year,” said Jeff Weltman, the team’s new president of basketball operations. “And so, the approach that we’ve taken is to kind of wait and see how some of that shakes out towards the next phase of free agency and see which players we may be able to get into discussions with at that point. But we’ve been touching base with a lot of guys and just kind of gauging the market.”
  • The Hornets have promoted Buzz Peterson to assistant GM, the team announced on its website. A former standout at North Carolina and a head coach at five colleges, Peterson had been serving as the Hornets’ senior advisor to basketball operations. “He brings a wide breadth of basketball knowledge to the position, having been involved in the game at various levels for close to three decades,” said Charlotte GM Rich Cho. “I’m excited to be working more closely with Buzz in his new role and look forward to his continued contributions to our basketball team.”

Pelicans Eyeing Nick Young, Ty Lawson, Others

Having locked up their top free agent target with a new five-year contract agreement, the Pelicans are now exploring the rest of the market as they search for veteran scorers and playmakers, tweets David Aldridge of TNT. According to Aldridge (Twitter links), New Orleans is engaging today with free agent shooting guard Nick Young and will also connect with point guard Ty Lawson.

[RELATED: Pelicans agree to five-year deal with Jrue Holiday]

Even after agreeing to re-sign Jrue Holiday, the Pelicans’ roster is somewhat heavier on frontcourt players, led by Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. Having traded Tim Frazier to Washington in June, New Orleans will be on the lookout for backcourt players to play alongside or behind Holiday in the rotation.

Young and Lawson both appear capable of fitting that bill. While we haven’t heard much yet about Young’s free agent options, Lawson has reportedly drawn some interest from the Timberwolves, Thunder, and Kings in addition to the Pelicans.

Scott Kushner of The Advocate adds (via Twitter) that Jodie Meeks is another free agent name to watch for New Orleans.

The Pelicans will almost certainly operate as an over-the-cap team, leaving them the mid-level ($8.4MM) and bi-annual ($3.3MM) exceptions to add players above the minimum salary level.

Southeast Notes: Meeks, Vogel, Calderon, Weber

Magic guard Jodie Meeks is ready to return after being sidelined since January 18th with a dislocated right thumb, Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated posts on ESPN Now. Meeks has received medical clearance and should be available for Monday’s contest with the Sixers. Injuries have limited Meeks to 24 games this season, after he played just three in Detroit a year ago. A part-time starter, Meeks is averaging 8.9 points per night and shooting better than 40% from 3-point range. He is headed toward free agency this summer.

There’s more tonight from the Southeast Division:

  • Frank Vogel has overseen a disappointing season in his first year as Magic coach, but he is winning over his players with the way he handles adversity, writes John Denton of“He still fights for us and that makes me want to fight for him,’’ said Aaron Gordon. “I’ve got total respect for Frank because even after a tough loss like that one [against Golden State on Thursday], he can still smile and we can have a conversation. That’s big. As good a coach as he is, he’s an even better person.’’
  • Jose Calderon has made an immediate impact since joining the Hawks, according to KL Chouinard of The veteran point guard has provided scoring, playmaking and leadership as Atlanta won three of its first four games after claiming him off waivers. “Sometimes when you get to this time of the season, the problem is that you don’t have the practice time,” Calderon said. “So it’s kind of like my practice being out there [in games]. It’s a little bit more difficult because you don’t want to make mistakes. You’re still learning what your teammates are used to doing.” 
  • The “Havoc” system that Briante Weber learned at Virginia Commonwealth helped him land an extended contract with the Hornets, relays David Scott of The Charlotte Observer. Weber agreed to a two-year deal after nearly two full seasons of D-League play and 10-day contracts. He has developed a reputation as a defensive specialist who brings a lot of energy to the game. “I’m using my calling card, what got me here,” Weber said. “My defensive abilities, my tenacity. I want those things to help me stay in this league for a long time. They’re what helped me get this shot.”

Jodie Meeks Out Indefinitely With Thumb Injury

JANUARY 25: After the Magic conducted a follow-up exam on Meeks’ injury, the team determined that surgery was necessary, according to a press release. GM Rob Hennigan announced that Meeks underwent that procedure on Tuesday and will be sidelined indefinitely — his return will depend on how he responds to rehab, per the team.

JANUARY 19: Magic shooting guard Jodie Meeks will be out an estimated 4-to-6 weeks after an MRI revealed two sprained ligaments in his right thumb, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel tweets. He will not need surgery, Robbins adds.

Meeks suffered the injury in a 118-98 loss to the Pelicans on Wednesday.

This is another injury setback for Meeks, who has been sidelined by a variety of ailments in recent seasons. Signed by the Pistons to a three-year, $18.8MM contract prior to the 2014/15 season, Meeks missed the first 22 games of that campaign because of a back injury. Last season, he fractured his right foot in the second game of the season and wound up making just one appearance the rest of the way.

The Magic acquired Meeks in June for a conditional second-round pick. He underwent foot surgery the following month, delaying his Magic debut until December 2nd.

Meeks, who earned nine starts in recent weeks, is averaging 8.9 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 24 games. He has given Orlando a boost on the perimeter, making 40.4% of his 3-point attempts. Meeks is one of the league’s premier spot-up shooters when healthy, as his 37.5% career average from long range attests.

Orlando’s other top option at shooting guard, Evan Fournier, is dealing with heel and foot issues. Meeks’ injury could lead to additional playing time for 2015 lottery pick Mario Hezonja. C.J. Wilcox could also be in the mix.

Magic Are Ready To Trade For Scorers

Ranked 29th in points per possession, the Magic will turn to the trade market for help on offense, reports Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel.

Robbins cites a league source with knowledge of the situation, but it’s obvious to anyone who has watched the Magic that they need to find some scoring. The offseason trade for Serge Ibaka and the signing of Bismack Biyombo have helped Orlando build the NBA’s third best defense in points per possession, but a lack of offense has limited the Magic in a 9-12 start.

Robbins isn’t sure who Orlando’s front office might want to part with, but he lists four players with expiring contracts, which are usually attractive to teams hoping to cut salary. They are Ibaka, Jeff Green, Jodie Meeks and C.J. Wilcox. In addition, C.J. Watson has just a $1MM guarantee on his 2017/18 contract.

The unofficial start of the trading season is December 15th, when most of the offseason free agent signees are eligible to be dealt.