John Wall

John Wall Wants To Remain With Wizards

The Wizards are not planning to trade John Wall, though as losses continue to add up, the team will have to consider taking a long-term approach to building a formidable roster. On Monday, it was reported that no one on Washington’s roster was untouchable in trade talks. Today, Wall spoke about the rumors, making it clear where he wanted to be.

“I love being here. I want to finish my career here, that’s all I can control,” Wall told reporters, including Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington, prior to Tuesday’s tilt with the Clippers.

Wall signed a massive, four-year, $170MM extension with the Wizards during the summer of 2017. The deal, which includes a 15% trade kicker, will take effect at the end of this season.

Hughes notes that Wall has previously expressed his desire to bring Washington a championship and the point guard has often expressed his preference of spending his entire career with the franchise.

Neither the Wizards nor Wall are playing up to their potential this season. It was previously reported that Wall was playing through a deep thigh bruise and he alluded to injuries as a reason for his subpar play. “Everyone keeps saying I’m not in shape. I’m in shape. It’s just that I deal with injuries. I play through them and I don’t complain about it,” Wall said.

Wizards Rumors: Beal, Wall, Green, Oubre

Monday was an eventful day for Wizards-related headlines. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported in the morning that the team was sending signals that it was willing to listen to inquiries on any of its players – including John Wall and Bradley Beal. Afternoon and evening reports, meanwhile, provided details on a contentious recent practice that included Wall cursing at head coach Scott Brooks, while Beal and Austin Rivers also had a verbal altercation.

In an article for The Washington Post, Candace Buckner shared more details on Thursday’s practice, which included an on-court confrontation between Wall and Jeff Green. Although sources who spoke to Buckner stressed that no arguments turned physical and that the altercations weren’t necessarily unusual for a struggling NBA team, the practice saw several players’ frustrations reach a boiling point.

“This is embarrassing,” a person familiar with the team told Buckner. “This is crazy.”

At one point during the practice, according to Buckner, Beal went on a tirade about the current culture within the Wizards’ organization, yelling something to the effect of “I’m sick of this sh**.” He also gestured toward GM Ernie Grunfeld and said, “It starts at the top,” per Buckner.

Despite Beal’s outburst, he hasn’t expressed any desire to be traded, people familiar with the situation tell Buckner. As for whether the Wizards would actually be willing to deal him, several sources who spoke to Buckner believe the team has no plans to move on from Wall or Beal. Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington hears that any thoughts the Wizards have about trading either of their star guards are “very preliminary.”

Here’s more out of D.C.:

  • Buckner also reports that Kelly Oubre cursed out Brooks during a recent game. Although the incident happened on the court, Brooks addressed it during the locker room after the game, per Buckner.
  • “They just need to blow the whole sh** up,” one person connected to the Wizards said to Buckner. “It’s all bad.”
  • A source tells Fred Katz of The Athletic that changes are coming for the Wizards, adding that “you will notice a difference” in Brooks’ rotations going forward.
  • Washington will also consider trades, especially involving players who are perceived not to be playing hard every night, sources tell Katz. However, the club is in no rush to make an unfavorable deal and no trade appears imminent.
  • Here’s what a source who works in another team’s front office said about Beal, per Katz: “He isn’t the best player who’s been available in the past few years, but he’s the best player with the best contract situation.” The two stars who were traded most recently – Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler – were in the final year of their respective contracts, whereas Beal won’t be a free agent until 2021.
  • In an Insider-only article at ESPN.com, Kevin Pelton ranks the Wizards in terms of trade value. Beal tops Pelton’s list, followed by Oubre, Otto Porter, and Tomas Satoransky. Wall places eighth.

Frustrated Wizards Get Heated In Recent Practice

7:04pm: Beal and Austin Rivers were among the players who had a verbal altercation, Buckner tweets.

6:48pm: Wall was fined for cursing at Brooks during the heated practice, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. Wall was upset when Brooks implored the team to turn up the intensity during the practice. Wall apologized to Brooks and the teammates the following day, Wojnarowski adds.

5:40pm: Things are getting very testy around the underperforming Wizards. They had a heated practice recently in which numerous players engaged in verbal spats, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports. Exasperated shooting guard Bradley Beal told team officials after that practice “I’ve been dealing with this for seven years,” Charania continues (Twitter links).

Tensions tend to run high when things aren’t going well, so these types of exchanges aren’t unusual, Charania notes. Washington, considered the favorite to win the watered-down Southeast Division title, is slogging along with a 5-11 record amid speculation about potential blockbuster trades and coach Scott Brooks‘ job status.

The players are fed up, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington confirms in a tweet, and Brooks curiously said Monday the team just had one of its best practices this year. It was unclear whether Brooks was referring to today’s practice or the one involving the verbal exchanges.

Short fuses and frustration have been apparent since the first two weeks of the season. Beal and Wall called out teammates late last month for their lack of effort and focus.

Changes could be on the horizon. An ESPN report today claimed that the Wizards’ front office is giving rival executives the impression that they’re willing to break up the All-Star backcourt of Beal and John Wall, though the team’s brass would prefer to swap Otto Porter Jr. or Kelly Oubre.

However, the Washington Post’s Candace Buckner reports that the franchise doesn’t plan to move on from its franchise cornerstones and that there has been little traction in trade discussions involving Porter.

Beal doubts that he or Wall will be wearing a different uniform in the near future, as he told Buckner.

“I’ve heard those rumors weeks ago,” he said. “Then, I didn’t buy into them. Now, I’m still not going to buy into them because if that’s my main priority and focus, then I’m going to be messed up on the floor.”

No Untouchables In Trade Talks For Wizards?

The Wizards have begun to give rival teams the impression that they’re open to discussing any player on their roster in trade talks, including John Wall or Bradley Beal, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

According to Wojnarowski, the Wizards would prefer to reshape their roster around Wall and Beal, and have resisted including the two star guards in past trade discussions, including talks for Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler. However, it’s “rapidly becoming apparent” to the club that it will need to start considering inquiries on Wall and Beal, says Woj.

Washington had hoped that players like Otto Porter or Kelly Oubre could be the key piece(s) in a trade that returns a third impact player, but those guys have received “minimal” interest on the market, per Wojnarowski. Porter, who is earning $26MM+ in 2018/19, still has two years and nearly $56MM left on his deal after this season. Oubre, meanwhile, will hit restricted free agency in 2019, and will be in line for a raise.

The rest of the players on the Wizards’ roster also have limited trade value, so the team’s best hope of making meaningful changes would be via a deal that features Wall or Beal. Still, that won’t be so simple either — Wall’s four-year super-max extension, which goes into effect next season, won’t appeal to teams, and his 15% trade kicker would complicate any deal made this season. As for Beal, he’s three years younger than Wall and represents the best asset the Wizards have, so the club would certainly require a substantial haul in order to part with him.

The Wizards had entered the season once again hoping that the Wall/Beal duo – complemented by Porter, Oubre, Dwight Howard, Markieff Morris, and others – could lead the team to a top-four seed in the East, and perhaps a deep playoff run. However, after finishing eighth in the conference last season, Washington is off to an even worse start this year, with a 5-11 record.

As Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington details, the Wizards are confused and frustrated by their on-court results this season, given the talent on the roster. However, Wall said that he still thinks the current group can figure things out, while Morris suggested that it’s “not time for a fire sale.”

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 Notes: Slow Start, Trades, Rivers, Porter

Austin Rivers, one of the newest Wizards, had some pointed words for his teammates after the team dropped to 1-5 this season, E. Jay Zarett of the Sporting News relays. Washington is giving up a league-worst 125 PPG.  “Nobody’s going to feel bad for us,” the combo guard said. “People are laughing at us. … I don’t know how we expect to get wins when they are just walking into the paint, (we are) giving up threes. It comes from effort and talking. You have got to have personal pride. You’ve got to get mad when someone scores on you. We are not the Warriors.”

We’ve got more on the Wizards:

  • Breaking up the backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal and finding a taker for Otto Porter Jr.’s big contract is the only way for Washington to begin a meaningful rebuild, Frank Urbina of HoopsHype opines. Wall and Beal remain the team’s best assets despite Wall’s extension kicking in next season and Beal having two more years left on his contract, Urbina continues.  If the front office doesn’t do something bold, it seems destined to deal with constant dysfunctional mediocrity, Urbina adds.
  • Rivers told father Doc Rivers that he was unsure whether he’d re-sign with the Clippers as a free agent in 2019 before he was dealt to Washington, Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times reports. Austin Rivers wanted to establish that he could be an effective NBA player without playing for his father. Rivers, who is making $12.65MM this season, was swapped for center Marcin Gortat. “I felt like my head was hitting a ceiling because I was ultimately playing for my dad and no matter what I did it always came back to that. … I could score 60, 50, 40, whatever and people would be like, ‘Oh, his dad’s the coach,’” Rivers said.
  • Porter has not been carrying his share of the load offensively, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington notes. Porter is averaging just 9.8 PPG while shooting 41.1% from the field and 21.7% from 3-point range.
  • Coach Scott Brooks continues to have the full support of the organization despite the club’s poor start. Get all the details here.

Wizards Notes: Wall, Beal, Porter, Gortat

The new version of the Wizards seems as dysfunctional as ever, according to Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. John Wall and Bradley Beal both questioned the team’s effort and focus following Friday’s loss in Sacramento, which dropped Washington to 1-4.

“That’s the proof in the pudding. Everybody on their own agenda,” Wall said. “We showed glimpses when we do stuff as a team. We show how good we can be and then we go back to trying to do it individually, and that’s mostly on the defensive end. Not helping each other out, not team rebounding, and that’s what’s killing us.”

Wall also claimed that some players are “worried about who’s getting shots, where the ball is going on the offensive end,” while Beal suggested the team needs to “get out of our comfort zone.” Disunity and public disputes between players have plagued the Wizards in the past, Buckner notes, but there were hopes this season might be different after some offseason personnel moves.

There’s more Wizards news to pass along:

  • Wall and Beal didn’t specify who their comments were directed at, but coach Scott Brooks may have provided a clue, Buckner relays in the same story. Kelly Oubre turned in a 22-point performance and played 29 minutes, taking time away from Otto Porter. “I don’t know if you’ve seen Kelly the last three games. He deserved more minutes. … He’s going to keep playing more minutes if he keeps playing well,” Brooks said. “ … Otto, you know, he has to just keep playing and can’t worry about your shots and worry about your shot-making, but Kelly is playing well.”
  • The Wizards will get their first look at Marcin Gortat tomorrow since an offseason trade that sent him to the Clippers. Gortat was sometimes portrayed as a disruptive influence, but Brooks had nothing but kind words for his former center, Buckner tweets. “March was good. I had him for two years. He gave us consistent effort. He gave us consistency,” Brooks said. “He was the machine. The Polish Machine, and that’s a good name for him because he practiced every day, he played every game.”
  • The Wizards have been carrying 13 players since opening night and have three more days to fill one of their open roster spots.

Southeast Notes: Spoelstra, Kidd-Gilchrist, Wall

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra will have a difficult time coming up with a rotation after team president Pat Riley failed to address the logjam at several positions, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel notes. With Hassan WhitesideKelly OlynykBam Adebayo and James Johnson on the roster, there aren’t enough frontcourt minutes to go around and keep everyone happy, Winderman continues. There’s also an excess of shooting guards options (Rodney McGruderDion WaitersTyler JohnsonWayne Ellington and Josh Richardson) even if Dwyane Wade isn’t re-signed, Winderman adds.

We have more from around the Southeast Division:

  • The Hornets are thinking seriously about going with smaller lineups more often, featuring Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at power forward and Frank Kaminsky at center, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports. Charlotte has plenty of rotation-worthy options at small forward and shooting guard to allow those position changes to take place, Bonnell continues. If Kidd-Gilchrist logs significant playing time at power forward, Kaminsky could join an unsettled rotation at center and his perimeter defensive shortcomings wouldn’t be as much of an issue, Bonnell adds.
  • This is a pivotal season for Wizards point guard John Wall, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington points out. Following the upcoming season, Wall’s four-year, $170MM-plus extension kicks in and it’s time for him to show he can lead a major contender, Hughes continues. He must improve his field-goal efficiency and mesh well with incoming center Dwight Howard, Hughes adds.
  • Heat summer-league star Derrick Jones will struggle to find playing time, Winderman wrote in another mailbag piece. Get that info, plus other Miami notes, right here.

Southeast Notes: Waiters, Fournier, Adebayo, Howard

In order to improve upon their 2017/18 campaign without having made any significant changes this offseason, the Heat had better hope that Dion Waiters, who missed 52 games last season, becomes this season’s Victor Oladipo, opines Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel.

There are some unquestionable similarities between Oladipo and Waiters. As Winderman notes, both were traded from Oklahoma City, both were top five selections in their respective drafts, and both are now playing for their third NBA franchise.

“You can never predict anything in this league,” Riley said. “You look at what happened last year to Indiana and how good they became getting [Domantas] Sabonis and Oladipo, how they changed, how their mentality changed. They made some good additions. Very few people talk about them.”

Per Winderman, it’s that type of under-the-radar approach from Riley that has defined the Heat’s offseason thus far. Riley seemingly believes that his team is good enough to complete already.

“One thing we have going for us is we have familiarity, we have continuity,” Riley said. “There is a system that’s been intact here. (And) not having Dion Waiters play hardly at all, you’ve got to give it another shot. You can’t just keep ripping things up every year and changing your roster.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

Southeast Notes: Riley, Howard, Kaminsky, Lamb

Heat president Pat Riley understands some fans are disappointed that he didn’t add any big names this offseason, but he’s asking them to be patient as he works to rebuild the team, relays Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Miami won’t have the cap space to pursue big-name free agents until the summer of 2020. Riley is trying to lay the groundwork for that opportunity while keeping a competitive group on the court.

“If any fan out there is unhappy or angry we didn’t go out and get LeBron James or Kevin Durant or [DeMarcus] Cousins or whatever else they felt that they would want us to get probably didn’t realize we couldn’t get them anyhow, that we couldn’t trade for them,” Riley said. “There are things I read [where] people are so uninformed about the rules and what we can and cannot do until one of you [reporters] – and most of the time you do that – [say] we couldn’t make that move.”

Riley also confirmed that he has refused to surrender first-round picks in deals to get rid of unwanted contracts.

There’s more tonight from the Southeast Division:

  • John Wall showed off his recruiting skills by convincing Dwight Howard to come to the Wizards, writes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. Howard wasn’t considering the Wizards as he was negotiating a buyout from the Nets, but an appeal from Wall changed that. “No lie, when I saw the message on Instagram, I really got so happy,” Howard said at his introductory press conference this week. “I was like ‘John just DM’d me, oh man this is crazy!’ After that, I really just started to put on my thinking cap. I just thought about all the possibilities. I was like ‘Man, this could be the best spot for me.'”
  • Former Hornets lottery pick Frank Kaminsky is entering a vital season for his financial future, writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer in a mailbag column. Kaminsky will be a restricted free agent next summer if he can’t work out an extension with Charlotte before the start of the upcoming season. The Hornets gave deals to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Cody Zeller before they could test the free agent waters, but Bonnell isn’t convinced that Kaminsky has the same value.
  • If the Hornets are looking to unload players at next year’s trade deadline, Jeremy Lamb will be a prime candidate to go, Bonnell writes in the same piece. Lamb has an expiring contract and Charlotte has a lot of wing players on its roster.