Jordan Goodwin

Wizards Release Three Players

The Wizards have released Jaime Echenique, Jordan Goodwin and Devontae Shuler, the club announced on social media today (Twitter link).

Washington now has 15 players on standard deals and two players on two-way contracts, trimming its roster to 17 players ahead of the regular season.

The team re-tooled during the offseason, adding Spencer Dinwiddie, Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell and others. It opens the season in a road contest against Toronto on Wednesday night.

Echenique, Goodwin and Shuler all signed Exhibit 10 contracts, making them strong candidates to play with the team’s G League affiliate this season.

Wizards Sign Jordan Goodwin To Exhibit 10 Deal

Jordan Goodwin has signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Wizards, according to the transactions log at RealGM.

Goodwin, a 6’3″ guard of out St. Louis, was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Defensive team in 2020 and 2021. The 22-year-old spent four seasons with the Billikens and averaged 14.5 points and 10.1 rebounds as a senior. An undrafted free agent, he played for the Wizards in the Las Vegas Summer League.

The contract means Goodwin will join Washington for training camp and is eligible for a $50K bonus if he winds up playing for the team’s G League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go. The signing brings the Wizards to 18 players, two short of the limit heading into camp. Kyree Walker is also expected to receive a training camp deal.

Wizards To Sign Jay Huff, Jordan Goodwin To Exhibit 10 Deals

The Wizards are signing undrafted free agents Jay Huff and Jordan Goodwin to Exhibit 10 contracts, according to a pair of reports from Fred Katz of The Athletic (Twitter links).

A 7’1″ forward/center, Huff spent his college career at Virginia and was a full-time starter for the first time as a senior in 2020/21. He averaged 13.0 PPG, 7.1 RPG, and 2.6 BPG with a stellar .585/.387/.837 shooting line in 25 games (27.0 MPG). Huff, who won a national title in 2019, made the All-ACC Second Team and the ACC All-Defensive Team in 2021.

As for Goodwin, the 6’3″ guard averaged a double-double in back-to-back years for Saint Louis, including 14.5 PPG and 10.1 RPG in 21 games (33.1 MPG) this past season. Goodwin’s shot (.430/.314/.643) is inconsistent, but he’s a decent play-maker (3.9 APG) and made the Atlantic 10 All-Defensive team twice in 2020 and 2021.

An Exhibit 10 contract can be converted into a two-way or standard NBA deal if a team decides it wants to keep a player around beyond training camp. It can also ensure a player receives a bonus worth up to $50K if he ends up joining his team’s G League affiliate, so it’s possible Huff and/or Goodwin eventually play for the Capital City Go-Go.

Southeast Notes: Herro, Unseld Jr., T. Murphy, Magic

Although Heat president Pat Riley considers Tyler Herro to be a “core player” for the franchise, Herro heard his name in a lot of trade rumors during his second NBA season, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Herro was mentioned frequently as Miami pursued James Harden in January and Kyle Lowry at the trade deadline in March. Now that he’s been exposed to the distraction of trade talk, Herro plans to ignore it in the future.

“I’m done listening to all that, honestly,” he said. “I think every time that we’re not playing or even if we are playing, my name is brought up in something. So it is what it is at this point. Like I said, I’m focused on getting better, getting this team better.”

Herro averaged 15.1 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game this season while shooting 43.9% from the field, all better numbers than in his rookie year. He has already gained four pounds since the Heat were knocked out of the playoffs and hopes to add between 10 to 12 overall to become stronger for next season.

“I think it translates obviously offensively,” he said. “Getting stronger, I can get to my spots easier and just being able to defend bigger guys than me. I want to be able to be as big as the rest of the vets are in the league. So just gaining weight I think will help me tremendously on both ends.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Wizards conducted 26 interviews before deciding to hire Wes Unseld Jr. as their next coach, writes Ethan Cadeaux of NBC Sports Washington. During an appearance this week on the Sports Junkies podcast, general manager Tommy Sheppard talked about the process, which included 18 formal interviews and eight others over the phone. “We went about it pretty thoroughly, pretty thoughtfully, and where we arrived was at a fantastic, young head coach that has been putting in the time and doing everything he could possibly do,” Sheppard said. “Not a self-promoter, but somebody that was ready for this job.”
  • Potential lottery pick Trey Murphy is scheduled to work out for the Wizards on Thursday, the team announced on its website. A junior out of Virginia, he shot over 40% from beyond the arc last season and ranked seventh in the ACC in made three-pointers. St. Louis guard Jordan Goodwin and Kyree Walker of Chameleon BX will also participate.
  • Josh Robbins of The Athletic proposes a few potential draft-day trades for the Magic involving the other teams in the top six.

Draft Notes: Juzang, Abmas, Last-Minute Decisions

After leading UCLA to the Final Four, Johnny Juzang will withdraw from the NBA draft and return for his junior season. Juzang announced his decision on Twitter about an hour before the NCAA’s Wednesday deadline of midnight Eastern Time for early entrants to pull out of the draft and retain their eligibility.

“Going through the draft process has been an amazing experience,” he wrote. “I was blessed to connect with great people, learn and grow, and get a feel for life at the next level. I want to thank everyone who has helped me in this process including my family, trainers, school and especially my dad who helped me for countless hours!”

There was talk that Juzang might be a first-round pick after an outstanding performance in the NCAA tournament, but a disappointing showing at the combine hurt his status, according to Chad Ford (Twitter link), who speculates that he could be back in first-round consideration next year.

There’s more on last-minute draft decisions:

H. Jones, Goodwin, French Withdrawing From Draft

After testing the 2020 NBA draft waters, Alabama forward Herb Jones has decided to withdraw his name and return to school for his senior season, he announced today in a press release.

Jones, who declared for the draft in March, averaged 7.9 PPG, 6.4 RPG, and 2.3 APG for the Crimson Tide in 27 games (26.5 MPG) as a junior in 2019/20. He was one of three Alabama underclassmen to enter the draft — Kira Lewis is expected to keep his name in, while John Petty continues to test the waters.

Meanwhile, a pair of Saint Louis early entrants have also decided to pull out of the 2020 draft pool. According to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter links), both Jordan Goodwin and Hasahn French have informed them that they’re withdrawing their names and heading back to school for their senior years.

Goodwin was Saint Louis’ leading scorer with 15.5 PPG, while French chipped in 12.4 PPG. Both players averaged double-doubles, with an impressive 10.4 RPG apiece.

Today, June 3, was originally scheduled to be the NCAA’s deadline for early entrants to withdraw from the 2020 NBA draft and maintain their college eligibility. However, that deadline was pushed back indefinitely. While players like Jones, Goodwin, and French are making their decisions now, other prospects who are testing the waters should still have several more weeks or months to weigh their options.

Draft Decisions: Alston, Mizzou, Diarra, French, More

Boise State forward Derrick Alston Jr. has entered his name in the 2020 NBA draft pool, he announced on Twitter. He’ll leave the door open for a possible return to school for his senior season.

Alston, who comes in at No. 98 on ESPN’s big board of 2020 draft prospects, averaged 17.3 PPG, 5.2 RPG, and 3.1 APG in 32 games (33.0 MPG) in 2019/20. His three-point shooting fell off as his volume increased, dipping from 38.4% as a sophomore to 33.5% as a junior.

Alston’s father, Derrick Alston Sr., is a former NBA player who is currently the head coach of the Westchester Knicks, New York’s G League affiliate.

Here are more early entrant draft decisions from across the NCAA:

  • Three Missouri players – sophomore guard Xavier Pinson and junior forwards Mitchell Smith and Jeremiah Tilmon – will test the draft waters, according to a press release from the school. All three played part-time roles for the Tigers in 2019/20, with Pinson averaging 11.1 PPG, good for second-best on the roster.
  • Jeff Goodman of Stadium reports a pair of early entries, tweeting that Eastern Kentucky sophomore guard Jomaru Brown and Vermont junior guard Stef Smith are declaring. A source expects Smith to return to school, Goodman notes.
  • According to Goodman (via Twitter), Kansas State junior guard Cartier Diarra is testing the draft waters. If he decides to withdraw, he’ll transfer to Virginia Tech.
  • Saint Louis junior forward Hasahn French and junior guard Jordan Goodwin are testing the draft waters, according to the school. Goodwin was Saint Louis’ leading scorer with 15.5 PPG, while French chipped in 12.4 PPG. Both players averaged double-doubles, with an impressive 10.4 RPG apiece.
  • Isiaha Mike (SMU), Nate Pierre-Louis (Temple), Paul Atkinson Jr. (Yale), and Aamir Simms (Clemson) each announced on their personal Twitter accounts that they’re entering the draft while maintaining their NCAA eligibility.