PJ Washington

Roster Announced For U.S. Select Team

The roster has been released for the U.S. Select Team, which will help Team USA prepare for the Olympics, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The Select Team, which will practice with and scrimmage against the national team during the upcoming training camp in Las Vegas, is made up mostly of first- and second-year NBA players. It will be coached by Erik Spoelstra of the Heat.

Making up the roster are:

Southeast Notes: Hornets’ Centers, Ball, Oladipo, Clifford

James Borrego isn’t satisfied with his options at center and he hasn’t been since he took over as Hornets coach three years ago, writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Cody Zeller, Bismack Biyombo, P.J. Washington and Vernon Carey have all seen time in middle this season, but none of them has been outstanding. Washington will probably be the starter for the rest of the season, Bonnell adds, but he’s a natural power forward at 6-7 and likely isn’t the long-term answer.

“Every night I’m just trying to figure it out with that group. It’s been like that for three years,” Borrego said after watching his team get outrebounded 54-33 in a loss to the Celtics this week. “It may be another three years that we continue to look like that, actually. … Just trying to piece it together.”

General manager Mitch Kupchak was interested in James Wiseman in last year’s draft, but the Warriors grabbed him with the second pick. Charlotte may not be in the lottery this year, but the club will have about $30MM in cap room when free agency begins. Bonnell suggests targeting Kings center Richaun Holmes or trying to trade for Pacers center Myles Turner.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • With LaMelo Ball returning tonight from a fractured wrist, Nekias Duncan of Basketball News examines how the Hornets‘ dynamic rookie impacts the game through play-making, scoring and defense.
  • Heat guard Victor Oladipo may be getting closer to playing, even though he didn’t accompany the team on its weekend road trip, tweets Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Oladipo hasn’t played since hurting his knee in an April 8 game, and the team hasn’t provided much information about a possible return. However, coach Erik Spoelstra said Oladipo is “making progress,” according to a tweet from the team. Tyler Herro, who continues to have issues with his injured foot, missed the road trip as well, notes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald (via Twitter).
  • Magic head coach Steve Clifford continues to be sidelined after testing positive for COVID-19, but acting coach Tyrone Corbin said Clifford “feels great,” tweets Roy Parry of The Orlando Sentinel. Corbin said Clifford is still not showing any symptoms of the virus and his oxygen numbers remain good.

Injury Notes: Durant, Harden, Davis, Hornets

Nets forward Kevin Durant had his bad injury luck continue on Sunday, as he left the team’s loss to Miami after just four minutes due to a left thigh contusion, per Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Brooklyn is expected to assess the injury further today to determine whether Durant will miss some time.

“He’s sore, but we don’t know how severe. We’ll see (Monday) how he wakes up and go from there. But right now nothing’s been determined,” Nets head coach Steve Nash said. “Honestly, I don’t know (if he’ll undergo an MRI or other testing) … I haven’t heard, but I imagine they’re going to assess him in the morning and see if a scan is necessary.”

Given the initial diagnosis, it seems unlikely that Durant’s injury is serious, but even so, it’s the latest setback in a season full of health issues for both the star forward and the Nets as a whole, and another hurdle in the team’s efforts to establish chemistry, writes Alex Schiffer of The Athletic. The former MVP has appeared in just 24 of Brooklyn’s 57 games.

Here are a few more injury updates from around the NBA, including a note on another Brooklyn star:

  • While James Harden is accompanying the Nets on their current three-game road trip, it sounds like that’s more about making sure he’s working out around the time, as Nash explained on Saturday (link via Petter Botte of The New York Post). Harden won’t necessarily be ready to return to action during the road trip, which concludes on Wednesday in Tampa.
  • Lakers star Anthony Davis is expected to be back on the court soon, but it won’t happen on Monday, as the team has officially ruled him out for today’s game vs. Utah, tweets Dave McMenamin of ESPN.
  • The Hornets have been hit hard by the injury bug this month, but got a key player back on Sunday, when PJ Washington (right ankle sprain) returned and played 34 minutes in a win over Portland. As Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer writes, Devonte’ Graham (left quad contusion) didn’t play, but had been listed as questionable for that game, suggesting his return is close.

Hornets Notes: Batum, Ball, Graham, Turner, Washington

Nicolas Batum found out the Hornets had released him in November on social media, according to Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. “I found out on Twitter, like everybody else,” Batum said. The veteran forward was let go to clear cap space for Gordon Hayward. Charlotte elected to use the stretch provision, spreading Batum’s $27.1MM cap hit over three seasons. The Hornets declined to comment on how they handled Batum’s departure.

We have more on the Hornets:

  • LaMelo Ball played 57 percent of the season before he injured his wrist, so he’s still likely to win the Rookie of the Year award, Sam Vecenie of The Athletic writes. Only strong finishes by either Anthony Edwards or Tyrese Haliburton would jeopardize his hold on the award.
  • The Hornets have a tricky decision on Devonte’ Graham in the aftermath of Ball’s injury, but they would still be wise to deal the restricted free agent, Vecenie opines in the same piece. Graham will never have more value than he has now, due to his $1.6MM salary, which makes him an option for any team interested in him. He could be an impact player for a contender, which would gain control over him this summer due to his RFA status.
  • Charlotte has long been interested in the Pacers’ Myles Turner and Indiana asked for P.J. Washington as part of a potential package prior to the season, J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star tweets.
  • With an open roster spot and up to $4.1MM in cap space, GM Mitch Kupchak needs to add a big man to the roster, Bonnell tweets. Charlotte has left a roster spot open throughout the season.

Southeast Notes: Martin Brothers, McDaniels, Bamba, Huerter, Wizards

Hornets brothers Cody Martin and Caleb Martin will miss Friday’s game against the Timberwolves due to the league’s health and safety protocols, according to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. P.J. Washington has also been sidelined by the protocols, Marc Spears of ESPN tweets.

Hornets forward Jalen McDaniels has been recalled from the G League’s Greensboro Swarm, according to a team press release. McDaniels, who won’t be available until at least Sunday due to quarantine rules, has averaged 20 points and 11.5 rebounds in two games at Orlando’s bubble.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Mohamed Bamba has fallen out of the Magic‘s rotation and that shouldn’t be the case, Josh Robbins of The Athletic opines. The sixth pick of the 2018 draft needs playing time to establish how much improvement he’s made since his rookie campaign and coach Steve Clifford should give the young big ample opportunities to show what he can do, Robbins adds. Robbins also takes a look at the current rotation and Clifford’s usage of reserves Gary Clark and Khem Birch.
  • Hawks wing Kevin Huerter has averaged 13.4 PPG, 4.0 RPG and 3.8 APG since reclaiming a spot in the lineup, K.L. Chouinard of the team’s website notes. Huerter, who will be eligible for a rookie scale extension prior to next season, is on pace to set career-best marks in field-goal percentage and 3-point percentage, Chouinard adds. “It’s finding my spots and finding ways to stay aggressive and keep myself within the offense,” Huerter said.
  • The Wizards are 3-8 since returning from their coronavirus pause, prompting Scott Cacciola of the New York Times to take a closer look at the team’s struggles.

Hornets Exercise Options On P.J. Washington, Miles Bridges

The Hornets have picked up the third-year option for P.J. Washington and the fourth-year option for Miles Bridges, tweets Eric Woodyard of ESPN. The moves lock in Washington’s $4,215,120 salary and Bridges’ $5,421,493 salary for the 2021/22 season.

Washington, 22, was an impact player during his first season in Charlotte, averaging 12.2 points and 5.4 rebounds in 58 games. He was the 12th selection in the 2019 draft and became a starter right away.

The 22-year-old Bridges became a full-time starter in his second NBA season, averaging 13.0 PPG and 5.6 RPG in 65 games. He will be eligible for a rookie scale extension during the 2021 offseason.

All rookie scale decisions on 2021/22 team options must be made by December 29. You can follow the full list right here.

Southeast Notes: Goodwin, Hornets, Graham, Wizards

Georgia native Brandon Goodwin would like to remain with the Hawks next season, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic tweets. “There’s no place I’d rather be than home,” Goodwin said. The second-year point guard has a non-guaranteed $1.7MM salary heading into the 2020/21 season. Goodwin, 25, played in 34 games for Atlanta in 2019/20.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • The Hornets concluded their two-week mini-camp team workouts on October 2, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer tweets. Bonnell wrote in a wrap-up piece that there was much to glean from the mini-camp, including 6’7″ forward P.J. Washington, a 2019/20 All-Rookie Team selection, being used at center.
  • Hornets guard Devonte’ Graham has a non-guaranteed $1.66MM contract awaiting him in 2020/21, but Charlotte could also offer the 2018 second-round draft pick a long-term extension to avoid Graham entering restricted free agency in 2021. In a separate Observer article, Bonnell assesses the potential positives and negatives that could stem from extending Graham, who became the team’s leading scorer this past season.
  • Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington dives into the possible ripple effects of the Wizards either trading up or down from the ninth pick in this year’s draft.

Southeast Notes: Bertans, Reddish, Washington, Winslow

The Hawks could make a run at Wizards power forward Davis Bertans this summer, according to Bleacher Report’s Michael Scotto. The Hawks will have ample cap space to pursue free agents and a stretch four like Bertans would make for a pick-and-pop combination with star point guard Trae Young, Scotto notes. Bertans, who will be an unrestricted free agent, is averaging 14.9 PPG and shooting 42.2% from deep this season. He’s a trade candidate but the latest intel claims he’s unlikely to be dealt.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Hawks rookie forward Cam Reddish has been diagnosed with a concussion, according to a team press release. Reddish suffered the head injury against Dallas on Saturday. The 10th overall pick of last year’s draft is averaging 9.1 PPG and 3.8 RPG in 26.0 MPG.
  • Hornets rookie forward PJ Washington missed Monday’s game against Orlando with a right ankle sprain, the team’s PR department tweets. Washington also sat out the previous game after suffering the injury against Washington on Thursday. Washington, the 12th pick in the draft, is averaging 12.2 PPG and 5.3 RPG in 30.1 MPG.
  • It remains uncertain when Heat forward Justise Winslow will return to action, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald relays. Coach Erik Spoeltra wasn’t sure if Winslow would join the team for the start of its five-game road trip on Tuesday, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel tweets. Winslow has played in just one game since December 6 because of a lower back bone bruise.

Doncic, Young, Zion Headline Rising Stars Rosters

The NBA has officially announced the 20 rookies and sophomores who have been named to the league’s Rising Stars game for All-Star weekend. Those 20 players, selected by assistant coaches from around the league, will be divided into a U.S. Team and a World Team, as follows:

U.S. Team:

World Team:

Williamson’s inclusion is notable since he has appeared in just four games due to injuries. It’s not surprising that the NBA found a way to get him into the game, since he’s one of the most exciting prospects to enter the league in years, but it’s a tough break for youngsters who have been on the court since the fall for contenders, such as Sixers wing Matisse Thybulle. or Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr.

Snubbed players like Thybulle, Porter, and others could eventually make their way into the Rising Stars game if players have to pull out due to injuries, or if All-Stars like Doncic and Young opt not to play in both events.

The Rising Stars game will take place in Chicago on Friday, February 14.

Injury Updates: Fox, Bagley, James, Looney, Washington, Winslow

The Kings offered some good news on guard De’Aaron Fox‘s latest ailment, according to a team press release. Fox left Thursday’s game in the first quarter against Minnesota with back spasms. A precautionary MRI revealed no structural damage and he will be listed as day-to-day. Big man Marvin Bagley III, who also made an early departure on Thursday, will have his left foot evaluated by a specialist Saturday.

We have more injury-related news:

  • Lakers star LeBron James thought he’d miss some time after getting injured on Christmas Day but that may not be the case, according to an ESPN report. James has a groin contusion and is listed as questionable to play against Portland on Saturday.
  • Big man Kevon Looney will miss the Warriors’ games this weekend with abdominal soreness, Logan Murdock of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Looney has played just 10 games this season, mainly due to a hamstring issue.
  • Hornets rookie forward PJ Washington is listed as probable to play on Friday, the team’s PR department tweets. Washington suffered a fracture of his fifth finger on his right hand during a game against Chicago on December 13.
  • The injury to Justise Winslow‘s back is now listed as a bone bruise rather than a strain, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel tweets. The Heat’s point forward has not played since December 6.