P.J. Washington

Southeast Rumors: Harris, Ross, Bamba, Washington, Knox, More

The Magic are believed to be asking for a first-round pick in exchange for each of Gary Harris, Terrence Ross, and Mohamed Bamba, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. That asking price is more justifiable for some of those players than others, but I’m skeptical that Orlando will be able to get a first-rounder for any of the three unless the pick is heavily protected or the Magic take back some bad money.

Fischer says rival teams with interest in those players believe Orlando’s asking price may drop as the trade deadline nears. In some cases, the Magic could end up seeking two second-rounders, which was what they accepted in return for Evan Fournier at last season’s deadline.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • According to Fischer, Hornets forward P.J. Washington is a candidate to be moved at the February 10 trade deadline. Fischer suggests Charlotte may be facing a bit of a roster crunch this summer with team salary on the rise, and Washington could be the odd man out. The third-year forward is extension-eligible in the 2022 offseason and would reached restricted free agency in 2023 if he doesn’t sign a new deal this year.
  • The protected first-round pick the Hawks received in exchange for Cam Reddish was the primary motivator to make the trade, but Kevin Knox may not have just been a salary throw-in. Sources tell Fred Katz and Chris Kirschner of The Athletic that Atlanta has no plans to trade or release Knox right now.
  • According to Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link), The Hawks sent the Knicks $834,589 in cash in the Reddish trade. That amount covers the salary still owed to Solomon Hill, so Atlanta didn’t save any money as a result of including Hill in the deal — the team did open up a roster spot though.
  • Wizards guard Spencer Dinwiddie has been cleared to play in both ends of back-to-backs after not doing so during the first half, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic. Dinwiddie, coming off an ACL tear in 2020/21, played on both Tuesday and Wednesday for Washington.

COVID-19 Updates: Noel, Hornets, Pacers, Ingles, Reed, Bucks, Metu

Knicks center Nerlens Noel has cleared the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols, per New York’s PR team (Twitter link). Noel entered the protocols in late December.

The 6’11” big man has only appeared in 17 contests, starting 10, for New York so far this season. The 27-year-old out of Kentucky is averaging 3.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 1.5 BPG and 1.1 SPG across 23.1 MPG. Knee injuries kept Noel absent for much of the start of the 2021/22 season. He signed a lucrative three-year, $32MM contract with the Knicks during the offseason.

Here are a few more protocol-related updates:

COVID-19 Updates: Porzingis, SGA, Garland, Valanciunas, More

Mavericks big man Kristaps Porzingis has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols and has been ruled out for Monday’s game vs. Denver, the team announced today (via Twitter).

The Mavericks got good news over the weekend, as Luka Doncic was cleared to play for the first time since December 10 and led the team to a win in Oklahoma City on Sunday. But now Porzingis is at risk of missing a few games due to the health and safety protocols, and he’s not the only Mav affected — the club still has four other players in the protocols too.

Here’s more COVID-related news from around the NBA:

  • Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is no longer in the health and safety protocols, acting head coach Mike Wilks said today (Twitter link via Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman). Gilgeous-Alexander only entered the protocols on Saturday, so he may have registered a false positive test.
  • Cavaliers guard Darius Garland, who had been in the COVID-19 protocols since last Tuesday, was able to practice today, per head coach J.B. Bickerstaff (Twitter link via Kelsey Russo of The Athletic).
  • Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas has cleared the protocols and will be available for Monday’s game against Utah, tweets Andrew Lopez of ESPN.
  • Damion Lee and James Wiseman have exited the protocols for the Warriors, per the NBA’s injury report. Wiseman remains sidelined while he recovers from right knee surgery, but Lee is no longer on the injury report at all, and Golden State doesn’t have any players in the protocols.
  • After briefly clearing the protocols, Hornets forward P.J. Washington reentered them on Sunday, according to the team (Twitter link). He’ll miss Monday’s game vs. Washington (Twitter link).
  • Lonzo Ball and Alfonzo McKinnie of the Bulls have both exited the health and safety protocols and will be available to play on Monday vs. Orlando, tweets K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.
  • Nets rookie Kessler Edwards is no longer in the COVID-19 protocols, according to the NBA’s injury report. Brooklyn was hit hard by an outbreak in December but currently has no players affected.
  • Lakers assistant David Fizdale, who briefly served as the club’s acting head coach during Frank Vogel‘s stint in the protocols, has now entered the protocols himself, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

COVID-19 Updates: Doncic, SGA, Robinson, Hawks, Nuggets, More

Mavericks star Luka Doncic has cleared the league’s health and safety protocols, sources tell Marc Stein (Twitter link). Doncic, who hasn’t played since December 10, missed a combined 10 games due to a left ankle injury and his time in the protocols. He’s expected to meet his teammates in Oklahoma City and may return to the court on Sunday.

Tim Hardaway Jr. and Maxi Kleber may also be able to exit the protocols in time for Sunday’s game, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN. Dallas, which has five other players still in protocols, managed to go 5-5 without Doncic and is holding onto eighth place in the Western Conference.

Here are more updates on players entering and exiting the protocols:

COVID Updates: Green, Brooks, Bazley, Augustin, Scrubb, Niang, Neto

The league continues to be ravaged by COVID positives with an increasing number of players entering the league’s health and safety protocols. Here are the latest updates:

  • Warriors star forward Draymond Green has entered the protocols, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. Green joined four other Warriors in the protocols heading into a pair of games against Denver.
  • The Grizzlies’ Dillon Brooks, De’Anthony Melton and Yves Pons all entered the protocols prior to their game against Sacramento on Sunday, the team’s PR department tweets. Memphis now has five players under those restrictions.
  • Darius Bazley became the first Thunder player in protocols, Andrew Schlecht of The Athletic tweets.
  • Veteran Rockets guard D.J. Augustin has entered the health and safety protocols, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle tweets.
  • Clippers two-way player Jay Scrubb has been placed in the protocols, Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times tweets.
  • Wizards guard Raul Neto has joined two other Washington players in the protocols, Josh Robbins of The Athletic tweets.
  • Two Hornets regulars, Miles Bridges and P.J. Washington, are now in the protocols, the team’s PR department tweets.
  • On the positive side, Sixers forward Georges Niang has cleared the protocols, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets.

Eastern Notes: Beal, Sheppard, Johnson, L. Rose, Washington

Wizards star Bradley Beal was “ecstatic” to learn that general manager Tommy Sheppard received a promotion and contract extension with the franchise, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington writes.

Sheppard, who was elevated to team president, has overhauled Washington’s roster to remain competitive in the Eastern Conference. The Wizards have opened the season with an impressive 11-5 record, which is vital toward keeping Beal happy and persuading him to reject any rival trade interest.

“I see Shep in here every single day,” Beal said. “He’s very in tune, he cares. He’s an awesome person and he loves the game. He just wants his team to do well, he wants his team to get better and he holds us to a certain standard. I respect it and I love it. I’m definitely happy for him.

“He’s just constantly working, he’s constantly checking on me, checking on everybody. He’s a great GM, I’m happy for him and his promotion and his next few years here.”

Here are some other notes from the East tonight:

  • Nets forward James Johnson has provided some defensive grit for the team, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. Johnson, who signed with Brooklyn in the offseason, has seen increased playing time with Nicolas Claxton (illness) and Paul Millsap (personal) missing multiple games. “The biggest part about this team is just trying to find the identity and sticking to that,” Johnson said. “We have to have some kind of identity that when we’re going into a gym it’s not the Brooklyn Nets that’s on paper, it’s that hard-fighting, physical, tough win-it-out gang.”
  • Knicks president Leon Rose will deserve significant blame if the team can’t turn around a slow start to the season, Ian O’Connor of the New York Post writes. The Knicks hold a 9-7 record, but the club is just 4-5 at home. The vast majority of the roster is back from last season’s playoff group.
  • Hornets forward P.J. Washington (left elbow hyperextension) has been upgraded to doubtful for Monday’s game against the Wizards, the team announced on social media. Washington has missed nine straight games due to the injury. He returned to practice last Tuesday.

Southeast Notes: Hunter, Harrell, Bertans, Beal, Washington

Hawks coach Nate McMillan says De’Andre Hunter is “down” about having to miss significant time for the second straight season, but McMillan is optimistic that the third-year forward will return in plenty of time to help the team, writes Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Hunter had surgery on his right wrist Monday after suffering an injured tendon and is projected to miss a minimum of eight weeks. He was limited to 23 games last season because of knee issues.

“Injuries, it’s going to happen to someone on the team, and you have to adapt, you have to make that adjustment, guys have to keep themselves ready to play because you just never know when it’s going to happen,” McMillan said. “It’s something that unfortunately we did have to deal with last season a lot with our guys and guys stepped up, they were ready to play and we were able to have some success with that. Right now, we’re in that same situation, where we lose Dre but we have guys who can step in and play, and it’s an opportunity for them.”

Spencer notes that Hunter hadn’t returned to the level where he was early last season, but he was still playing an important role. He started all 11 games that he appeared in, ranks fifth on the team in scoring at 10.8 PPG and is one of the Hawks’ best defenders.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Wizards fans fell in love with new center Montrezl Harrell right away and started chanting “MVP” in his first home game whenever he went to the foul line, per Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. Harrell, who was acquired from the Lakers in an offseason trade, appreciates the sentiment, but offered a light-hearted request to fans after Monday’s game. “Yeah, I hate it. I hate it. I ain’t gonna lie to you, I hate it,” he said. “Don’t chant it until the second free throw, I’m not gonna lie to you. Just get me to the second free throw, man. Let me get the edge off with getting that first free throw down because it definitely plays with my head.” 
  • Wizards forward Davis Bertans, who hasn’t played since spraining his left ankle November 1, is making progress and could return next week, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic. Bradley Beal, who is away from the team following the death of his grandmother, may return Wednesday, according to Ava Wallace of The Washington Post (Twitter link).
  • Hornets forward P.J. Washington, who has been sidelined since November 3 with a hyperextended left elbow, returned to practice today, the team announced (via Twitter).

Southeast Notes: Washington, Bridges, Lowry, Martin, Okpala

Hornets big man P.J. Washington is missing at least this weekend of game action as he deals with a hyperextended left elbow, writes Roderick Boone of the Charlotte Observer. In his third NBA season, Washington is averaging 9.9 PPG, 4.4 RPG and 1.4 APG.

“He’s in good spirits,” Charlotte head coach James Borrego said Friday. “We’ll know more in the next two days. He’ll get further evaluated by a specialist in the next day or two, probably on Monday and we’ll know more at that time. We’re not going to jump to conclusions yet. We’ll see what comes out of that and make a plan from there.”

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • Hornets forward Miles Bridges has developed into one of the better scorers in the NBA during his fourth season, impressing his MSU coach Tom Izzo in the process, per Roderick Boone of the Charlotte Observer. Bridges is putting up career-high averages of 22.7 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 3.1 APG, 1.7 SPG and 0.9 BPG so far. “He couldn’t jump until he got to Michigan State,” Izzo said. “So I coached the s— out of him.”
  • New Heat point guard Kyle Lowry has been a big part of Miami’s early-season success, writes Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel“He wants the best available shot every possession,” center Bam Adebayo said of his new teammate. “That’s what I really like about Kyle. He’s one of those guys, he wants every play to be right, make or miss.” Lowry, 35, has taken a step back as a scorer for his new team, averaging 11.3 PPG, his lowest output since his 2009/10 season with the Rockets. At 7-2, the Heat are currently the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.
  • Emerging Heat small forward Caleb Martin may be outplaying his current two-way contract, and appears to be fulfilling the perimeter defender position Miami may have earmarked for third-year forward KZ Okpala, writes Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Given that Martin can only play for 50 games with Miami on his two-way deal before it must be converted to a standard contract (and has played meaningful minutes across six contests so far), Winderman wonders if the Heat will start feeling the roster crunch soon.

Hornets Exercise 2022/23 Options On Ball, Washington

The Hornets have exercised the third-year option on LaMelo Ball‘s rookie scale contract and the fourth-year option on P.J. Washington‘s deal, the club announced today in a press release. Both team options are for the 2022/23 season.

The move guarantees Ball’s $8,623,920 salary for ’22/23 and locks in Washington’s $5,808,435 cap hit as well. Washington will now be eligible for a rookie scale extension during the 2022 offseason, while Ball will become extension-eligible in 2023, assuming Charlotte picks up his ’23/24 team option a year from now.

[RELATED: Decisions On 2022/23 Rookie Scale Team Options]

Ball, the reigning Rookie of the Year winner, is the centerpiece of the Hornets’ rebuild, and is off to a strong start this season, with 19.6 PPG, 6.0 APG, and 2.0 SPG on .430/.459/1.000 shooting in five games (28.2 MPG).

Washington is off to a slower start this month and has missed a couple games due to a right injury, but was the club’s starting power forward in his first two NBA seasons. He’s coming off the bench so far this season, with Miles Bridges having entered the starting five.

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: