Anthony Gill

Southeast Notes: Isaac, K. Thompson, Gill, Bridges

The Magic got to experience a playoff-style atmosphere on Friday in New York, and even though it didn’t turn out well, Jonathan Isaac believes it was a valuable lesson for his young teammates, writes Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel. Orlando was limited to a season-low 74 points, but Isaac said the physicality of the game and the raucous Madison Square Garden crowd are things his team needs to prepare for.

“Coach’s message after the game was that this was good for us to face this as a group,” Isaac said. “We didn’t get off to our best start, our best footing and that kind of set us behind for the rest of the game. Over the course of the game, we learned what playoff basketball is like. I’ve experienced it before and not everybody has. We know how to move going forward.”

Beede points out that Isaac is a major reason why the Magic are in the thick of the playoff race after finishing 13th in the East last year. He’s part of the team’s four best defensive five-man lineups and he  has been able to stay on the court, appearing in 43 games so far, which is the second-highest total of his seven-year career.

“It means I’m healthy,” Isaac said. “I look forward to continuing to play meaningful minutes in big games and keep moving forward. I’m not worried about injuries or looking back, or anything.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Magic expressed interest in acquiring Klay Thompson from the Warriors before last month’s trade deadline, sources tell Ian Begley of SNY. He notes that Thompson is heading toward free agency, and Orlando projects to have more than $30MM in cap room.
  • Anthony Gill was only on the court for 2:23 in Friday’s game, but he played an important role in helping the Wizards snap their 16-game losing streak, observes Chase Hughes of Monumental Sports. Gill has done most of his work behind the scenes during his four years in Washington, Hughes adds, and teammates are thrilled any time the 31-year-old power forward gets a chance to contribute on the court. “I just want to continue to be a light to people,” he said. “This basketball world can seem kind of small sometimes and it can seem kind of isolated. This world can pull you in many different directions. I just always want to bring people back to really what matters and that’s being a good person overall. Everyone has it in them. I just want to consistently show that every single day.”
  • Hornets coach Steve Clifford singled out Miles Bridges for his competitiveness tonight on the second game of a back-to-back (video link from Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer). Bridges has put together a strong bounce-back season after not playing last year and figures to be one of the most intriguing names on the free agent market.

Southeast Notes: Wizards, Richardson, Hornets

Led by Kyle Kuzma‘s 28 points (14 in the fourth quarter), nine assists and eight rebounds, plus double-doubles from Deni Avdija and Richaun Holmes, the Wizards snapped their franchise record-tying 16-game losing streak on Friday vs. Charlotte. They outscored the Hornets 44-24 in the final period to win by 12, with 44 points representing a season high for any quarter, per Josh Robbins of The Athletic (Twitter link).

According to Chase Hughes of Monumental Sports Network (Twitter link), interim head coach Brian Keefe singled out little-used reserve Anthony Gill as a key to the comeback victory due to his “contagious energy.” Kuzma said it meant “a lot” to finally get a win, tweets Robbins.

I’m a little emotionally drained right now,” Kumza said. “But it meant a lot for us to pick that up, being in a big slump for a long time. … I’m just happy for everybody in the locker room to get that dub.”

Here’s more from the Southeast:

  • In a full story for The Athletic, Robbins writes that the Wizards intentionally went down the path of rebuilding to avoid the mediocrity of the past several seasons, but that doesn’t mean the poor results thus far in 2023/24 have been easy to stomach. Even after tonight’s victory, Washington is just 10-53, a half-game behind Detroit for the worst record in the NBA. Everyone involved — the team, front office, owner and fans — will have to exercise patience to see if the new front office under president Michael Winger will eventually be able to build a contender, but it will take some lottery luck in the future as well, Robbins notes.
  • Heat swingman Josh Richardson underwent season-ending shoulder surgery on Wednesday. He has a $3.1MM player option for 2024/25. “It’s a shame,” Spoelstra said of Richardson, per Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. “But some of these things happen. You can’t control it. He had really a great spirit going into it and the surgery went really well. We’ll just look forward to rehabbing him and getting him ready for next year.”
  • LaMelo Ball is far more likely to return this season for the Hornets than second-year center Mark Williams, Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer states in a mailbag column. According to Boone, Ball has been “doing just about everything except playing in actual games,” which suggests he could return at some point. The fourth-year guard has had another injury-plagued campaign, appearing in just 22 games due to ankle issues after being limited to 36 last season. Williams, who has only played 19 games due to a back injury, hasn’t been participating in any team-related on-court activities, and Boone would be stunned if he actually plays again in ’23/24. Boone also discusses who might be the primary backup point guard behind Ball and Grant Williams‘ future with the team, among other topics.

Eastern Notes: Gobert, Fournier, Van Gundy, Wizards, Black, Howard, Hayward

Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert is disappointed that fellow Frenchman Evan Fournier has an uncertain future with the Knicks and an undefined role, he told Stefan Bondy of the New York Post. Fournier anticipated during the offseason that he would be traded.

Gobert calls Fournier “the best shooter on the Knicks.”

“I think he can contribute and help a lot of teams,” Gobert added. “I think everybody knows it. But it’s kind of weird when you end up on the bench and you don’t really know why. Sometimes you can be stuck in a situation — I know he’s going to have an opportunity again, and everybody will understand that he can help and win. And do it at a high level. And do it every night.”

We have more Eastern Conference news:

  • Jeff Van Gundy, who was hired by the Celtics as a senior consultant, has a longtime admirer in president of basketball operations Brad Stevens. “Jeff has been an unofficial consultant for so many of us that grew up in coaching for a long time,” Stevens told Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe. “He’s so humble and approachable, and has always gone out of his way to spend time helping others.”
  • The Wizards’ Deni Avdija (back), Patrick Baldwin Jr. (knee) and Taj Gibson (groin) were all full practice participants on Sunday, Josh Robbins of The Athletic tweets. Anthony Gill (hamstring) and Landry Shamet (toe) were the only players who didn’t fully participate.
  • Magic coach Jamahl Mosley felt lottery picks Anthony Black and Jett Howard showed improvement in the team’s second preseason contest against Clevleand, according to Jason Beede of the Orlando Sentinel. “That second game, they were settled down,” Mosley said. “Our coaches did a tremendous job of watching film with them to help them see what they’re able to do and they settled in that second game.”
  • Hornets forward Gordon Hayward (right foot discomfort) missed the team’s preseason contest against Oklahoma City on Sunday, the team’s PR department tweets.

Wizards Notes: Coulibaly, Gill, Avdija, Omoruyi, Lineup

It raised some eyebrows around the NBA when the Wizards traded up to No. 7 in June’s draft to nab French forward Bilal Coulibaly, who played second fiddle to Victor Wembanyama for the Metropolitans 92 last season. But Coulibaly, the NBA’s third-youngest player, has impressed the team with his poise and maturity so far this fall, writes Josh Robbins of The Athletic.

“I think that’s unique for a teenager,” head coach Wes Unseld Jr. said of Coulibaly’s mindset. “It doesn’t seem like he gets rattled. He’s not overly demonstrative in any way, but I think he’s got the right approach.”

Third-year wing Corey Kispert said that Coulibaly has had to learn a lot in his first NBA training camp and preseason, joking that the rookie has been forced to “drink out of a fire hose” in taking in all the information the Wizards are throwing at him. However, Kispert added that he has been “nothing but impressed” with Coulibaly so far.

According to Ava Wallace of The Washington Post, Unseld said this week that the plan for Coulibaly this season is to give him a “steady diet” of meaningful minutes in games. That might happen in the NBA with the Wizards or in the G League with the Capital City Go-Go. The franchise doesn’t want to rush the developmental process with the 19-year-old, and he’s on board with that plan.

“I know I’m young,” Coulibaly said. “I’ll take the time that it will take.”

Here’s more out of D.C.:

  • The Wizards announced on Thursday that forward Anthony Gill has suffered a strained left hamstring and will be sidelined for the next two or three weeks, tweets Wallace. That means Gill likely won’t be available when the club’s regular season begins on October 25.
  • Deni Avdija, who has missed the Wizards’ first two preseason games due to back tightness, was a full participant in practice on Wednesday and could’ve played on Thursday if needed, tweets Robbins. It’s sounds like Avdija will be good to go for the start of the regular season, barring a setback.
  • Wallace shares some takeaways from the Wizards’ first two preseason games, singling out two-way player Eugene Omoruyi as an under-the-radar standout and observing that the club’s starting lineup is beginning to take shape. Tyus Jones, Jordan Poole, Coulibaly, Kyle Kuzma, and Daniel Gafford have started both preseason contests for Washington, though Wallace suspects Avdija may supplant Coulibaly in that five-man group once he returns.
  • With Bradley Beal no longer in Washington, which player or players might emerge as the locker room leader(s) in 2023/24? Candace Buckner of The Washington Post explores that topic, writing that those leadership roles will come down to stature and won’t simply fall to the highest-paid players by default.

Southeast Notes: Hawks’ Coaching Search, Schofield, Gill

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Tuesday that Quin Snyder, Kenny Atkinson, and Charles Lee will be among the Hawks‘ head coaching candidates as the team searches for a permanent replacement for Nate McMillan, who was let go during the All-Star break.

Shams Charania of The Athletic confirms those names and adds a few more to the Hawks’ list of possible targets, reporting (via Twitter) that Kings assistant Jordi Fernandez, Spurs assistant Mitch Johnson, and South Bay Lakers coach Miles Simon are expected to receive consideration from Atlanta.

Fernandez has generated some head coaching buzz in the past, but as far as I can tell, this is the first time either Johnson or Simon has been connected to a head coaching opening at the NBA level.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • McMillan took the fall for the Hawks‘ “organizational-wide failure” this season, according to Jeff Schultz of The Athletic, who argues that – even if McMillan’s dismissal was justified – the team’s problems extend beyond the job the head coach did. Schultz cites front office dysfunction as one key issue for the Hawks in recent months.
  • Admiral Schofield‘s new contract with the Magic is a two-year, minimum-salary deal, Hoops Rumors has learned. Schofield will earn $506,508 for the rest of this season and Orlando will hold a $1,997,238 team option on the forward for 2023/24.
  • Wizards forward Anthony Gill hasn’t played a major role in D.C. this season, averaging a modest 10.0 minutes per game in 41 appearances. However, Gill’s enthusiasm and positivity have made him an important culture-setter for the club, as Ava Wallace outlines in an interesting story for The Washington Post. Gill signed a guaranteed two-year, minimum-salary deal with the Wizards last summer, so he remains under contract for $2MM next season.

Wizards Notes: Wright, Nunn, Morris, Gill, Unseld Jr.

While Delon Wright was recovering from a severely strained hamstring, he was able to notice how much the Wizards need him, writes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. The numbers back up his observation — Washington is 13-6 with Wright in the lineup, but only 7-20 when he doesn’t play. He’s especially been a difference-maker on defense, where the team’s rating is 6.0 points better with him on the court.

“Once I had seen that I have that type of impact on the game, it made me more confident. It made me feel more welcome here,” Wright said. “A lot of times when you get to a certain team, they will say that you can do certain things. But even if you’re doing it, you still might get subbed or might not have your minutes as much as you want. Here I feel like I’m playing a decent amount of minutes and my role is enormous.”

It’s a rare feeling for Wright, who is with his seventh team in the past five seasons. He’s being used as a backup, starting just one of the 19 games he has played, but he’s having a significant impact in his 20.9 minutes per night, leading the league in steals per 36 minutes.

“I actually signed (with the Wizards), so that means a little more than getting traded for,” Wright said. “I feel the most confident I’ve been with an organization since I was in Toronto (from 2015-19).”

There’s more on the Wizards:

  • Kendrick Nunn had a strong debut for Washington on Wednesday in his first game since being acquired from the Lakers in the Rui Hachimura trade, notes Bijan Todd of NBC Sports Washington. Nunn expected to have a larger role in L.A. after signing with the team in free agency in 2021, but a knee injury prevented him from playing last year and he was averaging just 13.5 minutes per night in 39 games this season. He played 22 minutes in his first game with the Wizards and helped spark a comeback with 12 points, four rebounds and four assists. “I just wanted to come in and impact winning,” Nunn said. “Play hard, be aggressive, be myself and just impact winning.”
  • Monte Morris has provided the type of leadership at point guard that the Wizards were hoping for, but that may made him of the team’s best trade assets heading into the deadline, according to Ava Wallace of The Washington Post. General manager Tommy Sheppard doesn’t plan to blow up the team’s core, Wallace adds, but more roster moves are likely coming.
  • Anthony Gill has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols and will miss tonight’s game in New Orleans, Wallace tweets.
  • In an interview with Wes Hall of NBC Sports Washington (video link), coach Wes Unseld Jr. talks about the challenges he has faced midway through his second season with the team.

Wizards Notes: Beal, Wright, Gill, Avdija

Delon Wright‘s hamstring injury has forced Bradley Beal to initiate the Wizards’ offense more often, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington notes. There isn’t another traditional point guard on the roster outside of starter Monte Morris.

In the last two games, Beal only scored a combined 32 points. He also made a season-high four turnovers against Philadelphia on Monday.

“I’m going to try to do something that reads the flow of the game. It’s been a challenge, but at the same time, it’s where we are,” Beal said. “They’re depending on me. I’ve got to do a better job of taking care of the ball and making crisper and smarter decisions.”

We have more on the Wizards:

  • While Wright’s absence affects the entire rotation, The Athletic’s Josh Robbins notes that the starting five was outplayed by its counterparts in losses to Indiana and Boston over the weekend.
  • Anthony Gill was inserted into the lineup against the Sixers and his off-the-ball movement had a positive impact, according to Ava Wallace of the Washington Post. But outside of Kristaps Porzingis‘ 32 points, the Wizards continued to struggle at both ends while losing their third straight. Gill felt the team’s offensive issues spilled over to the defensive end. “We have a bunch of guys on our team who are capable of scoring 20 points a night, so when they aren’t scoring 20 points, it affects the defense,” Gill said. “They’re scorers, so when they’re not scoring, they’re not in the rhythm of the game.”
  • Deni Avdija was the odd man out with Gill taking his spot in the lineup. Avdija went scoreless in 17 minutes off the bench but the Wizards are hopeful he’ll feel more comfortable with an expanded offensive role in the second unit, according to Hughes. “I trust the coaching staff and I trust myself to figure it out. I’ll be fine,” Avdija said.

Wizards Notes: Avdija, Beal, Young Players, Bench, Mediocrity

Deni Avdija earned the nod to start at small forward for the Wizards in their season opener at Indiana, notes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. As Hughes writes, the news is somewhat surprising because Avdija suffered a groin injury last month playing for Israel during EuroBasket, causing him to miss all four of the Wizards’ preseason games.

The 6’9″ Avdija provides more size to balance the small backcourt of Monte Morris and Bradley Beal and is a much better defender than Will Barton, which gave him a leg up for the starting job, per Hughes.

Unfortunately, the third-year forward suffered a sprained right ankle during the contest, but X-rays were negative and it’s considered to be “nothing serious,” a source tells ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). The Wizards officially listed him as questionable to return, with Anthony Gill starting in his place at halftime, according to Ava Wallace of The Washington Post (Twitter links).

2022/23 is a big season for Avdija, as he’s eligible for a rookie scale extension next summer after the Wizards exercised their fourth-year team option on his rookie contract for ’23/24. The 21-year-old former ninth overall pick averaged 7.6 points and 5.1 rebounds over his first two NBA seasons.

Here’s more on the Wizards:

  • In an exclusive, in-depth interview with Josh Robbins of The Athletic, Beal said winning is his primary focus going forward. “I’ve been an All-Star, I’ve been an All-NBA guy, I’ve scored 30-plus points in back-to-back years,” he said. “What individual goals am I really after, right? Those would be great. Those come with winning. It doesn’t make sense to score 30 a game and get snubbed to be an All-Star because you’re not winning. So if we win games, those little accolades take care of themselves. But I just want to win. I want to be able to get my team to the playoffs, win a series, get to the next series, win a series, get to the conference finals, win that series, get to the finals and hopefully win that.”
  • Beal also recently shared his thoughts on the team’s young players, Hughes writes in another story for NBC Sports Washington. The star guard was particularly pleased with forward Rui Hachimura, who will be a restricted free agent in 2023 after failing to reach a rookie scale extension. “Rui’s been spectacular all preseason and all summer. I think the work that he’s put in is starting to really show pretty often,” Beal said.
  • The Wizards’ second unit has real upside in ’22/23, according to Hughes. Headlined by Barton, Hachimura, Delon Wright and Daniel Gafford, the bench combined to score 43 points in the 114-107 victory over the Pacers.
  • Can the Wizards break out of their cycle of mediocrity? Wallace ponders that question in a piece for The Washington Post, noting that the team has drafted between ninth and 15th since 2018, which is arguably the worst place to be in the NBA — not bad enough to land a top pick, but not good enough to be relevant.

Wizards Sign Anthony Gill To Two-Year Deal

JULY 1: Gill has officially signed his contract, according to’s transactions log. That signals that his two-year deal is worth the minimum, since minimum-salary contracts can be finalized during the July moratorium.

JUNE 30: The Wizards are re-signing forward Anthony Gill to a two-year contract, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.

Gill was a restricted free agent after Washington extended a qualifying offer. It’s most likely a veteran’s minimum deal, though terms have not been disclosed.

The 6’8″ Gill, 29, went undrafted out of Virginia in 2016 and spent most of his professional career overseas. He signed a two-year contract with the Wizards in November 2020.

Gill came off the bench in 44 games last season, averaging 4.1 PPG and 1.9 RPG in 10.5 MPG.


Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III Among Players Receiving QOs

The Suns have issued a qualifying offer to center Deandre Ayton, making him a restricted free agent, reports Keith Smith of Spotrac (Twitter link). Ayton’s qualifying offer is worth $16,422,835.

[RELATED: Hoops Rumors Glossary: Qualifying Offers]

Although there have been consistent whispers about the possibility of Ayton leaving Phoenix in free agency this summer, there was never any doubt that he’d receive a qualifying offer. That QO ensures that he doesn’t become an unrestricted free agent and gives the Suns the opportunity to match any offer sheet he signs with a rival team. Ayton also has the option of signing the one-year, $16.4MM deal if he wants to become an unrestricted free agent in 2023, though that’s considered very unlikely.

Here are a few more updates on qualifying offer decisions from around the NBA:

  • The Pistons have tendered a qualifying offer worth $7,228,448 to big man Marvin Bagley III, making him a restricted free agent, tweets Smith. Multiple reports in recent weeks and months have indicated that re-signing Bagley will be a priority for Detroit this offseason. His cap hold will exceed $28MM, but if the two sides agree to terms quickly once free agency opens, the Pistons will be able to maximize their cap room by reducing that $28MM cap hold to a first-year salary that will come in much lower.
  • The Nets have issued qualifying offers to center Nic Claxton and two-way guard David Duke, per Smith (Twitter link). Claxton’s QO is worth $2,228,276 while Duke’s is for another two-way contract. Both players are now restricted free agents.
  • The Nuggets have extended qualifying offers to forward Vlatko Cancar and two-way swingman Davon Reed, according to Smith (Twitter link). Like Claxton, Cancar has a $2,228,276 qualifying offer. Reed’s is for another two-way contract, though it’s possible he could generate interest from teams interested in giving him a standard roster spot.
  • Wizards forward Anthony Gill received a qualifying offer making him a restricted free agent, according to Smith (Twitter link). Gill’s QO projects to be worth $2,011,516, though that could increase or decrease slightly depending on where the salary cap for 2022/23 ends up.
  • The Warriors have made swingman Quinndary Weatherspoon a restricted free agent by giving him a two-way qualifying offer, reports Smith (Twitter link). Golden State reportedly agreed to a deal with Lester Quinones to fill the team’s other two-way slot.