Jason Washburn

Southeast Notes: Chalmers, Fournier, Washburn

Evan Fournier says that his focus will not be affected just because he and the Magic didn’t come to an agreement on a contract extension prior to Monday’s deadline, Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel writes. “My main focus was always just playing good basketball and winning games,” Fournier said. “And then, of course, the contract is going to follow. You don’t have to think about the contract first and then basketball. You have to think about basketball first, and then everything’s going to follow. So I’m just focused on winning, man.” Not reaching an agreement could become a positive for Fournier since the expected increase in next season’s salary cap will mean more teams will be flush with cash, which could serve to drive up the market for the swingman, Robbins adds.

Here’s more from out of the Southeast:

  • Hornets GM Rich Cho said that the contract extensions the team has handed out to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Jeremy Lamb, and Kemba Walker were partially about avoiding the free agent market that could become overheated during the next two summers thanks to the expected rise in the salary cap brought on by the league’s new TV deal, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer relays (on Twitter).
  • The trade rumors surrounding Heat point guard Mario Chalmers loom as a potential distraction for the team this season, Ethan J. Skolnick of The Miami Herald writes. Skolnick also opines that the team needs to address the issue with Chalmers as soon as possible to help avoid it becoming an issue between the player and the team. Chalmers indicated that he learned of the rumors when he arrived at the arena on Tuesday night, and he has not heard from the front office regarding his status with the franchise, the Herald scribe adds.
  • Jason Washburn, who was in training camp with the Hornets this season, has signed a deal in Kosovo with Sigal Prishtina, Orazio Cauchi of Sportando relays. Washburn spent the 2014/15 season overseas playing for Brussels, where he averaged 8.9 PPG and 3.9 RPG in 27 appearances.

Hornets Waive Four Players

The Hornets have parted ways with center Jason Washburn, swingman Damien Wilkins, small forward Sam Thompson, and shooting guard Elliot Williams, the team announced (via Twitter). Washburn, Wilkins, and Thompson were in camp on non-guaranteed pacts, so the team won’t be on the hook for any funds as a result of these moves, but Williams’ deal includes a small partial guarantee of $80K, which Charlotte would be responsible for provided Williams clears waivers. The team’s roster count now sits at 15 players. These moves also indicate that former Kentucky guard Aaron Harrison, who is signed to a partially guaranteed deal, has a strong shot to make the team’s regular season roster.

Washburn, 25, went undrafted out of Utah back in 2013. His career numbers in four seasons for the Utes were 8.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks to go along with a shooting line of .565/.444/.792. He spent last season overseas playing for Brussels, where he averaged 8.9 PPG and 3.9 RPG in 27 appearances. Washburn played in two contests for the Jazz in this year’s Las Vegas Summer League.

Wilkins, 35, had spent the 2012/13 season with the Sixers, for whom he put up 6.4 points in 18.0 minutes per game with 33.3% shooting in 61 appearances, numbers close to his NBA career averages. Wilkins has played overseas and in the D-League since, notching 20.2 PPG and 5.7 RPG in 37.8 MPG with 33.1% three-point shooting across 50 contests with the D-League affiliate of the Grizzlies last season.

Thompson, 22, had appeared in 35 games for Ohio State last season, notching averages of 10.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.8 assists to go along with a shooting line of .466/.262/.688. His career marks through four NCAA seasons are 6.9 PPG, 2.8 RPG, and 1.1 APG.

Williams has struggled to find his footing in the NBA, appearing last season only on a series of five 10-day contracts split between Charlotte, the Jazz and the Pelicans. The now 26-year-old shooting guard put up 2.8 points in 9.2 minutes per game across 13 appearances in 2014/15. He saw more extensive action in 2013/14 with the Sixers, with whom he put up 6.0 PPG in 17.3 MPG.

Southeast Notes: Washburn, Hawks, Watson

Hornets training camp signee Jason Washburn could not continue to play overseas because the political unrest in Ukraine made it unsafe to do so, Jessica Camerato of Basketball Insiders writes in her profile of the 25-year-old center. “They [his team] said we can’t pay you anymore – this has really destroyed our economy – and we can’t guarantee your safety,” Washburn said. “We think you should leave.”

Washburn understands that it will be difficult to make Charlotte’s regular season roster, with the team already possessing 14 players with fully guaranteed deals, Camerato adds. “I don’t know the odds [of making the team] and to be honest, I don’t care,” Washburn continued. “I’m going to come in here, soak up what I can, play as hard as I can, if I get my opportunity, try to take as best advantage of it as I can and let the chips fall where they may.

Here’s more from the Southeast Division:

Eastern Notes: Gibson, Raptors, Jackson

Bulls power forward Taj Gibson was suffering from a torn ligament in his ankle toward the end of the 2014/15 campaign, which explains his lackluster playoff showing during the postseason, Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago.com writes. The true extent of the damage in Gibson’s ankle was discovered when the forward went under the knife in June for routine surgery, Goodwill adds. “I didn’t know I could play with that much pain but I just tried to help my team win,” Gibson told Goodwill. “I think it was a good thing for me to do the surgery. I’ve never been hurt this much. It was good for my career and for myself.”

We didn’t know it was a torn ligament. It was on the completely opposite side of the foot,” Gibson continued. “When he finally went in during surgery, he was astounded how I was able to still play. He said he never knew anybody who could play through so much pain. I just thought it was normal. He was surprised I was even able to run or lift off it. That’s how bad it was.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Reggie Jackson enters his first training camp with the Pistons feeling much more comfortable in the team’s system and more entrenched with the franchise, Keith Langlois of NBA.com writes. “I feel like I’ve been here. I feel like the guys know who I am and for the most part I know them,” Jackson said. “Even though it was short, I was extremely blessed and privileged to come over here [for the remainder of the 2014/15 season]. It was a tough struggle, but I think it’s going to pay off in the end. I truly believe that. Teammates are all ready to get into camp. It feels like we know each other more than if I was traded in the summer or signed and not coming in new. We did the whole [team-bonding trip] thing in Vegas, I got there and knew everybody vs. trying to meet everybody. I could arrange dinners and didn’t have to worry about knowing a guy’s phone number, what you like, don’t like. It’s already established.”
  • The Raptors have officially named Tim Lewis, Nathaniel Mitchell, and David Gale as assistant coaches for their D-League affiliate, the Raptors 905, the team announced (via Twitter).
  • The deals that Sam Thompson and Jason Washburn inked with the Hornets are both non-guaranteed, minimum salary training camp contracts that cover one year, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders relays (Twitter link).

And-Ones: Hornets, D-League, Aldridge

The Hornets currently have a roster count of 18 players, a number that isn’t likely to increase, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer relays in a series of tweets. Coach Steve Clifford believes that adding more players would have a negative impact on the practice reps that the rotation players receive, notes Bonnell, with Clifford saying, “Last year I did a poor job of getting our team ready for the season. We were [initially] bad on offense and bad on defense.

Bonnell also thinks the team has created some healthy competition for playing time, especially at power forward and backup shooting guard, and he believes that this year’s training camp will be a more competitive one overall than last year’s, especially among the 14 players possessing fully guaranteed pacts. Bonnell also praises the addition of Jason Washburn, noting that the team has no true backup for starting center Al Jefferson, and the Charlotte Observer scribe also likes Aaron Harrison‘s chances to make the regular season roster. Harrison’s two-year deal is only partially guaranteed.

Here’s more from around the league…

  • The D-League is undergoing changes, and what happens in the NBA’s minor league can have significant consequences, as Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders points out amid his look at the best players ever to have emerged from the D-League. Danny Green, who re-signed with the Spurs for $40MM over four years this summer, is No. 1 on Brigham’s list.
  • With the 2015 NBA Draft in the rearview, Jonathan Wasserman of BleacherReport took a look ahead at a number of questions relating to 2016’s draft. The talking points touched upon by Wasserman included who the likely No. 1 overall pick will be, with the scribe predicting it will come down to LSU’s Ben Simmons or Kentucky’s Skal Labissiere. Wasserman also runs down a number of prospects who could be selected in the lottery, including Jaylen Brown (California), Jamal Murray (Kentucky), and Brandon Ingram (Duke).
  • Though there will be a mutual period of adjustment, LaMarcus Aldridge will fit in just fine with the Spurs this season, writes Zach Lowe of Grantland.com. “LaMarcus will be different,” said GM R.C. Buford. “And we’ll be different than we were before LaMarcus. We have to figure out how LaMarcus will play within our group, and produce at levels that he’s capable of — and that are important to him, and to our success.” Lowe’s piece also includes a detailed look at how Aldridge can thrive within San Antonio’s system that is well worth a look.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Hornets Sign Jason Washburn

SEPTEMBER 15TH, 10:36am: The deal is official, the Hornets announced via press release. Charlotte also sent along a copy of its training camp roster, a move teams usually make when they’re done with additions for the preseason. The Hornets are carrying 18 players, two shy of the preseason limit.

AUGUST 20TH, 4:00pm: The Hornets are set to sign unrestricted free agent center Jason Washburn, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando reports (Twitter link). The length and terms of the deal are unknown, but it is most likely a training camp deal for the minimum salary, though that is merely my speculation.

Washburn, 25, went undrafted out of Utah back in 2013. His career numbers in four seasons for the Utes were 8.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks to go along with a shooting line of .565/.444/.792. He spent last season overseas playing for Brussels, where he averaged 8.9 PPG and 3.9 RPG in 27 appearances. Washburn played in two contests for the Jazz in this year’s Las Vegas Summer League.

The Hornets do find themselves a bit thin at the pivot, with just Spencer HawesCody Zeller and Frank Kaminsky on board as backups to starter Al Jefferson, though Kaminsky and Hawes are better suited to be utilized as stretch-four’s than true centers. But even so, Washburn would have to be considered a long shot to make Charlotte’s’ opening night roster, with the team already having a roster count of 17 players, not including Washburn, 14 of whom possess fully guaranteed pacts.

Odds & Ends: Brewer, Shaw, Larkin

Despite his limited role in Oklahoma City, Ronnie Brewer sounded open about a possible return to the Thunder"I'm still very young and still have a lot of basketball left in me so if it's here or somewhere else I'll continue to play basketball. This is a great organization and (has) great players, great coaches, great fans. So hopefully I can continue to play here” (Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman reports). Here are more of tonight's miscellaneous notes:

  • Though George Karl's coaching style may fit well with GM Sam Hinkie's focus on analytics, Grantland's Zach Lowe says that one name to look out for with regard to the 76ers' head coaching vacancy is Chris Finch, who is currently an assistant to Kevin McHale with the Rockets and the head coach of Great Britain's national team. Lowe gets the sense that Hinkie is looking to build a strong relationship with a first-time NBA coach, and Finch – who also served as a coach for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers – was reportedly able to develop a good working relationship with Houston team brass while handling his responsibilities in the NBDL.  
  • As far as the Nets' coaching search goes, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News cites a source who says that Brooklyn is seeking a "fresh face," which may indicate that Brian Shaw is ahead of Lionel Hollins on their wish list. 
  • When it comes to Kris Humphries and the Nets, Roderick Boone of Newsday tweets that both parties would welcome a trade. 
  • Shane Larkin looked very impressive in his workout with the Jazz today, according to Mike Sorensen of the Deseret News. Steve Luhm of The Salt Lake Tribune writes that center prospect Jason Washburn made an impression during his visit with Utah as well. 
  • Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee says that one name to look out for as a possible assistant coach for Michael Malone's staff is Roy Rogers, who worked as an assistant for Lawrence Frank on the Pistons last season and is credited for playing a vital role in Andre Drummond's development. 
  • Marcus Thompson II of Mercury News notes that Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes of the Warriors will participate in Team USA's minicamp in July. 
  • Sean Deveney of the Sporting News opines that the era of retread coaches in the NBA is over.
  • Gene Wang of The Washington Post briefly profiles Khalif Wyatt following the 6'4" guard's workout with the Wizards earlier today.