Raul Neto

Wizards Notes: Trade Negotiations, Dinwiddie, Kuzma, Neto, Avdija

The Nets, who recognized that Bradley Beal wanted the Wizards to acquire Spencer Dinwiddie and knew they had some leverage in sign-and-trade talks, initially asked Washington for a first-round pick, reports Fred Katz of The Athletic. When they were unsuccessful, the Nets tried to get Washington to part with Deni Avdija or Rui Hachimura, according to Katz.

However, the Wizards held firm in those negotiations and ended up keeping their top assets, instead sending Brooklyn a future second-round pick and a second-round pick swap. The Nets will also generate an $11.5MM trade exception in the deal.

As Katz details, the Wizards also had to sweeten the deal for the Lakers to convince them to loop the Russell Westbrook trade agreement into Washington’s acquisition of Dinwiddie via sign-and-trade, which is why L.A. will be receiving three second-round selections from the Wizards instead of just two.

Finally, Katz reports that the final version of the complex five-team trade will see the Wizards acquire cash considerations from the Pacers. The full breakdown of the trade agreement can be seen on our offseason trade tracker.

Here’s more on the Wizards:

  • For much of this week, there had been a league-wide assumption that the Wizards may end up rerouting Kyle Kuzma to a new team as part of the Dinwiddie deal, but Washington never included him in trade discussions, according to David Aldridge of The Athletic, who notes that the club has significantly improved its depth with this week’s roster moves.
  • Raul Neto‘s new deal with the Wizards will be a one-year, minimum-salary contract, according to Katz. Neto will join Dinwiddie and Aaron Holiday on the club’s point guard depth chart.
  • Although Deni Avdija has been cleared for basketball activities, he’s not playing for the Wizards in Summer League, writes Katz. The club wants to limit the risk of a setback for 2020’s lottery pick, who is recovering from a right fibular hairline fracture.

Raul Neto Re-Signs With Wizards

AUGUST 7: Neto has officially re-signed, according to a team press release.

“We are very pleased to bring Raul back after the career year he had for us last season,” Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard said. “He was one of our most consistent players with a toughness and tenacity on both ends of the floor that allowed him to lead our second unit and step in when called upon as a starter.”


AUGUST 4: The Wizards will re-sign free agent guard Raul Neto, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Neto, 29, signed with Washington as a free agent last November. He averaged 8.7 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists as the primary backup to Russell Westbrook, but also made 22 starts. He figures to keep the same role this season now that the Wizards have a sign-and-trade agreement for Spencer Dinwiddie, although Aaron Holiday will be in the mix as well.

A native of Brazil, Neto was drafted in 2013, but didn’t come to the NBA until two years later. He spent his first four seasons with the Jazz before signing with the Sixers in 2019.

Free Agency Rumors: R. Jackson, Cavaliers, Suns, Wizards

Reggie Jackson is getting a lot of interest on the free agent market after his strong playoff run, but the Clippers remain hopeful about re-signing him, tweets Jordan Schultz of ESPN.

Jackson, 31, is coming off a strong season and playoff run with the Clippers — he topped 20 points nine times during the playoffs and shot a career-high 43.3% from three-point range last season. Los Angeles holds his Early Bird rights and can offer him a starting salary worth up to nearly $10.4MM.

Money will be a key factor in Jackson’s decision, according to Schultz (via Twitter), who adds that the Pelicans may be a “sleeper team” in the race for the veteran point guard. New Orleans general manager Trajan Langdon is known to be a fan of Jackson.

There’s more news on free agency:

Wizards Rumors: Westbrook, Beal, Dinwiddie, Neto, Kispert, Bryant

After spending the 2020/21 season with the Wizards, Russell Westbrook contemplated his future and found he had a growing desire to join the Lakers, according to Shams Charania and Fred Katz of The Athletic.

Westbrook’s desire to play for his hometown team intensified after he spent time with LeBron James and Anthony Davis at LeBron’s home about two weeks ago and the trio discussed the idea of teaming up, according to Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. Turner says James and Davis spoke in that conversation about changing positions if it’s best for the team, with LeBron willing to play more frequently at the four, with AD at the five.

Westbrook recently informed the Wizards that he’d like to be dealt to the Lakers if they could find a trade that worked, per Charania and Katz, and the two teams did just that on Thursday, reaching an agreement on a blockbuster deal that will send Westbrook and two future second-round picks to L.A. for Montrezl Harrell, Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and No. 22 pick Isaiah Jackson. Washington is flipping Jackson to Indiana in a deal that will involve Aaron Holiday and No. 31 pick Isaiah Todd.

One of the primary reasons Westbrook originally wanted to play in D.C. was the presence of head coach Scott Brooks, according to Charania and Katz, who note that the star point guard lobbied for the Wizards to retain Brooks. After the team decided to part ways with Brooks, Westbrook preferred an established coach, sources tell The Athletic, but Washington opted for a first-timer in Wes Unseld Jr.

Here’s more on the Wizards and how the Westbrook trade affects their offseason:

  • Bradley Beal had no issues with the Westbrook deal and hasn’t expressed a desire to leave Washignton, sources tell Charania and Katz. For now, the Wizards remain confident they can keep the All-NBA guard long-term.
  • The Athletic’s duo reiterates that Spencer Dinwiddie is a potential Wizards target worth keeping an eye on, though a source tells Charania and Katz that the Nets wouldn’t be inclined to sign off on a sign-and-trade of Dinwiddie for Montrezl Harrell and Kyle Kuzma alone. Dinwiddie is also expected to receive interest from the Nets, Heat, Knicks, and Raptors, among others, per The Athletic.
  • Elsewhere on the point guard front, a reunion with Raul Neto is a possibility for the Wizards, sources tell Charania and Katz. The team also agreed to acquire Aaron Holiday, having grown “enamored” with him prior to the 2018 draft. Washington tried to trade for Holiday a year ago, according to The Athletic.
  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, one of Beal’s closest friends in the NBA, is the type of three-and-D player the Wizards have long sought, Charania and Katz observe.
  • Corey Kispert was 10th on the Wizards’ draft board entering Thursday night, and the team considered the possibility of trying to trade up for him before landing him at No. 15, write Charania and Katz.
  • The Wizards are preparing for Thomas Bryant to miss the start of the season as he continues to recover from an ACL tear. A source tells The Athletic the club is hoping Bryant will be able to return by December.

Wizards Notes: Len, Gafford, Neto, Brooks

After eight years in the NBA, Wizards center Alex Len is finally ready for his playoff debut, writes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. Len has the longest active streak with no postseason appearances, and it’s a distinction that he’s eager to get rid of.

“The play-ins kind of felt like the playoffs,” he said. “Every possession counts. You could feel the intensity was way higher than the regular season. It’s just probably the most exciting part of my career.”

It didn’t look like Len was headed to the playoffs when he arrived in D.C. in January. The Wizards were far out of the race when they claimed him off waivers after he had been cut loose by the Raptors. He turned out to be a valuable addition in the wake of a season-ending injury to starting center Thomas Bryant.

“When I came here, it was probably at the bottom or the second-worst team in the East,” Len said. “Then, climbing all the way back and making the eighth seed, it was a lot of fun. We battled through and guys stuck together.”

There’s more on the Wizards:

  • Daniel Gafford is another member of Washington’s center rotation who is happy to be in the playoffs, Hughes writes in a separate story. Gafford spent his first season and a half with the Bulls before the Wizards acquired him at the trade deadline. “I was overwhelmed with a lot of emotion after (beating the Pacers in the play-in tournament),” he said. “I had to kind of just hold it in. … I would say this trade was the best thing that could have happened to me.”
  • Raul Neto is looking forward to facing his former team in a playoff setting, Hughes notes in another piece. Neto was a back-up point guard for the Sixers last season, and he believes that familiarity will be an asset for the Wizards. “I know every one of them; how they play, how they mentally approach the game,” he said. “So, I think I’m going to try to use that during the series and try to help my teammates if they need to know something else.”
  • Coach Scott Brooks found success with a three-guard starting lineup that he began using in late April. Fred Katz of The Athletic examines how that group will match up against a much larger Sixers team.

Wizards Notes: Westbrook, Bryant, Neto, Mathews

Improved play from Russell Westbrook has sparked the Wizards‘ move up the Eastern Conference standings, writes Fred Katz of The Athletic. The former MVP says the difference involves recovering from a left quad injury that had been bothering him since he was acquired from the Rockets in December.

“Well, I can move and jump now,” Westbrook said. “So, there ya go.”

Westbrook’s quickness has returned, Katz adds, and he has become more aggressive in attacking the basket. He took 55% of his shots at the rim during the team’s recent four-game road trip after shooting just 26% of them from there earlier in the season.

“He just does a great job of staying in attack mode. We’re better when he does that,” Bradley Beal said. “He’s just being able to put pressure on the rim, getting to the basket, letting our bigs be able to follow up for offensive tip-backs if that’s the case. So, we just need him always in that mode. He never stops.”

There’s more on the Wizards:

  • Thomas Bryant joined his teammates on the bench Saturday for the first time since suffering a season-ending ACL tear in January, Katz tweets“That was definitely the best part about the first half, just seeing him in the locker room,” coach Scott Brooks said. “… He’s definitely missed, loved by all of us.”
  • Backup point guard Raul Neto had to leave Saturday’s game with a left knee contusion, but Brooks doesn’t believe it’s serious, Katz adds (via Twitter). The team will check on Neto’s condition today.
  • The Wizards have won seven of their eight games since Brooks inserted Garrison Mathews and Moritz Wagner into the starting lineup, notes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports. Both are among the top 10 in the league in drawing charges, and they have raised the team’s energy level. Brooks is particularly impressed with Mathews, who earned a two-way contract last year after going undrafted. “He’s a fighter,” Brooks said. “I remember the pre-draft workout. We did this running drill and he has our record. I thought his lungs were going to explode he was running so hard. You could tell that he wanted to slow down, but he was determined. That got my attention right there.”

Wizards Notes: Beal, Brooks, Neto

Having seen other NBA stars face criticism for requesting trades in recent years, Wizards guard Bradley Beal is privately “frustrated and confused” by the portrayal of his situation in D.C., according to Fred Katz and Shams Charania of The Athletic.

As Katz and Charania explain, Beal likes the idea of spending his career with one team and would love to establish a legacy in Washington like Dirk Nowitzki‘s in Dallas — Nowitzki spent his 21-year NBA career with the Mavericks, winning a title with the club in year 13. However, Beal feels as if he’s being “nitpicked” for remaining loyal to a struggling Wizards club.

The Athletic’s duo confirms that Beal continues to express a desire to remain in Washington rather than a preference to be traded. The Wizards have just a 4-12 record so far this season, but the hope is that Sunday’s impressive comeback win over Brooklyn can be the start of a turnaround rather than a rare bright spot.

Here’s more on the Wizards:

  • In a HoopsHype podcast, Fred Katz and Michael Scotto discussed a number of Wizards-related topics, including where things stand with head coach Scott Brooks. Katz believes that Wizards owner Ted Leonsis will be less inclined to fire Brooks during the season and pay him the remainder of his $7MM salary after having furloughed 40% of his company’s employees in 2020. “I think this is an organization that thinks about optics and that kind of stuff,” Katz said. “I don’t think the optics are there to pay somebody that much when you just furloughed that many people not to work for you in the middle of an economic crisis in the middle of a pandemic.”
  • Brooks told reporters on Monday that Raul Neto will be out for at least a couple games due to a left groin strain (Twitter link via Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington). Ish Smith, who missed a handful of games due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, will reclaim backup point guard duties in Neto’s absence.
  • In case you missed it, we noted on Monday that Wizards guard Garrison Mathews is among the players on two-way contracts making a case for a promotion to a standard contract.

Wizards Notes: Westbrook, Avdija, Neto, International Players

The Wizards enjoyed their first look at Russell Westbrook, who made his preseason debut Saturday night, writes Ava Wallace of The Washington Post. He contributed eight points, seven rebounds and three assists in 17 minutes and helped Washington outscore the Pistons by 11 points while he was in the game.

Wizards coach Scott Brooks was encouraged after watching Westbrook and Bradley Beal on the court together for the first time in a game situation.

“I like the fact that they were looking for other players, not just playing back and forth,” Brooks said. “Russell’s going to find whoever’s open; he’s going to make the right play. And Brad’s the same way.”

There’s more from Washington, D.C.:

  • First-round pick Deni Avdija is making a strong bid to be the team’s starting small forward on opening night, Wallace adds in the same piece. The 19-year-old got his second preseason start Saturday and played 32 minutes. “He’s definitely working his way to being a starter one day,” Brooks said. “Don’t know when that will be; it might be Wednesday night. He’s playing hard, he’s tough, he has great size, and he’s going to make us a better team. … He’s making a good case (to start) — there’s no question.”
  • Point guard Raul Neto has been a surprising standout during the preseason, notes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. The 28-year-old was brought in to improve the defense, but he scored 34 points in three preseason games. With Ish Smith as the primary backup to Westbrook, the Wizards may consider using Neto at shooting guard, Hughes adds. He played there for a while Saturday, taking minutes that normally would go to Jerome Robinson and Garrison Mathews.
  • With seven international players on their roster, the Wizards are tied with the Mavericks for the most in the league, Hughes writes in a separate story. In addition to Avdija, who is from Israel, and Neto, who hails from Brazil, Washington has Rui Hachimura of Japan, Davis Bertans and Anzejs Pasecniks of Latvia and Moritz Wagner and Isaac Bonga of Germany. “Those seven guys have the attributes we look for, not the passports we look for. It doesn’t really matter to me where you’re from,” general manager Tommy Sheppard said. “If there’s talent all over the world, it’s your job to go find it. It’s never intentional.”

Wizards Sign Raul Neto To One-Year Deal

NOVEMBER 22: The Wizards have officially signed Neto, the team announced tonight in a press release.


NOVEMBER 21: The Wizards have agreed to sign free agent point guard Raul Neto to a one-year contract, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). The deal will be worth the veteran’s minimum, tweets Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today.

Neto, 28, was a backup point guard in Philadelphia last season, averaging 5.1 PPG and 1.8 APG on .455/.386/.830 shooting in 54 games (12.4 MPG) for the 76ers.

In Washington, he’ll help replenish the Wizards’ backcourt depth, with Shabazz Napier, Gary Payton II, and Jerian Grant hitting free agency on Friday.

Assuming the Wizards open the season with John Wall still on the roster, they plan to manage his workload carefully, perhaps resting him in back-to-backs, which should give Neto an opportunity to increase his playing time.

NBA Trade Candidate Watch: Atlantic Division

Over the course of the 2019/20 NBA season, up until February’s trade deadline, we’re keeping an eye on potential trade candidates from around the NBA, monitoring their value and exploring the likelihood that they’ll be moved. Each of these looks at possible trade candidates focuses on a specific division, as we zero in on three players from that division.

The Atlantic is perhaps the most confounding NBA division when it comes to the trade deadline. The Raptors, Celtics, and Sixers are all potential contenders to come out of the East and may theoretically be looking to make upgrades, but their contract situations make it tricky to identify specific moves that would help.

The Nets are essentially in a holding pattern until they get their full roster healthy next season. The Knicks as sellers appeared to be the only safe bet on the board in the Atlantic, but they’ve resisted that label to some extent.

As we wait to see how the Atlantic teams approach the deadline, here are three (or four) more potential trade candidates from around the division…

Dennis Smith Jr., PG
New York Knicks

$4.5MM cap hit; $5.7MM guaranteed salary in 2020/21; RFA in 2021

A report last month indicated that teams, including the Timberwolves, had expressed some interest in Smith. There are plenty of factors complicating a potential deal though. For one, he was sidelined for a month with an oblique strain before returning last night, and will probably have to show he’s fully healthy before the deadline to increase the odds of a trade. That means the Knicks will have to give him more playing time than the four minutes he received on Wednesday.

Even then, Knicks management may be reluctant to move Smith without a decent return, since doing so would represent a further admission that last year’s blockbuster with the Mavs isn’t working out. The team already failed to land a star with the 2019 cap room created in that deal, and the two future first-round picks owed to New York almost certainly won’t be as valuable as initially hoped, given Dallas’ improvement.

Considering how poorly Smith has played in limited minutes this season, it’s hard to see the Knicks netting more than a low second-round pick and salary filler in exchange for Smith. The club may decide it would rather take its chances on DSJ turning things around and recapturing some of the potential that made him a top-10 pick in 2017.

A trade before the deadline is a possibility, but I think it’d be more likely if the same executives who acquired Smith a year ago weren’t the same ones tasked to decide whether or not to move him.

Raul Neto / Trey Burke, PG
Philadelphia 76ers
$1.62MM cap hit; UFA in 2020

Neither Neto nor Burke has really been involved in any rumors yet, but they’re trade candidates in a roundabout way. The Sixers have been linked to point guards who could be on the trade block, and if the team actually acquires a point guard, either Neto or Burke would become expendable.

The 76ers have gone back and forth this year between Neto and Burke as the primary backup to Ben Simmons, so it’s not entirely clear who would be the odd man out if the team makes a move to fortify its backcourt.

Both players are on minimum-salary contracts that expire at season’s end, meaning there’s no financial incentive to move one over the other. Neto is the better defender and perhaps the steadier floor general, but he doesn’t possess Burke’s play-making or scoring ability. The on/off-court numbers favor Burke — the Sixers have a +7.2 net rating when he plays, compared to +1.2 for Neto.

If the 76ers end up standing pat or focus on improving another area, both Neto and Burke could certainly finish the season in Philadelphia. But if they go out and acquire another guard, I’d expect the Sixers to try to find a trade partner interested in acquiring Neto or Burke as a third point guard.

Rodions Kurucs, F
Brooklyn Nets
$1.7MM cap hit; $1.8MM guaranteed salary in 2020/21; $1.9MM team option for 2021/22

After a promising rookie season, Kurucs has taken a step backward in 2019/20. Despite a series of injury creating a path to a regular role for the Latvian forward, he doesn’t seem to have fully earned Kenny Atkinson‘s trust. His minutes per game have dipped from 20.5 to 13.3 and he’s received several DNP-CDs.

There are some promising numbers in this year’s small sample, including a .439 3PT%, and teams monitoring the Nets may view Kurucs as a buy-low candidate. However, off-court concerns may scare those teams away, since the 21-year-old was arrested during the offseason on a domestic violence charge.

We heard in December that there are teams doing their homework on Kurucs to see if he makes sense as a trade target. Presumably, that research centers on the domestic violence allegation — if it’s credible, clubs will be less enthusiastic about the idea of making a deal for the former second-round pick.

Kurucs is due back in court on February 11, meaning there will be no resolution in his legal case by the February 6 trade deadline. As a result, it’s hard to see him being moved.

Revisit the rest of our 2019/20 Trade Candidate series right here.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.