Washington Wizards

Donald Sloan To Sign With Wizards

The Wizards have reached agreement on a one-year deal with free agent guard Donald Sloan, tweets Shams Charania of The Vertical.

The 29-year-old played in China last season for the second time in his career. His last NBA experience was in 2015/16, when he played 61 games for the Nets, starting 33.

Sloan has been a journeyman since signing with the Hawks in 2011 after going undrafted out of Texas A&M. He played just five games for Atlanta and three for New Orleans during his rookie year and finished the season with Cleveland. He later returned to New Orleans, then spent two seasons in Indiana.

A 6’3″ combo guard, Sloan is averaging 5.5 points and 3.0 assists per game through his NBA career.

The Wizards now have 19 players under contract, one short of the maximum, with camp a little more than a month away.

 

Wall Unphased By Disappointing Playoff Loss

  • Figuring to make the CelticsWizards rivalry slightly more interesting in 2017/18 is the fact that Marcus Morris, brother of Wiz forward Markieff Morris, will suit up for Boston. “I think we’ll still have that rivalry because we don’t like those guys and they don’t like us,” Markieff told Ben Standig of FanRag Sports. “I don’t think that should change with my brother on the team.
  • The Wizards came up short against the Celtics in their second-round playoff series but John Wall isn’t letting the fact that he went cold down the stretch. “Game 7 was not the way we wanted it to end, but I definitely went out swinging,” the guard told Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic. “I didn’t go 0-for-0. I went 0-for-11. I shot the ball and played the game I wanted to play. At least I wasn’t being passive. I was aggressive like I was the whole playoffs. I can deal with losing that way and use that as motivation for this season coming up.

Verizon Center Rebranded As Capital One Arena

  • Since 2006, the Wizards have played in the Verizon Center. Effective immediately, the venue that houses both the basketball club and its hockey counterpart will be known as the Capital One Arena, an Associated Press report says.

Poll: Which Southeast Team Had Best Offseason?

For multiple teams in the Southeast, the 2017 offseason was more about retaining their own players than going out and making a major splash via trade or free agency. That was especially true for the reigning division champs in Washington.

Not only did the Wizards match Brooklyn’s four-year, maximum salary offer sheet for Otto Porter — the club also completed another four-year, maximum salary extension, locking up John Wall far beyond the remaining two years on his current contract. Washington also made other minor changes to its roster, adding Jodie Meeks and Tim Frazier, but the team’s major moves involved keeping its current core intact.

The same can be said about the Heat, who pursued Gordon Hayward, but missed out and quickly shifted their focus back to their own free agents, finalizing new long-term contracts with James Johnson and Dion Waiters. Miami also made the biggest investment in the division on an outside free agent, striking a four-year, $45.6MM deal with Kelly Olynyk, which could be worth even more via incentives.

The Hawks brought back Ersan Ilyasova and Mike Muscala on new deals, but opted not to re-sign their top free agent, letting Paul Millsap go to Denver. The move was one of several made by Atlanta that will re-shape the roster for 2017/18. Dewayne Dedmon, Miles Plumlee, and Marco Belinelli are among the newly-added Hawks, while Tim Hardaway, Dwight Howard, Thabo Sefolosha, and Mike Dunleavy are a few of the players who left Atlanta this summer.

The Hornets were on the other end of a major trade with Atlanta, landing Howard in exchange for Belinelli and Plumlee. The cap-strapped Hornets didn’t have a lot of flexibility to make upgrades, but the additions of Howard, Malik Monk, and Michael Carter-Williams are intriguing moves for a club that underperformed in 2016/17.

Meanwhile, the Magic didn’t make any big-money investments in free agency, but landed Jonathon Simmons, Shelvin Mack, Arron Afflalo, and Marreese Speights on affordable deals, and added a tantalizing athlete in Jonathan Isaac in the draft.

What do you think? Which Southeast team has had the best offseason so far? Vote in our poll and then head to the comment section to share your thoughts.

Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote.

Previously:

Southeast Notes: Wall, G League, Heat, Magic

After agreeing to a four-year extension worth $170 million with the Wizards, which kicks in during the 2019 season, John Wall will be the face that runs the place for the foreseeable future. The super-max deal puts Wall in an elite class among his NBA peers and now he will have to be a leader for a talented team that has been on the cusp of an extended playoff run the last few years.

In a new in-depth feature, Michael Lee of The Vertical speaks to Wall and breaks down his future in the nation’s capital. While pursuing a deal to play in a large media market is enticing to many NBA players, Wall says he’s comfortable staying with the only team he’s ever suited up for.

“I think a lot of players want to be in a certain place. Who wouldn’t want to be in L.A.? Who wouldn’t want to be in Miami? Those are amazing cities. Well, I’m in one of the best cities you want to be, in D.C. So I’m fine,” Wall said.

While the entirety of Lee’s piece is worth the read, the fact that Wall’s role with the Wizards and expectations have soared into the forefront.

Below you can read additional tidbits of news surrounding the Southeast Division:

  • In a pair of Ask Ira columns on Monday and Tuesday, Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel addressed several Heat-related topics. Winderman discusses how the Heat roster would look if Willie Reed had been re-signed, the team’s 2017/18 lineup, A.J. Hammons‘ possible G League stint, and Josh Richardson‘s future.
  • The Magic announced on Tuesday that the team’s new G League affiliate – the Lakeland Magic – has named Anthony Parker the general manager and Stan Heath the head coach. Parker has served as a scout in Orlando for the last half decade, while Heath sports an accomplished record as a college head coach.

Leonsis Hopes Oubre Becomes Difference Maker

  • Wizards majority owner Ted Leonsis hopes that small forward Kelly Oubre develops to the point where he has to pay the 2015 first-round pick “a lot of money,” Chase Hughes of CSNMidAtlantic.com writes. Leonsis indicated that Oubre was slowed by a knee injury last season and that coach Scott Brooks believes Oubre “can be a difference maker.” The Wizards are expected to pick up Oubre’s fourth-year option for 2018/19 prior to the start of the upcoming season, setting up Oubre for a potential big payday in the summer of 2019.

NBA Teams Projected To Be 2017/18 Taxpayers

In the wake of 2016’s salary cap spike, the luxury tax line was higher than ever in 2016/17, and only two teams finished the season above it. The Clippers barely crossed over into taxpayer territory, while the Cavaliers blew past that threshold and were on the hook for a big tax bill.

In 2017/18, the salary cap increase was far more modest, and as a result, it appears that several more teams will finish the season as taxpayers, surpassing this year’s $119.266MM tax line. Teams have until the end of the ’17/18 regular season to adjust team salary in an effort to get back under the tax line, but most of those clubs will have little leverage if they try to dump salary, so it won’t be easy to cut costs.

Here’s an early look at the teams likely to finish 2017/18 as taxpayers:

Cleveland Cavaliers
Current guaranteed team salary (approximate): $139.73MM
No team is further over the tax line than the Cavaliers, and Cleveland will also qualify as a repeat taxpayer for the first time this year, making the penalties levied against the franchise more punitive. Currently, the Cavs’ projected tax bill is approaching $70MM, which explains why the team is interested in attaching an extra contract or two to Kyrie Irving in any trade.

Golden State Warriors
Current guaranteed team salary (approximate): $135.36MM
Last year’s dominant Warriors team actually didn’t have one of the more expensive rosters in the league, but that will change this time around, with several players signing lucrative new deals. The biggest raise belongs to Stephen Curry, who played out the final season of a four-year, $44MM deal in 2016/17, and will now start a five-year, $200MM+ pact.

Oklahoma City Thunder
Current guaranteed team salary (approximate): $125.99MM
Years ago, the Thunder decided to move on from James Harden when he and the team couldn’t agree to terms on an extension that would have created luxury-tax issues for the franchise. Now, Oklahoma City has the third-highest team salary in the NBA, and a projected tax bill that will exceed $10MM.

Portland Trail Blazers
Current guaranteed team salary (approximate): $124.25MM
The Trail Blazers managed to slash their projected tax bill significantly a couple weeks ago when they sent Allen Crabbe to the Nets for Andrew Nicholson. Assuming they eventually waive and stretch Nicholson’s contract, as expected, the pair of transactions will save the club upwards of $40MM in tax payments alone.

Washington Wizards
Current guaranteed team salary (approximate): $123.54MM
Going into tax territory was necessary if the Wizards wanted to match Otto Porter‘s offer sheet from the Nets and bring him back. Fortunately for the club, John Wall‘s new super-max extension won’t go into effect until 2019/20 — his current salary is far below the 2017/18 max, which will save the Wizards from paying more exorbitant tax penalties.

Milwaukee Bucks
Current guaranteed team salary (approximate): $119.38MM
The Bucks currently project to be over the tax threshold by a very small amount, and I’d be surprised if the team doesn’t make every effort to trim payroll and sneak below that line before the season is over. Milwaukee isn’t a big-market team, and the opportunity to be on the receiving end of the luxury tax – rather than the paying end – will be tantalizing.

Outside of the six teams listed above, a handful of other clubs are inching dangerously close to tax territory. Among them: The Clippers, whose estimated guaranteed team salary sits about $100K below the tax threshold; the Pelicans, who are less than $1MM below the tax line; and the Rockets, who only have about $114.75MM in guarantees, but are carrying several million more dollars in non-guaranteed contracts.

Salary information from ESPN, Basketball Insiders, and HeatHoops was used in the creation of this post.

Southeast Notes: Richardson, Johnson, Wall, G League

The Heat should try to get Josh Richardson to sign an extension as soon as possible, contends Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. After two NBA seasons, the former second-round pick is eligible for an extension up to four years and $42MM that would take effect with the 2018/19 season.  Even at the full price, Richardson’s starting salary that year will be $9.4MM, which could be a bargain for someone who has been a contributor when he’s been healthy.

The deadline for an extension doesn’t come until June 30th, and Winderman thinks Richardson might be wise to wait. If there’s no agreement, he will become a restricted free agent in July, with the Heat having the right to match any offer. The team will also have full Bird Rights, which would eliminate the possibility of a backloaded contract like the one the Nets offered Tyler Johnson. Winderman also notes that Miami will send two of its next four first-rounders to Phoenix in the Goran Dragic trade, so it can’t afford to lose a young talent like Richardson.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • With their current cap status, the Heat have little reason to try to move Johnson’s contract before it balloons in 2018/19, Winderman adds in a question-and-answer column. Johnson will make close to $5.9MM for the upcoming season, then nearly $19.25MM in each of the next two years. It’s a provision that Brooklyn threw into its offer sheet in an attempt to discourage the Heat from matching, and it was eliminated in the new collective-bargaining agreement. Winderman states that if Miami is successful with its current mix of players, the team will continue to operate over the cap and Johnson’s escalation won’t really matter.
  • With a supermax contract in hand, Wizards star John Wall has outlined several goals for the rest of his career, relays Chase Hughes of CSNMidAtlantic. At a press conference Friday to officially announce the new deal, Wall said he wants to win a championship in Washington and become the fifth player in franchise history to have his number retired. “We definitely have a lot of unfinished business,” Wall told reporters. “I want to bring a championship here, so we’re going to keep striving to get that. I’m not going to stop until we get there. That’s why I wanted to come back to this city.”
  • The Hawks are adopting a radical approach as they take over the G League franchise in Erie, Pa., writes Chris Reichert of 2 Ways and 10 Days. Instead of finding people with G League experience to run the team, they appointed Malik Rose as general manager and last week hired longtime NBA assistant Josh Longstaff as the head coach. Because Orlando pulled its G-League team out of Erie and took its returning player rights, the Bayhawks will be part of the expansion draft August 23rd.

Leonsis Lays Out Plan For Wiz; Wall Committed To DC

The Wizards have made no secret their plan to double down on their current core and a recent blog post from franchise owner Ted Leonsis only further documents how Washington plans to craft a winner.

The Wizards boast the youngest core of long-term signed max players, a testament to their willingness to commit to their guys, and they’re not afraid to dip into the luxury tax in order to preserve what they think is going to work eventually.

Further, Leonsis writes, the Wizards plan to invest in basketball development at all levels, citing the team’s acquisition of a G League club and plans for a new arena to house the Washington Mystics of the WNBA.

  • Having recently extended his contract, John Wall is in no rush to leave the Wizards, Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press writes. “There’s no point in testing free agency if I know where I want to be,” the guard said.
  • Big man Ian Mahinmi had a minor procedure on his knee this summer, Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic writes. Mahinmi missed 51 games for the Wizards with a knee injury last season. “He’s down to like 238, he’s in the best shape he’s ever been. He’s working hard and looking forward to coming back,” head coach Scott Brooks said.

Players Who Can Veto Trades In 2017/18

No-trade clauses are rare in the NBA, but one such provision has been the subject of much discussion so far in 2017, with Carmelo Anthony making use of his NTC to block the Knicks from sending him to an undesirable destination. At this point, Anthony is focused on joining the Rockets, and is reportedly unwilling to waive his no-trade clause to go to another team.

Anthony is one of just three NBA players whose contract includes an explicit no-trade clause, but there are still several players each year who have the ability to veto trades. A player who re-signs with his previous team on a one-year contract – or a two-year deal with an option year – is given no-trade protection, and so is a player who signs an offer sheet and has that offer matched by his previous team. Players who accept qualifying offers after their rookie deals expire can also block deals, though no restricted free agents have signed their QOs so far this year.

Taking into account that list of criteria, here are the players who must give their consent if their teams want to trade them during the 2017/18 league year:

No-trade clauses

  • Carmelo Anthony (Knicks)
  • LeBron James (Cavaliers)
  • Dirk Nowitzki (Mavericks)
    • Note: Nowitzki is believed to have received an explicit no-trade clause on his new deal with the Mavs, but would get an implicit NTC either way.

Players whose offer sheets were matched

  • Otto Porter (Wizards)
    • Note: Even with his consent, Porter cannot be traded to the Nets during the 2017/18 league year.

Players accepting qualifying offers

  • None

Players re-signing for one year (or two years including an option)

In addition to the players listed above who can veto trades through the 2017/18 league year, there’s another small handful of players who can’t be dealt under any circumstance until at least next July. The following players signed a Designated Veteran Extension this season, which precludes them from being traded for a full calendar year:

Information from Basketball Insiders and ESPN was used in the creation of this post.

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