Wizards Rumors

NBA Teams With Open Roster Spots

When the Kings sign Troy Williams to a two-way contract after he clears waivers today, as is expected, they’ll become the 16th NBA team to fill all 17 of their available roster spots, with 15 players on standard contracts and two more on two-way pacts.

Still, that will leave nearly half of the league’s teams that will still have at least one opening on their rosters, either on the standard 15-man squad or in their two-way slots.

For many clubs, that decision is primarily financially motivated. Teams like the Warriors, Rockets, Thunder, Raptors, and Wizards all project to have pricey luxury tax bills at season’s end, so there’s no need for them to push those projected penalties higher by carrying an extra player they won’t use.

Other teams may simply prefer to preserve some roster flexibility rather than carrying a full 15-man squad. The Lakers, for instance, aren’t close to the tax line, but have an open roster spot for now. That could allow the team to make a trade or signing later to fortify its roster without costing anyone a job.

Listed below, with the help of our roster counts breakdown, are the teams that aren’t carrying full rosters.

Teams with an open 15-man roster spot:

  • Charlotte Hornets
  • Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Golden State Warriors
  • Houston Rockets
  • Los Angeles Lakers
  • Miami Heat
  • Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Toronto Raptors
  • Washington Wizards
    • Note: The Wizards have two open roster spots and will need to fill one of them by October 30.

Teams with an open two-way slot:

  • New Orleans Pelicans
  • Phoenix Suns
  • Portland Trail Blazers
    • Note: The Blazers have two open two-way slots.
  • San Antonio Spurs

Jordan McRae Has Leg Up In Race For Wizards' Roster Spot

  • Jordan McRae has a leg up in the race for the Wizards‘ 14th roster spot, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. Washington must fill that spot soon after trading Jodie Meeks, so McRae could have his two-way contract converted into a standard deal.
  • The Wizards have made a series of changes to their coaching staff, the team announced in a press release this week. Robert Pack and Ryan Richman will join the front of the bench, with Kristi Toliver joining the back of the bench as an assistant. Alex McLean and Landon Tatum were also promoted to assistant coaches.

Troy Brown Will See Time In G League

  • Wizards rookie Troy Brown can expect to spend at least part of the season in the G League, tweets Doug McKinney of NBC Sports. The additions of Jeff Green and Austin Rivers over the summer will limit Brown’s opportunities for playing time at the NBA level.

Additional Details On Jodie Meeks Trade

As part of their trade for Jodie Meeks, the Bucks received $1.5MM in cash from the Wizards, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic (Twitter link). Taking into account Meeks’ salary, Milwaukee essentially paid $1.4MM for a future second-round pick, notes ESPN’s Bobby Marks (via Twitter). Washington’s tax savings as a result of the deal will be significantly larger than that.

As for the draft picks involved in the deal, the Bucks already owned the Wizards’ top-55 protected 2020 second-round pick. Milwaukee sent that pick back to Washington in the swap, and the Wizards essentially returned it with new protections, per Katz and Matt Velazquez of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter links).

That 2020 second-rounder now has 46-60 protection, so the Bucks will receive it if it falls between 31 and 45. If it doesn’t, Milwaukee will instead receive the Wizards’ 2022 second-rounder (unprotected).

Dwight Howard Practiced In Full On Monday

  • Although Dwight Howard‘s status for opening night remains unclear, the new Wizards center practiced in full on Monday for the first time, per Candace Buckner of The Washington Post (Twitter link).

Bucks Acquire Jodie Meeks From Wizards

4:45pm: The trade is official, according to an announcement from the Bucks (Twitter link). Milwaukee’s announcement notes that Meeks has been placed on the suspended list, allowing him to avoid counting against the Bucks’ roster limit, so it appears he won’t be waived immediately.

3:34pm: The Bucks and Wizards have agreed to a trade that will send Jodie Meeks to Milwaukee along with cash, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). The Bucks will subsequently waive Meeks, Wojnarowski adds.

Previous reports indicated that the Bucks would also receive a future second-round pick as part of the swap, which Woj confirms (via Twitter). According to Jordan Schultz of ESPN (Twitter link), Milwaukee is expected to send out a heavily-protected second-rounder to complete the deal.

The cash the Bucks receive in the deal will likely be enough to cover most or all of Meeks’ salary for 2018/19, so Milwaukee will get a chance to add a second-round pick for essentially nothing. The Wizards already owe their top-55 protected 2020 second-round pick to the Bucks, so the simplest move would be to just remove the protection from that traded pick.

For the Wizards, the motivation is to reduce their projected luxury tax bill — Meeks’ $3,454,500 cap charge would have been partially reduced as a result of his suspension, which still has 19 games left on it, but that contract would still have cost the Wizards exponentially more in tax penalties. By replacing Meeks with a minimum salary player, Washington will save some money, despite sending cash to the Bucks in the trade.

The Bucks will use a $3,384,176 traded player exception created in last November’s Greg Monroe/Eric Bledsoe trade in order to absorb Meeks’ salary. While that trade exception technically isn’t worth as much as Meeks’ cap hit, the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement allows teams to trade for a salary worth the value of the TPE plus $100K. That gives Milwaukee just enough wiggle room on Meeks.

A part-time player in D.C. last season, Meeks averaged just 6.3 PPG on .399/.343/.863 shooting in 77 games before being banned 25 games for violating the league’s anti-drug program. Even after serving the final 19 games of that suspension, he wasn’t expected to be a major part of the Wizards’ rotation in 2018/19. He’ll be on the lookout for a new team once he clears waivers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bucks Waive Tim Frazier

The Bucks have reached the regular season roster limit by waiving point guard Tim Frazier, the team announced today (via Twitter). The move reduces Milwaukee’s roster to 17 players, including 15 on standard contracts.

Frazier, who will turn 28 in November, has appeared in 186 NBA games over the last four seasons, spending time with the Sixers, Trail Blazers, Pelicans, and Wizards. In 2017/18, he was a backup in Washington, posting 3.0 PPG and 3.3 APG in 59 games (14.2 MPG).

After waiving Tyler Zeller and Shabazz Muhammad, the Bucks’ final roster decision appeared to come down to Christian Wood, D.J. Wilson, and Frazier — the team only had room for two of the three, and Frazier’s non-guaranteed contract certainly contributed to the decision. Because Milwaukee waited until Monday to cut him, Frazier won’t clear waivers until Wednesday, and the team will assume a small cap hit for two days’ worth of his minimum salary.

Although the Bucks could enter the season with their current roster after releasing Frazier, it’s possible that another move is coming before opening night. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reports (via Twitter) that the Bucks and Wizards are in advanced talks on a trade in which Milwaukee would get a player and a draft pick. The Bucks would also get cash in the deal, tweets Jordan Schultz of ESPN.

Matt Velazquez of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (via Twitter) suggests that the Bucks would immediately waive that player acquired from Washington and wouldn’t send a player of their own back, so both transactions would have to be completed very soon to beat the roster cutdown deadline.

Wizards Sign, Waive Oleksandr Kobets

OCTOBER 15: Shortly after signing Kobets on Saturday, the Wizards waived him, per the NBA’s official transactions log. According to JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors (via Twitter), Kobets will play for Washington’s G League team.

Because the Wizards cut Kobets on Saturday, he won’t count against their cap for the 2018/19 season.

OCTOBER 14: After the Wizards cut down their roster over the weekend, the club has signed Oleksandr Kobets, a guard from Ukraine, according to a tweet from agent Michael Lelchitski (hat tip to Sportando). Kobets is expected to play with the Wizards’ G League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go, per Oleksandr Proshuta (Twitter link).

Kobets played for the Cherkasy Monkeys last season as they became the Ukranian League champions. The 22-year-old guard averaged 14.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists.

The Wizards are taking a look at a young guard with potential after releasing several veterans over the weekend, including Lavoy Allen. Chasson Randle, Chris Chiozza and Tiwian Kendley were the other players waived. Kobets figures to be cut by Monday as well, if he hasn’t been already.

2018/19 Over/Unders: Southeast Division

The 2018/19 NBA regular season will get underway tomorrow, which means it’s time to get serious about predictions for the upcoming campaign. With the help of the lines from Bovada and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, we’re running through the predicted win totals for each of the NBA’s 30 teams, by division, to have you weigh in on whether you think those forecasts are too optimistic or too pessimistic.

Having already looked at the Atlantic, Central, Southwest, and Pacific divisions, we’re moving onto the Southeast today…

Washington Wizards

(Trade Rumors app users, click here for Wizards poll)


Miami Heat

(Trade Rumors app users, click here for Heat poll)


Charlotte Hornets

(Trade Rumors app users, click here for Hornets poll)


Orlando Magic

(Trade Rumors app users, click here for Magic poll)


Atlanta Hawks

(Trade Rumors app users, click here for Hawks poll)


Previous voting results:

Atlantic:

  • Boston Celtics (59.5 wins): Over (53.63%)
  • Toronto Raptors (55.5 wins): Over (56.95%)
  • Philadelphia 76ers (54.5 wins): Under (51.19%)
  • Brooklyn Nets (31.5 wins): Under (56.04%)
  • New York Knicks (28.5 wins): Under (54.13%)

Southwest:

  • Houston Rockets (56.5 wins): Over (69.33%)
  • New Orleans Pelicans (45.5 wins): Under (53.4%)
  • San Antonio Spurs (44.5 wins): Under (60%)
  • Dallas Mavericks (34.5 wins): Over (55.16%)
  • Memphis Grizzlies (34.5 wins): Under (60.87%)

Central:

  • Indiana Pacers (47.5 wins): Over (62.04%)
  • Milwaukee Bucks (47.5 wins): Over (73.7%)
  • Detroit Pistons (38.5 wins): Over (56.36%)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers (30.5 wins): Over (55.42%)
  • Chicago Bulls (29.5 wins): Over (61.8%)

Pacific:

  • Golden State Warriors (62.5 wins): Over (53.45%)
  • Los Angeles Lakers (48.5 wins): Over (55.2%)
  • Los Angeles Clippers (36.5 wins): Under (55.7%)
  • Phoenix Suns (29.5 wins): Under (53.4%)
  • Sacramento Kings (25.5 wins): Under (63.87%)

Wizards Waive Lavoy Allen, Three Others

The Wizards have reduced their roster to 16 players, announcing today in a press release that they’ve waived four camp invitees: Lavoy Allen, Chasson Randle, Chris Chiozza, and Tiwian Kendley.

Of those four players, Allen is the only one with significant NBA experience. The veteran big man has appeared in 388 total regular season games for the Sixers and Pacers during his six-year NBA career, averaging 4.8 PPG and 4.8 RPG in 17.8 minutes per contest. However, he didn’t play in the NBA last season.

Randle also has a little NBA experience, having played 26 games for the Sixers and Knicks in 2016/17. Chiozza and Kendley signed their first NBA contracts with the Wizards this summer after going undrafted in the spring.

All four players are candidates to join the Capital City Go-Go, Washington’s new G League affiliate.

The Wizards’ 16-player roster count includes 14 players on standard deals and a pair on two-way contracts, so they’re in compliance with regular season roster rules.