Wizards Rumors

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/11/18

As we detailed earlier today in a full story, the Knicks assigned veteran wing Courtney Lee to the G League to get in some minutes and improve his conditioning. Lee struggled a little with his shot for the Westchester Knicks on Tuesday night, scoring 16 points on 7-of-21 shooting (1-of-9 on threes).

Here are the rest of today’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

Assignments:

  • The Jazz assigned Grayson Allen and Georges Niang to the Salt Lake City Stars in advance of the team’s game tonight against Austin, the team announced in a press release.
  • Rookie point guard Elie Okobo was assigned to the G League today by the Suns, as Gina Mizell of The Athletic relays (via Twitter). Okobo, who has been in and out of Phoenix’s rotation this season, started at the point for Northern Arizona tonight.
  • The Bucks assigned D.J. Wilson to the G League in advance of the Wisconsin Herd’s two-game road trip this week, according to the club (Twitter link). A first-rounder in 2017, Wilson still isn’t part of Milwaukee’s rotation, having played just two games for the Bucks this season.
  • Sixers rookie Jonah Bolden was recalled from the G League this morning, then re-assigned several hours later, per Derek Bodner of The Athletic (Twitter links). Bolden has averaged a double-double in four G League contests, posting 15.5 PPG and 12.3 RPG in Delaware.

Recalls:

  • After helping lead the Memphis Hustle to a Monday victory with 25 points and 10 boards, Ivan Rabb was recalled to the NBA today by the Grizzlies, according to the club (Twitter link).
  • The Hawks recalled Daniel Hamilton from Erie, as Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets. Hamilton posted back-to-back double-doubles for the BayHawks during his latest G League stint.
  • 2018 first-round pick Troy Brown was recalled to the NBA by the Wizards, the team announced today (via Twitter). Brown has averaged 18.3 PPG on 47.5% in four NBAGL games this season.
  • The Pelicans have recalled Frank Jackson from the G League, per a team press release. New Orleans doesn’t have its own affiliate, so Jackson had been with the Texas Legends, Dallas’ NBAGL squad.
  • The Bucks recalled Christian Wood from the Wisconsin Herd today, according to RealGM’s transactions log. Wood has appeared sparingly in just six games for Milwaukee in 2018/19.

Wizards Notes: Wall, Smith, Dekker

John Wall is blaming an injury for his one-point performance in Saturday’s loss at Cleveland, according to Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. Wall has been suffering from a bone spur in his left heel and was treated for the condition after the game.

“It’s just like a bone spur but today it got really hot,” Wall told Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington (Twitter link). “Probably shouldn’t have played. That’s my fault. … I’ve had it for a while. It comes and goes from days where it’s hot and today it’s like I really couldn’t run.”

Wall had six assists, but missed all five of his shots from the field and was pulled from the game late in the third quarter. Cavaliers rookie Collin Sexton took advantage of the matchup to score a career-high 29 points. More concerning to the Wizards than Saturday’s loss is how the condition will affect Wall for the rest of the season.

“Some days it’s great. Some days it’s bad,” he said. “It come and go. You know what I mean? You just got to monitor when it’s good and when it’s bad, don’t try to force the issue and play with that one because it’s kind of hard. You can’t run. Today it just got real hot. It didn’t get no better.”

There’s more news out of Washington:

  • Concerns about effort and focus have haunted the Wizards throughout their 11-15 start and Cleveland center Tristan Thompson suggested that was an issue again Saturday night, relays Joe Vardon of The Athletic“Obviously every team that comes in here is going to feel very relaxed and feel like they don’t have to put their best foot forward,” Thompson said of facing the six-win Cavaliers. “I know how teams come in and approach us because we used to be that team that would approach teams that are in a different stage or got a lot of younger players.”
  • The Wizards lowered their potential tax bill by shipping Jason Smith to the Bucks for Sam Dekker, but the move wasn’t popular in the locker room, Buckner writes in a separate story. Smith was only averaging about 11 minutes per night, but was was well liked by his teammates, who viewed him as a supportive and calming presence. “If you can go through things of ups and downs and sporadic seasons, playing or not playing and still be that happy of an individual and cheer people on and just continue to be an overall good dude, why can’t everybody be that?” Kelly Oubre asked. “He really taught me how to be a good human being, to be honest.”
  • Coach Scott Brooks promises that Dekker will get a chance to earn playing time. In an video clip tweeted by the team, Brooks says he likes Dekker’s “motor” and “athleticism” and calls him a “developing shooter.”

Financial Impact Of Bucks/Cavs/Wizards Trade

While the three-team trade finalized by the Cavaliers, Bucks, and Wizards on Friday won’t have the same on-court impact as the blockbuster the Raptors and Spurs completed in the offseason, or the Sixers’ acquisition of Jimmy Butler last month, it’s a complicated transaction with many moving parts. So, as we did with those previous deals, we want to take a deep dive into all the financial and cap considerations going on for the three clubs involved in the swap.

Let’s dive right in…

How salary-matching works in the trade:

George Hill‘s $19,000,000 cap hit is the largest single salary involved in the trade. It would have allowed the Cavaliers to take back up to $24MM by itself (the outgoing salary, plus $5MM), so using it to absorb John Henson ($11,327,466) and Matthew Dellavedova ($9,607,500) together is no problem. That means the Cavs are essentially trading Sam Dekker for “nothing” and can create a traded player exception worth his salary ($2,760,095).

[RELATED: Outstanding NBA Traded Player Exceptions]

From the Bucks‘ perspective, neither of their outgoing players are earning enough to match Hill’s $19MM salary on their own, so Henson and Dellavedova need to be aggregated. Together, they earn $20,934,966, which allows the Bucks take back up to $26,268,708 (125% of the outgoing salary, plus $100K). That’s enough to absorb both Hill ($19,000,000) and Jason Smith ($5,450,000).

As an aside, it’s worth noting that the rules for the amount the Cavs can take back using Hill’s $19MM vs. the amount the Bucks can take back using Henson’s and Dellavedova’s $20.93MM are different because the rules change once the salaries cross the $19,600,000 threshold. We explain that in more depth in our glossary entry on the traded player exception.

Finally, the Wizards can use the $3,454,500 traded player exception they created in October’s Jodie Meeks trade on Dekker, whose $2,760,095 salary fits nicely and leaves just $694,405 on that TPE. As a result, Washington essentially trades Smith’s $5,450,000 salary for “nothing,” creating a new trade exception worth that amount.

Teams have one year to use their traded player exceptions, but the Cavs and Wizards will actually get a couple extra days to use theirs. Trade exceptions can’t expire on a weekend, so the expiry date for the new TPEs created by Cleveland and Washington will be December 9, 2019, since December 7 falls on a Saturday next year.

How the Ted Stepien rule affects this trade:

The Ted Stepien rule, which we explain in more detail in a glossary entry, prohibits teams from completing trades that would leave them without a first-round pick for two consecutive future seasons.

Read more

Bucks Acquire George Hill From Cavs

DECEMBER 8, 9:00am: As part of the deal, the Wizards also removed the protections on the 2020 second-round pick they owe the Bucks, reports Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). In summation, the trade looks like this, as Smith tweets:

  • Bucks receive George Hill, Jason Smith, cash considerations (from Wizards), the Wizards’ 2021 second-round pick (from Cavaliers), and the protections removed on the Wizards’ 2020 second-round pick.
  • Cavaliers receive John Henson, Matthew Dellavedova, the Bucks’ 2021 first-round pick (protections detailed below), the Bucks’ 2021 second-round pick, and the Wizards’ 2022 second-round pick.
  • Wizards receive Sam Dekker.

DECEMBER 7, 9:25pm: The trade is official, according to a Cavaliers press release. as relayed by Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix.

6:20pm: The Wizards have agreed to make it a three-team deal by acquiring Dekker for big man Jason Smith and a second-round pick, Wojnarowski tweets. The Cavs will swap a 2021 second-rounder with Washington for a 2022 second-rounder, Brian Windhorst of ESPN tweets.

5:05pm: The Bucks have agreed to acquire veteran guard George Hill from the Cavaliers in exchange for guard Matthew Dellavedova, injured center John Henson and first- and second-round picks in 2021, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.

Cleveland is also sending forward Sam Dekker to Milwaukee, Brian Windhorst of ESPN tweets.

As always, the deal is contingent on the players passing physicals.

The Bucks will save approximately $18MM for the 2019/20 season with this move, which will increase their flexibility to make more moves next summer, Wojnarowski notes in a separate tweet. With Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe both on track to become free agents in July, that extra flexibility could be crucial.

The Cavs are showing a continued willingness to take on salary in order to acquire future assets, Wojnarowski adds.

There was a sense of urgency in getting this deal done on Friday. These players are now eligible to be aggregated on the February 7th trade deadline, Wojnarowski points out in another tweet. Thus, these players can be combined with other contracts in a deadline deal.

While Cleveland is technically acquiring Milwaukee’s 2021 first-rounder in the deal, it’s likely to get pushed back to 2022. That’s because the first-rounder that Milwaukee owes Phoenix next summer almost certainly won’t change hands until 2020, as it’s protected 1-3 and 17-30 for 2019. Since teams can’t trade future first-round picks in back-to-back seasons, the Cavs would have to wait an extra year to get their pick from Milwaukee.

There are protections on the first-round pick going to Cleveland, according to Zach Lowe of ESPN (Twitter link). The first-rounder is protected 1-14 in 2021; 1-10 in 2022; 1-10 and 25-30 in 2023; and 1-8 in 2024. If still not conveyed by then, it converts to two second-rounders in 2025.

Hill is making $19MM this season but his $18MM salary for next season doesn’t become fully guaranteed until July 1. Only $1MM is guaranteed, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. Milwaukee will almost assuredly cut him loose before then, eating his $1MM partial guarantee. However, Hill can be a contributor this season on a playoff contender.

He joins a guard rotation that includes Eric Bledsoe, Malcolm Brogdon and Tony Snell. The addition of Hill would seemingly reduce Donte DiVincenzo‘s minutes.

Henson is making $11.3MM this season and has a $10.5MM guarantee for next season in the final year of his deal. He recently underwent wrist surgery and could miss the rest of the season.

Dellavedova, who will begin his second stint in Cleveland, is making $9.6MM this season and the same amount next season.

Dekker is making $2.76MM and Milwaukee would have to extend a $3.9MM qualifying offer after the season to make him a restricted free agent.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/6/18

Here are Thursday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

Ugetti: Wizards Among Teams Most In Need Of Trade

  • The Pelicans, Rockets, Wizards, Heat, and Mavericks are the would-be contenders who most need to make a trade, in the view of Paolo Uggetti of The Ringer. Meanwhile, a handful of NBA.com writers weigh in on the teams most in need of a shake-up, and many of the same clubs are mentioned.

Knicks Considering John Wall Trade?

The Knicks‘ long-term answer at the point guard position may not be in the roster and some within the league believe the team is gearing up to make the Wizards an offer for John Wall, Marc Berman of the New York Post reports.

Berman writes that the Knicks are “stocking up” their young talent and could attempt to put together a package for the former All-Star should the Wizards make him available. The offer would involve Frank Ntilikina, Damyean Dotson and Courtney Lee as well as a 2020 first-rounder and a future second-rounder as part of a three-team deal, Berman suggests.

It was previously reported that there were no untouchables on Washington’s roster, though that was when the team was 6-12 and looking at a lost season. The Wizards have since gone 4-2, pulling themselves closer to their lofty playoff goals.

Wall has not played his best basketball this year. However, it would be hard to argue that he wouldn’t be an upgrade over New York’s current point guard situation.

[RELATED: John Wall drawing very little trade interest]

Ntilikina has fallen out of the rotation and it’s unclear whether the team believes he can play the position long-term. Emmanuel Mudiay hasn’t proven to be consistent as the starter and Trey Burke was demoted to backup before suffering an MCL injury.

The upgrade to Wall would come with heavy financial and opportunity costs. The team expects to be a major player in free agency and Wall’s $37.8MM salary for the 2019/20 season would severely impact the franchise’s ability to make a splash.

Trey Burke Discusses Upcoming Free Agency

Facing unrestricted free agency at the end of the 2018/19 season, Trey Burke would like to remain with the Knicks, but knows he might not have that option depending on which direction the club goes at point guard. Burke acknowledged as much during a conversation with Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News.

“I know how the business goes and if that is not an option, you’re always auditioning for other teams. But personally, on record, I want to be here in New York City,” Burke said. “You just never know, man. You never know in this league. Try not to put all your eggs in one basket because it is a business at the end of the day.”

Burke, who is currently sidelined with a knee sprain, has started five games for the Knicks this season, but has recently settled into a backup role behind Emmanuel Mudiay. Even coming off the bench, the former Michigan standout has been impressive, averaging 25.8 points per game in 28.1 MPG during one four-game stretch a couple weeks ago.

While he’s a few years older than fellow point guards Mudiay and Frank Ntilikina, Burke tells Bondy that he doesn’t feel like he has a ton of mileage on his body at age 26, pointing to a couple seasons where he “didn’t play much.” Burke, who says he’s making an effort to become a better defender this year, also acknowledges that he’s trying to “stay in the moment” rather than looking ahead to his free agency. However, he’s curious about what next summer will bring.

“Obviously, it is on my mind,” Burke said. “It’s an exciting time, but at the same time I’m just trying to first of all just get back on the court and second of all be the best version I can be to help this team win. I think when you win and when you are personally excelling in your role, I think that’s a plus. But I think when you win, teams look at that more than anything.”

Over at The New York Post, Marc Berman observes that Mudiay is making a case to receive consideration as part of the Knicks’ long-term plans at point guard, given his recent play. However, as both Bondy and Berman note, Mudiay would have a sizable cap hold ($12.88MM) as a restricted free agent at season’s end, which could complicate the Knicks’ offseason salary cap situation. Burke’s minimum-salary cap hold would be much easier to keep on the books during free agency if New York wants to go after Kevin Durant or other big-name targets.

Of course, the Knicks’ long-term decision at point guard won’t just come down to Mudiay vs. Burke. Ntilikina remains under team control for multiple seasons, and it’s possible the club will use its cap flexibility to fortify the position with an established veteran, via trade or free agency. Berman writes that some people around the NBA believe the Knicks are stocking up assets to make a play for Wizards guard John Wall, though Wall doesn’t seem like an ideal target for the franchise, given his unfavorable contract.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/3/18

Here are Monday’s G League assignments and recalls from across the NBA:

  • The Wizards recalled power forward Okaro White from the Capital City Go Go, the Wizards’ PR department tweets. White has appeared in one Go Go game, scoring six points in 25 1/2 minutes. He’s also seen action in one Washington game.
  • The Jazz assigned guard Grayson Allen and forward Georges Niang to the Salt Lake City Stars, the Jazz’s PR department tweets. Allen, the 21st overall pick out of Duke, has appeared in 14 Jazz games, averaging 4.6 PPG in 10.5 MPG. Niang has seen action in 18 games, averaging 3.2 PPG in 7.4 MPG. The Stars play the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on Monday.
  • The Pacers assigned center Ike Anigbogu to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants for the fifth time this season, according to a team press release. The 2017 second-round pick has seen action in three Indiana games.
  • The Thunder recalled forward Abdel Nader from the Oklahoma City Blue, according to a team press release. Nader piled up 31 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals in the Blue’s game on Sunday. He’s seen action in nine Thunder games after being acquired from Boston during the summer.

Howard More Likely To Exercise Option

  • Wizards center Dwight Howard is more likely to exercise his player option for next season after undergoing surgery last week, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington notes. Howard underwent a spinal procedure to correct a gluteal ailment and will be sidelined for two to three months. He has a $5.6MM option and if he exercises it, it’d likely push the Wizards further over the projected cap. Washington already has $111MM in salary guarantees to just five players next season.