Washington Wizards

Wizards To Pursue John Wall Extension

An extension for John Wall will be Washington’s top priority this offseason, sources tell J. Michael of Comcast Sportsnet. The team hasn’t yet reached out to Wall, but the front office is expected to do so now that Wall has made an All-NBA team this season and is eligible for the Designated Veteran Player Extension.

Wall can sign on for an additional four years and nearly $170MM with the CBA’s new extension. While that may be tempting to most, Wall isn’t ready to sign on the dotted line just yet. Sources tell Michael that Wall would like to see the front office’s plan for the future before committing long-term.

Wall had his most effective season as a pro during the 2016/17 season. He scored 23.1 points, dished out 10.7 assists and made 45.1% of his shots from the field. He wasn’t able to elevate the Wizards past the second round in the Eastern Conference, but that was arguably due to the team’s lack of firepower off the bench.

The Wizards will have several pressing issues this offseason, including Otto Porter‘s restricted free agency. Locking up Wall long-term is No. 1 on the list and once they know how long the point guard will be in Washington, they can move onto other objectives.

Wizards Need Bench Upgrade; Sheppard Interviewed By Hawks

The Wizards fell just shy of the Celtics in their Eastern Conference Semifinal showdown and now must look at ways to improve if they hope to take the next step as a potential contender. One place they can start, point guard John Wall tells Chris Miller of CSN Mid-Atlantic, is with their bench.

I think we have to add pieces to help our bench,” the Wizards All-Star said. “Just to be honest I think that’s been our downfall.

While Wall and shooting guard Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 27.2 and 24.8 respective points per game this postseason, mid-season trade acquisition Bojan Bogdanovic was their most potent reserve averaging a modest 8.8 points per game.

Brandon Jennings, another mid-season Wizards target charged with the task of jump-starting the second unit, posted averages of just 2.8 points and 1.8 assists per game in the playoffs.

  • The Hawks have interviewed Wizards VP of basketball operations, Tommy Sheppard and Warriors assistant general manager Travis Schlenk in their ongoing search for a new executive, Marc Stein of ESPN writes.

Will There Be Roles For Both Gortat, Mahinmi Next Season?

No Paul George, Gordon Hayward On All-NBA Teams

The NBA has officially announced its All-NBA teams for the 2016/17 season, and neither Paul George nor Gordon Hayward is among the 15 players honored. That’s big news for both players and their teams, since they’ll be ineligible for the Designated Veteran Extension, reducing the amount of money the Pacers and Jazz – respectively – could offer their star forwards in contract extensions this offseason.

Here are this year’s All-NBA teams:

All-NBA First Team

All-NBA Second Team

All-NBA Third Team

Based on this year’s All-NBA voting results, Wall is now eligible to sign a Designated Veteran Extension this summer, while Leonard is eligible to sign one next summer. Harden, Westbrook, and Curry are also eligible to sign DVEs this summer, as Bobby Marks of The Vertical notes (via Twitter).

Those Designated Veteran Extensions – which are dependent on a player making an All-NBA team in the year before he signs an extension, or in two of the previous three years – apply to players finishing up their rookie scale extensions. They allow a player re-signing with his own team to earn up to 35% of the salary cap, rather than just 30%. So, if we assume a $101MM salary cap for 2017/18, a player like Curry could sign a new Warriors contract with a starting salary of $35.35MM, instead of $30.3MM.

The Pacers and Jazz will still be able to offer George and Hayward larger and longer contracts than any other team, but the advantage won’t be as significant as it would have been if those players had earned All-NBA spots. Teams can offer their own Bird-rights free agents up to five years (instead of four) and 8% raises (instead of 5%).

Hayward figures to opt out of his contract and become a free agent this summer, while George is expected to reach free agency in 2018. George could still become eligible for the DVE in ’18 if the Pacers hang onto him through next season and he earns All-NBA honors a year from now. However, there’s no guarantee that Indiana will be willing to take that risk.

As for the rest of the All-NBA votes, there weren’t any major surprises, particularly on the first two teams. Perhaps the biggest surprise, in a year which was dominated by four clear-cut MVP candidates, is that Harden was the only player who received 100 out of 100 possible First Team votes. Westbrook and James received 99 apiece, while Leonard received 96.

Note: Hoops Rumors readers voted last month on All-NBA teams, and our squads looked awfully close to the official ones, with a couple notable exceptions. You can check out the results of our voting right here.

Sixers Notes: Redick, Draft, Colangelo, Okafor

Clippers free agent J.J. Redick will get a lot of interest from the Eastern Conference, and the Sixers may be the leading contender, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. In a video posted on the Vertical website, several analysts offer their visions of the future for Philadelphia after winding up with the third pick in next month’s draft. Wojnarowski believes the Sixers will make a strong play for Redick, an 11-year veteran who would fill a position of need at shooting guard while bringing leadership to the locker room. Redick will probably receive offers starting at $16MM to $17MM annually, Wojnarowski predicts, and Philly’s strongest competition for him will come from the Nets, as well as the Knicks if they can clear enough cap room.

There’s more tonight out of Philadelphia:

  • The Sixers may try to trade down in the draft, suggests The Vertical’s Bobby Marks in the same video, because there isn’t a perfect fit for them at No. 3. They are believed to have interest in Kentucky guard Malik Monk, who could be available a few picks later. Marks says the Kings, who own picks No. 5 and No. 10, might emerge as a trading partner. He adds that Philadelphia also owns an unprotected Lakers pick next season, an unprotected Kings pick in 2019 and a pick from the Thunder in 2020 that is top-20 protected, all of which could be used as trade assets.
  • President of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo was planning a “measured, organic growth path” if the Sixers came away from Tuesday’s lottery with two picks, relays Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Instead, the Lakers landed in the top three and got to keep their selection for another year, which leads Colangelo to a more aggressive approach that will involve seeking veteran help through trades and free agency. “We are going to have both opportunities available to us now,” he said. “We are going to look at all those alternatives, all those options.” Pompey lists Redick, Kyle Lowry, Otto Porter, Danilo Gallinari and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as free agents the team might target.
  • Jahlil Okafor is an obvious candidate to be used as a trade chip, writes Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly. The second-year center has been a poor fit in Philadelphia since being drafted in 2015. Many observers expected him to be dealt at the February deadline, but Nerlens Noel was shipped to Dallas instead. “I want to find a situation that’s great for us and great for Jahlil, and if that means him staying here then that’s great,” Colangelo said. “He’s a great kid and a great player and we’re going to see how he fits with this group.”

Wizards Notes: Bogdanovic, Oubre, Burke, Mac

Playing time will be the priority for Bojan Bogdanovic when he enters free agency this summer, relays Chase Hughes of CSNMidAtlantic. Bogdanovic was averaging about 27 minutes per game with the Nets before a midseason trade to Washington cut that number to about 23. Bogdanovic may have to look elsewhere if he wants a larger role, particularly if the Wizards are able to re-sign fellow small forward Otto Porter, who has the starting job locked down. Washington used a three-man rotation at the position after the deal, Hughes notes, with Porter, Bogdanovic and Kelly Oubre all contributing. Oubre is expected to have an expanded role next season. “I want to try to find a team where I can play heavy minutes,” Bogdanovic said. “I hope that I will play here maybe, but we will see. It’s a long summer in front of us before free agency. We’ll see.” Bogdanovic, who will represent Croatia in the European Championship this summer, added that he would like to remain on the same team with John Wall or find a point guard with similar skills.

There’s more news out of D.C.:

  • A platelet-rich plasma treatment has been prescribed for Oubre’s right knee, Hughes notes in a separate story. Oubre plans offseason workouts with teammate Bradley Beal, and possibly Wall, in hopes of becoming a better ballhandler.
  • The minutes totals for the starters in the Game 7 loss to the Celtics emphasizes the need to build a stronger bench, writes Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. Wall and Beal barely came out of Monday’s game, while Markieff Morris played nearly 42 minutes and Porter was close to 40. Buckner cites point guard as an area where important decisions must be made, with backups Trey Burke and Brandon Jennings both headed toward free agency. Burke fell behind rookie Tomas Satoransky in the rotation, then dropped out completely once Jennings was signed. Burke expressed frustration with the way things worked out and sounded ready to move on. “I don’t plan on my role being the same next year,” he said. “My agency is working very hard for me right now. I know what type of player I can be and I know what type of player I want to be. That’s not my plan. This summer, it’ll be great. I’m looking forward to the summer.”
  • The Wizards will take a closer look at three young prospects this offseason, Buckner adds in the same piece. Shooting guard Sheldon Mac and big men Daniel Ochefu and Chris McCullough will all be part of Washington’s entry in the Las Vegas Summer League. Mac, who changed his name from McClellan at midseason, has the best chance of the three to crack the rotation next year, according to Buckner, but his $1.3MM contract for 2017/18 in non-guaranteed.

Southeast Notes: Wall, Porter, Gortat, Waiters, Ball

During the Wizards‘ Game 7 loss to the Celtics, Washington’s bench was outscored 48 to 5. That glaring disparity was certainly not lost on John Wall, writes Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com. In fact, Wall’s last words before leaving the court Monday night were, “Forty-eight to five,” which he then repeated before departing with, “Our bench had five points.”

Here’s more out of the Southeast:

  • Despite the immense disappointment Wizards players are feeling after their Game 7 defeat, players expressed confidence that the team can continue to compete at a high level if it can keep its best players together. Otto Porter, a restricted free agent this offseason, is considered by teammates Wall, Bradley Beal, and Markieff Morris to be a vital part of the team’s core, reports Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. Morris tells Buckner that Porter is worth a max contract and he hopes that he gets it.
  • As reported earlier today, Marcin Gortat feels underappreciated by the Wizards and may request a trade.  More details and quotes on Gortat’s feelings can be found via Candace Buckner of The Washington Post.
  • Impeding Heat free agent Dion Waiters said that the Heat do not need Lonzo Ball because they are covered at the point guard position with Goran Dragic, Tyler Johnson, and “other [players],”  reports Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Waiters also offered advice for Ball: “He’s got to go somewhere where he’s able to play his game. He’s got to go somewhere where he’s able to make mistakes. Because I think in this game today, he’s got to be able to make mistakes and have a coach who allows you to make mistakes, and you can learn from it.”
  • Luke Babbitt‘s future with the Heat is written about by Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Winderman concludes that, while Babbitt likely will not be an offseason priority for the Heat, the team will consider him because of his Bird Rights and skill set.

2017 Offseason Salary Cap Digest: Washington Wizards

The Wizards’ 2016 offseason, which included huge new deals for Bradley Beal and Ian Mahinmi, received mixed reviews. However, while Mahinmi battled injuries and didn’t have the impact Washington had hoped, Beal delivered on his contract extension with a career year, and new head coach Scott Brooks turned out to be the Wizards’ most important offseason addition.

After coming within one game of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Wizards will now have to decide whether to follow up Beal’s deal with a similarly lucrative extension for Otto Porter. The club’s lack of cap flexibility will make it tricky to acquire additional reinforcements whether or not Porter returns.

Here’s where things currently stand for the Wizards financially, as we continue our Offseason Salary Cap Digest series for 2017:

Guaranteed Salary

Player Options

  • None

Team Options

  • None

Non-Guaranteed Salary

Restricted Free Agents

  • Otto Porter ($7,732,904 qualifying offer / $14,734,953 cap hold)
  • Bojan Bogdanovic ($4,663,316 qualifying offer / $7,088,241 cap hold)
  • Trey Burke ($4,187,598 qualifying offer / $8,466,495 cap hold)
  • Total: $30,289,689

Cap Holds

Trade Exceptions

Projected Salary Cap: $101,000,000

Maximum Cap Room: $6,646,794

  • Renouncing all their free agents and waiving their non-guaranteed salaries would leave the Wizards with nine guaranteed contracts and three cap charges for empty roster slots, totaling $94,353,206. That doesn’t leave the Wizards much room to work with, so it makes more sense for the team to stay over the cap, which would allow for possible deals with RFAs like Porter and/or Bogdanovic.

Footnotes:

  1. Mac’s salary becomes partially guaranteed ($50,000) after July 1.
  2. Ochefu’s salary becomes partially guaranteed ($50,000) after July 1.

Salary information from Basketball Insiders and The Vertical was used in the creation of this post.

Marcin Gortat May Seek Trade From Wizards

Wizards center Marcin Gortat plans to talk to his agent this summer to determine “if this is the right fit,” tweets Candace Buckner of The Washington Post.

Gortat claims he “did more sacrificing” than anyone and was underappreciated in his role with the team (Twitter link). He is also angry that Washington signed backup Ian Mahinmi to a longer contract than his last summer, saying, “I know how this business works.” (Twitter link)

Gortat still has two seasons and more than $26MM left on his current deal with the Wizards. This isn’t the first time he has been unhappy with his situation in Washington, as he frequently clashed with former coach Randy Wittman.

Injured Morris Vows To Keep Playing

Wizards forward Markieff Morris is suffering through a severe left ankle injury, but says there’s no chance it will prevent him from playing in Monday’s Game 7 against the Celtics, relays J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic. Morris was able to play 39 minutes in Game 6, putting up 16 points and 11 rebounds in a thrilling 92-91 victory. He has been fighting through the pain ever since landing on Al Horford‘s foot on a jump shot in Game 1 and hasn’t practiced since the injury. “I don’t shoot at all. I just go back to treatment every day,” Morris said. “It’s not swollen as much, but the pain is still there. It’s the worst injury I’ve ever had.”

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