Wizards Rumors

Eastern Notes: Bertans, Free Agency, Parker

As we reported earlier this week, it may be difficult for the rival teams to pry Davis Bertans from Washington, as the Wizards are strongly considering keeping the big man through the season and re-signing him this summer.

GM Tommy Sheppard believed that Bertans was “one of the top 3-point shooters in the league last season” when he dealt for the big man this past offseason, Jackson Filyo of NBA.com relays. The team thought that Bertans was someone who would add depth to the frontcourt with his “shooting ability, basketball IQ and work ethic.

It’s turned out to be one of better under-the-radar moves as Bertans has been pacing the NBA in threes. Over his past six games, the Latvian Laser has 36 triples, which tops the league over that stretch. Washington doesn’t play again until Saturday. Perhaps time away is the only thing that can cool Bertans off.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • One executive tells David Aldridge of The Athletic that the Wizards‘ game plan has increased Bertans’ stock as a trade chip and a 2020 free agent. “The way Washington is using him will certainly increase his value,” a longtime NBA front office executive, currently unaffiliated, said via text. “The [3-pointer] in today’s game is a huge commodity now. I think he is a mix between [Kyle Korver and [Ryan Anderson].”
  • One former front office executive (in that same piece) tells Aldridge that Bertans could make a substantial raise on his current $7MM salary in free agency this summer. “He will get between $15M and $20M (per year) this summer.” the former executive said. “Most likely for a two-year deal. Don’t see him getting a four-year deal.” It’s worth noting that one current GM thought that valuation was high, given how few teams will have cap space this summer.
  • Hawks forward Jabari Parker has no hard feelings toward the Bulls despite his tenure in Chicago not working out as planned. “I just had to move on, but that never changed about how I feel about my city because I have more street cred than that organization period,” Parker said this week, per Eric Woodyard of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
  • Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel wonders if Bam Adebayo is the second star the Heat have been looking for. The center is having his most efficient season as a professional and is a top contender for the Most Improved Player award.

Wizards Assign Schofield And Robinson

  • The Wizards tweet that they have assigned rookie small forward Admiral Schofield and rookie guard Justin Robinson to the Capital City Go-Go. Schofield has played in 10 games for the Wizards, while Robinson has appeared in five contests.

Wizards Apply For Extra Roster Spot Via Hardship Provision

The Wizards are requesting permission to add a 16th player to their roster via the hardship provision, tweets Fred Katz of The Athletic. According to Katz (Twitter link), the team is readying its application now and would have 48 hours to make a move if the request is granted.

The NBA can grant a team a hardship exception when that team has at least four players who have missed three or more games due to injury or illness and are expected to miss at least two more weeks. A hardship exception allows the club to add an extra player to its 15-man roster, increasing its roster limit to 16.

In Washington’s case, John Wall and C.J. Miles are expected to be out for the season and Thomas Bryant and Jordan McRae are also on the shelf with multi-week injuries. Isaiah Thomas has also missed the Wizards’ last four games due to a calf injury, though he appears slightly closer to a return than the team’s other injured players.

The extra roster spot would be a temporary measure, allowing the Wizards to add a 16th man on a non-guaranteed contract. The exception would expire and Washington would have to make a roster move to get back down to 15 players once its injured players start to return. It’s not yet clear which player the team will sign if and when its request is granted by the NBA.

Wizards Interested In Keeping Davis Bertans Long-Term

The Wizards will certainly receive numerous calls on Davis Bertans before the trade deadline, but rival teams will have a tough time prying Bertans from Washington, a source tells Hoops Rumors. Many within the team’s front office are huge fans of Bertans and with the franchise looking to improve sooner than later, the Wizards could opt to keep the 27-year-old power forward with the intention of re-signing him this offseason and having him available for a more competitive 2020/21 campaign.

Bertans is making $7MM in the final season of his contract, though he’s likely to see a sizable raise on that figure this offseason given his improved play and the lack of major talent on the market. The big man’s projected market will likely play a role in what direction the team goes at the deadline, though it’s worth noting that the Wizards own Bertans’ Bird rights, so they could go above the salary cap to keep him on the roster.

Washington has a few sizeable contracts coming off its books this offseason (Ian Mahinmi at $15.4MM; C.J. Miles at $8.7MM) but still has roughly $96MM in guaranteed money allocated to just eight players for the 2020/21 campaign. Next summer’s salary cap is expected to come in around $116MM, though that is simply a projection and may not include potential ramifications from the Chinese market.

What could the Wizards net if they traded the Latvian Laser? ESPN’s Bobby Marks reported last month that a first-rounder in return isn’t out of the question. Bertans’ recent run (no player has made more 3-pointers over the last 10 games), as well as his ability to fit seamlessly on nearly any roster, makes it difficult to envision a mere protected first-round pick getting him out of Washington.

Which team would make sense for Bertans if the club dealt him away? Philadelphia could certainly use outside shooting and as I mentioned on NBAMath.com, GM Elton Brand was just one of several Sixers executives in Washington for the team’s recent tilt with the Wizards.

Bertans came to the Wizards via the Spurs’ three-way trade for DeMarre Carroll. San Antonio selected the big man with the No. 42 overall pick back in the 2011 draft, though he didn’t come stateside until the 2016/17 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

Bradley Beal Discusses Whether He Considered Heat

  • The Heat would have had serious interest in Bradley Beal if the Wizards had made him available in trade talks or if he had reached free agency in 2021. Instead, Beal re-upped with Washington, signing a two-year extension earlier this year. Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald caught up with Beal to ask the Wizards’ star whether he considered the possibility of a move to the Heat before inking that new deal. Beal’s answer? “Yes and no.” Jackson has the full story and quotes.

Wizards’, Cavs’ Trade Exceptions Expire

A pair of traded player exceptions expired on Monday, as the Wizards and Cavaliers didn’t find a use for their TPEs. Washington’s exception was worth about $3.39MM, while Cleveland’s was worth $2.76MM.

Both trade exceptions were generated in last December’s three-team trade involving the Bucks, Cavaliers, and Wizards, which saw George Hill sent to Milwaukee and John Henson and Matthew Dellavedova land in Cleveland. The Cavs generated their exception as a result of sending Sam Dekker to the Wizards, but never ended up using that TPE.

The Wizards, meanwhile, created a $5.45MM trade exception in the deal by sending Jason Smith to Milwaukee. They did actually use a part of that exception this past summer, using it to absorb Moritz Wagner‘s $2.06MM in their deal with the Lakers. Washington didn’t use the rest of the TPE, however.

The Cavs still have three traded player exceptions available, though the most valuable one is worth just $1.54MM, so they’re unlikely to be used. The Wizards have more options — they have four TPEs left, including a $5MM exception that doesn’t expire until July 7, 2020.

For more information on traded player exceptions and how they work, be sure to check out our glossary entry on the subject and our full list of available TPEs.

O'Connor: Davis Bertans Among Trade Candidates

  • League sources tell O’Connor that Davis Bertans (Wizards), Marvin Williams (Hornets), J.J. Redick (Pelicans), and Marcus Morris (Knicks) are among the veterans who are candidates to be dealt before the deadline. Redick likely won’t be moved, but multiple execs believe New Orleans could strongly consider the idea if the right offer comes along.


Wagner Called Out By Brooks

  • Wizards coach Scott Brooks called out second-year big man Moritz Wagner after the team’s loss to the Clippers on Sunday, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington relays. Wagner started the game but only played three minutes in the second half, mainly due to defensive lapses. “His head wasn’t in the game,” Brooks said. “When you’re a young player, you’ve gotta lock in. You have to do what we need to be done. We talked about it. We talked about it at halftime and he didn’t want to do it.”
  • The Wizards’ G League coach, Ryan Richman, is just 30 years old and they’re grooming him to be a head coach at the NBA level, Fred Katz of The Athletic writes. He was moved from Brooks’ staff to the Capital City Go-Go this season. “I don’t look at him as a good, young coach. He’s a good coach,” Brooks said. “He’s gonna lead that team and be a big part of our organization and change things up. And we’re all one.”

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/9/19

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

  • The Hornets assigned forwards Jalen McDaniels and Caleb Martin and guard Cody Martin to the Greensboro Swarm, according to a team press release. That same trio had been recalled from the Swarm on Sunday. McDaniels, a rookie from San Diego State, has appeared in 12 games with the Swarm, averaging 17.3 PPG, 7.8 RPG and 2.4 SPG in 31.6 MPG. Caleb Martin, an undrafted rookie, has seen action in 10 games for the Swarm, averaging 17.2 PPG, 5.3 RPG and 3.9 APG in 34.6 MPG. Cody Martin, like McDaniels a second-round pick in the June draft, has averaged 18.4 PPG, 8.2 RPG and 4.6 APG in 35.5 MPG through five outings with the Swarm.
  • The Wizards assigned and then recalled forwards Isaac Bonga and Admiral Schofield and guard Justin Robinson from the Capital City Go-Go, the team’s PR department tweets. The trio joined the Go-Go for a practice. 

Wizards Expected To Guarantee Jordan McRae’s Contract

The Wizards intend to fully guarantee Jordan McRae‘s contract this season even though he’s currently sidelined by a finger injury, Candace Buckner of the Washington Post reports.

McRae underwent surgery on his right ring finger last week to remove a pin from a previous surgery. The procedure was a precautionary measure to prevent infection. He’s expected to miss at least two weeks.

McRae suffered a fracture to that finger during the season opener against Dallas on October 23. He returned to action on November 6. The pin became dislodged on a dunk attempt against Charlotte on November 22.

McRae’s $1.6MM contract, which was already partially guaranteed at $600K, becomes fully guaranteed on December 20, per Basketball Insiders.

He is averaging 8.9 PPG, 2.4 RPG and 2.8 APG in 18.1 MPG in 13 games this season while backing up the team’s star, Bradley Beal.