Washington Wizards

McClellan Changes Name; Grunfeld Loves Otto; Bogdanovic Embraces Role

  • The Wizards freed up cap space to make signing forward Otto Porter to an extension this summer possible. General manager Ernie Grunfeld recently spoke with J. Michael of CSN Mid-Atlantic about just that. “We love the way that he’s developed and how he’s come along. I think Otto fits in very well with what we’re trying to do,” Grunfeld said. “I said he’s part of our core and we want to keep him here.”
  • Over the All-Star Break, Wizards rookie Sheldon McClellan announced that he has legally changed his name to Sheldon Mac, says Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic. The guard had thought about it for a while but held off for fear of complicating the scouting and drafting process he went through last year.
  • Recently acquired forward Bojan Bogdanovic was looking forward to the trade that officially sent him to the Wizards. The veteran will come off the bench in Washington and tells J. Michael of CSN Mid-Atlantic that he doesn’t think it will be that big of an adjustment.

Hornets Sign Johnny O’Bryant To 10-Day Deal

3:14pm: The Hornets have officially signed O’Bryant to a 10-day contract, the team announced this afternoon in a press release.

7:32am: After playing on a pair of 10-day contracts with the Nuggets earlier this season, Johnny O’Bryant is poised to join a new team, according to Chris Reichert of The Step Back, who reports (via Twitter) that the Hornets will sign the free agent forward to a 10-day contract.

The Hornets have been carrying 13 players on fully guaranteed contracts, along with a pair of players – Ray McCallum and Mike Tobey – on 10-day contracts. The latest 10-day deals for both McCallum and Tobey expired overnight, so it seems the Hornets won’t retain both players.

Assuming the team finalizes a deal with O’Bryant, there would still be one opening on the roster to sign McCallum, Tobey, or someone else. Since McCallum and Tobey each signed two 10-day contracts with Charlotte, they would need to be signed for the season to stick with the Hornets.

O’Bryant, 23, was the 36th overall pick in the 2014 draft, and spent his first two NBA seasons with the Bucks. In 100 games for the club, O’Bryant averaged 3.0 PPG and 2.4 RPG. The LSU product signed as a free agent with the Wizards prior to training camp last fall, but didn’t earn a regular-season roster spot with the team.

O’Bryant subsequently joined the D-League’s Northern Arizona Suns, averaging 18.5 PPG and 8.7 RPG in 24 games for Phoenix’s affiliate this season. He even added a three-point shot to his game during his time in the NBADL, making 38.0% of his attempts and averaging more than one three-pointer per game. That earned O’Bryant a couple 10-day contracts with the Nuggets, for whom he appeared in seven games, averaging 2.9 PPG and 1.6 RPG.

Eastern Notes: Hawks, Celtics, Butler, Knicks

Whether it’s via trade or free agency, the Hawks are planning to add a third point guard to their roster, head coach Mike Budenholzer said today (Twitter link via Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution). Dennis Schroder has had a very solid season in Atlanta, but Malcolm Delaney has been up and down as his backup, and the team doesn’t really have additional depth at the position.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • On The Vertical’s live trade deadline show, Adrian Wojnarowski suggested that one reason the Celtics and Bulls haven’t moved forward in Jimmy Butler talks is because the Bulls would want at least a couple players capable of joining their rotation immediately, and Boston is more interested in using draft picks in a potential package.
  • The Knicks have yet to budge on their insistence that the Timberwolves add an additional player or draft pick to a Ricky Rubio/Derrick Rose swap, according to Ian Begley of ESPN.com. As Begley notes, it’ll be interesting to see if either side budges before the deadline.
  • J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic.com takes a closer look at why the Wizards targeted Bojan Bogdanovic and were willing to give up a first-round pick for him.

Trade Rumors: C. Lee, Clippers, Pacers, Jazz, Kings

Earlier today, we heard that the Clippers recently showed interest in Courtney Lee, and according to Ian Begley and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com, the Clips and Knicks continue to talk. New York has been seeking draft picks in discussions on Lee and other players, and the Clippers don’t have any immediate first-rounders to offer, as Begley notes. So if the Knicks want to send Lee to Los Angeles, they may have to settle for a player or get a third team involved.

Here are more of the latest trade rumors from around the NBA:

  • The Pacers have been talking to teams about possible trades that would allow them to clear roster spots, tweets ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. As Windhorst notes, teams suspect that might be related to their talks with the Celtics regarding Paul George. Of course, Indiana may also just be doing due diligence as well in case Boston ups its offer — the Pacers wouldn’t want to be stuck having to waive useful players to make a deal work.
  • The Jazz don’t appear likely at this point to make a deal, says Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com (via Twitter). TNT’s David Aldridge notes (via Twitter) that Utah could still make a move for Deron Williams, but if Williams isn’t dealt, the veteran point guard won’t ask for a buyout from the Mavericks.
  • The Kings continue to mull their options, but don’t appear to be moving forward with talks for players like Darren Collison and Arron Afflalo for now, according to Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post (Twitter link), who adds that Sacramento’s asking prices may be too high. If those prices come down, things could change.
  • The Wizards continue to work the phones, but aren’t overly optimistic about getting another deal done by the deadline, tweets Bontemps.
  • The market for Iman Shumpert appears to be cooling as the deadline approaches, per Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net (Twitter link). Amico says that teams are asking for a draft pick from the Cavaliers, and Cleveland doesn’t have many picks left.

Trade Rumors: Muhammad, Raptors, Collison, Mavs

The Timberwolves are “determined” to move Shabazz Muhammad today and hope to land a draft pick in return, reports TNT’s David Aldridge (via Twitter). One report earlier today suggested that Minnesota might attach Muhammad to Ricky Rubio, but Aldridge is unsure if Muhammad would be included in a potential Rubio/Derrick Rose swap.

Here are more trade rumors from around the NBA:

  • John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 (Twitter link) has heard that Raptors players would like to see the team acquire Suns forward P.J. Tucker, in the hopes of getting someone capable of defending LeBron James in the postseason.
  • Darren Collison, who is on an expiring contract, is drawing interest from many teams, but the Kings are holding firm on their asking price of a first-round pick, tweets David Aldridge of TNT. An earlier report identified the Bucks as a potential Collison suitor, but Charles F. Gardner of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link) says Milwaukee hasn’t engaged in talks with the Kings.
  • Now that they’ve found a taker for Andrew Bogut, the Mavericks have shifted their focus to a possible Deron Williams deal, tweets Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders.
  • The Wizards are exploring the market for a possible deal for a point guard, sources tell Kyler (Twitter link).
  • The Warriors aren’t active today, and figure to focus on the buyout market if they want to bolster their bench, according to Kyler (Twitter link).

Wizards Exploring Market For Trey Burke

The Wizards are exploring the market for Trey Burke, according to Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). Washington is looking for a second-round pick in return for the point guard.

The franchise acquired Burke from the Jazz during the offseason in exchange for a 2021 second-round pick. Prior to being dealt, the 2013 No. 9 overall pick spent three seasons in Utah.

Burke has seen his role with the Wizards fluctuate this season. In 51 games with the team, he’s averaged 5.0 points in 12.6 minutes per game. He’ll be a restricted free agent at the end of the season.

Nets Trade Bojan Bogdanovic To Wizards

7:53 PM: The trade is official, according to a Nets’ press release.

3:01 PM: The Nets and Wizards have agreed to a deal that will send Bojan Bogdanovic to Washington, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (via Twitter). Wojnarowski had previously identified the Wizards and Kings as teams with interest in the Brooklyn sharpshooter.Bojan Bogdanovic horizontal

In exchange for Bogdanovic and Chris McCullough, who will also head to Washington in the deal, the Nets will receive Andrew Nicholson, Marcus Thornton, and the Wizards’ 2017 first-round pick, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter links). The pick will be lottery protected, per ESPN’s Zach Lowe (Twitter link).

Bogdanovic, who will turn 28 in April, was the 31st overall pick in the 2011 draft and eventually arrived stateside to join the Nets in 2014. The 6’8″ forward is is enjoying a career year this season, with 14.2 PPG and a .357 3PT% in 55 games so far.

Although Bogdanovic is on an expiring deal, he’ll be eligible for restricted – rather than unrestricted – free agency this summer. His matching rights will now be held by the Wizards, rather than by Brooklyn, and that has some value. The Nets know first-hand that it can be difficult to steal an RFA away from another team — the club had offer sheets for Allen Crabbe, Tyler Johnson, and Donatas Motiejunas matched in 2016.

Depending on whether the Wizards want to commit to Bogdanovic beyond the 2016/17 season, they may have to worry about re-signing two key RFAs in the summer, as Otto Porter is also on track for restricted free agency.

From the Nets’ perspective, the club gets another first-round pick in what’s expected to be a deep and talented draft. That probably makes the deal a win for GM Sean Marks, even though the Wizards’ pick currently projects to fall just 24th overall, as our reverse standings show. The Nets, of course, don’t have their own first-rounder, but they’ll also get Boston’s pick, setting them up for two selections in the 20s.

As for the financial details of the trade, the Nets had been well below the salary floor, but they’ll inch about $2.3MM closer to that mark by taking on Nicholson and Thornton, who combine to earn more than $7MM. Meanwhile, the Wizards will cut costs a little by taking on Bogdanovic ($3.57MM) and McCullough ($1.19MM). Washington should also be able to create a traded player exception in the deal worth about $2.5MM.

While Bogdanovic and Thornton are free agents at season’s end, Nicholson and McCullough are controllable through the 2018/19 season. McCullough will be eligible for restricted free agency in the summer of ’19, while Nicholson has a player option for the ’19/20 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Southeast Notes: Porter, Heat, Plumlee, Magic

The Wizards may not be finished dealing after a multi-player trade with the Nets this afternoon, tweets Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post. Washington will continue to look for help through Thursday’s trade deadline at 3 p.m. Eastern. Today’s deal, which sent Andrew Nicholson, Marcus Thornton and this year’s first-rounder to Brooklyn in exchange for Bojan Bogdanovic and Chris McCullough, clears cap space to help the Wizards re-sign Otto Porter this summer, notes David Aldridge of TNT (Twitter link). Nicholson, who had fallen out of the rotation in Washington, still has three seasons and nearly $20MM left on his contract.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Bogdanovic has a 15% trade kicker, notes Bobby Marks of The Vertical (Twitter link). That amounts to $157K, which Brooklyn will pay, but his cap hit for the Wizards is now $3.73MM.
  • The Heat will avoid any deadline moves that would tie up their future cap space, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. That makes them unlikely to pursue the Nuggets’ Wilson Chandler or the Nets’ Trevor Booker, who both have contracts that extend beyond this season. Jackson cites a rival GM who has spoken to Miami about a deal and believes “they seem content to stand pat.”
  • Miami expects to have Josh Richardson back in the lineup for Friday’s game, according to a tweet from the team. A foot injury has kept him out of the lineup since January 8th. “He’s had a healthy approach the last 4-5 weeks to prepare,” said coach Erik Spoelstra. Justise Winslow won’t be back this season, but he is making progress from shoulder surgery, the Heat noted (Twitter link), as his sling has been removed.
  • Hornets center Miles Plumlee will be out of action for at least two weeks with a right calf strain, the team posted on its website. An MRI revealed the second-degree strain, and Plumlee will be re-evaluated in 14 days. He has played just five games for Charlotte since being acquired from the Bucks in a February 2nd trade.
  • Despite a 21-37 record, the Magic have no plans to tank the rest of the season, according to Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. Orlando is currently fourth in our Reverse Standings and would have an 11.9% chance of winning the lottery. Coach Frank Vogel believes it would be a mistake to try to improve those odds by losing on purpose. “As a coach, you worry about one thing, and that’s getting a group of guys that haven’t won in five years to learn how to win,” Vogel said. “That’s more important than any one player you can add.”

Trade Rumors: Shumpert, Rockets, Wizards, Hawks

Although the Cavaliers have shown a willingness this season to move Iman Shumpert, the team has become a little more wary of a deal lately with J.R. Smith sidelined, per Marc Stein and Calvin Watkins of ESPN.com. The Rockets are interested in Shumpert, but don’t want to give up Patrick Beverley in a deal, as we heard this afternoon.

Despite Houston’s interest in Shumpert, a league source tells Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com that the Cavs don’t like what the Rockets are offering. According to Stein and Watkins, K.J. McDaniels is believed to be a part of Houston’s offer, though it’s not clear what other pieces the Rockets would put on the table.

While we wait to see if the Rockets and Cavs can move closer to a deal within the next 24 hours, let’s check in on a few more trade rumors and notes…

  • The Wizards aren’t just looking for a scorer, according to J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic.com, who says (via Twitter) that the team is seeking another defender as well. Washington has been linked to P.J. Tucker, so the report makes sense. Michael adds (via Twitter) that it will be difficult to get someone one player capable of meeting both criteria, but the club appears willing to acquire a rental if it’s the right player.
  • In an interview with Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (video link), Hawks GM Wes Wilcox strongly reiterated that Paul Millsap isn’t going anywhere at the trade deadline, and will be the team’s top priority in free agency this summer. Wilcox also confirmed that Atlanta is approaching the deadline as a buyer.
  • Asked today about the Pistons‘ trade possibilites, head coach Stan Van Gundy said that the team hasn’t gone into trade discussions with a specific goal in mind. “We’ve been more open to listening and looking at things,” Van Gundy said, per Rod Beard of The Detroit News (Twitter link). Reports have suggested that the Pistons have listened to inquiries on guys like Andre Drummond and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, so the club isn’t closing the door on any possibilties.

Woj’s Latest: Bogdanovic, KCP, Butler, Sixers

The Kings still had four days to go before the 2017 trade deadline when they agreed to send DeMarcus Cousins to the Pelicans, but the team rushed to finalize the trade so that owner Vivek Ranadive wouldn’t change his mind about wanting to move the star center, Adrian Wojnarowski says in a podcast for The Vertical.

Both Wojnarowski and Bobby Marks were somewhat critical of the Kings, pointing out that the team should have been able to find a way to move Matt Barnes in the process of trading Cousins, rather than releasing him and eating his $6.4MM+ guaranteed salary for 2017/18. Wojnarowski also said that multiple free agents in recent years have used the Kings for leverage or turned down more money from Sacramento sign elsewhere, suggesting that the club needs to make good decisions and improve its reputation going forward.

The Vertical’s team, including Wojnarowski, Marks, and Chris Mannix, tackled many more topics within that podcast and a live chat with fans on Facebook, so let’s dive in and round up some of the highlights…

  • The Wizards don’t want to trade a first-round pick for a rental player, but the team does have “significant interest” in Nets sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanovic, who will be a restricted free agent this summer. Wojnarowski also adds the Kings to the list of teams with real interest in Bogdanovic.
  • Although the Pistons “love” Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, they’re hesitant about giving him a maximum salary contract in the offseason, so they have been open to listening to inquiries on him to gauge his value, says Wojnarowski. While Stan Van Gundy did say last month that no one on the roster is untouchable, a KCP deal seems like a long shot.
  • If the Bulls are going to consider moving Jimmy Butler, they’ll need to blown away by an offer, per Wojnarowski. Mannix adds that the Celtics believe Jaylen Brown has star potential and would be very reluctant to include him in an offer for Butler.
  • In recent weeks, the Sixers have shifted their focus from trading Nerlens Noel to trading Jahlil Okafor, but if the team doesn’t find a deal it likes for Okafor, Noel remains a trade candidate, says Wojnarowski. Although the Bulls have had “pretty consistent interest” in Okafor, Philadelphia continues to value him like a former third overall pick, and teams around the league are less bullish on his value, according to Woj.
  • The Rockets, Thunder, and Hawks are among the teams on the lookout for help. Mannix says Houston remains in the market for a frontcourt piece, while Wojnarowski says the Thunder are still seeking a wing scorer. Woj also notes that Atlanta is focused on building around Paul Millsap, despite the fact that he can opt out this summer.
  • The market for Nets center Brook Lopez is “really limited,” since the market is somewhat over-saturated with that type of player, says Wojnarowski.
  • The Clippers are reluctant to give up any more draft picks, particularly for rental players, so they’re a candidate to dive into the buyout market after the deadline, according to Wojnarowski, who adds that the club has had some interest in Wilson Chandler and Nikola Mirotic.
  • According to Wojnarowski, the Trail Blazers remain committed to Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum as core pieces, and are taking the long view on their roster rather than pushing for a playoff spot this season.
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