Wizards Rumors

East Draft Notes: Wizards, Raptors, Bulls, Magic, Nets

UCLA point guard Aaron Holiday heads the list of six players the Wizards will work out on Wednesday, according to the team’s website. Holiday is ranked No. 17 by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. He will be joined by two Kansas guards, Devonte’ Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, along with forwards Johnathan Williams (Gonzaga), Moritz Wagner (Michigan) and Zach Thomas (Bucknell).

In other draft news regarding Eastern Conference teams:

Urbina: Wizards A Potential Suitor For Nurkic?

  • Frank Urbina of HoopsHype examines four potential landing spots for restricted free agent Jusuf Nurkic, identifying the Mavericks, Hawks, Wizards as possible suitors. However, Urbina writes that a return to the Trail Blazers is the most likely outcome for Nurkic.

Wizards Working Out Six Prospects On Tuesday

Combine Notes: Bridges, Sixers, DiVincenzo, Sexton

Michigan State wing Miles Bridges, a probable lottery pick, interviewed with the Bulls, Pacers, Kings, Cavaliers, Spurs, Nuggets, and Clippers earlier this week, and was set to meet with the Sixers, Hornets, and Knicks on Friday, per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Bridges is one of several intriguing prospects the Sixers are meeting with in Chicago this week, according to Pompey, who adds Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr., Michigan State power forward Jaren Jackson Jr., and IMG Academy guard Anfernee Simons to that list. Kentucky’s Hamidou Diallo was also scheduled to interview with Philadelphia on Friday, Pompey tweets.

Finally, Pompey has details on Villanova’s Donte DiVincenzo, who has been impressing NBA evaluators at this week’s combine and says he’s received plenty of “positive feedback.” According to Pompey, DiVincenzo has had meetings with the Lakers, Magic, Timberwolves, Trail Blazers, Cavaliers, Spurs, Hawks, and Grizzlies in Chicago.

Here’s more on meetings taking place at the combine:

2018 NBA Draft Picks By Team

While the Sixers were knocked out of the 2018 playoffs in the Eastern Conference Semifinals by the underdog Celtics, few teams are better positioned in this year’s draft than Philadelphia. The 76ers own six of the 60 picks in the 2018 NBA draft, including a pair of first-rounders.

As our full 2018 draft order shows, the Sixers are one of seven NBA teams that holds more than two selections in this year’s draft. On the other end of the spectrum, eight teams have just one pick in 2018, while two teams – the Heat and Raptors – don’t have any selections.

To present a clearer picture of which teams are most – and least – stocked with picks for the 2018 NBA draft, we’ve rounded up all 60 picks by team in the space below. Let’s dive in…

Teams with more than two picks:

  • Philadelphia 76ers (6): 10, 26, 38, 39, 56, 60
  • Phoenix Suns (4): 1, 16, 31, 59
  • Atlanta Hawks (4): 3, 19, 30, 34
  • Dallas Mavericks (3): 5, 33, 54
  • Orlando Magic (3): 6, 35, 41
  • Denver Nuggets (3): 14, 43, 58
  • Brooklyn Nets (3): 29, 40, 45

Teams with two picks:

  • Sacramento Kings: 2, 37
  • Memphis Grizzlies: 4, 32
  • Chicago Bulls: 7, 22
  • New York Knicks: 9, 36
  • Charlotte Hornets: 11, 55
  • Los Angeles Clippers: 12, 13
  • Washington Wizards: 15, 44
  • San Antonio Spurs: 18, 49
  • Minnesota Timberwolves: 20, 48
  • Utah Jazz: 21, 52
  • Indiana Pacers: 23, 50
  • Los Angeles Lakers: 25, 47
  • Oklahoma City Thunder: 53, 57

Teams with fewer than two picks:

  • Cleveland Cavaliers (1): 8
  • Milwaukee Bucks (1): 17
  • Portland Trail Blazers (1): 24
  • Boston Celtics (1): 27
  • Golden State Warriors (1): 28
  • Detroit Pistons (1): 42
  • Houston Rockets (1): 46
  • New Orleans Pelicans (1): 51
  • Miami Heat (0)
  • Toronto Raptors (0)

Wizards’ Jason Smith Opts In For Next Season

Wizards center/power forward Jason Smith has exercised his $5.45MM option for next season, relays Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington.

The 32-year-old had a player option as part of a three-year, $16MM contract he signed as a free agent in 2016. He appeared in just 33 games this season, averaging 3.4 points and 1.6 rebounds in 8.6 minutes per night.

Smith’s decision pushes the Wizards above the $119MM mark in guaranteed salary for next season, dangerously close to the projected $123MM luxury tax. Washington is still waiting on a decision from Jodie Meeks, who can opt out of a $3,454,500 salary.

Wizards' Trade Pieces; How LeBron's Decision Impacts Them; Devin Robinson's Jumper

The Wizards have a host of tradable assets that could help them shake things up, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington writes. That may be the franchise’s best hope of appeasing John Wall considering that they don’t have anywhere near enough financial flexibility to sign a free agent.

  • The fate of the Eastern Conference depends on what LeBron James decides to do this offseason. If he heads west, it could open new opportunities for other contenders. If the 15-year veteran decides to return to the Cavaliers, it could precipitate a trade market in which teams like the Heat and Wizards could be involved, Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel writes.
  • The Wizards made the ambitious decision to help 23-year-old two-way contract rookie Devin Robinson reinvent his jumpshot. NBC Sports Washington’s Chase Hughes reports that Robinson was a solid shooter at Florida but ran into issues with his low release point.

Wall A Better Leader On The Court?

  • Candace Buckner of The Washington Post opines that although the leadership of John Wall was at times questionable this season for the Wizards, the situation would’ve been helped if Wall was able to play more, using his on-court leadership skills as opposed to trying to lead off the court.

More Money Means More Scrutiny For Otto Porter

  • The Wizards signed forward Otto Porter to a four-year, $107MM contract last offseason. With that increased salary has come increased scrutiny, Candace Buckner of The Washington Post writes. Porter excelled as a three-point shooter in 2017/18 but was criticized for lacking aggressiveness in the fourth quarter.

2018 NBA Offseason Salary Cap Digest: Washington Wizards

After locking up Bradley Beal to a maximum-salary contract in 2016, the Wizards committed max deals to two more players during the 2017 offseason. Otto Porter‘s went into effect this past season, while John Wall‘s – which could start at approximately $37.8MM – will begin in 2019/20. Even before Wall’s huge raise hits their cap, the Wizards have very limited flexibility, reducing the club’s options in free agency this summer. It remains to be seen if the trade market can help Washington upgrade its roster.

Here’s where things currently stand for the Wizards financially, as we continue our Offseason Salary Cap Digest series for 2018:

Guaranteed Salary

Player Options

Team Options

  • None

Non-Guaranteed Salary

  • None

Restricted Free Agents

  • None

Unrestricted Free Agents / Other Cap Holds

Projected Salary Cap: $101,000,000

Projected Cap Room: None

  • The Wizards will be well over the cap threshold again in 2018/19, barring major cuts and/or trades. If we assume Smith and Meeks exercise their player options, the Wizards’ total team salary – taking into account their 10 player contracts, plus cap charges for their first-round pick and an empty roster spot – would get all the way up to $128,357,923.
  • That projected team salary isn’t just over the cap — it’s also well over the estimated tax line. So the Wizards may look to cut costs to avoid paying the tax for a team that mustered just two playoff wins.

Note: Rookie scale cap holds are estimates based on salary cap projections and could increase or decrease depending on where the cap lands.

Salary information from Basketball Insiders was used in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.