Wizards Rumors

Eastern Notes: LaVine, Bryant, G. Harris, T. Young, Hawks

Although Zach LaVine wasn’t one of the 38 free agents who reportedly reached a contract agreement during the first day of free agency on Thursday, the Bulls remain confident that the two-time All-Star will eventually agree to a new five-year, $215MM deal to stay in Chicago, sources tell Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. According to Cowley, the Bulls met with LaVine during day one of free agency, but the 27-year-old wants to hear all the offers that may be available to him.

Here’s more from around the East:

  • Wizards free agent center Thomas Bryant still appears unlikely to return to Washington, as was reported on Thursday. According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link), Bryant is receiving “significant” interest from contending teams and will likely make a decision today. The Celtics and Lakers are among the clubs in the mix, Haynes adds.
  • The two-year contract extensions signed by Magic wing Gary Harris and Raptors forward Thaddeus Young on Thursday aren’t fully guaranteed in 2023/24, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN. According to Marks, Harris has no protection in the second year of his new contract, while Young has a partial guarantee.
  • The Hawks have officially confirmed a front office move that was reported in June, announcing in a press release that Landry Fields has been elevated from assistant GM to general manager. The club also announced a series of other basketball operations hires and promotions.

Wizards To Sign Anthony Gill To Two-Year Deal

The Wizards are re-signing forward Anthony Gill to a two-year contract, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.

Gill was a restricted free agent after Washington extended a qualifying offer. It’s most likely a veteran’s minimum deal, though terms have not been disclosed.

The 6’8″ Gill, 29, went undrafted out of Virginia in 2016 and spent most of his professional career overseas. He signed a two-year contract with the Wizards in November 2020.

Gill came off the bench in 44 games last season, averaging 4.1 PPG and 1.9 RPG in 10.5 MPG.

 

Wizards To Sign Delon Wright To Two-Year Contract

The Wizards have agreed to a two-year, $16MM contract with point guard Delon Wright, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.

Both years are guaranteed, David Aldridge of The Athletic tweets.

The contract will eat up a good portion of Washington’s $10.49MM mid-level exception.

Wright is the second significant point guard acquisition made by Washington this week. The Wizards are acquiring Monte Morris in a four-player deal with Denver. Journeyman point guard Ish Smith is being shipped to the Nuggets as part of that deal.

A report surfaced earlier on Thursday that Washington was interested in Wright.

The 30-year-old has played for six organizations, most recently the Hawks. He was a regular in their rotation last season, appearing in 77 regular-season contests, including eight starts. He averaged 4.4 PPG, 2.4 APG and 1.2 SPG in 18.9 MPG.

Wizards, Bradley Beal Agree To Five-Year Max Deal

The Wizards and Bradley Beal have agreed to a five-year, maximum-salary contract that will keep the star guard in D.C., agent Mark Bartelstein tells Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

Beal’s new contract will pay him a $251,019,650 over the five years. The most a rival team could have offered would have been $186,100,778 over four years.

Beal declined his $36.4MM player option for 2022/23 in order to become an unrestricted free agent and maximize his earnings. He indicated in both March and May that he was leaning toward re-signing with the Wizards, so the news is expected.

The 29-year-old missed the final 33 games of the season because of an injured left wrist. He recently said the recovery process is going well and estimates that 80-90% of his range of motion has returned.

A three-time All-Star, Beal has been the subject of trade rumors for years but has remained loyal to Washington. Now that loyalty has paid off in a major way. He’ll get a chance to play a full season with Kristaps Porzingis, who was acquired at the February trade deadline, for the first time next season.

Beal finished second in the NBA in scoring in both ’19/20 and ’20/21, averaging more than 30 PPG in each season, but slumped a bit last year by his lofty standards, averaging 23.2, 4.7 RPG and 6.6 APG in 40 games (36 MPG). One potentially alarming statistic is that Beal’s three-point percentage has declined each of the past three seasons, with a career-low 30% in ’21/22, although his 6.6 assists per game represented a career-high.

Beal’s contract will pay him through his age 33 season, at which point he’ll become a free agent. Given his mediocre defense, it’s fair to question whether he’s worth more than $57MM in ’26/27, but there was never any doubt that he’d receive a max contract this summer.

Eastern Rumors: Gallinari, Celtics, Nets, O’Neale, Wizards, Turner

The Hawks and Danilo Gallinari have agreed to push back the forward’s salary guarantee date to July 8, reports Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report (Twitter link). Gallinari’s $21.45MM salary for 2022/23, which is currently only partially guaranteed for $5MM, was originally set to become fully guaranteed if he remained under contract through Wednesday.

However, with word breaking that he would be sent to San Antonio in a trade for Dejounte Murray, there was an expectation that Gallinari’s guarantee deadline would be moved, giving the two teams some time to complete the trade and assuring him of some extra money — it appears he’s in line to receive about an extra $6.57MM in order to ensure his guarantee is large enough to legally match Murray’s salary.

While Fischer suggests the new guarantee date opens the door for the Hawks to further expand the Murray trade before it becomes official, it will also simply ensure the Spurs and Hawks have a chance to complete the trade once the transaction moratorium ends on July 6 and that San Antonio can subsequently waive Gallinari before the rest of his salary becomes guaranteed. Assuming he’s released next week, Gallinari will have an opportunity to find a new landing spot without having to wait until later in the offseason to reach the open market.

Here’s more from around the East:

  • Within their look at possible targets for the Celtics‘ $17MM+ trade exception, Jay King and Jared Weiss of The Athletic say that Boston has been exploring possible deals for Hawks wing Kevin Huerter “for some time now.” John Hollinger of The Athletic thinks a trade sending Huerter to Boston would make sense for both teams if the Celtics can handle the tax hit.
  • The Nets are among the teams that have interest in trading for Jazz forward Royce O’Neale, sources tell Ian Begley of SNY.tv. A report last week indicated that O’Neale was generating serious trade interest.
  • The Wizards and free agent point guard Delon Wright have mutual interest, according to Begley. Washington addressed its point guard hole by agreeing to acquire Monte Morris, but could still use another reliable option at the position, and Wright should be attainable using the mid-level exception.
  • Whether he begins the 2022/23 season with the Pacers or a new team, center Myles Turner should be ready to play from day one. According to Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files, Turner is now fully healthy, having experienced no setbacks in his recovery from a stress reaction in his left foot.

Free Agent Rumors: Bryant, Bridges, Cavs, Paschall, Suns

Veteran center Thomas Bryant, who will be an unrestricted free agent this week, is likely to leave the Wizards and sign with a new team, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington, who tweets that Bryant is expected to have multiple suitors.

While Hughes’ report doesn’t name any specific teams that will pursue Bryant, a number of clubs around the NBA are believed to be in the market for a backup center, including the Bulls, Raptors, Knicks, and Lakers, among others.

Assuming Bryant departs, the Wizards would likely be in the market for a third center to join Kristaps Porzingis and Daniel Gafford on their depth chart, Hughes notes.

Here are a few more free agency updates from around the NBA:

  • Following Miles Bridgesarrest on domestic violence charges, the Hornets have put out a press release indicating that they’re aware of the situation. “We are in the process of gathering additional information,” the team said in its statement (Twitter link). “We will have no further comment at this time.”
  • In a lengthy look at the free agents the Cavaliers could consider this offseason, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com cites sources who say the team has been in touch with forward T.J. Warren‘s camp and remains interested in point guard Tyus Jones.
  • Confirming that Jazz forward Eric Paschall didn’t receive a qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent, Tony Jones of The Athletic cites sources who say Paschall is expected to draw interest on the open market as an unrestricted FA.
  • Free agent big man Frank Kaminsky appears unlikely to return to the Suns, tweets John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7. Kaminsky, who was waived by Phoenix in April, missed most of the season due to a stress reaction in his right knee, which required surgery.
  • Gambadoro also tweets that he expects the Suns to have interest in unrestricted free agent wing Donte DiVincenzo.

Free Agent Rumors: Ayton, Batum, Hartenstein, Clippers, Wizards

There has been no progress between the Suns and Deandre Ayton on a new contract, and a sign-and-trade appears to be the most likely outcome, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on Sports Center (video link).

Ayton is a restricted free agent, giving Phoenix the opportunity to match any offer he receives, but that’s unlikely to happen, according to Woj. He explains that the Suns don’t value Ayton as a max contract player, but other teams do, which means that’s what he’ll likely receive when free agency begins Thursday afternoon.

Although he doesn’t mention any specific teams, Wojnarowski cites “several” potential destinations for Ayton on a max deal, with the Suns receiving some combination of players, draft picks and cap flexibility in return.

There’s more on the free agent market:

  • With Ivica Zubac‘s extension and an expected deal with John Wall out of the way, re-signing Nicolas Batum will be a priority for the Clippers, writes Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. Greif notes that Batum is very loyal to the organization and has turned down offers from other teams over the past two years to stay in L.A.
  • Jay Scrubb and Xavier Moon will likely compete for a two-way contract if the Clippers decide to re-sign them, Greif adds in the same piece. The team plans to give one of its two-way slots to second-round pick Moussa Diabate.
  • The Rockets have interest in bringing back free agent center Isaiah Hartenstein, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic. Iko notes that Hartenstein, who started his career in Houston in 2018, is only 24 and fits well with the team’s current roster.
  • Kris Dunn and Pierriá Henry attended a Wizards mini-camp this week in hopes of winning a roster spot on a team searching for point guards, per Josh Robbins of The Athletic. Henry is an accomplished player in the EuroLeague, while Dunn, a lottery pick in 2016, is hoping to prove that he’s healthy after missing most of the past two seasons with injuries. “I feel like over the last two years, I didn’t have a leg, almost,” Dunn said. “Over the last couple of months, I’ve been doing a lot of rehab, and everything’s starting to work out perfectly.”

Wizards, Nuggets Agree To Trade Involving Morris, Barton, KCP

11:53am: The two teams are now in an agreement on the trade, reports Wojnarowski (via Twitter).


9:16am: The Wizards and Nuggets are nearing an agreement on a trade that would send point guard Monte Morris and wing Will Barton to Washington in exchange for swingman Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and point guard Ish Smith, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski confirms the terms reported by Charania, adding (via Twitter) that the two teams are in the process of finalizing a deal.

The Wizards, who had previously been linked to Morris, will get a much-needed point guard upgrade in the trade, adding a player who was considered one of the NBA’s best backups before being thrust into a starting role last season as Jamal Murray recovered from ACL surgery.

In his first year as a full-time starter, Morris averaged 12.6 PPG, 4.4 APG, and 3.0 RPG on .484/.395/.869 shooting in 75 games (29.9 MPG). The Nuggets received calls from more than 20 teams about the 27-year-old, per Mike Singer of The Denver Post.

Washington will also acquire Barton, a solid shooter and scorer who has averaged 14.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and 3.3 APG with a .362 3PT% in 479 regular season games for the Nuggets since arriving in Denver in 2015.

Wizards head coach Wes Unseld Jr. is very familiar with both players, having previously served as a Nuggets assistant.

The move reduces the likelihood of the Wizards seriously pursuing a point guard like Tyus Jones in free agency or Malcolm Brogdon via trade.

Meanwhile, the Nuggets will add a player they had been targeting since the trade deadline in Caldwell-Pope, according to Singer. Denver views Caldwell-Pope as a two-way upgrade on the wing, values his championship experience with the Lakers, and would be interested in retaining him beyond next season, Singer adds.

Caldwell-Pope, 29, averaged 13.2 PPG and made 39.0% of his three-pointers for the Wizards in 2021/22, while playing his usual strong defense.

As for Smith, he’ll provide depth at point guard for a Nuggets team that should have Murray back this fall and saw Bones Hyland enjoy a breakout season as a rookie. Assuming Smith plays in at least one game for Denver, it’ll be his 13th NBA team, breaking a league record, tweets Matt Williams of ESPN.

As Bobby Marks of ESPN notes (via Twitter), if no more players are added to the four-player deal, the two teams will have to wait until after the July moratorium to make it official, since the Wizards are taking on several million more dollars than they’re sending out, while the Nuggets save a little money on next season’s payroll.

Caldwell-Pope ($14MM) and Smith ($4.73MM) entered the offseason without fully guaranteed salaries for 2022/23, but Caldwell-Pope locked in his guarantee on Tuesday and Smith is on track to receive as well in order to adhere to salary-matching rules and make the deal legal. Non-guaranteed salary doesn’t count in trades for outgoing purposes.

Caldwell-Pope, Smith, and Barton ($14.38MM) will all be on expiring contracts next season and are eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2023. Morris will earn $9.13MM in ’22/23 and $9.8MM in ’23/24 before becoming an unrestricted free agent.

The Nuggets will likely absorb Smith’s incoming contract using part of the $8.2MM trade exception they created in last week’s JaMychal Green trade. That would allow them to create a new larger trade exception, worth at least Morris’ outgoing salary ($9.13MM), per Marks.

Victor Oladipo Reportedly Unlikely To Remain With Heat

Heat guard Victor Oladipo is not expected to remain with the Heat this summer, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report writes in his latest round-up of rumors from around the NBA.

According to Fischer, the Wizards, Nuggets, and Pistons are among the rival teams believed to have interest in Oladipo, who will be an unrestricted free agent.

The Heat control Oladipo’s Bird rights, so there would be no cap-related roadblocks standing in the way of bringing him back. If he leaves, it could be a signal that the two sides don’t agree on his price point — or either the team or player simply may not have interest in continuing the relationship.

A two-time All-Star, Oladipo has appeared in just 60 regular season games since the start of the 2019/20 season due to a series of injuries related to his quad. He missed most of the ’21/22 campaign while recovering from a surgery, but showed flashes of his old self down the stretch, averaging 12.4 PPG and 3.5 APG on .479/.417/.737 shooting in eight games (21.6 MPG). The former All-Defensive First Teamer also exhibited his old versatility on defense.

Given the injury questions surrounding Oladipo, he’s unlikely to get significant multiyear offers this offseason, but a raise on last season’s minimum-salary contract looks like a safe bet. Fischer suggests a deal in the neighborhood of the taxpayer mid-level exception ($6.4MM) may be realistic.

The Heat, meanwhile, will also face competition as they try to retain other key free agents like P.J. Tucker and Caleb Martin.

Wizards Rumors: T. Jones, Wright, Brogdon, Murray, Kuzma, KCP

While the Timberwolves are expected to have interest in a reunion with Tyus Jones, the rival team that has been linked most frequently to the Grizzlies‘ free agent point guard is the Wizards, says Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.

According to Fischer, Jones is believed to be seeking a multiyear deal worth in excess of the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, which projects to come in at $10.35MM.

The Wizards, who are in the market for a starting point guard, will be over the cap, limiting their ability to offer more than the full MLE. However, they could potentially get there if Jones is interested in coming to D.C. and they can figure out a sign-and-trade deal that the Grizzlies would get on board with.

Here’s more on the Wizards:

  • Delon Wright has been mentioned as another free agent guard who is on the Wizards’ radar, per Fischer. Wright will be an unrestricted free agent after spending the season in Atlanta.
  • Although Malcolm Brogdon still looks like a viable trade target for the Wizards, the team never seriously considered including the No. 10 pick in last week’s draft in an offer for him, Fischer writes.
  • Sources tell Bleacher Report that the Wizards are among the teams to inquire on Spurs guard Dejounte Murray, though Washington probably doesn’t have the assets necessary to make the best trade offer for Murray.
  • Forward Kyle Kuzma and guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope continue to be identified by league personnel as players who are available in trade scenarios, according to Fischer. Caldwell-Pope’s full $14MM salary for 2022/23 became guaranteed after he wasn’t waived on Tuesday, notes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington (Twitter link).