Archive for the ‘ Washington Wizards Blog ’ Category

Paul Pierce to enter free agency

It’s very possible that Paul Pierce is gone from DC

Free agent negotiations begin Wednesday, and the Washington Wizards must deal with possibly losing veteran forward Paul Pierce. Here’s CSN Washington reporting:

Paul Pierce to enter free agency

With the Wizards now knowing for certain that Paul Pierce will opt out of the second year of his contract, they’ll proceed as if he’s not returning and secure a replacement (It may be a longshot but he still could re-sign here and get 120% of last season’s $5.5 million salary).

They don’t have any room under the salary cap so free agents such as DeMarre Carroll or Khris Middleton, blossoming, younger small forwards on the market who are in line for career paydays, are out of the question. The Wizards would have to acquire players of that caliber through a sign-and-trade but don’t have the assets to facilitate such a deal.

They have to make it work with two salary-cap exceptions at their disposal: Mid-level of just more than $5 million (used to sign Pierce) and the bi-annual exception of just more than $2 million (used two seasons ago to sign Eric Maynor).

In regular game situations, Pierce, well past his prime at this point, is replaceable. But as he showed in the playoffs, when clutch shots need to be hit, Pierce is as good as anyone in the league.

Paul Pierce may enter free agency

Paul Pierce may enter free agency

Here’s the Washington Post blog reporting on Wizards forward Paul Pierce — and this is still unofficial but he will reportedly test the free agent market:

Paul Pierce may enter free agency

Washington Wizards forward Paul Pierce has decided to play next season but is expected to bypass his $5.5 million player option, according to two people with knowledge of the situation. The decision, which is due by the end of the month, would make Pierce a free agent for the second straight year.

Opting out opens the possibility of Pierce playing his 18th NBA season elsewhere but does not completely eliminate the prospect of Pierce returning to Washington. Pierce could choose to re-sign.

The most probable destination outside of the District would be to go back home to play for the Los Angeles Clippers and reunite with Doc Rivers, his coach for nine seasons with the Boston Celtics. Los Angeles has limited salary cap flexibility and will likely only be able to offer Pierce, who celebrates his 38th birthday in October, the taxpayer mid-level exception of $3.37 million for next season, but are closer to winning a championship than the Wizards even in the loaded Western Conference.

DeJuan Blair spent most of this season watching from the bench

Here’s the Washington Post blog reporting on Wizards backup forward/center DeJuan Blair, who played a very small role on the team this season:

DeJuan Blair got few minutes from Wizards this season

Logging just 29 game appearances, he averaged 1.9 points, 1.9 rebounds and 45.6 percent shooting in 6.2 minutes. Now entering the second portion of his three-year deal, Blair’s days as a Wizard appear to be numbered as the team has made clear its intentions of playing faster and smaller.

The high point for Blair came during a Feb. 5 loss in Charlotte, when Seraphin and Gooden were inactive and the bench was depleted. Blair played a season-high 15 minutes, scoring four points, grabbing five rebounds and setting a vicious screen on an unsuspecting Hornets player.

“I just try to bring physicality to the team, to the game, and I think I did my part,” Blair said at the time.

He also saw time against his former team, Dallas, in a Dec. 30 blowout loss, recording nine points on 4-for-6 shooting and five rebounds. But across the final 31 regular-season games, Blair was “DNP-Coach’s Decision” in 17 contests. What’s more, the 26-year-old did not see action in the playoffs.

Marcin Gortat says personal issues distracted him this season

Here’s the Washington Post blog reporting on Wizards center Marcin Gortat, who made some partially-revealing comments about his play this season:

marcin gortat was dealing with personal issues

Sometime around the all-star break, the gregarious Marcin Gortat who had captivated the District vanished. After several months of humorous, insightful and candid takes, he politely rushed through interviews if he did them at all. When asked twice over the final weeks of the season to assess his individual campaign, Gortat said he would address his personal situation during his exit interview. That came Monday.

“I would say in the eight years of my career, the eighth year was pretty much the toughest one from a personal standpoint,” said Gortat, who completed the first of a five-year, $60 million contract. “I had some issues during the season and that definitely didn’t help me to focus on basketball. That part is on me, definitely on me. I can’t blame anybody for that. I’m not going to talk about those issues. That’s why we call this personal business.”

Kevin Seraphin wants a starting role, somewhere

Here’s CSN Washington reporting on 6-10, 278-pound Wizards backup center Kevin Seraphin, who feels ready to step up into a starting role, whether it’s with his current squad or someplace else:

Kevin Seraphin wants a starting role, somewhere

Barring a major roster overhaul that creates room for Kevin Seraphin and a bump in salary, his time with the Wizards, who acquired him in a trade five years ago on draft night, will end.

In his most significant playoff duty of his four-year career, Seraphin came in for an ill Marcin Gortat on Friday and scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds in 28 minutes in a series-closing 94-91 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in Game 6 of the East semifinals.

Seraphin, who signed a one-year qualifying offer last summer for $3.9 million to remain in Washington, is eager to spread his wings.

“I definitely want a chance to be a starter,” Seraphin, who matched his career high with 79 regular-season appearances but didn’t start a game for the 46-win Wizards, told CSNwashington.com. “I definitely want to be somewhere I have a chance to be a starter.”

Wizards put up fight but fall to Hawks

Here’s CSN Washington reporting on the Wizards, whose offseason has begun:

Yes, the Eastern Conference semifinals with the Atlanta Hawks, was super duper close, painfully so for the Washington Wizards. Historically so at that. The last four games were decided by five points or less. That hadn’t happened in an NBA playoff series since 2006. The Wizards lost the last three of those games en route to dropping the series 4-2.

John Wall’s fractured left hand and wrist stands out as the obvious “What if” question of the series. Even with the All-Star point guard missing three games and playing the last two with those five fractures, Washington took Atlanta, a team that ran away with the Eastern Conference regular season title, to the brink.

Get past Wall and the question is what differences led to the Wizards thinking about summer vacations instead of meeting LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals.

“I guess little details,” center Marcin Gortat said after revealing details of food poisoning that kept him on the bench for most of the series finale. “Little details in our game. Scrappy little details and that’s why we get punished for I guess.”

John Wall returns in Wizards Game 5 loss to Hawks

Nobody expected injured Washington Wizards guard John Wall to return during these playoffs. But yesterday it happened, and he gave it his all, though the Wizards fell slightly short to the Atlanta Hawks. Here’s CSN Washington reporting:

John Wall returns in Wizards Game 5 loss to Hawks

John Wall threw himself on the floor with 32.6 seconds left, and the score tied at 78, for a loose ball, corralled it and called a timeout. He slapped the floor repeatedly with his good hand, the right one, as he sensed a Game 5 victory was near Wednesday.

But a 3-2 series lead for the Wizards is oh-so-far away. Wall blocked Dennis Schroder’s shot on the final play as he drove to the basket, but Al Horford darted in like a bowling ball to send bodies scattering to grab the loose ball for the putback with two seconds left and an 82-81 victory for the Atlanta Hawks at Phillips Arena.

“It felt great. I didn’t have any problems with my hand,” Wall said after having 15 points, seven assists, four rebounds and four steals. “I was able to play aggressive and make plays so I was fine.”

Hopefully people can handle the truth

Here’s the Boston Herald reporting on Paul Pierce, who as a member of the Washington Wizards is currently making life difficult for the Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the 2015 NBA Playoffs:

Paul Pierce plans to stay in basketball after playing days end

Someday, Pierce may have to deal with deals of his own. He won’t be through with basketball when he’s through playing, and, yes, he’d very much be interested in returning to the Celtics to work and learn under Ainge when he’s done bedeviling younger opponents.

“Truthfully, I love the game,” he said. “I want to have my hands on some aspect of the game, whether it be management, ownership. I don’t know right now about coaching. I’m not sure yet. But I definitely want to be involved with the game in some form or fashion.

“It’s definitely a tough business,” he added. “It’s definitely hard work that Danny has to do. He has to think about so many things that come into play when you’re a GM. It’s the relationship you have with the players, it’s the future, it’s about the money and the salary cap. You’ve got to make difficult decisions all the time. And as bad as he wants to win, he understands it’s a building process also, until you can make your move.

“It’s like playing chess. You know, sometimes you’ve got to play your pawns, like he did in ’07, until he made his big move to make the trades. . . . Sometimes it works, and sometimes it don’t.”

Asked if he could see himself in that job, Pierce grins. “I think I’m a fairly good chess player.”

No reason yet to expect a John Wall return in these playoffs

There’s no real reason to expect a John Wall return from injuries during the ongoing NBA playoffs, but a bit of hope is still being kept alive. Here’s CSN Washington reporting:

No reason yet to expect a John Wall return in these playoffs

The fractured left and and wrist of John Wall is starting to look better, but there’s no indication that he’s anywhere close to practicing or playing again as the Wizards prepare Sunday for Game 4 with the Atlanta Hawks on Monday at Verizon Center (TNT, 7 p.m. ET).

“Good. Swelling, again, down,” Wittman said when asked if his All-Star point guard had done anything on the practice court following Saturday’s Game 3 win. “Its heading in the right direction so again we’re not to the point of him doing anything on the floor yet or of that nature. It’s heading to a situation where hopefully he can get the ball in his hand, get the feeling, see how that feels and then you take those steps like that.”

It was a play added to the Washington Wizards’ offense a day earlier, and it was drawn up for a guy, Paul Pierce, who’s been doing this sort of thing for the better part of two decades.

With three defenders near him, Pierce made a fallaway, 21-foot jumper that went in off the backboard at the buzzer to lift the Wizards over the Atlanta Hawks 103-101 on Saturday night, despite playing without John Wall and after letting a 21-point lead evaporate…

Schroder and Jeff Teague led Atlanta with 18 points apiece. … Paul Millsap was out of the starting lineup because of flu-like symptoms and looked lethargic once he was on the court. He had eight points and two rebounds.

– Associated Press

Slight hope that injured John Wall can return during these playoffs

Here’s CSN Washington reporting on John Wall, who has multiple hand and wrist injuries and is still presumably done for the playoffs:

Slight hope that injured John Wall can return during these playoffs

While the end appears near for John Wall this postseason, he’s not giving up hope that he could actually play again in this series with the Atlanta Hawks that is tied 1-1 with Game 3 Saturday at Verizon Center. Or at some point in the playoffs if the Wizards can advance to the Eastern Conference finals.

Friday, he avoided giving any specifics on a timetable for his return from a left hand and wrist that has five non-displaced fractures.

“It’s moving better but there’s still pain there,” said Wall, who led the Wizards to a 104-98 win in Game 1 with 18 points and 13 assists. “I haven’t tried dribbling again so I’ll probably try it tomorrow. Just the same pain has been there even if the swelling goes down a little bit.

“I have no idea (if I can play again). Depends on my swelling and how all the pain goes away. I finished Game 1 with it not knowing I had anything wrong and then I came back and got evaluations so I have no idea.”

John Wall has multiple wrist and hand fractures

John Wall has multiple wrist and hand fractures

Washington Wizards guard John Wall underwent multiple examinations yesterday that revealed five non-displaced fractures in his left wrist and hand.

Wall and the team are currently in consultation with multiple physicians and specialists to determine the best course of action and his playing status has yet to be determined. Further updates will be provided as information becomes available.

Wizards take 1-0 series lead vs Hawks

Wizards take 1-0 series lead vs Hawks

The second round of the 2015 NBA playoffs began today with a road win by the Washington Wizards in Atlanta. Here’s the Washington Post blog reporting:

The Wizards repeated the feat Sunday, rolling off the Atlanta Hawks’ explosive punches to erase a 12-point third-quarter deficit and stun the hosts, 104-98, and seize control of another series at Philips Arena. With the victory, Washington improved to 8-1 on the road in the playoffs the past two seasons under Coach Randy Wittman. The Wizards are the first team in NBA history to win four straight Game 1s on the road.

Bradley Beal headed the effort with 28 points but sprained his right ankle in the fourth quarter. He returned but was held scoreless the rest of the way. John Wall played through a left wrist injury he suffered in the second period to post 18 points, 13 assists, and seven rebounds. Marcin Gortat added 12 points and 12 rebounds.

DeMarre Carroll erupted for 21 points in the first half — the most a Hawks player has scored in a half this season – but was held to just three in the second half. His 24 points led five Hawks in double figures. Al Horford (17 points and 17 rebounds) and Paul Millsap (15 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists) each registered double-doubles but Atlanta was held to 35 points in the second half after recording 37 in the first quarter alone.

Wizards forward Otto Porter playing well against Raptors

Here’s the Washington Post blog with a positive report on Wizards forward Otto Porter:

Wizards forward Otto Porter playing well against Raptors

A feisty Porter has emerged against the Raptors to do a little bit of everything. He is averaging 10.7 points and 7.3 rebounds in 34 minutes, though much of his performance isn’t represented on a stat sheet. His three-pointer with 4 minutes 23 seconds remaining in Game 3 Friday handed Washington a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. He has salvaged possessions with tap-outs and been a nuisance on both ends of the floor. He does the grunt work that’s made the Wizards’ wildly successful small lineup with Pierce at power forward as potent as it is.

“He’s been the difference,” Raptors guard Greivis Vasquez declared after the Wizards’ Game 3 win.

Porter’s greatest contribution, however, may be his defense. The long-limbed Porter – he is 6-foot-9 with a 7-foot-1 wingspan — has served as a DeMar DeRozan stopper of sorts during the series and it was evident again Friday.

Paul Pierce making life difficult for Raptors

Here’s the Boston.com blog reporting on Washington Wizards small forward Paul Pierce, who is doing mean things to the Toronto Raptors in their first-round playoff series:

Paul Pierce making life difficult for Raptors

Paul Pierce continues to make life miserable for the Toronto Raptors.

The former Celtics star scored 11 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, including a pair of three-pointers in crunch time to help clinch a 106-99 win for his Washington Wizards over the Raptors on Friday night. The win gives Washington a commanding 3-0 series lead in the best-of-seven series.

The Truth finished the night shooting 5 of 9 from the field, including 4 of 7 from beyond the arc in just 27 minutes of action. Wizards’ coach Randy Wittman limited Pierce’s minutes so the veteran could be fresh in the fourth quarter and the move paid major dividends.

Marcin Gortat steps up in Wizards Game 3 win vs Raptors

The Washington Wizards are on a roll. Now up 3-0 in their first-round series against the Toronto Raptors, the team has regained some of the swagger they enjoyed earlier in the season. Here’s the Washington Post blog reporting:

Marcin Gortat steps up in Wizards Game 3 win vs Raptors

Marcin Gortat’s season reached a nadir in Canada on Feb. 11. He had just watched his Washington Wizards play an entire fourth quarter against the Toronto Raptors from the bench for the third time this season because Coach Randy Wittman had elected to use smaller lineups without him. Gortat was visibly fuming. He had signed a $60-million contract over the summer and he didn’t anticipate sitting in the fourth quarter during marquee matchups as part of the deal.

“It’s tough. It’s really tough especially the last year I played pretty much every fourth quarter,” Gortat said after the game. “It’s a coaching decision. You guys have to ask him why I’m not playing.”

Fast-forward three months and Gortat is starring – and playing fourth quarters –against the same Raptors as the Wizards have taken a commanding 3-0 series lead. The center registered team highs of 24 points and 13 rebounds in 42 minutes while adding strong rim protection at the other end in the fourth quarter of the Wizards’ 106-99 Game 3 win Friday.

Paul Pierce says teammate John Wall is the best NBA PG

Here’s the Washington Post blog reporting good news, that Wizards forward Paul Pierce thinks Wizards guard John Wall is awesome:

Paul Pierce says John Wall is the best NBA PG

John Wall was one of the primary reasons why Paul Pierce surprisingly joined the Washington Wizards last summer. He viewed Wall and Bradley Beal as an up-and-coming back court on the brink of stardom.

After an all-star regular season and a masterful 26-point, 17-assist Game 2 performance against the Toronto Raptors, Pierce doesn’t think the Wall is just on his way to becoming one of the best point guards in the NBA. The 17-year veteran believes Wall already is at the top of the totem pole.

“Top to bottom, he’s the best point guard,” Pierce claimed Friday morning. “You talk about [Golden State Warriors point guard] Stephen Curry, the amazing things he’s done, the three-point shooting, but I just look at overall game. You look at the way [Wall] can score, the way he can pass, the way he can defend. Top to bottom I think he’s the best point guard in the league.”

Wizards sign Will Bynum for rest of season

Wizards sign Will Bynum for rest of season

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has signed guard Will Bynum for the remainder of the season.

Bynum has appeared in three games with Washington this season after originally signing a 10-day contract with the team on March 27.

A look at Bradley Beal three-point shooting

Here’s CSN Washington reporting on Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal, who through Wednesday’s games is averaging 14.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 33.3 minutes per game this season:

A look at Bradley Beal three-point shooting

Beal sinks 41.4 of his 3-point attempts, ranking 11th in the NBA. His four attempts per game slot much lower.

Of the top 21 qualified 3-point shooting percentage leaders, 11 average at least 12 points per game. Of those 11, only Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton’s takes fewer 3’s per game than Beal. Kyle Korver, J.J Redick, Danny Green and Kevin Durant average six per game. Klay Thompson tries seven, one less than Warriors teammate Stephen Curry.

Overall, 46 players launch more 3-pointers per game than Beal, including James Harden and LeBron James.

Wizards sign Will Bynum to 10-day contract, waive Toure’ Murry

Wizards sign Will Bynum to 10-day contract

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has signed guard Will Bynum to a 10-day contract. The team has also waived Toure’ Murry.

Bynum (6-0, 185) has played seven seasons with Golden State and Detroit appearing in 353 career regular season games while averaging 8.2 points, 3.3 assists and 1.6 assists in 18.5 minutes per game. Undrafted out of Georgia Tech in 2005, Bynum enjoyed his best season in 2009-10 for the Detroit Pistons when he averaged career highs with 10.0 points and 4.5 assists per game. Bynum appeared in 30 games this season for the Guangdong Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association where he averaged 22.3 points, 7.1 assists and 3.6 rebounds while shooting .564 from the field.

Murry appeared in three games for the Wizards and averaged 1.5 points in 4.3 minutes per game.

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