Davis Bertans having excellent season for Wizards

The Wizards are 7-16 so far this season, playing without John Wall, and have some changes to make if they want to head in a playoff-contending direction.

But there have been some early-season bright spots, especially one by the name of Davis Bertans.

Here’s NBC Sports Washington reporting:

The highlight of the Wizards’ season so far is definitely the emergence of Davis Bertans, whom the Wizards acquired over the summer in the NBA trade equivalent of a casino heist. Somehow, after only giving up the Euro-stashed Aaron White, they brought in what has so far been the best three-point shooter in the league this season. General manager Tommy Sheppard hadn’t even had the interim tag taken away when he made the move in July, which should be a very good sign of things to come.

Bertans is their second-leading scorer with 15.7 points per game and is shooting an absurd 46.5 percent from three. He has doubled his attempts from last season with the Spurs, from 4.4 to 8.6 per game, and somehow his percentage has gone up. That’s unheard of.

Bertans has been so good that it is inevitable the Wizards will field calls leading up to the Feb. trade deadline from contenders looking to add a shooter. But should they part ways with a guy who can shoot this well at 6-foot-10? Maybe if they were undergoing a long-term rebuild it would make sense, but team chairman Ted Leonsis doesn’t want it to take long and neither does Bradley Beal. Bertans is the type of guy you keep if you plan to compete for the playoffs sooner than later.

Davis is listed at 6-foot-10, 225 pounds, and is reportely making $7 million this season. And is doing big things despite coming off the bench for 22 of the 23 games he’s played in.

Wizards center Thomas Bryant out with foot injury

The Washington Wizards will be without starting center Thomas Bryant while he recovers from a stress reaction in his right foot.

Bryant started experiencing pain in his foot after the team’s December 1 road game against the Clippers.

The team says Bryant will be re-evaluated in three weeks.

With point guard John Wall out with a long-term injury, the Wizards are 6-12 this season and don’t look like a contender to make the playoffs. They’re getting an impressive 28.0 points per game from shooting guard Bradley Beal, with Bryant second at 12.8 PPG. But what’s interesting is, as a group the team’s offense has been one of the most efficient in the NBA. The issue is defense, and the Wizards are last in the entire NBA in that department.

Losing Bryant also means the team loses their only strong rebounder. He’s first on the squad at 8.5 RPG, while no other Wizards players are even grabbing 6 RPG.

It’s possible that rookie forward Rui Hachimura, who really does belong at the forward spot, will see some minutes at center while Bryant is out.

Wizards sign Ron Baker, waive Okaro White

The Washington Wizards have signed free agent guard Ron Baker.

“Ron is a tough and physical defender who can give us added depth in the backcourt,” said Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld. “He is a hard-nosed player who will have the chance to earn minutes with his competitiveness and intensity.”

Baker (6-4, 220) has averaged 3.3 points, 1.8 assists and 1.5 rebounds over 92 NBA career games (14 starts), all with New York. He was released by the Knicks on Dec. 13 after averaging 1.3 points and 1.2 assists in 11 games on the season. As an undrafted rookie out of Wichita State, Baker averaged 4.1 points, 2.1 assists and 1.9 rebounds for New York during the 2016-17 season. He averaged 13.2 points over his four years as a Shocker, earning All-Missouri Valley Conference First Team honors three times and All-Defensive First Team honors once.

The Wizards have waived forward Okaro White. White, who was originally signed as a free agent on Nov. 21, appeared in three games for Washington this season.

Wizards sign guard Chasson Randle

The Washington Wizards have signed guard Chasson Randle from the Capital City Go-Go, the team’s NBA G League affiliate.

Randle has appeared in seven games this season with the Go-Go, averaging 23.1 points, 4.9 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game. Randle has scored at least 20 points in six of his seven games played with the team this season and is shooting 50.4 percent from the field and 46.8 percent from three. The Stanford-product earned an NBA call-up earlier this season, but did not appear in any games for the Wizards.

In another move, the Wizards assigned forward Okaro White to the Go-Go. White was assigned to Capital City on the most recent three-game road trip, where he averaged 19.3 points and 11.3 rebounds per game while shooting 53.5 percent from the field. White had a season highs of 31 points and 12 rebounds while going 12-of-17 from the floor at Northern Arizona on December 11.

In a corresponding move, Devin Sweetney was reacquired by the Go-Go and will travel with the team to the NBA G League Winter Showcase this week in Las Vegas – where the Go-Go will play Austin on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBA TV and Agua Caliente on Friday at 3:00 p.m. ET on ESPNU. Wizards’ two-way player Jordan McRae will remain with Washington during the team’s back-to-back in Atlanta and Houston.

Wizards trade Kelly Oubre, Austin Rivers to Suns for Trevor Ariza

The Phoenix Suns completed a trade with the Washington Wizards today, acquiring forward Kelly Oubre Jr. (pronounced OOH-bray) and guard Austin Rivers in exchange for forward Trevor Ariza.

“Trevor has been one of the most effective, efficient and versatile players at his position for over a decade,” said Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld. “We are obviously very familiar with the leadership and experience he brings as one of the league’s most respected professionals and look forward to welcoming him back to the team.”

Ariza (6-8, 215) returns to Washington for a second stint with the Wizards. He averaged 12.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.5 steals while shooting .393 from three-point range with the team from 2012-2014, helping the team advance to the second round of the playoffs in 2013-14. The 15-year veteran has averaged 10.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.5 steals while shooting .353 from three-point range in 968 career games (667 starts) over 15 seasons with Phoenix, Houston, Washington, New Orleans, the L.A. Lakers, Orlando and New York. He has averaged 9.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 steals in 26 games (all starts) with the Suns this season.

Over the past 10 seasons (entering the 2018-19 season), Ariza had 1,304 three-pointers and 30.5 defensive win shares (estimate of number of wins contributed by a player due to his defense), joining LeBron James and Kevin Durant as the only players to post those numbers. He has also averaged at least 2.0 three-pointers and 1.5 steals in each of the past five seasons (coming into the 2018-19 season), joining Stephen Curry and James Harden as the only players to do so. Dating back to 2008-09, Ariza has the third-most steals (1,245) in the NBA behind only Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook and he joins Harden and Westbrook as the only players with at least 4,000 points, 2,000 rebounds, 800 assists and 600 steals since 2013.

Ariza brings extensive playoff experience to the Wizards, averaging 10.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.4 steals while shooting .367 from three-point range in 102 postseason contests (90 starts). He helped lead the Lakers to the 2009 NBA championship, averaging 11.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals while shooting .476 from three-point range in 23 games (all starts) and helped lead the Rockets to the Western Conference Finals in both 2015 and 2018, starting all 34 games in those combined playoff runs.

Oubre, a 6-7, 205-pound forward, is in his fourth NBA season and posting career highs by scoring 12.9 points per game and shooting 43.3 percent from the field this season. He has played particularly well of late, scoring at least 20 points in three of his last six games and averaging 17.7 points (51.4 FG%, 40.7 3FG%, 79.2 FT%) over this six-game stretch. Oubre scored a season-high 23 points last Monday at Indiana then scored 20 last Wednesday vs. Boston, giving him consecutive 20-point games for the first time in his career.

For his career, the 23-year-old has averaged 8.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 0.8 steals in 252 games (32 starts) all with the Wizards. He has also appeared in 18 career playoff games, averaging 7.0 points in 18.4 minutes. Over the last two seasons, Oubre is averaging 12.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.5 three-pointers and 1.0 steals while shooting 81.4 percent from the free throw line in 110 games.

The left-hander was initially the 15th overall pick of the 2015 NBA Draft by Atlanta before being traded to Washington on draft night. He played one season at the University of Kansas and was named to the Big 12 All-Newcomer Team after averaging 9.3 points and 5.0 rebounds while helping the Jayhawks to a Big 12 regular season title. A native of New Orleans, prior to the Wizards’ games at the Pelicans in each of the past two seasons Oubre has presented 10 high school students from the New Orleans area with scholarships.

“We commend Kelly on the growth and development he showed within our system to become a solid rotation player as well as the work he did in the D.C. community during his time as a Wizard,” said Grunfeld. “We also appreciate Austin’s contributions during his brief time with us and wish them both the best as they continue their careers.”

Rivers, a 6-4, 200-pound guard, is in his seventh NBA season and averaging 7.2 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 29 games with the Wizards this season. For his career, the 26-year-old has averaged 9.3 points, 2.4 assists and 2.1 rebounds in 437 games (132 starts) with the New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans, Clippers and Wizards. Initially the 10th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft by New Orleans, Rivers played one season at Duke University where he averaged 15.5 points.

Cavs, Bucks, Wizards complete three-team NBA trade

The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired guard Matthew Dellavedova and forward/center John Henson from the Milwaukee Bucks as part of a three-team trade, Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman announced today. As part of the trade, Cleveland is also receiving Milwaukee’s own 2021 first round pick and 2021 second round pick as well as a 2022 second round pick from the Washington Wizards. In exchange, the Cavaliers will send guard George Hill and a 2021 second round pick (Washington’s via Utah) to the Bucks and forward Sam Dekker to the Wizards. In addition, Milwaukee will also receive forward Jason Smith from Washington.

“First and foremost, I’d like to thank George Hill,” said Altman. “He helped us get to the NBA Finals last year and has been a consummate professional on the court and in our community. Both George and Sam Dekker went about their work here with professionalism and class and we wish them the best. At the same time, we’re very pleased to bring Delly back to Cleveland and want to welcome John Henson as well. This deal satisfied several important aspects for us in terms of having both long and shorter term benefits and assets involved. We will continue to look for ways to improve and strengthen our position for the future, while enhancing our ability to compete and grow in the short-term also.”

“This trade allows us to continue to work to improve our team and gives us a young, developing player in Sam whose versatility and athleticism at the forward position will allow him to earn an opportunity to contribute,” said Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld. “We wish Jason the best moving forward and appreciate the value he brought to our team as a great teammate and true professional.”

“We’re excited to welcome George and Jason to the Bucks organization,” said Bucks General Manager Jon Horst. “George provides us added depth and experience at the guard position, while Jason gives us another front court player who can stretch the floor.” … “We wish Delly and John well and thank them for their many contributions both on and off the court.”

Hill (6-3, 188) appeared in 37 games (all starts) for Cleveland after being acquired by the Cavaliers on Feb. 8, 2018, averaging 9.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 27.4 minutes per game over that span. Dekker (6-9, 230), who was acquired by Cleveland on Aug. 7, 2018, played in nine games (five starts) for the Cavs this season, averaging 6.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.22 steals in 18.8 minutes per game.

Dellavedova (6-4, 200) played his first three NBA seasons with the Cavaliers from 2013-2016 and was a member of Cleveland’s 2016 NBA Championship team. In 215 career games (31 starts) with the Cavs, he averaged 5.7 points and 3.4 assists in 21.0 minutes per game. Dellavedova ranks ninth in Cavs history for three-point percentage (.398). He appeared in 12 games this season with Milwaukee and owns career averages of 5.8 points and 3.7 assists in 21.4 minutes over 341 games (88 starts) with the Cavaliers and Bucks. Dellavedova will wear jersey number 18 for the Cavs.

Henson (6-11, 219), who is in his eighth NBA season, has spent his entire career with Milwaukee, appearing in 405 games (152 starts) and averaging 7.8 points on .539 shooting, 5.4 rebounds and 1.48 blocks in 20.1 minutes per game. This season, he played in 14 games for the Bucks and averaged 5.6 points and 5.1 rebounds in 13.4 minutes per game. He also appeared in the playoffs in four seasons with Milwaukee, playing in 14 games (two starts) and averaging 5.8 points on .536 shooting, 5.1 rebounds and 1.21 blocks in 19.4 minutes per game. Henson will wear jersey number 31 for the Cavs.

Dwight Howard injury update: out at least 2-3 months

Washington Wizards center Dwight Howard underwent an L4-L5 lumbar microdiscectomy earlier today. The team says the procedure went as planned with no complications.

The procedure was performed by Dr. Robert Watkins in Marina Del Rey, CA, and was recommended after consultation with Dr. Watkins and Wizards Director of Medical Services and Orthopedist Dr. Wiemi Douoguih determined that the disc herniation was causing severe nerve irritation and gluteal pain.

Howard’s progress will be re-evaluated in around two to three months.

On the Wizards with vs without Dwight Howard




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Here’s NBC Sports Washington with a look at the 8-13 Wizards and center Dwight Howard, who has only played nine games this season, averaging 12.8 points and 9.2 rebounds per game:

With Howard, the Wizards have allowed their opponents to score 112.6 points and grab 43.7 rebounds per game. In their 12 games without him, Wizards opponents have scored 122.5 points and averaged 51.8 rebounds per game.

That means the Wizards are giving up nearly 10 more points per game without Howard than they are with him. That is a huge margin.

With Howard, they have been a mediocre defense and without him they have been historically bad. Their 118.2 points allowed average per game this season is highest in the NBA and already on pace to be the worst since the 1990-91 Denver Nuggets.

So far, the Wizards are only 4-5 with Howard. But they are 4-8 when he’s out of the lineup and they were out-rebounded in all eight of those losses.

The Wizards are off today. Tomorrow they play the Sixers in Philadelphia.

Wizards sign forward Okaro White


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The Washington Wizards signed free agent forward Okaro White today.

The 6-foot-8, 205-pound guard-forward averaged 2.9 points and 2.3 rebounds in 41 career games during the last two seasons (2016-18) with the Miami Heat. He played for Florida State between 2013-17, averaged 10.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per game for the Seminoles, and went undrafted.

A native of Brooklyn, New York, White in 2016-17 played in 23 games in the G League for the Sioux Falls Skyforce, and averaged 18.4 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.

There are now 14 players on the Wizards roster, not including Devin Robinson and Jordan McRae, who are signed to two-way contracts.

Wizards keep struggling, fall to 2-9

The Wizards lost to the Magic 117-108 on Friday and are now 2-9 for the season, which is the second-worst record in the Eastern conference, ahead only of the 1-10 Cleveland Cavaliers. Dwight Howard made his Wizards debut on November 2, but the team has lost three of the four games he’s played in. It’s tough to say what the short-term answer is. Here’s NBC Sports Washington reporting:

The Washington Wizards are far from tapping out on the young season even though Friday’s 117-108 loss to the Magic dropped their record to a shocking 2-9. When it comes to talking about all that’s wrong during this rough start to the season, they’ve run out of explanations.

Sure, there are general responses about sticking together despite the trying times, and playing with the intensity displayed during a second-half rally that cut a 25-point deficit to one with 2:30 remaining. The mistakes on both ends of the court remain. If the players knew an obvious fix, they would execute or at least explain. The situation is beyond that for a team last league-wide in points allowed and tied with the Phoenix Suns for the NBA’s second-worst record.

“It’s the definition of insanity, I guess,” Bradley Beal said postgame when asked what can be said about consistent defensive lapses. “Just have to do it. Just have to get it done. There’s nothing else to say, nothing else to even talk about. Just go get the damn job done, and do whatever it takes to get it done, win games. That’s what we’re going to do.”

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