Archive for the ‘ Washington Wizards Blog ’ Category

When the Wizards locked up Eric Maynor at the start of free agency more than a month ago, it was a given that A.J. Price wouldn’t return.

Price, who had the best statistical season of his four-year career with 7.7 pints, 3.6 assists and 35% three-point shooting in Washington, surprisingly still is a free agent.

Reached this weekend by CSN Washington, Price concedes that he was prepared to linger on the market and said he wouldn’t rule out jumping abroad if the money is there. He made just less than $900,000 under the veteran minimum after spending his first three with the Indiana Pacers. He thinks his value should be greater.

“No, I’m not surprised,” he said of the Wizards not bringing him back after his only season here.

Reported by J. Michael of CSN Washington

Some Wizards salary and roster notes

The Wizards already have close to $70 million committed to 14 players and would only be able to sign a player on a minimum salary to stay below the luxury tax line. Owner Ted Leonsis said he is “willing to spend” but would probably want to have a contending team before making the Wizards a tax-paying team for the first time in franchise history — especially with the organization still on the hook for about $7 million to Andray Blatche.

If they look to make trades, Ariza and Okafor are both in the final year of their respective deals and Chris Singleton and/or Jan Vesely could also become expiring contracts if the Wizards decline the fourth-year option on either player. Ariza already believes the Wizards have had an eventful summer after closing out the season by winning 24 of their final 49 games.

Reported by Michael Lee of the Washington Post (Blog)

John Wall plans to donate $1 million to local charities

Thursday’s event was clearly about him, but Washington Wizards point guard John Wall made sure the appropriate attention was given to the family members and friends who helped him earn a five-year contract extension worth roughly $80 million.

Wall wept as he spoke about his mother. He expressed his gratitude to Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, team president Ernie Grunfeld and Coach Randy Wittman because they “believed in me when everybody else didn’t.” And finally, Wall made a huge financial commitment to city that he hopes to call home through at least 2019.

The day after he signed the third-largest contract in franchise history, Wall announced that he would direct $1 million toward local charities, in conjunction with Leonsis’s Monumental Sports and Entertainment Foundation.

Reported by Michael Lee of the Washington Post (Blog)

Former NBA player Craig Ehlo arrested

Local basketball star Craig Ehlo, who starred in the NBA and most recently coached at Eastern Washington University, was arrested early Thursday on a domestic violence charge.

Spokane County sheriff’s deputies arrested Ehlo, 51, on charges of first-degree reckless burning, domestic violence, according to the sheriff’s office. He was booked into Spokane county jail at 7:36 a.m.

The charge is a Class C felony.

Reported by the Spokesman-Review

Washington Wizards sign John Wall to contract extension

The Washington Wizards have agreed to a contract extension with guard John Wall, Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today. The Associated Press reports that “two people familiar with the deal say it’s a max deal, worth about $80 million over five years.”

“Since drafting John with the first overall pick, we have been impressed with his maturation, hard work and commitment to our franchise,” said Monumental Sports and Entertainment Founder, Chairman, Majority Owner and CEO Ted Leonsis. “He is the cornerstone of our team, and we have clearly expressed our desire to build around him well before making it official by re-signing him today. We are extremely confident in his leadership abilities and are excited to see the continued improvement of the team.”

According to the Associated Press, “If Wall hadn’t been able to reach an agreement with the Wizards this offseason, he would have become an unrestricted free agent in 2014. With Wall and a pair of players chosen with the No. 3 overall picks in the past two drafts - shooting guard Bradley Beal and small forward Otto Porter - the Wizards are hoping they will be more competitive.”

Wall was originally selected by Washington with the first overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. He holds career averages of 16.9 points, 8.0 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 35.8 minutes per game in 184 career games (172 starts). Those numbers place him with Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson and Chris Paul as the only players in NBA history who have averaged or are currently averaging at least 16 points, eight assists and four rebounds for their career. He is also one of only four players in NBA history (Johnson, Paul and Damon Stoudamire) to average at least 16.5 points, 7.5 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals over the first three years of their career.

“I am both proud and humbled by the belief that the Wizards organization, the fans and my teammates have shown in me since I arrived here three years ago,” said Wall. “I can promise all of them that I will repay that belief by representing the city of Washington and doing everything I can to get this team back where it belongs.”

Wall, who recently returned from his second consecutive summer as part of the USA Basketball Men’s National Team mini-camp, is also the fastest player (134 games) in NBA history to reach 2,200 points, 1,000 assists, 600 rebounds, 200 steals and 90 blocks (since steals and blocks became an official stat) and is the fastest active player to reach 900 career assists (111 games).

“John’s talent, ability and athleticism are unquestioned, but he is also a special player in terms of his will to win, unselfishness and ability to make his teammates better,” said Grunfeld. “The impact he has in all of those areas was evident last season and we look forward to both him and the team reaching new levels of success together.”

Last season, Wall averaged a career-high 18.5 points, a team-leading 7.6 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 32.7 minutes per game in 49 games (42 starts) after missing the first 33 games of the season due to a stress injury in his left patella. He joined LeBron James and Kobe Bryant as the only three players in the NBA last season to average at least 22.0 points, 7.0 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals from March 1 through the end of the season. Wall was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played March 11-17 after averaging 24.0 points, 11.0 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game while shooting .617 from the field, .800 from three-point range and .857 from the line while leading the Wizards to a 3-1 record. He scored a career-high 47 points vs. Memphis on March 25 and became the first player in NBA history to average at least 24 points, 11 assists, five rebounds, two steals, shoot at least .600 from the field, .800 from three-point range and .850 from the line in a four-game span.

Wizards, John Wall contract extension likely coming soon

By the end of this week, John Wall should have a full commitment from the Wizards.

They’re expected to make him a designated player by extending him a five-year deal, in addition to the $7.45 million he’ll earn in the final year of his scale contract for the 2013-14 season, that will be worth more than $80 million.

This is Wall’s commitment: “My whole goal, this is my fourth year, I need to be in the playoffs. There’s nothing more, nothing else needs to be said about that. I just need to be in the playoffs. Leaving the season early every year is not fun. It’s no excitement. Just go home and watch basketball.”

Wall made those comments several weeks ago in Las Vegas as he watched the Wizards compete in summer league.

Reported by J. Michael of CSN Washington

Wizards and John Wall begin extension talks

The Wizards have begun talking with John Wall’s agent, Dan Fegan, regarding an extension before the regular season, CSN Washington has learned.

Wall, the No. 1 overall pick in 2010, is eligible for up to a four-year, max contract with the Wizards in addition to the final year remaining on his deal that will pay him $7.45 million next season. If he’s named the franchise’s designated player, Wall can get five years.

If the Wizards cannot reach an agreement with him by Oct. 30, talks will have to be tabled until after the 2013-14 regular season.

Reported by J. Michael of CSN Washington

Washington Wizards hoping Jan Vesely shows some game

The Wizards don’t have much time to wait for Jan Vesely, a 6-11 lottery pick entering this third season and has contributed little.

It all starts with the NBA summer league in Las Vegas, with the Wizards opening play Saturday vs. the Golden State Warriors (CSN, 4 p.m. ET; replay, 7).

Vesely averaged 2.5 points and 2.4 rebounds last season when the Wizards won just 29 games. He has yet to showcase any sort of versatility outside the paint even though he was referred to as a swingman when the Wizards drafted him sixth overall in 2011.

Reported by J. Michael of CSN Washington

Martell Webster

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has re-signed forward Martell Webster.

“Martell’s versatility and shooting ability combined with his experience and leadership make him a valuable part of our team,” said Grunfeld.  “We are very pleased to have him back both on the court and in the locker room and look forward to his continued contributions to our success.”

Webster averaged a career-high 11.4 points and 3.9 rebounds in 28.9 minutes per game last season with the Wizards. He appeared in 76 contests, including 62 starts, while leading the team in three-point field goal percentage (.422) and three-pointers made with a career-high 139.  He finished 12th in the NBA in three-point field goal percentage and tallied four games with at least five three-pointers made.  The Seattle native posted seven games with 20+ points and scored a career-high 34 points, including a career high-tying seven threes, on March 16 vs. Phoenix.  From March 9-16, Webster posted five straight games of at least four three-pointers made.  He was originally signed as a free agent by the Wizards on August 29, 2012.

In eight seasons with Portland, Minnesota and Washington, Webster holds career averages of 8.9 points and 3.3 rebounds while shooting .419 from the field, .384 from behind the arc and .787 from the line.  He was originally selected by the Trail Blazers with the sixth overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft as an early-entry candidate out of Seattle Prep High School.

Wizards re-sign guard Garrett Temple

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has re-signed guard Garrett Temple.

“Garrett was a good addition to our backcourt rotation last season and we are happy to have him back to give us depth at both guard positions,” said Grunfeld. “His defensive ability, toughness and team-first attitude make him an excellent fit in our system and provide a great example of the culture we are building.”

Temple averaged career-highs of 5.1 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 51 games, including 36 starts, for the Wizards last season. The undrafted LSU product played 22.7 minutes per game while shooting .407 from the field and .703 from the line. He recorded nine games of 10+ points, including four consecutive double-digit outings from March 13-18. Temple tallied a career-high tying 17 points March 18 at Charlotte and posted eight points, a career-high 11 assists and seven rebounds January 4 vs. Brooklyn. He was originally signed by the Wizards as a free agent on December 25, 2012.

In 102 games (40 starts) with Houston, Sacramento, San Antonio, Milwaukee, Charlotte and Washington, Temple holds career averages of 4.5 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 16.9 minutes. He has shot .396 from the field and .654 from the line.

Wizards sign guard Eric Maynor

Wizards sign guard Eric Maynor

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has signed guard Eric Maynor. He is backup material and should come off the bench to play behind John Wall.

“Eric is a solid player who has thrived playing behind some of the league’s best point guards,” said Grunfeld. “He will bring stability and experience in that role and add leadership and character off the floor.”

Maynor averaged 4.5 points and 2.8 assists in 64 overall games with Oklahoma City and Portland last season, including 6.9 points and 4.0 assists in 27 game after being traded to the Trail Blazers. The former VCU standout shot .377 from the field, .354 from behind the arc and .726 from the line in 15.0 minutes per contest. Maynor scored in double figures 10 times, including a season-high 20 points on March 8 at San Antonio and he dished out a season-high 12 assists on March 2 vs. Minnesota. The 6-3 guard was traded from Oklahoma City to Portland on February 21 in exchange for the rights to Georgios Printezis and a trade exception.

In four seasons with Utah, Oklahoma City and Portland, Maynor holds career averages of 4.5 points and 3.0 assists in 15.1 minutes per contest. While playing in 236 career games, he has shot .400 from the field, .354 from behind the arc and .731 from the line. Maynor was originally drafted by Utah with the 20th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. On December 22, 2009, he was traded from Utah, along with Matt Harpring, to Oklahoma City for the rights to Peter Fehse.

The Washington Wizards have selected Georgetown sophomore Otto Porter, Jr. with the third pick in the NBA draft.

The 6-foot-8 Porter provides the Wizards a small forward to go with a backcourt of former first-round picks John Wall and Bradley Beal.

Porter - the Big East Player of the Year - is very familiar with the Wizards’ home floor because he played on it the past two seasons with the Hoyas.

The pick came after Cleveland took UNLV forward Anthony Bennett with the first overall pick and Orlando selected center Victor Oladipo of Indiana.

Reported by the Associated Press

The Wizards latest workout session with NBA Draft hopefuls doubled as a nightmarish trip down memory lane for fans of the Maryland and Georgetown men’s basketball programs. If former Michigan State guard Korie Lucious or Ohio’s all-time assists leader D.J. Cooper start their pro careers in Washington, perhaps they can make it up to those crossover supporters by serving key backup minutes behind John Wall.

The engaging Lucious, who played his senior season at Iowa State, extended a playful olive branch after the lengthy workout and speaking with Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld and head coach Randy Wittman. Told that some locals might not be happy with him, the solidly built 5-foot-11 senior immediately knew the cause.

“Ah, the Maryland shot,” said Lucious, his smile expanding while thinking back to March 21, 2010. As a sophomore, his buzzer-beating 3-pointer from the top of the key pushed Michigan State past the Terps and into the round of 16.

Reported by Ben Standing of CSN Washington

Wizards inspired by Randy Wittman crying

On Nov. 26, the Wizards lost a home game to San Antonio, 118-92. It was the 12th straight loss to start the season, and the postgame locker room for the Wizards was an emotional scene. On Thursday, a tale told by Martell Webster revealed for the first time just how emotional it was.

“After we lost that 12th game and he came into the locker room – I don’t even know if he wants me to share this, but I don’t care – and he was crying, man, after that game,” Webster said. “And he told us that he cared about us. And for me, that was a point in the season where I was just like, I’m in. I’m totally in. I bought into the system. And when I did that, that’s when my season began to turn to a positive light, and I started to succeed after that point.

“That meant a lot because it showed that he really cared. He didn’t care about his job. He didn’t. He just cared about the guys that he was coaching. And that was amazing. That was touching for me. But that’s when I realized that I really wanted to buy into this system.”

A.J. Price said he also committed to the system after that night.

“I definitely remember that,” he said. “That showed me how passionate he was as a coach.

– Reported by Sarah Kogod of the Washington Post DC Sports Bog

Nene to sit out final two Wizards games

Nene to sit out final two Wizards games

Tired of maintaining a mummified look as plantar fasciitis in his left foot never fully healed and as soreness in his right knee worsened, Nene has decided to sit out the Wizards’ final two games, Monday in Brooklyn and Wednesday in Chicago. For Nene, making it through 61 games was no small feat after being tested physically and mentally in his 11th season.

“How tough? Tough enough to think about the end of my career? Yeah, that’s how tough it was,” he said. “It was so hard to play the way I did it. I thought to end my career because it’s so painful, my body can’t support. I’m glad I finished the season, but the way I suffer, I hope, never again.”

Nene, who is owed $39 million for the next three seasons, said conversations with his wife, Lauren, and business manager, Alex Santos, persuaded him to keep going. The 6-foot-11 Brazilian said he remains motivated to play because of faith in God and his young son, Mateos, but that he needs to rest and focus on being healthy for next season.

– Reported by Michael Lee of the Washington Post

Jordan Crawford

Jordan Crawford will face his former team, the Wizards, for the first time since being traded in February.

“Who?” Crawford asked before practice Saturday when the issue was broached.

Washington, he was told. You’ll be playing Washington. Your old team.

“I don’t recall playing for Washington,” Crawford responded, and he repeated himself.

Crawford, who was acquired by the Celtics at the Feb. 21 trade deadline, didn’t enjoy his time in Washington, as one might infer from his comments.

– Reported by Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe

John Wall

On a night when the Washington Wizards celebrated the 35th anniversary of the franchise’s only championship, John Wall played like someone who might someday carry on that legacy, scoring 37 points in a display of speed and flair Saturday to lead the Washington Wizards to a 104-85 victory over the Indiana Pacers.

Wall made 16 of 25 shots, throwing his palms up after making an improbable 14-foot sideways runner and flexing his muscles to the fans on the first row after banking in a fast-break layup. He even blocked a layup attempt by Roy Hibbert, the 6-foot-4 point guard rising to swat the ball away from the 7-foot-2 Pacers center.

Wall also had five assists, four rebounds and two blocks for the lottery-bound Wizards, who have won nine straight at home and are 18-4 at the Verizon Center this season when he’s on the floor.

They were especially motivated to put on a good show Saturday night, with Wes Unseld, Elvin Hayes and the other members of the 1978 team on hand for a halftime celebration in which a new, larger banner was raised and the franchise, at least one more time, was again known as the Bullets…

Hibbert had 25 points and 10 rebounds for the Pacers, who went cold at the start of the second half. The Wizards took a 51-48 halftime lead and turned it into 63-48, with Wall scoring half of the points in the 12-0 run while Indiana was going 4:15 without a point. The Pacers didn’t get closer than seven the rest of the game.

— Reported by Joseph White of the Associated Press

Javaris Crittenton returns to jail on murder charges

Former NBA and Georgia Tech hoops star Javaris Crittenton is now back in jail.

The former Atlanta Journal-Constitution Mr. Georgia Basketball surrendered to officials at the Fulton County Jail late Thursday afternoon on murder charges.

Crittenton, 25, was indicted Tuesday on murder, attempted murder and criminal gang activity charges, among other offenses, for allegedly shooting and killing Julian Jones with an assault rifle in August 2011 and trying to kill another man from a rival gang.

Prosecutors claimed Tuesday that Crittenton had joined the Los Angeles-based Mansfield Gangster Crips soon after being drafted by the L.A. Lakers and inking a multi-million-dollar deal.

– Reported by Marcus K. Garner of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Bradley Beal

The Washington Wizards announced today that guard Bradley Beal will miss the remainder of the season with a stress injury in his right fibula.  He is expected to resume basketball-related activities in approximately six weeks.

Beal, who was selected with the third overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, has averaged 13.9 points, 3.8 assists and 2.4 rebounds while shooting .386 from three-point range in 56 games (46 starts) this season and currently ranks third among all rookies in scoring and three-point percentage and second in minutes per game (31.2 mpg).  He was named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for December and January and set the Wizards rookie franchise record for three-pointers made in a season with 91.

Beal previously missed a total of 18 games on the season (11 due to a sprained left ankle, five due to a sprained right wrist and two due to a sore back).

Former NBA player and Atlanta native Javaris Crittenton was indicted Tuesday on charges of murder and gang activity.

The Fulton County District Attorney’s office said Crittenton, 25, and his cousin, Douglas Gamble, were charged in a 12-count indictment in the death of an Atlanta woman and the attempted murder of another man.

Julian Jones - a mother of two - was shot and killed in southwest Atlanta while walking with a group of people in August 2011. Authorities say that incident and a second shooting were gang-related. Officials say the shootings may have been retaliation after Crittenton was the victim of a robbery in which $50,000 worth of jewelry was stolen.

Crittenton, a former Georgia Tech guard, was drafted by the Lakers in 2007 and has also played for the Washington Wizards and Memphis Grizzlies. He was suspended for 38 games during the 2009-10 season for pulling a gun in the Wizards’ locker room.

– Reported by the Associated Press

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