Wizards sign forward Justin Champagnie to 10-day contract

The Washington Wizards have signed forward Justin Champagnie to a 10-day contract.

Champagnie (6-6, 206) has started in all 34 games with the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA G League this season, averaging 22.3 points, 8.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 2.4 steals per game. Champagnie is shooting .494 from the field in 37.6 minutes per game and his 15 double-doubles rank fourth in the G League this season.

The 22-year-old has previously spent time with the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics, averaging 2.2 points and 2.0 rebounds in 41 total NBA games in his three-year career. Champagnie (pronounced sham-penny) attended the University of Pittsburgh for two seasons and was named a first team All-ACC selection as a sophomore after averaging 18.0 points and 11.0 rebounds per game.

Mavericks trade Richaun Holmes to Wizards for Daniel Gafford

The Washington Wizards have acquired center Richaun Holmes and a 2024 first round pick in a trade with the Dallas Mavericks for center Daniel Gafford.

“We welcome Richaun to our organization and look forward to him adding depth and a veteran presence to our frontcourt,” said Wizards General Manager Will Dawkins. “We were also able to add a first round pick in the upcoming draft, which is in alignment with our strategy to continually increase our flexibility and move further toward our long-term goals.”

Holmes (6-10, 240) has appeared in 441 career games (163 starts) over eight-and-a-half seasons for Dallas, Sacramento, Phoenix, and Philadelphia, holding averages of 8.6 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 0.9 blocks while shooting .605 from the field. He has averaged 3.4 points and 3.4 rebounds while shooting .559 from the field in 23 games (two starts) for the Mavericks this season. The 30-year-old is one of five players in the NBA to have shot .550 or better from the field in every season since 2016-17.

Prior to being acquired by Dallas in a trade from Sacramento in July 2023, Holmes averaged 12.5 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game while shooting .646 from the field and .788 from the free throw line during his first three seasons with the Kings. That stretch included the 2020-21 season, where he posted career highs of 14.2 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, and 1.7 assists while starting all 61 games in which he played. Holmes was selected 37th overall by Philadelphia in the 2015 NBA Draft.

The Wizards originally acquired Gafford from Chicago as part of a three-team trade in March 2021. He played in 218 games (145 starts) in three-plus seasons with Washington, averaging 9.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game while shooting .704 from the field.

“We appreciate what Gaff brought to our organization and our community as a Wizard,” said Dawkins. “The development he made during his time here is a reflection of his work ethic and commitment, and we wish him the best as he takes the next steps in his career.”

Wizards name Brian Keefe as interim head coach

Monumental Basketball President Michael Winger announced today that Brian Keefe has been named interim head coach of the Washington Wizards for the remainder of the season.

Keefe was named the Wizards’ lead assistant in July after having spent the previous two seasons as an assistant coach with the Brooklyn Nets. He brings over 17 seasons of coaching experience to Washington, including stints as an assistant coach with the Oklahoma City Thunder (2019-20 and 2007-14), Los Angeles Lakers (2016-19), and New York Knicks (2014-16). Keefe began his NBA career as a video coordinator with the San Antonio Spurs from 2005-07, helping the team win the 2007 NBA championship.

The Wizards will undertake a comprehensive head coach search in the offseason.

Wizards move Wes Unseld Jr. from head coach job to front office advisory position

Monumental Basketball President Michael Winger announced today that Wes Unseld Jr. will transition from his role as head coach of the Washington Wizards into a front office advisory position.

“After several thoughtful conversations with Wes, we determined together that a change was needed for the benefit of the team,” said Winger. “Wes embodies the characteristics we value in our organization, and his vast basketball experience will be an asset to the front office as we progress toward our long-term goals. We are thankful that he will continue his contributions to our organization and community.”

Unseld Jr. was named head coach of the Wizards on July 17, 2021. He compiled a record of 77-130 (.372) in his two-and-a-half seasons with the team.

“I am grateful to have served as head coach of the Washington Wizards,” said Unseld Jr. “I look forward to this new opportunity to work toward our organization’s continued progress.”

Per the Washington Post, “Unseld is under contract through the 2024-25 season, and his “advisory role” is nebulous for the time being, a way to keep him connected to the Wizards while providing the team a new on-court leader amid a season in which Washington has seen improvement on an individual level but has not been competitive as a team.”

Pistons trade Marvin Bagley III and Isaiah Livers to Wizards for Danilo Gallinari and Mike Muscala

The Washington Wizards yesterday acquired forward/center Marvin Bagley III and forward Isaiah Livers along with second round draft picks in 2025 and 2026 in a trade with the Detroit Pistons in exchange for forward Danilo Gallinari and forward/center Mike Muscala.

“Marvin and Isaiah are young players with positional size, high character and a competitive nature who will have the opportunity to further their development within our system and build on the positives we’ve seen from them,” said Wizards General Manager Will Dawkins. “We are excited to welcome them while also adding draft picks, allowing us to enhance our current roster and continue to position ourselves for the future.”

Bagley III (6-11, 235) holds career averages of 12.9 points and 6.9 rebounds while shooting .512 from the floor in 234 games between Detroit and Sacramento. He has posted 10.2 points and 4.5 rebounds while shooting .591 in 26 games (10 starts) with the Pistons this season. Bagley III was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2018 NBA Draft and went on to earn 2018-19 All-Rookie First Team honors after averaging 14.9 points and 7.6 rebounds in his first season. He was acquired by the Pistons via trade on Feb. 10, 2022.

Livers (6-7, 230) has compiled career averages of 6.2 points and 2.6 rebounds in 94 games with the Pistons. He has averaged 5.0 points and 2.1 rebounds in 23 games (six starts) this season. Livers was selected 42nd overall by the Pistons in the 2021 NBA Draft.

“Danilo and Mike lived up to their well-established reputations as true professionals while providing meaningful contributions on the court during their time with us,” said Dawkins. “We’re appreciative that our young players were able to learn from them and we wish them the best moving forward.”

Gallinari, 6-10, 233, is in his 14th NBA season. In 754 career NBA games, he’s averaged 15.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists with New York, Denver, L.A. Clippers, Oklahoma City, Atlanta and Washington. He was drafted sixth overall in the 2008 NBA draft. He’s averaged 15-plus points in seven seasons including a career-high 19.8 points with the Clippers in 2018-19.

A native of Italy, Gallinari began his professional career in Italy and was named Euroleague’s Rising Star in 2007-08. As a member of the U-18 National Team, he helped to lead Italy to a bronze medal at the 2005 U-18 European Championships.

Muscala, 6-10, 240, is a 10-year NBA veteran. He was drafted 44th overall in the 2013 NBA Draft by the Dallas Mavericks and traded to the Atlanta Hawks as part of a draft-night deal. In 519 career NBA games, he’s averaged 6.1 points and 3.2 rebounds with Atlanta, Philadelphia, L.A. Lakers, Oklahoma City, Boston and Washington.

The St. Louis Park, Minn., native played four seasons collegiately at Bucknell University where he was named 2011 Patriot League Men’s Basketball Player of the Year following an NCAA tournament appearance. In addition, he was named First Team All-Patriot League and AP All-American Honorable Mention in 2010–2011.

Wizards sign Hamidou Diallo to 10-day contract

The Washington Wizards have signed guard Hamidou Diallo to a 10-day contract.

Diallo (6-5, 202) joins Washington after beginning the year with the Capital City Go-Go (the Wizards’ NBA G League affiliate), where he has averaged 18.8 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 2.7 assists while shooting .521 from the field in 20 total (showcase + regular season) games (16 starts). The Kentucky product has scored in double figures on 18 occasions for the Go-Go and totaled a season-high 30 points (12-17 FG) to go along with eight assists and six rebounds on Nov. 27 at Raptors 905.

The five-year pro has appeared in 263 career games (44 starts) for the Detroit Pistons and Oklahoma City Thunder, holding averages of 8.6 points and 3.8 rebounds in 18.7 minutes per game on .495 percent shooting from the field.

A native of Queens, New York, Diallo was selected by Brooklyn with the 45th overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft.

Kyle Kuzma wins NBA Cares Bob Lanier Community Assist Award for November, 2023

The NBA today announced Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma as the NBA Cares Bob Lanier Community Assist Award November winner for giving back to his hometown of Flint, Michigan and hosting a special event through his foundation (Kyle Kuzma Family Foundation).

“Helping to uplift the communities that are special to me is a privilege, so being recognized for that work is a humbling experience, particularly when it takes place during the season of giving,” said Kuzma. “I’m proud to share this honor with my family and support system as well as my teammates and the entire Wizards organization, as all of us are committed to continuing to make a difference in the lives of others.”

Each month, the NBA Cares Bob Lanier Community Assist Award recognizes a player monthly for their outstanding work in the community.

Wizards sign Jules Bernard to two-way contract, waive John Butler Jr.

The Washington Wizards have signed guard Jules Bernard to a two-way contract.

And in a corresponding move, the team waived John Butler Jr.

Bernard has played in 39 games with the Capital City Go-Go over the past two seasons after being acquired via trade from the Motor City Cruise on December 23, 2022. Bernard finished the 2022-23 campaign appearing in 32 games for Capital City, averaging 15.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. Bernard next appeared in the 2023 NBA Summer League and 2023 training camp with the Wizards before starting the season with the Go-Go. In eight games with Capital City this season, Bernard is averaging 21.0 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game, with shooting splits of .475 from the field, .422 from three and .914 from the free throw line.

The UCLA product spent four years with the Bruins, averaging 9.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 130 career games. He went undrafted in the 2022 NBA Draft before signing with the Detroit Pistons and eventually joining the Motor City Cruise to begin the 2022-23 season.

Wizards get first win in a while, beat Pistons 126-107

The Wizards have now won nine straight games against the Pistons, extending the second-longest win streak against Detroit in series history (longest is 13, 2/10/68 – 1/22/70).

Washington has now claimed four straight road contests against Detroit. This marks the teams’ longest road win streak in series history (previously three games in a row from 3/7/80-1/15/81).

Washington connected at a .929 clip (26-28) from the free throw line as a team.

Washington amassed 46 bench points, outscoring Detroit 46 to 31 in that category. The Wizards have now tallied 40+ points from off the bench in three straight games.

Washington forward Kyle Kuzma scored a game-high 32 points on 10-of-23 shooting (10-11 FT), also grabbing 12 rebounds and dishing out eight assists for his team-leading fourth double-double of the season.

Wizards forward Deni Avdija amassed 16 points (6-9 FG), six rebounds and five assists in 26 minutes of action.

Washington forward Danilo Gallinari tallied 16 points (5-8 FG) in 19 minutes from off the bench, knocking down 3-of-6 three-point field goals and adding two rebounds and two assists.