Tag:Washington Wizards
Posted on: June 17, 2011 12:11 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2011 12:51 pm

Wizards won't deal McGee?

Posted by Royce Young

There has been quite a bit of talk that the Wizards are looking to move up in the draft from No. 6 to as high as No. 2, as they seem to have their eye on Derrick Williams.

But to move up, you have to give up something in exchange. Not everyone lucks into a trade like the one the Wolves and Wizards had right before the draft that sent the No. 5 pick to Minnesota for Randy Foye and Mike Miller. And the player's name that keeps coming up is JaVale McGee, Washington's freakish seven-foot center.

Not happening though, says the Washington Post.
"The Wizards may have interest in moving up to getting a desired player, but this draft -- with so many question marks from top to bottom -- isn't the one that would convince the team to sacrifice McGee, a player that it has spent the past three years developing into a serviceable center in a league that is experiencing a dearth in talent at that position. With so much uncertainty atop the draft, the Wizards believe that a player that can help the team might very well be available at the sixth pick."
McGee has been mentioned in trade talks for pretty much the last three years, and after an altercation with Andray Blatche earlier in the year, some of that heated up. Owner Ted Leonis always put that fire out, and it appears that the Wizards don't want to trade McGee.

And why should they? He's still extremely young (just 23) and has an incredible amount of untapped potential. McGee is already a pretty productive player, but if he could ever start to figure some of his talent out, he could be the same type of impact player as Tyson Chandler.

Derrick Williams would definitely be a prize to acquire, but it sounds like the Wolves are warming to the idea of adding Williams alongside Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio. Doesn't appear that the Wizards and Wolves are going to get together on another draft day trade.

Posted on: June 4, 2011 8:35 pm

Sources deny Wizards want Derrick Williams trade

Sources reportedly dispute a trade rumor involving the Washington Wizards and Minnesota Timberwolves. Posted by Ben Golliver. derrick-williams

On Thursday, a report surfaced that said the Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards were among the teams most aggressively seeking the No. 2 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, which belongs to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Minnesota was said to be looking for a "veteran big man" in exchange for the rights to draft University of Arizona forward Derrick Williams.

At the time, we noted that the Suns had better options to fit that bill than do the Wizards. 

On Sunday, the Washington Post reported that Washington and Minnesota have not yet discussed a trade involving the No. 2 pick.

Draft Express’ Jonathan Givony reported on his Twitter account on Thursday that the Wizards and Phoenix Suns are working hardest to move up get Williams, but one source with knowledge of the situation said “there’s not” any truth to the speculation, while another with knowledge of the Timberwolves’ plans said that the Wizards have yet to contact Minnesota about making a deal.

The Wizards have the sixth pick in the draft and President Ernie Grunfeld has already stated that the team is willing to “see what other opportunities come up.” But they likely don’t have the talented veteran pieces that it would take to get the No. 2 pick.

Draft rumors are tricky business. It can be very difficult to sift through the noise to find legitimate rumors. One thing is for sure, though: Every rumor, whether there is merit or not, is going to be met with denial by team sources this far before the draft. It's in every team's best interest, publicly, to have a blank slate when it comes to draft strategy and the wheeling and dealing that goes with it.

In other words, while you probably shouldn't put too much stock into any specific rumor, you shouldn't put any stock into a specific denial. 

In this case, as mentioned previously, the Wizards aren't likely to part with their only big man that's good enough to be worth trading for: center JaVale McGee. If he's not on the table and the Timberwolves are looking for bigs, the two teams really don't have much to discuss.
Posted on: June 2, 2011 7:25 pm
Edited on: June 2, 2011 7:29 pm

Suns, Wizards want to trade up for Williams?

The Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards are reportedly interested in trading up for Derrick Williams. Posted by Ben Golliver. derrick-williams

The 2011 NBA Draft is widely regarded as a two-player class. While Duke University point guard Kyrie Irving is a lock to go to the Cleveland Cavaliers with the No. 1 overall pick, speculation continues to circle around the No. 2 pick, held by the Minnesota Timberwolves.

University of Arizona forward Derrick Williams is the clear favorite to be drafted second overall but his fit is questionable in Minnesota. A combo-forward, Williams shares the scoring ability and versatility of Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley and doesn't really address Minnesota's biggest needs: help in the backcourt and in the middle.

Last week, we noted a report that the Cavaliers were interested in trading up for the No. 2 selection.

On Thursday, DraftExpress.com reported that the Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards are also in the mix, nothing that the two teams "have been the most active teams trying to trade up for Derrick Williams." The site also reported that the Timberwolves are seeking a "veteran big man" in return.

For reference: The Wizards hold the No. 6 selection and the Suns hold the No. 13 selection.

Which big men do these teams have to offer up?

Phoenix has three serviceable bigs in its rotation: Marcin Gortat, Robin Lopez and Channing Frye. Gortat, acquired from the Orlando Magic, is under contract at a reasonable rate through 2013-2014. He's not untouchable, but talented, mobile seven-footers are hard to come by. Lopez is not spectacular, but he's still on his rookei deal and he's a serviceable reserve. Frye is a perimter-oriented big man who might not be an ideal fit next to Kevin Love in Minnesota.

The Wizards have promising center JaVale McGee in the middle as well as troubled forward Andray Blatche. McGee is still on his rookie deal and is talented enough to hold on to tightly during the team's rebuilding process. Moving Blatche would be a much easier call for Washington as he's a true head case but he doesn't have the size to find many minutes with Love in place.

If I'm Washington, Williams' starpower isn't enough for me to give up on McGee just yet. Sure the hole on the wing is massive, but there will be talented guards/wings available at No. 6 -- Kawhi Leonard, Alec Burks, Klay Thompson -- and replacing McGee would be a nightmare. The Wizards were bottom five in rebound rate last season; imagining them without McGee's eight boards a game would be an even bigger disaster.

From Phoenix's standpoint, Williams is very, very tempting. The team needs a new face of the franchise and point guard Steve Nash has been involved in trade rumors for months, if not years at this point. Williams has a local tie-in, big-time scoring potential and an exciting game. He's intent on playing small forward, though, so that could mean parting ways with Grant Hill, using some unorthodox line-ups or shipping out Jared Dudley. It would be tough to find time for all three of them if you're intent on making Williams your franchise guy.

Parting with Gortat, Frye or Lopez shouldn't be a deal-breaker in this trade scenario. If it's Gortat, acquiring some other asset in return would be necessary, as his value as a player is greater than jumping up 10 spots in a weak draft. Frye and Lopez, though, are who they are and should certainly be on the table. In Frye's case, he was signed to a long-term contract that carries him through 2014-2015. Getting out of that salary commitment might not be the worst thing in the world if Phoenix does intend to undergo a rebuilding process.

A trade like this makes all sorts of sense from Minnesota's standpoint. If they could add either Gortat or Lopez plus pick up Burks or Thompson at No. 13 that's a very good return on the rights to the No. 2 pick. Getting McGee plus Leonard or Burks for the rights to Williams would be even better.

Deals like these, though, are rarely that simple. The room to negotiate is gigantic, as teams look to dump salaries, extract future picks and on and on. Will the type of trades rumored here come to fruition? Who knows. Should something like this trade rumor happen? Definitely, especially from Minnesota's standpoint.
Posted on: May 20, 2011 2:42 pm
Edited on: May 20, 2011 4:08 pm

Enes Kanter skips interviews with 3 lottery teams

Turkish center Enes Kanter reportedly will not meet to interview with three lottery teams. Posted by Ben Golliver. enes-kanter

The long, strange journey of Turkish center Enes Kanter took another twist on Friday, when ESPN reported that Kanter "stood up" three teams with lottery picks at the Chicago pre-draft combine.

Kanter reportedly refused to participate in interviews with the Utah Jazz, Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks. The Jazz hold the No. 3 and No. 12 picks in the draft, the Raptors are the No. 5 pick and the Bucks are the No. 10 selection. Update: a second ESPN report notes that Kanter is now scheduled to meet with the Jazz on June 2.

This early in the process, refusing to interview with teams is highly unusual. The only explanations: Kanter doesn't want to play for those teams or he does want to play for someone else.

On Thursday, CSNWashington.com reported that Kanter's preference was the Washington Wizards, who hold the No. 6 pick. In Washington, Kanter would be in a major market on the Eastern seaboard and would have plenty of playing time. He would also be playing with a dynamic point guard in John Wall.

So what to make of the three teams he stood up?

Utah has a fairly loaded frontline with Al Jefferson, Derrick Favors and Paul Millsap already in place. Indeed, DraftExpress.com reports: "Doesn't want to play for them according to his camp. Too many big men?"

Toronto could certainly use a low-post presence to pair with Andrea Bargnani, but they've also got rookie Ed Davis already in the development cycle and there's the whole "playing in Canada rather than the United States" thing, which trips up some people.

As for the Bucks, Kanter will almost certainly be gone by No. 10 so other than courtesy there wasn't much point in meeting with them anyway. Also, Andrew Bogut is in place, and a Bogut/Kanter pairing might be a bit redundant. 

Kanter sat out all of last season with NCAA eligibility issues and has reportedly told teams he will conduct only solo workouts.
Posted on: May 17, 2011 3:18 pm

Grunfeld: Wall should've won Rookie of the Year

Posted by Royce Young

Blake Griffin was selected as the first unanimous Rookie of the Year since David Robinson in 1990. Griffin was spectacular not just in terms of highlight plays and dunks, but on the stat sheet too. There really was no question who the top rookie was this season.

But Wizards general manager Ernie Grunfeld thinks his man should've won the award. Grunfeld told the Washington Post that John Wall should've been awarded Rookie of the Year.

"He should’ve been rookie of the year, except for the rule of a second-year player being eligible ... “Last year, I think Blake did play in a couple of preseason games and he traveled with his team, so he got a feel first. But that’s the rule, and he was deserving, obviously. He had a tremendous year. I thought John had a terrific year, also.”

It was evidently pointed out to Grunfeld that both Larry Bird and David Robinson didn't play the first year they were drafted either and won Rookie of the Year. Grunfeld pointed out that Boston chose Bird without him declaring and that Robinson was serving in the Navy. So neither were actually with their respective teams.

Wall averaged 16.4 points and 8.3 assists in 69 games, was a near-unanimous choice for the all-rookie team and finished second to Los Angeles Clippers all-star forward Blake Griffin, the 2009 No. 1 pick, for rookie of the year.

Grunfeld's not the only person to take the stance that Griffin shouldn't have been eligible. A writer from the New York Post boycotted the voting because he felt that an ineligible player was on the ballot.

My take? All of that is pretty silly. Why should Griffin be eliminated from contention when an injury is what removed him? He didn't play a game so why wouldn't he be a rookie? Sure he got to travel and practice some, but was that really all that advantageous? Griffin was indeed part of a different draft class than Wall. I understand the argument. But in terms of definition, Griffin was a rookie player. This was his second season, but he was still a rookie.
Posted on: May 12, 2011 8:58 pm

JaVale McGee: Guinness Record Holder

Posted by Matt Moore

JaVale McGee likes feeling special. After all, he chases triple doubles like mad. But it turns out McGee's not only special in his own mind, he's special in the recorod books. Remember this?


So that was fun.

And it turns out, it made McGee into a record holder. From Capitol Games on NBCWashington.com, a statement from the Guinness Book of World Records:
“The most basketballs dunked in a single jump was three by JaVale McGee (USA) during the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest at the 2011 NBA All-Star Game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA, on 19 February 2011. McGee jumped with two basketballs in his possession before dunking each and receiving a third basketball to dunk via alley-oop from teammate John Wall (USA).”

Score another assist for John Wall.

JaVale has since tweeted a pic of his certificate, which we suppose makes it official. At least it looks official, what with the foil stamp and all.
via JaVale McGee: World Record Holder | NBC Washington.

Even better, Capitol Games reports that McGee himself solicited  the record from Guinness. So the guy who chased down the triple-double also solicited his own record for something no one else would think to do.

Oh, JaVale. Don't ever change.
Category: NBA
Posted on: May 12, 2011 6:22 pm

Wizards owner cracks down on Lapdance Tuesdays

Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis does not support lapdance Tuesdays. Posted by Ben Golliver. blatche-sign

A few weeks back, Yahoo! Sports noted that Washington Wizards forward Andray Blatche was hosting "Lapdance Tuesdays" at a Miami Beach club. Yes, seriously. He was even street-teaming the event on Twitter.

Blatche, of course, is the knucklehead forward who once was busted for soliciting a prostitute, got into a fight with center JaVale McGee on Christmas Eve and recently took to the radio to blast Wizards fans during another pathetic season. 

The Wizards, meanwhile, are in the process of a wholesale reputation re-alignment under new owner Ted Leonsis. The team drafted John Wall, dumped Gilbert Arenas in trade and recently unveiled new uniforms, all in the name of a fresh start and improving fan relations.

Clearly, then, Lapdance Tuesday wasn't something Leonsis could let slide by without a comment. 

And, by the standards governing owner on player rebukes, he let Blatche have it. In comments made to 106.7 The Fan and transcribed by BulletsForever.com, Leonsis took a hard line.
"The Wizards being associated with that is unacceptable. We made sure we got that taken down. We're not happy with that, and neither is he. The way those things tend to happen are not well understood. Sometimes celebrities get an appearance fee, and someone goes and markets them. Andray is a very gifted player, and we know this is a very important summer for him. He needs to come back and be in unbelievable shape with unbelievable determination, because he needs to prove he's a really, really good player and that he can win. He gets it. The proof will be in the pudding, but he understands it."
That was an excellent statement by Leonsis -- pitch perfect -- right up until the words "He gets it." There's absolutely no way Blatche gets it. He was just hoping to make a little extra money and not get caught.

Even if Leonsis sees Blatche for what he is -- and the guess is he probably does -- his hands are tied as Blatche was signed to a lengthy extension that keeps him a Wizard until 2014-2015. So, for the sake of salvaging Blatche's nonexistent trade value, Leonsis has no choice but to continue pretending that Blatche gets it.
Posted on: May 10, 2011 2:06 pm
Edited on: May 10, 2011 2:08 pm

Washington Wizards unveil new jerseys

The Washington Wizards have unveiled new jerseys for the 2011-2012 NBA season. Posted by Ben Golliver.


Despite the best efforts of Gilbert Arenas and Andray Blatche, the Wizards franchise has a long, proud basketball tradition, highlighted by four NBA Finals appearances in the 1970s and an NBA title in 1979. 

New Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis came to power promising change to a fan base that's dealt with far more than its far share of hijinks over the last few years. Not surprisingly, fans of the team have a nostalgic bent for the days when the franchise was still known as the Bullets and the jerseys came in patriotic red, white and blue. Leonsis understood this sentiment -- and the potential marketing and memorabilia power it represented -- and made it clear last year that new jerseys would be at the top of his agenda list.

On Tuesday, he delivered new home and away jerseys for the team (pictured above, courtesy of NBA.com). The jerseys return the team to a 1970s-style look and color scheme. The jerseys incorporate the Wizards logo across the chest and the shorts have a "DC" logo which features a twist on the "arms and ball" logo the team used in the 1990s. 

The throwback look fits the team's history and locale much better than the most recent dark blue designs, which seemed as contrived as the "Wizards" moniker. Love these new jerseys or hate them, at least they aren't these gold disasters. We can all agree on that.

The fan reaction over at BulletsForever.com seems mostly positive. "The colors are cool and so are the logos. Old school but with a fresh feel... MUCH better than the gold and blue we were rocking before," writes seewhite.

"Could not be any happier with them," agrees hibachi. "Honestly, they’re perfect."
Category: NBA
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com