October 21st, 2014 at 10:28 AM
By Matt Graber
ESPN's Marc Stein is reporting that the Wizards are close to signing free agent John Lucas III, according to sources. In the wake of Bradley Beal's wrist njury, the team has been looking for backcourt depth, and Lucas, a DC native, could be a possible solution. The 31 year old veteran has played for the Houston Rockets, Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors and Utah Jazz in his six year career. He has career averages of 4.9 points and 1.4 assists per game.
While the move to add another guard is hardly surprising, it seems like the team would look for a shooting specialist to replace the sharpshooting Beal. Lucas, a point guard, is more of a lead guard and ball-handler than a shooter, but he can still provide valuable depth and help run the offense. He's good in the pick and roll, he has playoff experience, and while he's never been a volume three point shooter, his career average from deep is 35%. It's an unexpected signing, but it could be a solid one.
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October 21st, 2014 at 10:10 AM
By Matt Graber
The Washington Wizards fell to the New Orleans Pelicans 88-84 last night after an ugly performance where the offensive couldn't get anything going. John Wall, Paul Pierce and Glen Rice Jr., all sat this one out, and their absence was definitely felt .While the box score would indicate a close game, the Wizards were never in this one, falling behind by as many as 29 before a furious 4th quarter comeback. It's still preseason, so it's hard to but too much stock into the comeback into the loss or the comeback. But after another disappointing performance, it looks like their are some real concerns about the Wizards' offense.
That was brutal
Don't let the score fool you; this was far from a competitive game. The offense looked stagnant and sluggish without John Wall orchestrating, and for large stretches of the game the Wizards' couldn't get a shot to fall, missing everything from threes to layups and tip-ins to free throws. The loss demonstrated how valuable Wall is to this team, as he's really the engine that makes this offense run. He'll have to carry even more of the offense with Bradley Beal out, and he's gonna need someone to step up and become a consistent offensive option.Read more... Join the Conversation...
October 20th, 2014 at 12:02 PM
By Matt Graber
Bradley Beal's injury has left a gaping hole in the Wizards' backcourt, and with Glen Rice Jr. and Garrett Temple the only healthy shooting guards left on the roster, much of recent Wizards' discussion has revolved around that position. With a Ray Allen signing looking extremely unlikely and with little cap room available, the only option left for the Wizards seems to be to sign a free agent to a minimum level deal. For much of the preseason, training camp invitee Xavier Silas looked like the most likely candidate, as he leads the team in scoring and has demonstrated his ability to hit threes. But his inconsistent performances, and Rasual Butler's recent play, may have thrown his candidacy into question, as Butler is beginning to prove his worth.
A twelve year veteran, Butler is a known commodity, which works in his favor. While any excitement surrounding Silas or Damion James is based on their potential rather than proven performance, the Wizards know what they would get from Butler. A career 36% shooter from three, Butler is a shooting specialist and floor spacer, and that's crucial for the Wizards's offense. With Beal and Martell Webster injured, the Wizards have a need for shooting, and Butler has proven throughout his career that he can provide it. He's solid but unspectacular, but the Wizards don't need spectacular. If Butler can space the floor, knock down the open looks John Wall will provide him, and defend his position reasonably well, he'll be a good fit and he'll help the team survive without Beal.Read more... Join the Conversation...
October 17th, 2014 at 4:31 PM
By Matt Graber
The Washington Wizards waived center Daniel Orton yesterday, bringing their roster down to 17 with three preseason games remaining. The decision shouldn't come as a surprise, as Orton failed to see the court in the Wizards' first five preseason games while dealing with a calf injury. With with Xavier Silas impressing in his appearances, Orton quickly fell out of the race for the 15th roster spot. Silas, Rasual Butler, and Damion James are the three remaining Wizards invites.
The 24 year old Orton was a first round pick in 2010 and one of five first rounders from the University of Kentucky, including Wizards point guard John Wall. Orton has filed to stick on an NBA roster thus far in his career, with brief stints in Orlando, Oklahoma City and Philadelphia. He has posted career averages of 2.8 PPG and 2.5 RPG.
Despite his failure to make the Wizards, Orton has the tools to stick around in the NBA. At 6'11", 275 pounds, he has great size and has demonstrated a decent shot , not to mention some underrated passing skills, during his time with the Wizards Summer League team. His former teammate Wall is bullish on his future. From the Washington Post: Read more... Join the Conversation...
October 16th, 2014 at 10:26 AM
By Matt Graber
The Washington Wizards drove their preseason record to 4-1 after a closer than expected 101-95 victory over Israeli team Maccabi Haifa. With Bradley Beal injured and Nene and Paul Pierce resting, the Wizards were without most of their projected starting lineup, so Coach Wittman basically let the backups and young guys run the show, led by the increasingly impressive Otto Porter Jr. Given that the Wizards are working with a severely depleted roster and their opponent wasn't an NBA team, it's hard to take that much away from this game, but their were a few things worth noting.
Otto Porter Jr. looks better and better
Porter put on an impressive and well-rounded performance last night, recording a team-leading 19 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists. He went 7-13 from the field and, more importantly, he was 4-4 from the foul line, an area where the Wizards have really struggled. He's looking more and more confident on offense, moving well, and showcasing his scoring ability on the perimeter and in the post. He also turned in a stellar defensive performance with four steals and a huge block. He's starting to look like the guy the Wizards expected to get when they drafted him third overall last year.Read more... Join the Conversation...