Report: Wall, Rockets agree to buyout, expected to sign with Clippers

Update: According to Klutch Sports(Wall’s agent), it’s a two-year, $13.2 million contract with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Expect to see John Wall on the court next season.

According to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, Wall, who opted into the final year of his contract, and the Rockets reached a buyout agreement, shaving $6.5 million off of his $47.4 million salary.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Wall is planning to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers once he clears waivers.

Last season, Wall, who the Wizards traded to the Rockets in 2020, and Houston agreed that he would be shut down for the 2021-22 season.

Over the past few seasons, the 31-year-old Wall, who signed a four-year supermax contract at $170 million with the Wizards, battled injuries. In the 2018-19 season, he missed most of the season after a left heel injury. While recovering from the heel injury, the five-time All-Star ruptured his left Achilles tendon at his home. The 12-year veteran missed all of the 2019-20 season. 

It should be interesting to see what role he will have with the Clippers, who are looking to contend for a championship next season. When healthy, Wall can still play at a decent level. The last time we saw him on the court was in 2021, Wall averaged 20.6 points and 6.9 assists per game, so fortunately for him, he gets his money and an opportunity to compete for a championship.

Porzingis enjoyed his time with Doncic; Dinwiddie feels vindicated

Former Wizards guard Spencer Dinwiddie and forward Davis Bertans returned to D.C. Friday night, and Kristaps Porzingis battled his former team for the first time since the trade as the Mavericks continued their four-game road trip against the Wizards.

Porzingis, who Dallas traded to Washington for Dinwiddie and Bertans before the trade deadline in February, had 24 points and nine rebounds, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had a team-high 35 points, including six threes, as the Wizards, who led by as many as 34 points and never trailed, won their fourth straight and defeated the Mavericks 135-103.

Mavs’ Luka Doncic had a game-high 36 points, seven rebounds, and six assists.

“We called up the huddle, and I told him, ‘KP, since they let you go, we’re going to beat them up for you,'” Caldwell-Pope said after the win. “That was the first thing I said to him, and we did exactly that.”

Porzingis added: “I don’t want to say it was a personal game, but it’s always fun to compete against your former team.”

There was a narrative in Dallas that there was a rift between Porzingis and Doncic, but according to Porzingis, that was far from the case.

“There’s no issue between us,” Porzingis said. “We were super cool and would hang out. Luka’s a cool dude. He’s super chill. 

Dallas thought they had a dynamic duo with Porzingis and Doncic, but after a couple of injury-filled seasons for Porzingis, the duo could never get out of the first round, and ultimately, the Mavericks felt they needed to make a move. 

“Sometimes, it just doesn’t work out the way everybody expects or the way we saw it, and it is what it is,” Porzingis said. “It was cool to play with a generational superstar talent like him(Doncic).”

Regarding Dinwiddie, who, along with Bertans, was given a video tribute Friday night, he was roundly criticized on his way out the door in Washington.

However, according to Dinwiddie, what was said about him was not true, and what has happened to the two teams after the trade validates what he said.

“I said what I said about the organization,” Dinwiddie said. “I know that they’ve since made comments about their own locker room that kind of validated what I’ve said about the situation… At the end of the day, I think this stretch of basketball, post All-Star break, has kind of validated what I’ve said… Let them go to the offseason, and let us go to the playoffs and keep it rocking.”

Dinwiddie, who signed a three-year, $54 million deal in the offseason, helped the Wizards get off to a 10-3 start, but things fell apart, and ultimately, they shipped him to Dallas.

Dallas is 13-6 after the All-Star break; Conversely, the Wizards are 7-12 in the same timeframe.

At this point, Dinwiddie is right. Washington’s focus is keeping Bradley Beal and putting together a competitive roster going forward. At the same time, Dallas has to focus on getting homecourt advantage in the first round and getting out of the first round for the first time since 2011.

Watch below as Dinwiddie talks loss to Wizards:

Spurs waive Tomáŝ Satoranský, who is expected to sign with Washington

The San Antonio Spurs have waived guard Tomáŝ Satoranský, the team announced Saturday

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Satoransky will return to the Washington Wizards, where he played three seasons through 2018.

Satoranský, 30, appeared in one game with the Spurs. He was acquired from Portland, along with a 2027 second-round pick from Utah, in a three-team deal with the Trail Blazers and Jazz on Feb. 9.

In 33 games this season, the six-year veteran is averaging 2.8 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 2.3 assists.

San Antonio defeated Washington in double-overtime 157-153 Friday night and will travel to Miami to battle the Heat Saturday night.

Shorthanded Cavs get routed by Wizards

The Cavaliers began life without backup point guard Ricky Rubio against the Wizards Thursday night. Rubio will miss the rest of the season after tearing his left ACL Tuesday against the Pelicans.

Cleveland was still without Darius Garland and Cedi Osman due to health and safety protocols, and they were without Jarrett Allen(Return To Competition Reconditioning). However, they did get Lamar Stevens and Dylan Windler back after being away from the team because of health and safety protocols.

Washington had some health and safety protocols issues themselves, including starting point guard Spencer Dinwiddie.

The Cavaliers trailed 31-30 after the first quarter, but things fell apart at the end of the second quarter and the third as Washington routed Cleveland 110-93 at Capital One Arena.

Cleveland(20-15) has lost two straight, while Washington(18-17) snapped their two-game losing streak.

Here is the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to Washington:

The Great for the Cavaliers:

-Rookie Evan Mobley scored 14(highest scoring first quarter of his career) of his 21 points in the first quarter to go along with five rebounds, three assists, and two blocks. Mobley had his second straight 20-plus point game. 

-Kevin Love returned to the starting lineup and had his third straight 20-plus point game. He had 11 of his season-high tying 24 points in the first quarter, including three threes(finished 4/10 3PT FG). Love also added 11 rebounds to record his fifth double-double of the season. Love and Mobley scored 25 of Cleveland’s 30 first-quarter points.

The Not So Great for the Cavaliers:

Three-point Shooting: Cleveland was 4/9 from downtown in the first quarter, but they were 4/19 the rest of the way from three-point range Thursday night. In the last two games, both losses, the Cavaliers shot a combined 9/48(19%) from three after the first quarter.

Defense:  The Cavaliers struggled on the defensive end. Washington shot 50% from the floor, including 68 points in the paint.

End of the Second Quarter: With just under four minutes left in the first half, the game was tied at 46, but Washington finished the half on a 12-5 run to take a 58-51 lead at the break, and the Wizards took that momentum into the third.

Third Quarter: Washington dominated the third as they shot (14/22)64% from the floor. The Wizards led by as many as 2o points in the quarter, and Cleveland never threatened from there as the Wizards outscored the Cavaliers 33-21 in the third.

-Kevin Pangos got his first NBA start Thursday, and he wasn’t very good. Pangos had two points as he shot 1/8 from the field, including 0/3 from downtown. He did have six assists, but he struggled against the Wizards.

Bottom Line:

Without Garland and Rubio, Cleveland did not get much from the point guard position and did not get much out of any player not named Love or Mobley, but help could be on the way for the Cavs. According to reports, Cleveland is close to acquiring two-time NBA champion and four-time All-Star Rajon Rondo from the Lakers. While Rondo is not Rubio at this point, the 35-year-old is better than what they have at the backup point guard spot. 

What’s Next:

Cleveland begins a three-game homestand Friday night against the Atlanta Hawks.

Best of the Rest:

-After missing three games due to health and safety protocols, Bradley Beal returned and led the Wizards with a game-high 29 points, 10 assists, and six rebounds; Kyle Kuzma had 25 points and 10 rebounds.

-Lauri Markkanen had 11 points, eight rebounds, and four assists; Isaac Okoro added 11 points for the Cavs.

Suns’ Shamet: ‘We’re deep for sure’

On Thursday night, the Phoenix Suns routed the Washington Wizards 118-98 at Footprint Center.

With the win, the Suns, who had eight players in double figures, are 23-5 on the season, the team’s best start to a season through the first 28 games since the 2004-05 season. 

Chris Paul, the only man with 20,000 points and 10,000 assists in NBA history, leads the NBA in assists per game(10.1). According to JaVale McGee, who had a team-high 17 points in 16 minutes against Washington, Paul, who had a team-high six assists Thursday, can see any and everything on the court.

“He’s a mind; he’s like a mega-mind when it comes to basketball,” McGee explained about Paul. “And the fact that he’s a point guard who controls the ball the whole game is even better. He sees things before they happen; he sees things that happened four plays ago that he can tell you about. His mind is just really basketball-oriented, and he knows where guys are supposed to be, and he knows where to put the ball. And when you have a point guard like that as your starting point guard, the backup point guard looks up to him and takes nuances from him, and it just trickles down.”

Phoenix is still getting it done without their leading scorer, Devin Booker, who missed the last seven games with a hamstring injury. That includes Landry Shamet, who started his seventh straight game for Booker and added 16 points, including four threes against Washington. 

McGee says the Suns have that “next-man mindset.”

“I think I’ve said this before; we have that next-man mindset,” McGee said. “So, (Landry) Shamet has been doing a great job stepping into that role, and when he goes back to the bench, he is still going to be a top-performing player. I don’t think it’s anything that we’ve done different, we just play our ball. It’s always been team basketball; Book (Devin Booker) just; weapons to score a lot of points around our team basketball. As a whole, we’re a good team at getting everybody the ball.”

Shamet added: “We’re deep for sure. I think more than anything is we play together; we trust each other, play the right way, and a way that enables us to have those numbers and multiple guys in double figures. Every night it could be somebody different in the spot. We have a lot of interchangeable pieces, guys who are comfortable in filling in different roles.”

Phoenix gets back at it on Sunday night against the visiting Hornets.

Cavs’ Jarrett Allen on three-game road trip: ‘It was really all blowouts’

The Cleveland Cavaliers finished off their three-game road trip in style. Cleveland led by as much as 31 points against the Mavericks and Heat, and on Friday night in D.C., they led the Wizards by as many as 36 points. In the end, the Cavaliers would defeat the Wizards 116-101 at Capital One Arena.

Cleveland won these three games by an average of 19 points. The last time the Cavs swept a three-plus game road trip against three-plus .500 teams was 1975.  

Cleveland(13-10) has now won four straight, while the Wizards(14-9) have lost two out of their last three. 

The Great for the Cavs

First Quarter Jarrett Allen: He scored 14 of his 28 points, grabbed five of his game-high 13 rebounds and had one of his two blocks in the first. Since missing three games with an illness, Allen has six straight double-doubles, the longest streak in his career. It’s time to start the Jarrett Allen for All-Star campaign. 

-Darius Garland is playing like one of the better point guards in the NBA. The 21-year-old had a double-double with a season-high 32 points(11/17 FG), including 5/6 from downtown, a game-high 10 assists, and a career-high eight rebounds. It’s time to start the Darius Garland for All-Star campaign. 

Second and Third Quarters: The Cavs outscored the Wizards by a combined 21 points in those quarters. Cleveland outscored the Wizards 19-0 at the end of the second quarter into the third. They ended the second quarter on a 9-0 run to lead 65-46 at the break and started the third quarter on a 10-0 run. Ultimately, Cleveland had their largest lead of 36 points in the third.

-Cleveland dominated the Wizards, Heat, and Mavericks on the glass. The Cavs outrebounded the Wizards 54-33 and outrebounded the three teams on this trip by a combined 54 rebounds.

The Not So Great:

Nothing at the time. Check back on Sunday!!

Bottom Line:

The Cavs just did not beat the Mavericks, Heat, and Wizards, they dominated them, and it looked easy.  This was a super special trip. In addition, Cleveland has beaten some quality teams on the road this season, including these three games, and wins over Denver, Clippers, and Knicks. 

“Every one of these teams are fighting for something,” Allen said about the three-game road trip. “And we came in here, and it was really all blowouts.”

What’s Next:

Cleveland returns home Sunday to battle the Utah Jazz. The Cavaliers will play five games next week.

Best of the Rest:

-Evan Mobley had six points, seven rebounds, four assists, and three blocks. Mobley has a streak of at least one block in 12 consecutive games. Lauri Markkanen had 15 points, including four threes and six rebounds, and Kevin Love had 13 and nine rebounds off the bench.

-Deni Avdija led the Wizards with 16 points off the bench, and Bradley Beal had 14 points on 6/17 shooting from the floor.

Watch below as Allen and Garland react to the Cavs’ win over Wizards:

Cavs stumble late against Wizards, but to their credit, they fought hard

It appeared on Wednesday night that the Cleveland Cavaliers(7-5) were going to get their fifth straight win as they had a 10-point lead with just under 11 minutes left against the visiting Washington Wizards(8-5).

Cleveland would take a nine-point lead with just over six minutes to go. However, Washington would close the game on a 19-7 run and took the lead for good when Kyle Kuzma hit a corner three with 11.4 seconds. Washington would hold on to defeat the Cavs 97-94 to snap Cleveland’s four-game winning streak.

Here is the Great, Not so Great, and the Bottom Line of Cleveland’s loss to Washington:

The Great for the Cavaliers:

-Ricky Rubio led the way for Cleveland with 20 points, five assists, five rebounds, and two steals in 28 minutes off the bench. This is the second straight game where Rubio, who was getting serenaded with MVP chants, led the team in points and assists.

-Evan Mobley continues to pile up the numbers. He had 19 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and a block. After 12 games, Mobley is second among rookies in points(15.3), rebounds(7.9), and first in blocks(1.3) per contest.

-Darius Garland had 19 points and four assists. He also made a team-high three three-point shots on Wednesday night.

Not so Great for the Cavaliers:

Fourth Quarter: Cleveland had a six-point lead entering the fourth, but Washington would outscore the Cavs 29-20 in the final period. Cleveland shot 1/10 three-point range in the quarter. In addition, Washington shot 57% from the field, including 5/11 from three-point range.

Leaving Kuzma open for three: Kuzma, who scored 12 of his 22 points in the fourth, was hot as he was 4/5 from three-point range in the quarter, and with the Cavs leading 93-89 with 30.4 seconds, Kuzma hit a three to cut it to one.

Rubio would make one of two free throws to give Cleveland a 94-92 lead. With the Wizards trailing by two, Kuzma would get open and knocked down a three in the corner. Cleveland, who had a foul to give, tried to foul Bradley Beal, but the officials did not call it, and Kuzma was able to get free. 

“We had a foul to give, and we fouled Bradley Beal, and they missed the call,” Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said postgame. “We have to learn in this situation; the three is what kills you.”

Darius Garland’s final shot: Cleveland had one last chance to win, and with the Cavs trailing by one, Garland launched a 25-foot three with 04.3 seconds. It was not a bad shot, but the third-year guard should have worked to get a better shot.

 “When it left my hands, I thought it was good,” Garland said. “All my shots were like that. But that one felt really good, just didn’t go in.” 

Bottom Line:

This was a game the Cavaliers should have won, but the Wizards were able to execute better down the stretch. Washington is the more experienced team, and it showed in this one. Cleveland is without many of their key pieces(Sexton, Love, and Markkanen), but they continue to battle to their credit.

What’s Next:

Cleveland continues their four-game homestand on Friday against the Pistons.

Best of the Rest:

-Montrezl Harrell led Washington with 24 points and 11 rebounds off the bench. Cleveland did a decent job on Wizards star Bradley Beal, who had only 13 points on 4/19 shooting from the field.

-Cavs Jarrett Allen had his fifth consecutive double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Wizards’ Scott Brooks has not seen anybody dominate like Joel Embiid since Hakeem Olajuwon

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid has been dominant this season and dominant thus far in the playoffs. During the regular season, Embiid averaged 28.5 points and 10.6 rebounds a game, and he has been just as good in the postseason. In three games against Washington, Embiid is averaging 29.3 points and 7.0 rebounds per game.

Washington has not had an answer for Embiid in the regular season and the playoffs. In six games against the Wizards this season, all 76ers’ victories, Embiid is averaging 29.6 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.

According to Wizards head coach Scott Brooks, who played with Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon during his NBA career, Embiid dominates like the two-time NBA champion.

“I was fortunate enough to play with Olajuwon for almost three years,” Brooks said on Sunday.

“(Embiid) ‘s doing things that I haven’t seen since. His seventh year in the league, he’s been able to see it all now, and he’s seen all the defenses, seen all the schemes, and he’s skilled. He’s a skilled, athletic, tough, high-IQ basketball player.”

The key for Embiid is health. While he has been dominant this season and in this series, he did miss 21 games in the regular season, so staying healthy is essential for Embiid. However, based on the way he’s trending, Embiid has everything it takes to be the next great center in NBA history. 

Watch below as Brooks talks Embiid:

Wizards’ Beal on Embiid: ‘He’s a special talent’

The Washington Wizards had no answer for Joel Embiid in Game 3 of their first-round series on Saturday night; the MVP finalist shot 14/18 from the field, including 3/4 from three-point range to score a playoff career-high 36 points in 28 minutes of action as the 76ers defeated Washington 132-103 on Saturday night at Capital One Arena.

With the victory, Philadelphia takes a commanding 3-0 lead with a chance to sweep the series on Monday night. Every player in Philly’s starting lineup scored in double figures. Tobias Harris had 20 points and 13 rebounds, and Danny Green added 15 points, including five threes. 

Philadelphia shot 58% from the field on Saturday night and shot 51% from three-point range(17/33).

Washington cannot do anything to slow Embiid down. The four-time All-star is averaging 29.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 2.7 assists in this series. There was a big crowd at Capital One Arena for the first time this season, and at times, you could hear “MVP’ chants for Embiid in D.C.

“I can’t imagine anybody playing better than him,” Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said about Embiid. “That was MVP-level tonight. Tried different things on him tonight. Good player. He’s definitely a handful.”

Bradley Beal, who had 25 points in Game 3, talked about the greatness of Embiid.

“He’s a special talent,” Beal said. “You gotta respect him and tip your cap to him. Our whole game plan is basically centered around him. He’s a three-level scorer. He can score from outside on the three. He’s not like most bigs in the league; he can put the ball on the floor, shoot 3s, plays like a guard. It’s kind of crazy.”

Russell Westbrook(ankle) was a game-time decision, and to no one’s surprise, the former MVP played in Game 3 and had a triple-double with 26 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists.

“I kind of knew after last game he was going to play,” Beal said. “Even if it was for two minutes, he was going to play.”

Now, the Wizards try to avoid the sweep on Monday night, which won’t be easy. Washington has many questions but little to no answers for what Philly is throwing at them. They tried to insert Davis Bertans in the lineup to get more size and shooting, but that did not work as the team shot 8/35 from three-point range. 

Philly is just a bad matchup for Washington. Including the regular season, the 76ers are 6-0 against the Wizards. Even a 60-point outburst from Beal in the regular season was not enough to beat Philadelphia, so it’s going to take an extraordinary performance from a few different players for Washington to get a game in this series.

 

Cavs’ Jarrett Allen is excited about the future

On Friday night, the Washington Wizards(33-38) did what the Cleveland Cavaliers(22-49) set out to do this season. That is making the Play-In Tournament, and Washington did that by defeating the Cavaliers 120-105 at Capital One Arena.

Russell Westbrook had career triple-double number 183 on Friday night as he had 21 points, 17 assists, and 12 rebounds. For Cleveland, Collin Sexton had a game-high 26 points, Jarrett Allen had 18 points and 14 rebounds, and rookie Isaac Okoro had 17 points, six rebounds, and five assists.

Washington is currently in the 10th spot in the East and could get as high as eight if a few things go their way. The Wizards finish the season at home against the Hornets on Sunday. 

As for Cleveland, they finish off the season in Brooklyn against the Nets on Sunday. Cleveland has dropped 12 of their last 13 games, and while this season was a disappointment for the Cavaliers, Allen, who will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season, believes the future is bright for this team.

“I think we have the pieces,” Allen said. “It’s tough because we haven’t seen them in three weeks on the court… But just look at us before All-Star break; we went on a four-game winning streak. That’s when we were playing, arguably, our best basketball when I was here. From there, it just went up and down.”

Allen has also seen improvements from Cleveland’s young players.

“Over these past couple of weeks, if you look at the core, you can pick out one thing that everybody has improved on,” Allen said. “From Darius Garland, Isaac(Okoro), Collin(Sexton), throw me in there. Just everybody has been improving in little ways. Showing that we have the talent to be that team. It’s just going to take experience and time.”

At this point, Cleveland has to focus on the positives, and Garland, Sexton, Allen, and Okoro have been positives this season. If those guys can get better in the offseason and things work out in the lottery, maybe the Cavaliers will be having a different discussion this time next season. 

Notes:

-Garland returned on Friday night after missing seven games with a sprained ankle. In 12 minutes off the bench, Garland had three points and two assists.

-Kevin Love missed Friday’s game due to rest.