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The Washington Wizards have signed veteran forward Brian Cook to a non-guaranteed contract, according to Michael Lee of The Washington Post. Cook was acquired by the Wizards in the trade that sent Nick Young to the Clippers. He played in 16 games, averaging less than 10 minutes per contest. For his career, he averages 5.5 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. Cook and the Wizards have been in continual contact with training camp just two weeks away. He had also apparently received some interest from the Suns.
The addition of Cook pushes the roster to 18. The Wizards also gave point guard Steven Gray, center Earl Barron, and forward Shavlik Randolph non-guaranteed deals earlier in September. Washington has an open 15th spot on the roster heading into training camp, which opens at George Mason on October 2.
Henry Sims, a former Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball player, was signed by the New York Knicks Tuesday, ESPN New York's Ian Begley is reporting. Sims, who appeared in the NBA's Las Vegas Summer League with both the Utah Jazz and the Chicago Bulls, was one of a handful of signings for New York, which was trying expand its roster to the training camp maximum of 20.
Sims (6'10, 245 pounds) played four years for the Hoyas and averaged 11.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and a team-high 3.5 assists and 1.4 blocks per game in his senior season. The 22-year-old was a bit of a late bloomer for Georgetown, which used him as a backup to Greg Monroe, who's now with the Detroit Pistons.
Sims is a Baltimore native and an alumnus of Mount St. Joseph's High School.
Blatche showed talent during his time in a Wizards uniform, but never seemed to put it all together. The knocks on Blatche include a complete lack of focus and a low basketball IQ, something the Nets are obviously hoping he'll improve on.
The 6'11 forward was a second-round pick by Washington in 2005, and had his best season in 2010-11 when he averaged 16.8 points per game. The Syracuse, N.Y. native has averaged double digits in points three times, including 2009-10, when he poured in just over 14 points per contest.
Despite his size, Blatche has never really become a solid defender and rebounder. The power forward only has a season-high of 8.2 rebounds, showing his lack of dominance in the paint.
The Washington Wizards will sign sharpshooting swingman Martell Webster, according to reports. Webster was a free agent after being released by the Minnesota Timberwolves this summer during their aggressive pursuit of Nicolas Batum.
Marc Stein of ESPN reported the news just one day after revealing that Webster had worked out for the Wizards. Webster has had back issues in his career, but Stein reports that he is recovering well from the back surgery he had before last season.
The swingman's biggest asset is his shooting, and he'll likely consistently spot up on the outside and try to be the beneficiary of John Wall's penetration. Mike Prada of Bullets Forever highlights what Webster brings to the table:
When healthy, which is a big if given his history of back problems, Webster is mostly a spot-up shooter. Last season, 64 of his 270 shot attempts were spot-up three-pointers, according to MySynergySports.com. He had a down year shooting, hitting just 36 percent of those attempts and 33 percent from three-point range overall. However, he was much better two years ago, nailing nearly 44 percent of his 78 spot-up three-point attempts and 42.5 percent from three-point range overall. He is a fairly one-dimensional player, but the Wizards do need the one dimension that he brings to the table.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed but it's likely that the contract is for the veteran's minimum.
Update: Webster's contract is a one-year deal worth approximately $1.6 million, sources tell SI's Sam Amick.
The Washington Wizards have expressed interest in several free agents. They have shown their interest in possibly signing players such as guard Michael Redd, forward Terrence Williams and forward Shawne Williams. While the Wizards are not in a desperate need for players, they could be looking to fill out the roster.
A league source added that the team has watched a few free agents in Washington and elsewhere to see if there is a need to add another player to the current 13-man roster. They are about $3 million under the salary cap but are seeking to fill out the roster with players on minimum salaries.
Wizards general manager Ernie Grunfeld drafted Redd for the Milwaukee Bucks in 2000. The former Olympic gold medalist played for the Phoenix Suns last season, after missing the previous three seasons with knee problems. Last season he averaged 8.2 points per game.
Terrence Williams played 18 games for the Sacremento Kings, averaging 8.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. Shawne Williams played for the New Jersey Nets last season, averaging 4.5 points and 2.7 rebounds per game.
Webster, 25, played in 47 games (26 starts) for the Minnesota Timberwolves last season and averaged 6.9 points and 3.6 rebounds in 24.3 minutes per game. He was waived by Minnesota in July. The veteran averages 1.3 made three-pointers per game for his career. Webster also has a 37.4 percent career average from behind the arc.
Webster, the No. 6 pick in the 2005 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers, has had a number of back injuries in recent seasons which have limited his time on the court. Webster missed 19 games last season with the Timberwolves due to a back injury.
The Washington Wizards cut ties with the enigmatic and frustrating Andray Blatche three weeks ago, designating him as the team's amnesty player under the NBA's new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Now a free agent, it appears despite his spotty past, big time NBA teams are interested in perhaps the flashes of promise Blatche showed at times in his career in Washington. Via Mark Stein of ESPN:
Blatche, the 49th pick in the 2005 NBA draft, averaged 9.9 points and 5.4 rebounds a game in 409 contests with the Wizards.
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James Singleton played just a few months with the Washington Wizards following a mid-season trade in the 2009-10 season before declining a contract from the team in September 2010 to sign with a team in China. He returned to the Wizards in 2012, playing 12 games with the team, but will again choose not to sign with the team, according to his agent.
Speaking to Craig Stouffer of the Washington Examiner, Singleton's agent said his client will not be returning to the Wizards after declining the team's contract offer. Michael Lee of the Washington Post confirmed the report, saying that the Wizards were unwilling to go above the veteran minimum for the forward.
In 12 games, Singleton averaged just under 22 minutes per game with 8.2 points and 6.8 rebounds.
NBA free agency is still rolling right along, albeit slowed down significantly, but players are still being picked up by franchises to help fill out rosters. The New Orleans Hornets have signed former Washington Wizards guard Roger Mason, according to Marc Spears of Yahoo!.
Free agent guard Roger Mason has agreed to terms on a contract with the New Orleans Hornets, a source tells Yahoo! Sports.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) August 1, 2012
Mason spent the 2011-2012 season with the Wizards, averaging nearly 14 minutes per game and 5.5 points per game. Mason will offer a back up to rookie guard Austen Rivers on the Hornets roster, much like he did for the Wizards this past season. The Hornets needed another shooter, which is a role that Mason can fill.
Price played three years with the Indiana Pacers, who drafted him out of the University of Connecticut with the 52nd overall pick of the 2009 NBA Draft and renounced their rights to him earlier this month.
I was not devastated or down by any means," Price said on a media conference call Tuesday afternoon. "I felt comfortable with my performance [and] that some teams would be interested enough to make offers which they did.
"Looking at [Washington's] roster, I could see the backup point guard position was in need," Price went on. "I think I have an opportunity to come in and play, contribute right away. I know my role as a player in this league."
"A.J. is an experienced and dependable player who fits in well with the mix of proven veterans and young players we have on our roster," Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld said in a statement released by the team. "Adding him will help to bring depth to our backcourt rotation."
The Washington Wizards have signed point guard A.J. Price to the team on Tuesday. The Wizards signed him to be a back up point guard to John Wall, according to a tweet by Washington Post NBA writer Michael Lee.
Seeking a backup for John Wall, #wizards have agreed to terms with free agent PG A.J. Price. Price has been with IND past 3 years.— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) July 24, 2012
Price has played his entire career with the Indiana Pacers, after being drafted by the Pacers in the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft out of Connecticut. In his career, Price has averaged six points and two assists per game while shooting 37.5 percent from the field and about 31 percent from three point range. The Wizards continue to make decent moves to bring in some new players to change the culture of the team from previous years.
But that distinction hasn't stopped them from going out and improving their basketball team this summer and all of their moves have earned them a B+ rating from ESPN's Chad Ford in his offseason grades.
Ford praised the additions of Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor while not sacrificing the development of their younger players. With Nene already in the fold, the starting five looks promising for the Wizards.
Adding Nene at the trade deadline was the first major shift, but the addition of Okafor and Ariza solidifies their front line. They now have toughness, some athleticism and some real defensive punch.
Many scouts believed Beal was the second-best player in the draft - a sweet shooting 2 who resembles Eric Gordon. The Wizards desperately needed to pair John Wall with a shooter, and Beal looks like the perfect fit.
Cartier Martin has bounced between NBA teams, the D-League, Italy, Turkey and China during his professional basketball career, but he appears to have finally found a landing spot in the NBA. The Washington Wizards, who Martin has played for off-and-on over the last three years, was signed by the team on Thursday. They announced the deal in a press release and did not disclose the terms of the contract.
General manager Ernie Grunfeld spoke about why the team re-signed Martin and what he brings to the table.
"Cartier has been with our team for parts of the past three seasons and he has always made a positive contribution both on the court and in the locker room. In addition to his three-point shooting touch, he is a good defender and gives us another solid veteran to help solidify our bench."
Martin had a career high 9.3 points per game in the 2011-12 season, in which he played 17 games. He also shot a career best 44 percent from the floor.
The Houston Rockets withdrew their qualifying offer to two-guard Courtney Lee, making him an unrestricted free agent. Lee is a capable and effective guard who could fit well with the new duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal. And Marc Spears of Yahoo! reports that Ernie Grunfeld and Washington are one of several teams now interested in Lee, via @SpearsNBAYahoo:
The Wizards have not been terribly busy during this first week of activity, but Lee can be a contributing piece who certainly won't be the most expensive player on the market. He has played for three teams in career, most notably bursting on the scene during the playoffs of his rookie campaign with the Magic before stops with the Nets and Rockets.
Cartier Martin has been a perfectly serviceable bench player for the Washington Wizards, with whom he's spent parts of the previous three seasons. In 17 games in D.C. in 2011-12, Martin averaged 9.3 points and 3.4 rebounds per game while shooting 38.7 percent from beyond the arc (29-for-75).
That's the sort of profile that will have at least one NBA team interested in you, and according to Ben Standig of CSNWashington.com, no less then three teams, including the Wizards, have an interest in retaining Martin for the 2012-13 season.
There is also the matter of available minutes in Washington at the small forward and wing guard positions.
Ariza played 32 minutes a game last season for the Hornets. Chris Singleton, one of the Wizards two 2011 first-round picks, played in all 66 games as a rookie during the truncated 2011-12 campaign. Jan Vesely and Trevor Booker also figure to receive playing time at small forward.
Martin proved himself to be a valuable role player for the Wizards over the past three seasons, and there's no question that he would provide a valuable service to the organization going forward. Let's see if the Wizards do enough to keep him.
The Washington Wizards are safely under the salary cap and with a complete 12-man roster, they don't really need to make any major free-agent acquisitions this summer.
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