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Grunfeld explains trade for Morris: 'We needed a jolt'


Grunfeld explains trade for Morris: 'We needed a jolt'

After Thursday's deal to acquire Markieff Morris from the Phoenix Suns had been approved by the NBA, Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld spelled out the reasons which were obvious: Versatility and toughness.

"We feel like we needed a jolt at this time," said Grunfeld, during halftime vs. the Utah Jazz at Verizon Center. "We needed another player in the frontcourt, someone with some athleticism. A versatile player and when this situation came up we had to take advantage of it. He's a proven NBA player."

Morris had been a problem all season with Phoenix and had public altercations on the bench with his coach and teammates. The Wizards had to give up Kris Humphries, DeJuan Blair and a top-9 protected 2016 first-round pick.  

"He can make the 18-foot, 19-foot jumper, he can put it down, he can pass the basketball well. He can play one of the three frontcourt positions," Grunfeld said. "He has a good physicality about him. He plays with toughness. We've been very inconsistent in the first half of the season.

"Our defense hasn't been like we wanted it to be, like hit has been the last two or three years. Hopefully he can help us along those lines. We needed someone to play with a little bit of a chip on their shoulder and has something to prove."

Grunfeld also confirmed an earlier report from CSNmidatlantic.com that by acquiring Morris, the amount the Wizards can offer under the Disabled Player Exception they still have from waiving Martell Webster has dropped. It was as much as a $2.8 million exception, but as an over-the-salary-cap team they only could've used about $2.4 million to stay under the luxury tax.

After this deal with Morris, who will make an average of $8 million in the next two seasons, the largest they can offer with a DPE to a free agent is just over $1 million.

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

Instead of visiting the White House when they come to Washington this week to play the Wizards, the defending-champion Golden State Warriors plan to hold an event with D.C.-area kids.

Their invitation was rescinded by president Donald Trump following a back-and-forth between the two sides last year. After the Warriors won the title, they openly questioned whether they should follow the tradition given many of the players and coaches disagree with his policies. Trump took the opportunity away before they came to a final decision.


The Warriors' event will be closed off to the media and held at an undisclosed location. It is set for Tuesday, the day before they play the Wizards at Capital One Arena. The Warriors had the option of holding a ceremony with other politicians in the Democratic party, but decided that would send the wrong message. 

"It's their championship. They got disinvited to the White House, so it's up to them what they wanted to do. So they made their plans," coach Steve Kerr said. "I want the players to have a good day and to do something positive and to enjoy what they're doing."

The Warriors are the first NBA team to make this choice since Trump was elected president. Last season, the Cleveland Cavaliers held their celebration with president Barack Obama in November. They did so just days after Trump was elected and LeBron James questioned at the time whether he would visit the White House with Trump in office.


Sports teams visiting the White House goes back to the mid-1800s. The first World Series title team to visit was the 1924 Washington Senators. By the 1960s, NBA teams were going and by the 1980s NFL and NHL teams made it a tradition.

Entire teams snubbing the White House is unusual, but many players have turned down the opportunity. In the NBA, some famous cases include Larry Bird in 1984 and Michael Jordan in 1991, according to Rolling Stone.

Perhaps the Warriors start a trend, or maybe it will be a one-off thing. Regardless, the alternative they chose is a respectable one. 



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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Wizards' 122-105 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night...

1. This was a tough one for the Wizards. For the third time this season, they got beaten by the Hornets and for the second straight time it was in a blowout.

They still had their moments, though, including this alley-oop from Tomas Satoransky (11 points) to Markieff Morris (13 points, eight assists, six rebounds). It was the second alley-oop connection for those two in as many games:


2. This was a play that encapsulated the Wizards' night. Jodie Meeks drew a flagrant foul on Michael Carter-Williams, but took a hard shot to the head:

3. Kelly Oubre, Jr. had a solid game with 11 points, including this big dunk:


4. Speaking of Oubre, he helped the Wizards close the first half with a late surge. The real highlight was Bradley Beal stealing the ball and hitting a corner three at the buzzer:

5. Beal ended up with 33 points, six assists and six rebounds. Here's an and-1 he got to go down in the second half:

All in all, it was an ugly performance for the Wizards. To cheer you up, we'll leave you with this young fan who had a great time at Capital One Arena despite the result: