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Wizards trim roster to 15 players for regular season


Wizards trim roster to 15 players for regular season

The Wizards said goodbye to all their five free agents, persons with knowledge of the situation told CSNmidatlantic.com, on Saturday before the 5 p.m. ET deadline to pare down the roster to the maximum 15 guaranteed contracts before their regular season tips Oct. 28 at the Orlando Magic. 

From the beginning it was a long shot for any of them to make it on non-guaranteed deals, but there was a small window particularly in the middle where DeJuan Blair's spot was in question after his dismal 2014-15 season when he played sparingly and was out of shape. Blair, however, responded by dropping 30 pounds and averaging 13 points and 8.3 rebounds off the bench in the preseason.

Josh Harrellson: He has the size at 6-10 but what made him unique is the three-point range which would seem like a good fit for a team such as the Wizards that has put a premium on shooters to spread the floor. Harrellson didn't do anything to hurt himself and could find his way back into the NBA. As a "spread" five he could do for a team what Pero Antic did in contributing to the Atlanta Hawks' 60-win season. He scored double-digits in three of the seven preseason games.

Jaleel Roberts: When he arrived, it was with the future in mind and not this season. Roberts is raw and a true center at 7-1. He's a project and the Wizards have invested a lot of time in his development, first having in for Las Vegas summer league and then paying him to attend Tim Grgurich's private skills camp. More than likely, he'll be back at some point in the summer of 2016 to get another look. Roberts scored 10 total points in three preseason appearances.

Toure' Murry: He signed a series of two 10-day contracts late last season but an injury ruined his run. Then as part of the Wizards' Las Vegas summer league, a groin injury thwarted his progress. Murry thought he had a legitimate shot at cracking the 15 but he's similar to Garrett Temple in that he's a defense-first guard and not a shooter/scorer. By having Temple, retaining Murry wouldn't make much sense because of the redundancy. He scored 14 points in four games. 

Ish Smith: The point guard's arrival here was a bit puzzling since the Wizards already have Ramon Sessions, who is bigger and a better scorer. Smith was the best point guard for the Philadelphia 76ers last season and easily could've secured a guaranteed deal of some sort there. If he's on the market next summer (Sessions is a free agent) then he could pan out. The timing wasn't right. He had 11 points and 20 assists in five games, missing one because of an ankle sprain.

Jaron Johnson: At 6-6 he has good size but he didn't have much of a chance to play. He appeared in six games but never more than seven minutes, scoring 12 points.

MORE WIZARDS: Wizards drop preseason finale as Carroll, Lowry team up for RaptorsThe 

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Scott Brooks, Ramon Sessions hoping for best with Tyronn Lue's health issues

USA Today Sports Images

Scott Brooks, Ramon Sessions hoping for best with Tyronn Lue's health issues

As a fellow NBA head coach, Scott Brooks understands what Tyronn Lue of the Cleveland Cavaliers is going through. As his former teammate, Ramon Sessions knows how tough Lue is.

Both members of the Wizards shared their reactions after Monday's practice to the news Lue is stepping away from the Cavs to deal with a health issue. Both expressed hope Lue will not be out long as the NBA continues its trek towards the playoffs.

"All of our thoughts are with him," Brooks said. "You hope that it's nothing serious. Health is the most important [thing]. The game is secondary."


"Prayers out to T-Lue," said Sessions, who played with Lue in Milwaukee. "It's one of those things where you've gotta take care of yourself at the end of the day. Him stepping away is the best thing."

Lue's illness has been a mystery to doctors, according to a statement he released on the Cavaliers' website. He has dealt with chest pains and other symptoms while also struggling to sleep. The hope is that having time off will allow him to get the rest he needs.


Brooks knows firsthand how difficult it is to get sleep during the regular season as a coach.

"You just have to figure out ways to get your rest. Some days are better than others. Sometimes you think after a good win you can have a good night's rest or sometimes it's the opposite. It's just hard to get rest. You're traveling in different timezones. You are emotional after games. You eat late. There are a lot of factors that go into it. We don't have a set schedule every night. I have a good staff and I rely on them," he said.

Lue, 40, will be replaced by associate head coach Larry Drew in the interim. The Cavs happen to be in a tight playoff race with the Wizards and other teams in the Eastern Conference battling for position.

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Phil Chenier tells stories ahead of his jersey retirement

Associated Press

Wizards Tipoff podcast: Phil Chenier tells stories ahead of his jersey retirement

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, host Chase Hughes was joined by Bullets/Wizards legend Phil Chenier ahead of his jersey retirement set for this upcoming weekend on March 23.

Chenier looked back on his playing and broadcasting career and told great stories. He also shared some memories of the 1978 championship as the franchise gets ready to honor its 40th anniversary.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!