Wizards

NBA Capsules

NBA Capsules

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Darrell Arthur scored 20 points and Mike Conley added 19 as the Memphis Grizzlies beat Los Angeles 106-93 Wednesday night, handing the Lakers their fourth straight loss and 10th in 12 games.

Los Angeles lost its seventh consecutive road game, and center Dwight Howard missed the second half after aggravating his sore shoulder in the first half.

Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph and Tony Allen added 12 points apiece as Memphis improved to 12-0 when scoring at least 100 points. Randolph also grabbed 10 rebounds. The Grizzlies had a 60-34 edge in the paint with Howard sidelined during the second half.

Kobe Bryant scored 29 points for the Lakers and Metta World Peace added 15.

HEAT 123, RAPTORS 116, OT

MIAMI (AP) - Dwyane Wade scored 35 points, LeBron James got his 34th career triple-double and Miami rallied from a 15-point deficit to beat Toronto.

James finished with 31 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for Miami, getting the last board on Toronto's final shot of the night. Wade added seven assists, including the one that set up Ray Allen for the 3-pointer that clinched the win with 59.3 seconds left in overtime.

Allen scored 18, Mario Chalmers added 14 and Chris Bosh had 12 points and 12 rebounds for Miami. The Heat finished overtime on a 13-2 run, climbing out of a four-point hole.

Alan Anderson scored 20 points for Toronto, leading seven Raptors in double figures.

NETS 91, TIMBERWOLVES 83

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Brook Lopez strengthened his case for a spot on the All-Star team with 22 points on 10-for-16 shooting, helping Brooklyn hold off Minnesota.

The Nets improved to 12-2 under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo, and they're 9-1 with their preferred starting lineup: Lopez, the NBA's highest-scoring center, Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace and Reggie Evans. Williams and Johnson scored 18 points apiece, and the Nets never trailed despite some sloppy stretches of play.

C.J. Watson added 14 points for the Nets, who won for the first time in their last nine games at Minnesota. The Wolves have lost seven of eight overall.

Andrei Kirilenko had 15 points for the Wolves, who played without shooting guard Alexey Shved (left ankle) and center Nikola Pekovic (right quadriceps) for the third straight game.

SUNS 106, KINGS 96

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Luis Scola scored 21 points and Phoenix won its first game under new coach Lindsey Hunter, beating Sacramento.

The Suns, tied with New Orleans for the worst record in the Western Conference at 14-28, outplayed the Kings in the second half, quieting a Sacramento crowd that was watching the Kings for the first time since the announced sale of the team to a group of Seattle businessmen.

Michael Beasley had 13 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, when the Suns outscored Sacramento 32-19. Marcin Gortat, Goran Dragic and Shannon Brown scored 12 apiece for Phoenix, which has won two straight road games but is 4-17 away from home.

Tyreke Evans scored 16 points and DeMarcus Cousins had 15 points and 15 rebounds for the Kings. Cousins, who committed six of Sacramento's 25 turnovers, was called for his 10th technical foul in the fourth quarter for delay of game.

BULLS 85, PISTONS 82

CHICAGO (AP) - Nate Robinson had 11 points and seven assists in 21 minutes off the bench, leading a furious fourth-quarter comeback that carried Chicago past Detroit.

Joakim Noah sacrificed his body to save a loose ball, which Marco Belinelli converted into a game-winning basket with 7 seconds left. Tayshaun Prince and Rodney Stuckey each missed potential tying 3-pointers at the other end.

Robinson put the Bulls on his back, scoring nine straight points early in the fourth as Chicago overcame a 17-point deficit to beat the Pistons for the 17th straight time.

Detroit (16-26) fell to 4-15 on the road. The Pistons had won nine of 13 overall.

TRAIL BLAZERS 100, PACERS 80

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - LaMarcus Aldridge scored 27 points and Portland beat Indiana to snap a six-game losing streak.

Rookie gaurd Damian Lillard added 20 points and eight assists for the Trail Blazers, who also stopped a four-game skid at home and avoided dropping five straight at the Rose Garden for the first time since 2006.

J.J. Hickson had 14 points and 13 rebounds for his 24th double-double this season. Portland shot a season-high 56.4 percent from the floor.

Paul George had 22 points and seven rebounds for the Pacers, who had won seven straight against Western Conference teams, their longest streak since 2004.

HAWKS 104, BOBCATS 92

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Josh Smith had 30 points and 13 rebounds, and Atlanta snapped a six-game road losing streak with a win over Charlotte.

Kyle Korver added 21 points on 5-of-6 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc as the Hawks sent the Bobcats to their 16th straight home loss, three shy of the NBA record.

Smith finished two assists shy of a triple-double. Ivan Johnson added 12 points and 15 rebounds.

Ramon Sessions led the Bobcats with a season-high 27 points.

The win gave the Hawks a four-game sweep of the season series and extended their overall winning streak to seven against the Bobcats.

NUGGETS 105, ROCKETS 95

HOUSTON (AP) - Ty Lawson scored 21 points, Wilson Chandler had 20 and Denver pulled away in the third quarter against mistake-prone Houston.

Danilo Gallinari sank three 3-pointers and scored 18 points for the Nuggets, who converted 28 points off 23 Houston turnovers to beat the Rockets for the fifth straight time.

James Harden scored 23 points and Omer Asik grabbed 13 rebounds for the Rockets, who have lost eight of nine. Jeremy Lin watched the fourth quarter from the bench for the second straight game.

Denver took control with a 21-5 burst late in the third quarter, turning a flurry of Rockets turnovers into easy baskets.

SPURS 106, HORNETS 102

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Tony Parker had 24 points and 13 assists as San Antonio rallied past New Orleans, overcoming the absence of Tim Duncan and coach Gregg Popovich for its 15th straight win at home.

Tiago Splitter added 25 points and seven rebounds, and Stephen Jackson scored 15 for the Spurs.

Eric Gordon had 17 points for the Hornets and Ryan Anderson added 16.

The Spurs trailed most of the game with Popovich (undisclosed illness), Duncan (sore left knee) and Kawhi Leonard (left patella bruise) all sitting out.

JAZZ 92, WIZARDS 88

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Paul Millsap had 16 points and 15 rebounds to help Utah hold off Washington.

The Jazz led by 22 points in the second quarter and 15 entering the fourth, but the road-weary Wizards fought back to within two on Kevin Seraphin's jumper with 6:57 left.

Millsap's putback put Utah up by seven, but the Wizards came back again as Utah went cold. Millsap's 14-foot baseline jumper with 21 seconds left halted a nearly 3-minute scoreless stretch for the Jazz and bumped their lead to 90-84.

Martell Webster's third 3-pointer cut Utah's lead to 90-87 with 15 seconds left, but ex-Wizards guard Randy Foye made both free throws with 11 seconds remaining to seal it.

Quick Links

'Sincere interest': Latest on Pelicans' exploring trade for Wizards All-Star Bradley Beal

'Sincere interest': Latest on Pelicans' exploring trade for Wizards All-Star Bradley Beal

While the Washington Wizards struggled defensively last season, the organization is holding firm when it comes to rebuffing offers for Bradley Beal.

The New Orleans Pelicans showed sincere interest in the two-time All-Star before Saturday’s blockbuster that sent Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers. That curiosity remains and the two sides broadly discussed a trade scenario involving Beal, multiple sources told NBC Sports Washington.

The Pelicans are open to dealing the newly acquired fourth overall selection in Thursday’s NBA Draft according to numerous reports. New Orleans also landed three young players from Los Angeles -- Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart -- plus additional future picks and pick swaps.

Whatever the initial parameters, the conversation never veered close to actual negotiations, according to a source.

The basis for trading Beal centers on maximizing his asset value with two years and $56 million remaining on his original five-year contract signed in 2016. Washington likely struggles next season with fellow guard John Wall out and an evolving roster that currently has only five players with guaranteed contracts.

This one rejection does not mean Washington has completely shut the door on future talks with teams. However, the sense from league sources is the team plans on keeping Beal despite ample interest from contenders.

Beal, who turns 26 this month, just completed a near All-NBA season in which he and MVP candidate James Harden were the only players to average 25 points, five rebounds, five assists and 1.5 steals per game. The ascending talent is the lone healthy starter on the roster with Wall sidelined until 2020 with a torn Achilles.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS

Quick Links

Looking back at the Capitals’ 2014 NHL Draft: When is trading up not worth it?

vrana-usat.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Looking back at the Capitals’ 2014 NHL Draft: When is trading up not worth it?

The NHL Draft takes place on June 21 and 22. The Capitals hold the 25th overall pick and will be looking for future stars among all the hopeful prospects.

But just how successful has Washington been in finding those stars? How much value have the Caps found through the draft?

NBC Sports Washington will be looking at how Washington has drafted over the last 10 years. Today’s draft: 2014

13th overall pick (first round): Jakub Vrana F

Vrana was the last forward the Caps have taken in the first round of the draft, and in him, they got a good one. Vrana came to North America at the end of his SHL season in 2015, playing in three games with the Hershey Bears. He reached the NHL in the 2016-17 season for 21 games, and then he was back with the Caps to stay in the 2017-18 season.

In his final season with the Bears, Vrana was benched in the playoffs, and it seemed he had mentally moved on to the NHL. Some criticism over his work ethic sprung up again this summer during his time playing for his native Czech Republic at the World Championships. From what we have seen in Washington, however, nothing could be further from the truth.

Vrana is one of the hardest workers on the team and is always one of the last players off the ice every day at practice. This is not something the players have told us, this is something I have personally witnessed at Medstar Capitals Iceplex. He has the speed and skill to be a top-6 player, and his numbers back that up.

In 176 NHL games, Vrana has 40 goals and 40 assists and has cemented his spot in the top two lines in Washington.

39th overall pick (second round): Vitek Vanecek G

Washington moved up in the draft to snag Vanecek in the second round, giving up their second- and third-round picks to the Buffalo Sabres to move up five spots.

Vanecek is often overshadowed by fellow goalie prospect Ilya Samsonov, and though the ceiling does not ultimately appear to be as high, he is doing his best to show he still has NHL potential. Vanecek’s North American career began in the 2015-16 season which he spent mainly in South Carolina in the ECHL. He has spent the last three seasons in Hershey and was named an AHL all-star in 2018-19.

Playing in tandem with Samsonov, Vanecek had the better season but also looks to be much closer to being developed. I would project his ceiling to be as an NHL backup.

44th overall pick (second round): Traded to the Buffalo Sabres

This pick was traded to Buffalo as part of the Vanecek deal. They took forward Eric Cornel who, at 23, is still trying to break into the NHL after 216 games in the AHL.

74th overall pick (third round): Traded to the Buffalo Sabres

This pick was traded to Buffalo as part of the Vanecek deal. The Sabres took defenseman Brycen Martin whose NHL prospects look grim at this point as he continues playing in the ECHL with only 19 games in the AHL. He did not play in the AHL at all in 2018-19.

89th pick (third round): Nathan Walker F

The Caps made Walker the first Australian taken in the draft in NHL history. Walker had already played a year in Hershey, so the team had some familiarity with him, which is why it was willing to trade up to get him. Washington traded two fourth-round picks to the New York Rangers to acquire this pick.

Since then, he has spent the last five seasons playing primarily with the Bears with seven games up in Washington.

Walker is a good AHL player and a possible fit as an NHL fourth liner.

104th overall pick (fourth round): Traded to New York Rangers

This pick was traded to New York as part of the Walker deal. The Rangers used it to select defenseman Ryan Mantha. His career is in jeopardy after a blood clot damaged his central retinal artery and affected his vision in his left eye.

115th overall pick (fourth round): Acquired from the Anaheim Ducks, traded back to the Anaheim Ducks

In 2013, Washington traded Mathieu Perreault to Anaheim for John Mitchell and a fourth-round pick. The Caps traded this pick back to Anaheim in 2014 for Dustin Penner. The pick was then traded to the Dallas Stars, who took goalie Brent Moran.

Moran played four seasons in the OHL and now currently plays for Nipissing University. He seems like a longshot to reach the NHL at this point.

118th overall pick (fourth round): Acquired from the New York Islanders, traded to the New York Rangers

This pick was traded to the Rangers as part of the Walker deal. The Caps originally acquired this pick from the New York Islanders for goalie Jaroslav Halak. The Rangers took goalie Igor Shestyorkin. He has not yet played in North America, but his numbers in the KHL are outrageous. Last season playing for SKA St. Petersburg, he had a 1.11 GAA and .953 save percentage in 28 games. He is expected to play in the AHL with Hartford next season.

134th overall pick (fifth round): Shane Gersich F

After three years at the University of North Dakota, Gersich signed a professional contract near the end of the 2017-18 season and jumped right in the NHL, playing in five games for the Caps in the regular season and playoffs combined. He spent his second professional season in Hershey where he scored eight goals and 16 assists in 66 games.

Gersich is a fast winger who can be a bottom-six NHL forward, but still needs a bit more time to develop to get there.

159th overall pick (sixth round): Steven Spinner F

The Caps acquired this pick and goalie Edward Pasquale in a trade with the Winnipeg Jets for a sixth- and two seventh-round picks.

Spinner played four years in college but did not hold out for free agency and signed a professional contract. He played two total games with the Hershey Bears at the end of the 2018-19 season.

164th overall pick (sixth round): Traded to the Winnipeg Jets

Traded to the Jets in the deal mentioned above. The Jets used it on forward Pavel Kraskovsky who is still playing in the KHL.

192nd overall pick (seventh round): Acquired from the Nashville Predators, traded to the Winnipeg jets

Traded to the Jets in the deal mentioned above. The Jets used it on forward Matt Ustaski. He played four years in the University of Wisconsin and has played in one AHL game and 21 total ECHL games since going pro.

194th overall pick (seventh round): Kevin Elgestal F

Elgestal has spent his hockey career playing in Sweden. He played a few preseason games with the Caps but really seemed to struggle. The Caps no longer hold his NHL rights.

Takeaways

The Caps traded up to get Vanecek in the second round and Walker in the third. If you have been following along with these draft profiles, you have probably noticed by now that it is really hard to find value later in the draft. If you can find a player you like in the first three rounds and it will only take lower draft picks to get there, you do it because you probably are not losing very much.

Having said that, goalies are a bit different and typically slip down in the draft. When you trade up to take a goalie in the second round, that means you believe you have found a bonafide NHL starter. That’s probably not what they have in Vanecek, That third-round pick Washington traded away came five spots before Brayden Point was taken by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Point flew under everyone’s radar in the draft, obviously, as he fell to the third round. Though there is no guarantee Washington would have used that pick on Point, it is maddening to think that the Caps legitimately had a chance to take Point but instead traded up to take Vanecek.

The good news for this draft is that Vrana looks like he will be a great top-6 producer, they found fifth-round value in Gersich who can be an NHL third-liner and they ultimately did not lose that much in their trades up the draft even if neither turned into a home run.

MORE CAPITALS NEWS