Nationals

No surgery required for Love's broken hand

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No surgery required for Love's broken hand

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The Minnesota Timberwolves got a bit of good news Thursday when doctors told All-Star Kevin Love that he wouldn't need surgery on his broken right hand.

The bad news is they still have to figure out a way to replace his 26 points and 13 rebounds a game for the next six to eight weeks.

Love said in a statement Thursday that he broke his right hand while doing knuckle push-ups the day before in a pre-practice workout. The injury means the Wolves will be without their two best players - point guard Ricky Rubio isn't expected back until mid-December at the earliest because of a torn ACL in his left knee - for the first month of the regular season, and possibly longer.

``Although I'm disappointed that this injury happened, I will work extremely hard to stay in shape and return to the court as quickly as possible,'' Love said.

The situation is similar to what Wolves coach Rick Adelman had to deal with in Houston, when he lost stars Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming for extended stretches.

``I was just shocked,'' Adelman said when he was told of Love's injury. ``I couldn't believe it. Here we're trying to get ready and then we have something like this happen. I learned a long time ago. I've had so many injuries to good players, I've started to think maybe it's me.''

Adelman chuckled just a bit after uttering those words, but figuring out how to move on without his leading scorer and rebounder and without getting buried isn't going to be easy.

His options, however, are many. Starting small forward Andrei Kirilenko can move to the power forward against some teams, with Dante Cunningham, Lou Amundson and Derrick Williams also available to fill in.

If anyone thought it was Williams' spot by default, Adelman shot that down Thursday.

``Why would people assume that?'' Adelman asked. ``He's certainly one of the guys that has to play there, but it's going to be him, Dante, Lou, Andrei may play some there. That's what we're going to have to find out the next three games and the practices, what's the best way to go.''

Williams spent most of the summer reshaping his body and working on his ball-handling so he could earn more minutes at small forward with Love getting the bulk of the time at power forward. But he has done some of his best work at power forward, including a 22-point, 10-rebound performance against the Lakers on March 9 when Love couldn't play because of back spasms.

``I think it's a big opportunity for myself as well as DC and a few of the other guys on our team that can play multiple positions,'' Williams said. ``It really does (stink). He's a two-time All-Star and the best player on our team. We're just going to have to do without him, same without Ricky. We can't make any excuses.''

Williams impressed the coaches with his work ethic and aggressiveness early in training camp, but Adelman still wants to see more consistency from the No. 2 overall pick in last year's draft.

``It can't be one night, one game someone plays well and two games later he doesn't do anything and he gets lost out there,'' Adelman said. ``I'm looking for consistency from all those guys.''

Adelman was able to lead the Rockets to the playoffs when McGrady and Yao were injured, and the Timberwolves maintain that remains the goal in Minnesota this season.

``I'm hoping our guys respond like the guys in Houston did,'' he said. ``We can still win and we can still be successful. We just have to find out how we're going to do it. Guys have to step up.''

The Wolves have three more preseason games before opening the regular season at home against Sacramento on Nov. 2.

Adelman will spend that time exploring different combinations and lineups to try to find the right mix.

``He's obviously a big piece of our puzzle,'' Cunningham said. ``Right now we're dealing with a team coming together. For him to go down right now is definitely a blow to our team. But we're going to pick it up and move forward.''

If Adelman has his way, all workouts going forward will be push-up-free.

``I think that should be taken out of the repertoire for sure,'' he cracked. ``In fact, all push-ups. Anything to do with the hands. I looked over and saw Ricky doing push-ups after I heard about it. I said, `No, let's stop there.'''

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Follow Jon Krawczynski on Twitter:http://twitter.com/APkrawczynski

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Nationals Roundup: Rout of Miami guarantees series win for Nats

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Nationals Roundup: Rout of Miami guarantees series win for Nats

The Nationals used Sunday's nine-run offensive outburst to skate past the Marlins, 9-6. The win marks the team's first three-game winning streak of the season. 

Here are your news and notes surrounding the 2019 Washington Nationals as they head into Monday's series finale against the Miami Marlins. 

Players Notes:

NATIONALS (22-31): 

Erick Fedde's second start of the season went well for the 26-year-old. He pitched five scoreless innings of four-hit baseball, walked three Marlins and fanned four. 51 of his 83 pitches were thrown for strikes. 

Washington erupted offensively Sunday. Howie Kendrick enjoyed a 3-for-5 afternoon, including a solo shot and three RBIs.  Anthony Rendon's 6th inning triple marked his first of the season, and brought two across the plate. 

Juan Soto's 8th inning single marked his 10th game (tied career best) in a row he's reached base safely. 

James Borque made his major-league debut Sunday, and it did not go as planned. He fell short of completing one full inning, surrendering four earned runs on three hits and walking two Marlins. He threw 29 pitches. 

MARLINS (16-34):

Miami starting pitcher Caleb Smith was bounced after just three innings. The Nats knocked him for five hits and cashed in for five runs. The 27-year-old entered Sunday's start with a 2.38 ERA. 

Neil Walker had a 2-for-5 afternoon which featured his 8th inning 2-run home run that got Miami on the board. 

Injuries: 

SP Jeremy Hellickson: hamstring, expected to be out until at least May 31

RP Justin Miller: shoulder, expected to be out until at least May 31

SP Anibal Sanchez: hamstring, expected to be out until at least Jun 6

OF Andrew Stevenson: back, expected to be out until at least May 24

1B Ryan Zimmerman: foot, expected to be out until at least Jun 1

RP Koda Glover: elbow, expected to be out until at least Jun 6

RP Trevor Rosenthal: viral infection, Expected to be out until at least May 27

RP Austen Williams: shoulder, expected to be out until at least Jun 13

Coming Up:

Monday, 5/27: Nationals vs. Marlins, 1:05 p.m. ET, Nationals Park 

Tuesday, 5/28: Nationals @ Braves, 7:20 p.m. ET, SunTrust Park

Wednesday, 5/29: Nationals @ Braves, 7:20 p.m. ET, SunTrust Park

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How the Wizards could buy into the second round for another draft pick

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How the Wizards could buy into the second round for another draft pick

The Washington Wizards would probably be smart to add at least one more pick in this year's NBA Draft. They hold the ninth overall selection in the first round, but nothing in the second round. They have no second round picks until 2023 and that one is protected and was acquired in a trade.

Like most teams, they need more young players on cheap contracts with high upside. The best way to find those is in the draft.

The Wizards could always strike a trade to land more picks, either in the first or second round. But they also have the option to purchase a second round pick. 

The Golden State Warriors are well-known for employing that strategy. They got Patrick McCaw in 2016 and Jordan Bell in 2017 by buying into the second round.

The Wizards have been doing their due diligence scouting players who could fall in the second round. They met with a collection of players at the NBA Combine that would not be considered for the ninth pick. 

If Washington wants to add a second round pick, they will have the option to. But it won't be cheap, at least initially.

The whole reason for buying into the second round is to get a player on an inexpensive contract. The Warriors have done it a few times to add depth within the confinement of their championship payroll. 

But you have to pay money to get such a player. There is a maximum money limit tied to the salary cap. Last year, that limit was set at $5.1 million. The price can vary on how high the pick falls in the second round.

Last June, the Rockets paid $1.5 million to land the 52nd pick in the back-end of the second round to take Vincent Edwards of Purdue. The year before, in 2017, the Warriors paid $3.5 million to get the 38th overall pick from the Bulls to take Bell. That $3.5 million was more than the total contract he then signed with Golden State, about $2.2 million. 

Wizards owner Ted Leonsis would essentially have to sign on for overpaying a young player. During Leonsis' tenure, they have more often been on the other end of such deals.

Former team president Ernie Grunfeld had a habit for trading away second round picks and sometimes only for cash considerations. In 2014, the Wizards infamously traded the pick that became Jordan Clarkson to the Lakers. They received a little less than $2 million in return.

Like anything involving the draft, it is an inexact science. But getting another pick, one way or another, seems like the smart move for the Wizards right now. Buying into the second round is one of their options.

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