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Morning tip: Jaleel Roberts savors 2nd chance with Wizards


Morning tip: Jaleel Roberts savors 2nd chance with Wizards

Jaleel Roberts is a bit surprised that he's here with the Wizards considering he didn't blow them away during Las Vegas summer league. But Tuesday represents another chance if he's able to get on the court against the Philadelphia 76ers tonight (CSN, CSNmidatlantic.com and NBC Sports Live Extra, 6:30 p.m. ET).

Jarrid Famous shined among the bigs on the summer league team and it earned him a three-year contract with the Dallas Mavericks. Still, the Wizards saw something in Roberts, paid him to attend a private camp run by longtime NBA assistant coach Tim Grgurich and he didn't disappoint.

"Summer league I didn’t go as well as I originally thought it would. After that I didn’t really know what the journey was going to look like for me," said Roberts, a 7-foot center from UNC-Asheville who went undrafted. "When I got the call after summer league about going to Gurg’s camp, I knew the setting would be different as far as the format. I just went into it thinking it was another opportunity for them to see me, for me to learn regardless of what my situation was. I wasn’t looking ahead or anything like that because I still didn’t know if this was a possibility for me to be here today."

Roberts initially thought he'd be going overseas but the offer turned out to be not what he expected. 

The Wizards have the maximum 15 guaranteed contracts on the roster for the 2015-16 season which means Roberts, or one of the other four free agents signed for training camp, will have to blow them away now to make a move such as waiving someone to create space. 

Other than Marcin Gortat, the Wizards may not have much low-post size under contract after this season expires, with team options on Drew Gooden, Kris Humphries and DeJuan Blair.  

"Any opportunity to work hard here so they can have that in their mind next summer, if they're still interested, we can build on what we worked on here," Roberts said. "That to me is great. I want to put myself in the conversation. If you're not in the conversation you don't have anything."

Roberts is a project and the Wizards, even though they don't have a D-League team, are vested in his development no matter what happens next. 

"Defense is huge for me, especially if I want to play for the Wizards. This is a defensive team," Roberts said about where he has to get better in order to make the next step here. "Knowing where to be on defense. Offense, you get better in the offseason working on that stuff. That in-game defense is something that I'm struggling with now. My man setting the screen, stuff like helping over, stuff like that. That's something I want to develop with my feet. Get there faster."

[RELATED: Wall gets legendary praise for off-court charity work]

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Wizards' Bryant, McRae hope to make most of second chance in G-League

Capital City Go-Go

Wizards' Bryant, McRae hope to make most of second chance in G-League

The NBA's G-League for many represents a second chance and that is the case for two Wizards players entering the 2018-19 season, the first for the Capital City Go-Go.

Center Thomas Bryant is on the Wizards' roster, but will likely spend much of his time with the Go-Go. Guard Jordan McRae is on a two-way contract and will also be there plenty. The two were in Congress Heights on Saturday representing the Wizards' G-League affiliate as their new arena was introduced to the public with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Bryant, 21, joined the Wizards organization back in July on the second day of free agency. He had been cut by the Los Angeles Lakers and the Wizards claimed him, adding another young prospect to their roster.

"If you get waived by a team, you don't feel too good about it. But when the Wizards picked me up right after, I felt great about it," Bryant said.

The 6-foot-10 big man was a second round pick last summer. He played in 15 games with the Lakers at the NBA level and 37 games with their G-League affiliate.

Bryant was one of the standouts for the Wizards' Summer League team in Las Vegas. In the time since, he has been working out with Rico Hines in L.A.

Bryant said he hopes his improving outside shot and physical conditioning can help him succeed with the Wizards this season.

McRae, 27, is just eight months removed from having surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder. He also spent all of last season away from the NBA, either playing overseas or working his way back from injury.

He sees the Wizards as an opportunity to revive his career.

"After taking a year off, the Wizards are believing in me and trusting me to be the player that I was or be better. I'm just looking forward to it and I'm honored to be here," he said.

McRae has been training in Atlanta at P3 Peak Performance Project. They oversaw his rehab from surgery and have helped him get ready for this season.

Like Bryant, McRae has been in Washington getting to know his knew teammates in recent days. McRae, though, has a history with some of them having played against Bradley Beal going back to college and having played with Markieff Morris with the Suns. He has also worked out with Otto Porter, Jr. during the offseason.

McRae sees the Wizards as a decent chance to earn playing time, or at least better than his previous stop. He played the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons with the Cavaliers and won a championship ring in 2016.

McRae earned some hardware and got to see LeBron James, Kyrie Iriving and Kevin Love make history, but he was in a reduced role.

"I'm just looking forward to a consistent opportunity. Being in Cleveland for two years was tough. Now I feel like here will be more of an opportunity and I want to make the best of it," he said.


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Former Wizards PG Tim Frazier joins Bucks training camp roster

USA Todeay

Former Wizards PG Tim Frazier joins Bucks training camp roster

Former Wizards point guard Tim Frazier has joined the Milwaukee Bucks' 20-man roster for training camp.

Frazier, who spent last season in Washington, might actually have a shot at making the full 15-man roster behind Milwaukee's two true point guards, Eric Bledsoe and Matthew Dellavedova.

With Washington, he appeared in 59 games - 11 starts - and averaged 3.0 points, 3.3 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 14.2 minutes per game. 

Frazier played at Penn State, and over the course of his NBA career, has averaged of 5.2 points, 4.0 assists and 2.3 rebounds in 186 career games, per a team relase.

At 6-foot-1, Frazier is joining his fifth team in five seasons.

The Bucks will hold their first day of training camp Tuesday, and their first preseason game is scheduled for Oct. 3 against the Chicago Bulls.

The Wizards host the Bucks on February 2, and then travel to Milwaukee four days later.