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Morning tip: Not much depth in NBA free-agent pool for Wizards

Morning tip: Not much depth in NBA free-agent pool for Wizards

With the bench in dire need of a boost, the Wizards don't have many options in free agency. They'll have to wait until Dec. 15 before they can entertain any moves via trades with free agents who signed contracts this summer. Since that's a few weeks away, there are a few names out there that most teams sitting at 5-10 with playoff aspirations could consider. 

Keep in mind, the Wizards are an over-the-salary-cap team, but they're below the luxury tax. That means they have some wiggle room, and if they went the free agent route it would require them to waive a non-guranteed player (rookies Danuel House, Sheldon McClellan, Daniel Ochefu) which would be without having to pay him to leave or waive a player with a guaranteed deal. This means they'd have to pay his salary, and it would count against the cap. 

Archie Goodwin: The 6-5 guard was a first-round pick who asked for his release from the Suns before this season began, unhappy that he'd be buried on the bench again. In four NBA seasons, he averaged 6.2 points but shoots just 23% from three-point range. He'd be interested if the Wizards were in him, but so far that hasn't happened. Goodwin was released after appearing in three games for the Pelicans this season.

Rasual Butler: The 37-year-old guard/forward had a nice run with the Wizards in 2015-16, when he appeared in 75 games and was a key three-point shooter during their 46-win season that included a run to the conference semifinals. Now he's 37, but in 13 NBA seasons he averaged 7.5 points and 36.5% three-point shooting. He was last with the Spurs, who waived him late last season before the playoffs. 

Chris Copeland: A 6-9 combo forward who shoots 36.5% from three-point range in four NBA seasons, he was waived by the Pelicans before the season began. He has played for three teams and averages 5.8 points for his career. The Wizards considered him among free agents they were scouring in the summer of 2015.

Johnny O'Bryant: The 6-9 forward spent training camp with the Wizards and was among the final cuts. A 2014 second-round draft pick whom the Wizards were interested in taking before he was selected by the Bucks, O'Byrant signed a D-League deal but still can land on any NBA roster. In just two NBA seasons, averages 3.0 points and shoots less than 40% from the field (and has never attempted a three-pointer). 

Dorell Wright: The forward averages 8.4 points for his career and 36.5% shooting from three, spending most of his 10 years with the Heat. The 31-year-old was waived by the L.A. Clippers last month and hasn't played in the league since 2014-15.

Are any of these names game-changers? If they were, they wouldn't still be on the market. These are pieces to tighten up the end of a bench, not flip a 5-10 team to 10-5. Any high-impact moves will have to be made through trades, but losing teams must start somewhere to find the right chemistry.

MORE: NBA fines Bradley Beal for Wizards-Magic altercation

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Elena Delle Donne has successful surgery, should be ready for 2020 season

Elena Delle Donne has successful surgery, should be ready for 2020 season

Elena Delle Donne had successful surgery to repair three herniated discs in her back, the team announced on Wednesday.

The "minor surgery" took place on Friday, Jan. 24 and was performed by Dr. Andrew Dossett in Dallas, Texas. Delle Donne's timetable is unknown but will be reevaluated around the Mystics training camp in May. She is anticipated to be available for the season opener on May 16.

The Mystics forward suffered the injury during the WNBA Finals. After only playing in the opening minutes of Game 2, she missed the rest of the game. An MRI revealed that she had a herniated disc in her back. It was her third injury in all of her three WNBA Finals appearances.

Still, through the pain, the 2019 WNBA MVP helped her team win their first title. 

Once the Mystics won the WNBA Championship, Natasha Cloud proudly announced that Delle Donne actually had three herniated discs

This surgery will likely limit her availability for playing with the U.S. Women's National Team as they begin their pre-Olympic training, exhibitions and qualifying events. She has yet to appear in any of the 2019-20 events due to her injury.

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Quinn Cook changes his jersey number to honor Kobe, Gigi Bryant

Quinn Cook changes his jersey number to honor Kobe, Gigi Bryant

Los Angeles Lakers guard, and former DeMatha Catholic star, Quinn Cook is changing his jersey number from No. 2 to No. 28 to honor the late Kobe and Gigi Bryant. 

For Cook, the No. 28 symbolizes the combination of Gigi's No. 2 and Kobe's No. 8.

"No. 2 is Gianna's number, I feel it should be retired. It's hers," Cook told Shams Charania of the Athletic. 

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💔💔my hero man. I’m completely crushed. I haven’t cried this much or been in this much pain since I lost my dad in 2008. Yesterday I lost my hero, my idol, & the main reason my love for this game is where it is today. Can’t really process this but we all are devastated and heartbroken about what happened to my hero Kobe & his beautiful daughter Gianna. You taught us all so much on and off the court. Anyone who knows me knows what Kobe means to me and to the entire world. We need to give all of our energy and prayers to the Bryant family and all the families involved in the tragic event yesterday. I will never get over this, I don’t know what’s going to happen going forward but one thing I know is that Kobe and Gianna are up there in heaven TOGETHER smiling down on us all. You were the greatest I’ve ever seen on the court but you were an even better Father to all four of your daughters man. Wow Bean I’m really writing this right now 💔💔. I will cherish our relationship and everything you told me forever. We are already missing you Kobe and Gigi🙏🏽🙏🏽! RiP DAD!

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Kobe and Gianna were two of the nine passengers that passed Sunday morning in a tragic helicopter crash. Since the incident, players, coaches, and organizations league-wide have honored the passings in their own manner. 

Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban, decided to retire the No. 24 within the organization.

“Kobe’s legacy transcends basketball," Cuban said in a statement Sunday. "Our organization has decided that the number 24 will never again be worn by a Dallas Maverick."

After that move, players began to informally retire their own jersey numbers -- Detroit Pistons forward Markieff Morris will change his jersey from No. 8 to 88. Spencer Dinwiddie of the Brooklyn Nets will change his jersey from No. 8 to No. 26 and Terrence Ross of the Orlando Magic will change his jersey number from No. 8 to No. 31.

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