Quick Links

Wizards player review: Nick Young


Wizards player review: Nick Young

Although no longer with the Wizards, guard Nick Young was one of the bigger story lines for the team at the start of the season and at the trade deadline when he was shipped to the Clippers.

A first-round pick by the Wizards in 2007, Young was looking for a long-term contract this past off-season but the lockout limited his options as a restricted free-agent and he had to basically settle for a one-year deal with the Wizards.

It was bad timing for Young, who was coming off the best season of his career, leading the team in scoring at 17 points a game in the 2010-11 campaign.

Even though Young showed he could be a solid scorer at the shooting guard position, the Wizards weren't ready to make a long-term commitment to him because he still had shown signs of inconsistent play and immaturity.

After joining the team late in training camp because of his contract situation, Young started the 2011-12 season coming off the bench and he immediately proved he should start, scoring 16 points in just 18 minutes in the opening-night loss to New Jersey.

Young followed that up with 21 points in another loss at Atlanta.

Young's best game as a Wizard came in a 35-point effort in an upset win over the Blazers in Portland in mid-February. Young put on a shooting clinic against the Blazers, going 7 for 8 from three-point range.

Young scored over 20 points 14 times and averaged 16 points in 40 games for the Wizards this past season. Young continued to show that all he can really do is score and not much else, averaging just 1 assist and 2 rebounds a game.

Obviously, the Washington brass didn't see enough growth from Young this past year to think he could still be part of the rebuild so they dealt him to the Clippers for a second pick and Brian Cook at the trade deadline.

Young has provided instant offense off the bench for the Clippers, helping L.A. reach the second round of the playoffs.

With an all-star point guard in Chris Paul and forward Blake Griffin drawing attention down low, L.A. is an ideal team for Young because he can get a lot of open jumpers.

Young will be a free-agent after this season and probably won't get the deal he was looking for. He's never going to be a star but if he can embrace his role as a third or fourth option, he can stick around for awhile

Quick Links

Source: Wizards will have competition with teams like Lakers, Clippers for restricted free agent Bobby Portis

USA Today

Source: Wizards will have competition with teams like Lakers, Clippers for restricted free agent Bobby Portis

This summer is shaping up to be lucrative for NBA free agents and big man Bobby Portis is well-positioned to cash in. After spending the final three months of the 2018-19 season with the Wizards, Portis is already seeing a healthy market develop ahead of the June 30 start of the league's negotiating period, NBC Sports Washington has learned.

The Wizards are likely to first extend a qualifying offer on June 30 to make him a restricted free agent. According to Spotrac.com, it will be about $3.6 million and that will give the Wizards the right to match an offer sheet from another franchise.

But teams are already indicating they want Portis, who is just 24 and coming off a season in which he averaged a career-high 14.2 points and 8.1 rebounds in 50 games. That market includes 5-10 teams and could grow once free agency opens.

Portis is expected to draw interest from the Lakers, Clippers, Jazz, Bucks, Magic and Knicks among others, NBC Sports Washington has learned.

Despite restricted free agency, Portis has a few things working for him. For one, there are a lot of teams with cap room. Spending won't reach 2016 levels, when the new CBA spiked the salary cap, but there will a lot of money to go around.

Also, guys in Portis' tier will only be helped if the top free agent options continue to dwindle. Klay Thompson looks more likely than ever to stay in Golden State after tearing his ACL. Winning a title could increase the odds Kawhi Leonard re-signs in Toronto, according to reports. And Kevin Durant's torn Achilles has thrown a wrench into the plans of teams with the most money to spend.

There is also the possibility Kemba Walker stays in Charlotte. And Kyrie Irving signing with Brooklyn, if it happens, would leave others exploring backup plans.

Portis isn't directly competing with any of those players, but could benefit if the top options are off the market. His name will only move up the list if that is the case.

Portis also has a unique selling point going for him. He shot 39.3 percent from three this past season and held a 40.3 percent clip to close the year in his 28 games with the Wizards. Three-point shooting is more valuable than ever and he brings that to the table at 6-foot-10.

Portis, who averaged 3.8 three-point attempts per game this past season, was one of only six players 6-10 or taller to shoot at least 39 percent on 3.5 attempts or more (min. 50 G). 

The question for Portis will be whether he gets the money he wants. He turned down an extension with the Chicago Bulls last fall just hours before the deadline to sign one. According to the Chicago Tribune, the deal was worth about $50 million and he wants to be paid in the range of $16 million annually. His asking price was partly why the Bulls traded him to the Wizards in February.

Even if the Wizards clear money, and they are expected to free up some by declining Jabari Parker's $20 million team option by the June 29 deadline, Portis could price himself out of Washington. It might not even take $16 million per year for that to happen.

The Wizards are set to operate through free agency with interim team president Tommy Sheppard at the helm, as the Washington Post reported on Tuesday. Sheppard making the call increases Portis' odds of staying, but that doesn't mean the price will match for both sides.


Quick Links

UNC's Coby White talks Wizards workout, North Carolina and John Wall's legendary mixtape

USA TODAY Sports Images

UNC's Coby White talks Wizards workout, North Carolina and John Wall's legendary mixtape

In Tuesday's Wizards Talk podcast Chris Miller sat down with point guard Coby White, a projected lottery pick from the University of Carolina. 

On Monday, the Wizards worked out White and college teammate Nassir Little in the franchise's highest-profile workout this year. Despite being projected higher than No. 9, White was enthusiastic about the opportunity. 

"These mock drafts are cool, but it's not the real deal," explained White. "If I was to slip and Washington were to select me, I'd be in a great place."

White's passion combined with his impressive skill set enabled him to become the all-time leading scorer in North Carolina high school history. Growing up he followed John Wall, as did every hooper in North Carolina, and he still remembers Wall shredding apart defenses on his legendary high school mixtape. 

"His mixtape was lit," professed White. "The style he played with was uncomparable to anyone else."

What many people don't know about White was that growing up, his dream school was Duke. Once he got to Chapel Hill, however, Roy Williams, his teammates and UNC's winning tradition won him over in a heartbeat. 

"They didn't care how much you had coming in, Coach Williams never promised me playing time," said White. "He just promised me 'I'll be the hardest coach you ever had and I'll try my best to make you the best you can be.'"

At Thursday draft, White's life will be changed forever once he hears his name called and shakes Adam Silver's hand. For Wizards fans, hopefully, that won't happen before the No. 9 pick