Wizards

Quick Links

John Wall addresses trade rumors, says he wants to remain with Wizards

wallcomments.png
USA TODAY SPORTS

John Wall addresses trade rumors, says he wants to remain with Wizards

WASHINGTON - At 5-11 and with altercations at practice becoming public knowledge, it may be easy for some to forget the Wizards are also entangled in major trade rumors at the moment.

Both John Wall and Bradley Beal were cited in an ESPN report on Monday that said everyone on the roster could be available in deals. Though the Wizards aren't planning to trade their All-Star guards anytime soon, they are clearly considering their long-term options with this season spiraling out of control.

On Tuesday, ahead of the Wizards' next game against the Clippers, Wall made his first comments on the matter. He noted it was the first time he's been mentioned in a credible trade report.

"I don't know what [trade rumors] feel like," he said.

While discussing the possibility of leaving, Wall made it clear he doesn't want to be traded.

"I love being here. I want to finish my career here," he said. "That's all I can control is playing basketball. I can't control nothing else."

Wall, 28, has played all nine of his NBA seasons in Washington, ever since he joined the team as the No. 1 overall pick in 2010. 

He has often said he hopes to spend his entire career with the Wizards. He has mentioned goals of winning a championship in D.C., having a statue outside of the arena and his jersey in the rafters.

Wall, though, understands these things come with the territory the Wizards have entered. The team may have to make changes if the losing continues.

"That's all up to the front office," he said.

The Wizards' problems are clearly bothering Wall. On Tuesday, he again called out the effort and heart of his teammates, a familiar reprise from him and Beal.

But Wall is not free of blame in all of it. He was part of the most inflammatory story from last week's practice. It was him who was fined for cursing at head coach Scott Brooks, a punishment Wall acknowledged on Tuesday.

Wall also hasn't played as well as he could, particularly on defense. On Tuesday, though, he alluded to a reason for that.

"Everyone keeps saying I'm not in shape. I'm in shape. It's just that I deal with injuries. I play through them and I don't complain about it," Wall said.

Wall has reportedly been playing through a deep thigh bruise, as the Athletic reported earlier this month. That comment right there suggests either that injury, or another, has been affecting his play.

The Wizards are in a serious mess right now, but Wall appears intent on sticking around to lead them through it.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS:

Quick Links

Natasha Cloud is tired of the Bradley Beal trade rumors

Natasha Cloud is tired of the Bradley Beal trade rumors

Mystics guard Natasha Cloud has had it up to here with trade rumors about Wizards guard Bradley Beal.

Beal has been a strong vocal supporter of the Mystics and the WNBA, in general. He works closely with Kristi Toliver, who, in her offseason, works as an assistant coach for the Wizards. His closeness with the Mystics has now manifested itself in Cloud voicing her opposition to Beal being traded on Twitter.

Beal is no stranger to trade rumors. Entering his eighth season, Beal has been connected to the Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, among others. Given that his name is frequently tossed around in trade talks, it should come as no surprise that the Clippers made a run at him to pair with Kawhi Leonard.

Despite the frequent and recurring rumors, Beal hasn't been traded, and very likely won't be traded. He's a star and a legitimate piece around which to build a franchise. At the summer league in Las Vegas, NBC Sports Washington's Chase Hughes sat with Shaquille O'Neal to discuss what the Wizards should do in free agency. Shaq said that between Beal and John Wall, the Wizards are just a piece or two from breaking through.

I definitely think [the Wizards] should keep him. He's a great shooter, but if he’s a great shooter looking to go somewhere, L.A. has $32 million [in cap space]. ... He's definitely the cornerstone of this franchise. He and John Wall have always, almost always, been there. They just need another one or two guys.

It's still unlikely that Beal is playing in anything other than a Wizards uniform on opening night, but if he is, expect to hear from Cloud about it. 

MORE WIZARDS NEWS:

Quick Links

Drew Gooden, Justin Kutcher to highlight NBC Sports Washington Wizards broadcast team

gooden.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

Drew Gooden, Justin Kutcher to highlight NBC Sports Washington Wizards broadcast team

Drew Gooden was nearing the end of his second 10-day contract with the Wizards in the 2014 season when he went off for 21 points against Brooklyn. 

It was a game that changed his career, led to being signed to the team for the remainder of that season and ending his career as a Washington Wizard two years later. “My career was totally reborn as a veteran leader on the Washington Wizards,” he said. “And that’s something I never would have thought would come full circle.”

And now? Gooden will serve as the game analyst on NBC Sports Washington’s Wizards broadcast this season. NBC Sports Washington announced on Wednesday he will join new play-by-play announcer Justin Kutcher as part of the Wizards' game broadcast team. Chris Miller will return in his role as sideline reporter.

“It’s a dream and I never thought in a million years I would have retired a Wizard and that out of all my teams that I played for, that Wizards would be the favorite organization that I played for, never thought I would be a color analyst for NBC Sports Washington,” Gooden said. “All of this is a dream.”

And while Kutcher may not have the same playing resume that Gooden does, he promises to bring the same passion Gooden does to broadcasts.

During the early days of his career, Kutcher wasn’t just the voice of (and practice player for) the Boston University women’s basketball team. He was such a passionate fan that he was the one making the most noise on the team bus after a big win or a big loss. Now, after decades in the business, he’s not sure he’ll go to that extreme – but Wizards fans can expect him to be “a fan who’s calling the game,” he said. “I say that about myself all of the time. I think of myself as just this incredibly lucky person that gets to call a sport that I love. When I have a reaction, it’s a genuine reaction. So, I’ll keep everything professional, but I’ll get excited.”

Kutcher has 17 years of experience as a play-by-play announcer, having spent the last seven years at Fox Sports where he led national coverage of NCAA basketball and football, the NFL and MLB. Prior to FOX Sports, Kutcher served as a play-by-play announcer for ESPN for four years. During that time, he led live coverage for a variety of sports, including basketball, football, baseball, softball, volleyball and hockey, across professional, college and high school leagues and conferences. He also appeared on studio shows during his tenure with ESPN. In addition to FOX Sports and ESPN, he has also called collegiate events for CSTV, now CBS Sports Network, for two years, as well as BTN, and contributed to MLB.com digital programming.

“I have known Justin since he was a runner for us at FOX Sports,” said Joe Buck. “He’s gone from working hard behind the scenes to one of the best, young voices in sports. Wizards fans are getting a great broadcaster and a better person .”

Here’s five more fun facts about Kutcher and Gooden.

1.    Kutcher’s worked the past five Westminster Dog Shows. “I get more ticket requests for that than any other event I go to,” he said. But, at first he wasn’t sure he was going to stick with it. The first year, he said, was a little tough. “I called my dad after it airs and he said that it was my mom’s favorite thing that I’ve done.” But, he stuck with it. And now? “I love it,” he said. 
2.    His favorite thing in DC is … the breakfast at Ted’s Bulletin. “They have a breakfast burrito that I get, I eat two of them at a time and people can’t believe it,” he said. Oh, and also his family. His family in the area includes a 3-year-old nephew, who when asked for real estate recommendations in the area, declared “you can live at our house!”
3.    Meanwhile, you can find Gooden at his favorite crab shack. “Quarterdeck in Arlington is my favorite, favorite restaurant,” he said. In the two years he’s known about the crab spot, he’s eaten there, he estimates, “800” times. 
4.    Good news for Wizards fans: He thinks the Wizards will be a team everyone sleeps on – and that’s great for them. “They’re going to have the opportunity to surprise a lot of people early,” he predicted. 
5.    Kutcher expects Rui Hachimura to … “be one of the steals of the draft.” Kutcher covered the new Wizard as a play-by-play announcer during Hachimura’s college career. “I would not be surprised if you see Rui average 15-18 points per game and close to 8 rebounds per game. I think he’s that type of player, he’s a really good kid, when I saw the Wizards drafted him I said that’s a great, great pick,” he said.