Topics include: Whether Otto Porter can be counted on as a starter; how well the Playoff Randy Wittman style will translate to the regular season; whether John Wall and Bradley Beal can take the next step; and how good this team needs to be to entice Kevin Durant to DC next summer.
Washington Wizards Wiretap
Kris Humphries is adjusting to a new part of his career as a stretch-4.
Humphries has been a midrange jumper specialist to a three-point shooter.
“I got to be in better shape, to take what I showed I do last year and then add the three-ball to it,” said Humphries, who was in the starting lineup Tuesday. “You’re further out, so as far as offensive rebounding, that’s a run in and a run out. And then you’re running back and then you got to set your feet and have your breath together and shoot it. It’s different. I’m still getting used to it.”
Humphries went 2-for-26 from three-point range over his first 11 NBA seasons.
“I haven’t really worked on shooting threes, like really worked on it, ever,” Humphries, 30, said. “Other than maybe college and stuff but that’s a close three. Now I’ve got to adapt to what we’re trying to do and get in better shape.”
Caron Butler writes an account in his new book about the gun incident involving Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton in December of 2009.
Arenas lost $1,100 to Crittenton in a card game on a flight back to Washington, but tried to get out of paying him. Arenas had an $111 million contract at the time.
“I ain’t putting [expletive] back,” Arenas said to Crittenton. “Get it the way Tyson got the title. Might or fight or whatever you got to do to get your money back. Otherwise, you ain’t gettin’ it.”
Arenas and Crittenton continued to argue even after the flight landed.
“I’ll see your [expletive] at practice and you know what I do,” Arenas said.
“What the [expletive] you mean, you know what I do?” replied Crittenton.
“I play with guns.”
“Well I play with guns, too.”
Before practice the next day, Arenas confronted Crittenton.
“Hey, MF, come pick one,” Arenas told Crittenton while pointing to the weapons on the chair of his locker. “I’m going to shoot your [expletive] with one of these.”
“Oh no, you don’t need to shoot me with one of those,” said Crittenton, turning around slowly like a gunslinger in the Old West. “I’ve got one right here.”
Butler was able to get Crittenton to stop pointing the gun at Arenas and diffuse the situation.
Arenas' suspension cost him $7.5 million in salary.
Bradley Beal is determined to reduce the number of long two-point shots he attempts.
“The biggest thing, man, like I’ve been preaching all summer, is just not shooting those long twos,” Beal said Monday, later adding another objective is to be named first-team all-defense. “It’s going to be kind of hard not shooting an open shot that you have and Witt’s screaming in our ear ‘Shoot the ball,’ but at the same time that’s something I want to eliminate as much as possible and it’s going to be in my mind. Hopefully I won’t be shooting and be like, ‘Dang, I shot a long two,’ and that’s constantly on my mind.”
Beal decided to cut back his long two-pointers after evaluating film and statistics last season. Beal worked this offseason on finishing around the basket and creating his own shot beyond the three-point line, including a step-back.
“It’s just a matter of me knocking them down with confidence,” Beal said.
Stephen A. Smith reported this week that the Los Angeles Lakers are his preferred team if he decides to not re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“Regardless of how senseless it may (sound), in one breath I’m hearing that if Kevin Durant doesn’t stay in Oklahoma City, L.A. is his primary objective and landing spot as opposed to South Beach or even his home of Washington, D.C.,” Smith said.
Smith also said he's heard the New York Knicks could be in play for Durant.
“I heard Melo, Kevin Durant, Kobe,” Smith added. “And when you take into account that Phil Jackson is on the record saying it might be Kobe’s last year in L.A. — opening the door that there are possibilities for him to go elsewhere. All I’m saying is you just never know.”
John Wall is prepared to help recruit Kevin Durant to the Washington Wizards.
If Durant seriously entertains leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Wizards are considered a frontrunner due to their young backcourt and because it is where he grew up.
"There's gonna be an opportunity to throw a pitch at him to try to get him to come back home," Wall told Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic.
Durant was on the sidelines of a football game between Washington and the New York Giants last week.
"But I know one thing of just knowing him he's going to be very focused on taking care of Oklahoma City this season, and I'm going to be focused on taking care of the Washington Wizards," Wall said. "But when the time is right and he can get away from all that, yeah, we'll probably have some conversation and throw a pitch."
Jaron Johnson has agreed to a non-guaranteed camp deal with the Washington Wizards.
Johnson went undrafted in 2014 out of Louisiana Tech and played for the Houston Rockets in the Summer League.
Johnson averaged 15.1 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 50 games with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the D-League last season.
The Washington Wizards have agreed upon a non-guaranteed contract with Josh Harrellson.
Harrellson spent last season in China and Puerto Rico.
The Phoenix Suns had Harrellson on their Summer League roster.
Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards continue to not make much progress on an extension.
Beal wants a max extension but any deal that starts at more than his cap hold would compromise the Wizards' cap space.
The Wizards continue to think of themselves as suitors for Kevin Durant.
Beal would become a restricted free agent if a deal is not reached.
The Washington Wizards have signed Ish Smith and Toure' Murry to non-guaranteed contracts with training camp invites.
Neither player is expected to make the Wizards' final roster as they are already at the 15-man limit.
Smith finished last season with the Philadelphia 76ers, while Murry signed two 10-day deals last season with the Wizards.