Overhauled Wizards prepare to host woeful Cavs
The Washington Wizards return home with a new look Friday night as they host the Cleveland Cavaliers.
One week after saying the core of John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter, Jr. would not be broken up before trade deadline, the Wizards' world changed.
On Tuesday the Wizards (22-32) announced that starting point guard John Wall -- already out for the season after heel surgery -- would miss at least another 12 months after rupturing his Achilles tendon. The next day, Washington made moves.
In separate transactions, Washington sent Porter to the Chicago Bulls for forwards Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis and a 2023 second round pick, and injured forward Markieff Morris and a future second round pick to the New Orleans Pelicans for Wesley Johnson.
Parker and Portis both have expiring contracts.
"We are bringing in two former first-round picks who will give us frontcourt depth with their ability to play multiple positions," said Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld. "The trade also provides us with an opportunity to continue to develop two promising young players while giving us future flexibility."
Porter, 25, was averaging 12.6 points and 5.6 rebounds. The No. 3 pick in the 2013 draft, he signed a four-year, $106.5 million contract extension in the summer of 2017. Morris, who has been sidelined with neck and upper-back soreness, joined the Wizards at the 2016 trade deadline.
On the court, Washington was beaten 148-129 on the road Wednesday by Giannis Antetokounmpo (43 points) and the Milwaukee Bucks. Antetokounmpo made 17 of 21 field-goal attempts, including 3 of 3 from 3-point range, as Milwaukee beat the Wizards for the second time in less than a week.
It was the most points allowed by a Wizards/Bullets team in a non-overtime game since 1990.
Beal scored 30 for the Wizards, who have lost five of six. Thomas Bryant had 26 points and 14 rebounds for Washington, while Tomas Satoransky had 16 points and 10 assists.
"It's been a heck of a week," Bryant told the Washington Post. "Just dealing with injuries and guys being traded, guys being injured, but we've just got to stick together."
Beal, 25, became the youngest player in NBA history to make 1,000 3-pointers.
The Cavaliers (11-43) have lost two straight since beating the Wizards 116-113 on Jan. 29.
On Thursday, they acquired guard Brandon Knight, forward Marquese Chriss, a 2019 lottery-protected first-round pick and a 2022 second-round pick from the Houston Rockets as part of a three-team trade. Cleveland sent guards Nik Stauskas and Wade Baldwin IV as well as a 2021 second round draft pick (via Milwaukee) to Houston, and guard Alec Burks to the Sacramento Kings.
The Cavaliers dropped a 103-96 decision at home to the Boston Celtics on Tuesday.
Though he went scoreless in the fourth quarter, Cavs rookie Collin Sexton shined for three quarters, scoring 27 points on 11-of-19 shooting, including 3 of 5 from 3-point range, before missing all five attempts in the fourth. It was his highest point total since tallying a season-high 29 points against Washington on Dec. 8.
"Last game I've been working on layups, layups, layups," Sexton told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "Last game I missed a great bit. ... That was one thing I just continued to work on this week and make sure I worked on the 3-ball because teams are daring me to shoot. So, I have to knock it down for my teammates to open everything else up."
--Field Level Media
Updated February 7, 2019