Tag: Vander Blue

Washington Wizards v Toronto Raptors

Report: Wizards close to signing John Lucas III


Bradley Beal will miss part of the regular season after injuring his wrist, and Glen Rice Jr. might not be ready for the opener, either.

The Wizards are up the creek without a paddle at shooting guard.

None of their candidates on non-guaranteed contracts have lit the world on fire. They’ve already waived David Stockton and Vander Blue, though Rasual Butler and Xavier Silas remain in contention for a roster spot. Washington is even considering playing Otto Porter at shooting guard.

How about some outside help?

Marc Stein of ESPN:

J. Michael of CSNWashington.com confirmed that report that Lucas will be brought on board.

The 5-foot-11 Lucas is a point guard, so perhaps his signing suggests Washington will use some two-point guard lineups while Beal and Rice are out. John Wall and Andre Miller would keep the ball moving, though they’d have to prove they can make enough jumpers to keep the floor spread.

Lucas spent this offseason getting shuffled around as an unguaranteed contract, being traded from the Jazz to the Cavaliers then the Cavaliers to the Celtics, who waived him just before training camp.

Lucas, 31, has fallen considerably since he played useful minutes off the bench for the Bulls in 2011-12. With the Raptors two years ago and Utah last year, his production has steadily declined. I’d guess he’s on another minimum contract, so the Wizards aren’t necessarily tied to him.

While their guards are out, though, Lucas is another option.

Wizards, D-League get Bluer

Vander Blue, MarShon Brooks

It was a Blue day.

In the silliest of sequiturs, the Thunder named their D-League team the Oklahoma City Blue and the Wizards signed Vander Blue.

I like one of those moves much more than the other.

Let’s start with the bad.

The Thunder were cursed the moment they decided not to nickname their D-League team the Lightning. Thunder and Lightning! Maybe it was too perfect.

As an alternative, Blue is fine, though uninspiring. Here’s the Thunder’s crack at getting you excited about it, though:

“Blue is one of our primary Thunder colors, but it has become more than just a color for us. It has come to represent the passion, loyalty and unity of our fans and our community in their support for our team. Our players wear it proudly on their uniforms, our fans sport Thunder blue shirts, Thunder blue flags fly across Oklahoma and our statewide Blue Alliance fan groups show their connection to our team and what it stands for,” said Brian Byrnes, Thunder senior vice president of Sales and Marketing.

“It is only fitting that our development team, which is such an integral part of our organization, be called the Blue to represent the cohesion it has with the Thunder. We think this new name accurately reflects the enhanced unity between the two teams, which are now geographically and philosophically aligned in Oklahoma City and focused on development.”

The logo is also pretty bland and harmless:


The Rockets are using the D-League for daring experiments, and the Thunder are trotting out this.  At least Josh Huestis will make the Blue interesting.

On the flip side, via Shams Charania of RealGM:


Blue is a nice addition to the shooting-guard competition that also includes Rasual Butler and Xavier Silas. All three are vying for a spot on the regular-season roster and maybe even the role as Bradley Beal’s primary backup.

After leaving Marquette early, Blue went undrafted in 2013. He played for eight teams on three continents last season, which led to this fantastic anecdote while he was in the D-League:

The Stampede’s bus finally pulls into a budget hotel on the outskirts of Dallas, and Blue checks into a room he has been assigned to share with a teammate. They are both hungry, so Blue volunteers to order a pizza. He calls to place the order and gives the clerk his credit card number.

“Sorry,” the clerk says. “That card was denied.”

“Again?” Blue says. The credit card company had blocked his account for suspicious activity at least half a dozen times in the past year; his moves are so incessant that the company often believes his card has been stolen. He had been declined when trying to buy dinner for a date at an Applebee’s in Delaware. He had been declined again while buying shoes at a mall in Israel.

“Hello,” he says, when a representative from the credit card company finally answers. “You all blocked my card again.”

Blue’s journey including an NBA stop, playing 15 minutes for the Celtics. He can get to the basket and has the athleticism to defend well, but he must improve his jumper.

He won’t necessarily beat out Butler or Silas, but he definitely increases the Wizards’ chances of finding a suitable backup shooting guard in training camp.

Philadelphia waives Royce White, among others

Royce White

When the Sixers traded for Royce White back in July — surrendering the draft rights to international prospect Furkan Aldemir, future considerations and cash — there was some buzz around the league the Sixers were more interested in Aldemir than White, who was just a salary.

That appears to be the case.

White was one of four players waived by Philadelphia on Thursday, reports CSNPhilly.com.

A league source confirmed to CSNPhilly.com’s Dei Lynam that Khalif Wyatt, Royce White, Vander Blue and Mac Koshwal have all been released. The news was first reported by the Bucks County Courier Times’ Tom Moore, citing Sixers president/general manager Sam Hinkie. The Sixers have yet to make an official announcement.

White was the No. 22 pick of the Houston Rockets in 2012, but he never played for them. He battles a generalized anxiety disorder that includes a fear of flying, although he did make a trip with the Sixers this preseason. But more than that, there are reports that the Sixers (like the Rockets) were frustrated his attitude, feeling he was claiming to want help and to work with a team but at every point tearing apart those efforts.

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Houston traded him to Philadelphia this summer and from the outside he seemed to be turning over a new leaf.  This preseason he played in five games, starting one, but shooting 39.1 percent. White handled his departure with class.

There is on the court talent there, but it is unclear if he will ever really develop it. Or get the chance to. No NBA team will pick him up now, he is on to the D-League again if he wants to play this season.

Brett Brown: 76ers’ have just six NBA players

Brett Brown, Daniel Orton

Many advanced stats, in basketball and other sports, rely on a concept called a replacement player. A replacement player is a hypothetical player who can easily be obtained to fill out the roster.

In his definition of an NBA replacement player, Kevin Pelton says a team of replacement players would win 10 games in a season. So, that should show the level of a replacement player is pretty low.

Yet, every season, for one reason or another, there are many NBA players who produce at below replacement levels. This season, it seems many of those sub-replacement-level players will be members of the 76ers.

Keith Pompey of The Inquirer:

Michael Carter-Williams, James Anderson, Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young, and Spencer Hawes are the clear starters. The second thing is that power forward/center Lavoy Allen is an experienced NBA player who is finding his way back into shape.

“And after that, who knows?” Sixers coach Brett Brown said before Monday’s 104-93 setback to Cleveland in Columbus, Ohio. “You have six NBA players and then you have a bunch of guys who are fighting for spots and want to be seen and need opportunity.”

The former San Antonio Spurs assistant is not including injured players – rookie Nerlens Noel (torn anterior cruciate ligament) and veterans Jason Richardson (knee), Kwame Brown (hamstring), and Arnett Moultrie (ankle). All have guaranteed contracts and are expected make the 15-man roster.

If I were Darius Morris, Tony Wroten or Daniel Orton, I’d be a little perturbed by that comment.

But only a little.

Though Morris, Wroten and Orton played in the NBA last season, they’re not necessarily NBA players anymore. Vander Blue, Mac Koshwal, Gani Lawal , Hollis Thompson, Royce White , Rodney Williams and Khalif Wyatt all want a spot on the roster, and the Riggin’-for-Wiggins 76ers are just the team to accommodate.

This is a large group of flawed players, and Philadelphia will keep whomever it believes can help most down the road. That’s obviously a difficult judgment to make with players like these, so the small margins can matter a great deal.

Experience alone won’t cut it. Brown is in a rare position to demand a lot from a large share of his roster, because the 76ers have relatively few highly paid players. These 10 players are really going to have to bust their hump to make the roster.

As Brown is all too happy to remind them, they’re not really NBA players yet.