The NBA trade deadline is in the rearview mirror and teams are laser-focused on the upcoming playoffs (or draft if they are struggling), but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some rumors flying around the Association.
With that in mind, let’s dig into some of the latest rumblings.
Casper Ware Headed to Philly?
College basketball fans are probably aware of the name Casper Ware from his time at Long Beach State.
E. Carchia of Sportnado pointed out that he may be heading to Philadelphia in the near future:
The Philadelphia 76ers are eyeing Casper Ware and may bring him in for a workout, a source told Sportando.
Casper Ware parted ways with Italian team Virtus Bologna where he was averaging 11.7ppg, 2.7rpg and 2.2apg in 22 games in Serie A.
Ware was Legadue MVP in his rookie season as pro.
Ware went undrafted out of college, but his former MVP status overseas suggests he can bring some value stateside.
His offensive production dipped a bit when he moved up to Italy’s first division, but Ware’s best prospects lie on the defensive side of the ball. He was the Big West Defensive Player of the Year as a junior at Long Beach State and often created turnovers and disrupted offense with his quick hands and ability to stay in front of ball-handlers.
He may be worth a flier for a 76ers team that isn’t going anywhere fast this season anyway.
Marcin Gortat May be on the way Out
Shams Charania of RealGM reported that Marcin Gortat may not be in Washington this time next year:
Despite talk the Wizards explored negotiating an extension during the season, Gortat had made clear before the season that he would solely focus on playing out his contract prior to becoming a free agent, sources told RealGM.
That is interesting considering the comments superstar John Wall made in the same report:
Trevor and Gortat already know how I feel about them. I talked to Trevor about when he could have opted out this past season and I wanted him to come back. I know it’s a tough situation for him because you never know when your career is over. You want to get closer to winning championships, but I feel like if we stick together, anything can happen.
I signed five years for a reason: Yeah, I want to keep this core going. I want to keep winning and bring some excitement back to D.C.
Gortat is averaging 12.8 points and 9.2 rebounds a game, which is solid in a league that isn’t exactly overflowing with elite centers.
Looking forward, Washington will likely have around $18 million worth of flexibility under the cap to work with in the offseason. If the Wizards hope to oblige Wall and bring both Gortat and Trevor Ariza back, it may be difficult.
There will be a market for both players, which means Washington may have to pay some notable money to keep the core around. It simply may not have enough room to do so.
Three-man Race for the No. 1 Pick
Kansas superstar Joel Embiid will miss the Big 12 tournament with a back injury, and Jeff Goodman pointed out the potential impact on the upcoming draft:
Just talked to one NBA GM: "Now it's a three-man race again -- and Embiid might be No. 3 depending on how his back checks out by doctors."— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) March 11, 2014
If we are to assume the three horses are Embiid, his teammate Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker of Duke, these latest back issues may force teams to look to the two wing players.
Who will be the No. 1 pick?
Clearly, the needs of the squad that lands the No. 1 pick will be taken into consideration, especially with the positional difference between Embiid and the other two, but health concerns are always something to watch out for as the draft approaches.
If Embiid can return at some point in the NCAA tournament and prove his worth, it will likely alleviate plenty of worries on the NBA front.
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