Would Wizards consider sign-and-trade for Kevin Seraphin? Yes

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Would Wizards consider sign-and-trade for Kevin Seraphin? Yes

Free agency money isn't about which players are better than whom. It's about supply and demand. For Kevin Seraphin, the Wizards' backup center for his five NBA seasons, this is his time to cash in as an unrestricted and possibly find the starting job he covets. 

Seraphin, a person with knowledge of the situation told CSNwashington.com, is expected to seek sign-and-trade offers so he can find a more suitable landing spot. The Los Angeles Clippers, for instance, just lost DeAndre Jordan, don't have a quality starting center and no salary cap space.

A sign-and-trade would assist all parties involved. If Seraphin leaves Washington as a free agent, he'll limit his earning potential because he sacrifices his Bird rights. Instead of 7.5% raises each year of a contract, he'd be limited to 4.5% and he's eligible for fewer years. 

For the Wizards, who don't have cap space but can re-sign their own free agent, they would acquire something in return such as a trade exception that's good for one year which could be applied to a future transaction. This is how they brought in Kris Humphries, Ramon Sessions and Jared Dudley.

When Trevor Ariza told them last summer that he was leaving to join the Houston Rockets, he could've left as a free agent. Instead, the Wizards re-signed him to ship him there in a sign-and-trade that was palatable to both teams. They received an $8.6 million trade exception, which allowed them to acquire players without having to give up anything more than a future protected second-round pick (Note: In getting Humphries this way, the Wizards sent piece of their exception to the Boston Celtics and eventually kept their pick because it was protected top 49). 

And, of course, if the receiving team has a tight cap, it helps get around that. There's no indication that Seraphin's representation has made any such move yet but the Wizards would listen.

Seraphin has averaged 6.4 points and 3.7 rebounds as a reserve in Washington. His minutes fluctuated often, but he's a 6-10 wide body, with quick feet and a soft jump hook around the rim with either hand. 

More: Wizards nab elite 3-point shooter on 1-year deal

George Karl's cautionary tale: Beware of DeMarcus Cousins

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George Karl's cautionary tale: Beware of DeMarcus Cousins

Out of Sacramento, Ailene Voisin reported for The Bee earlier this week that Kings GM Vlade Divac finally is open to trading DeMarcus Cousins who is under contract at $16.4 million per through 2018, this summer. It might drive a some to give them a call, but most NBA-connected personnel already know what they'd be dealing with. Fired coach George Karl had a candid chat with Voisin to erase all doubt of what went wrong as he failed to get a team to a winning record for the first time in his career.

Karl was doomed by the organization’s chronic dysfunction from the start. Karl was a popular hire among Kings fans when he replaced Tyrone Corbin, who was treated like a doormat by Cousins after Michael Malone’s brutally ill-conceived firing. But Karl stepped into a situation that doubled as a septic tank long before his plane touched down.

There were enough different agendas at Sleep Train to jam the fax machine. Cousins’ agents, Dan Fegan and Jarinn Tasi Akana – the latter a member of the Denver staff who was let go when Karl was hired by the Nuggets in 2004 – lobbied hard against Karl and poisoned the coach-player relationship before the introduction. Former general manager Pete D’Alessandro signed off on Karl’s hiring only to openly engage fans in an outrageous divide-and-conquer debate: Are you with Karl or Cousins?

Karl admitted to Voisin that he was wrong for saying no player was untradeable, permanently mudding a murky situation with Cousins. By no means was Karl flawless. As a GM, Divac isn't exactly the most qualified person for that job, either, execpt that he had played for the Kings. 

Cousins, however, still hasn’t shown a shred of maturity after six years as a pro. There’s a reason as the best player on the Kings he has never led them to the playoffs (or more than 33 wins) despite playing for multiple coaches (Paul Westphal, Keith Smart, Mike Malone, Ty Corbin and Karl). Supposedly, if he’d gotten a coach with a track record for winning and accomplishment in Karl, an NBA Coach of the Year winner, he’d behave. That didn’t happen. Instead of going into the 2015-16 season on a good note, he childishly chose to keep the tensions high:

Divac walked into the crowded gym during the Las Vegas Summer League, accompanied by Cousins, other players and assistant general manager Mike Bratz, while Karl sat at the other side of the facility. When Karl approached, Cousins only reluctantly shook his hand and then turned away, embarrassing his coach in front of dozens of his NBA colleagues and thousands of viewers following the drama on NBATV. “Vlade thought he was helping me,” said Karl, “but that looked really bad.”

A blowup happened Nov. 8 when Cousins cussed out Karl after a game. The coach wanted a two-game suspension while Divac opted to fine him in a more diplomatic decision. Said Karl:

That night the bomb went off. Vlade was right there. When they supported Cousins instead of me, I felt, ‘OK, I’m in the compromise position. Cuz has the power. They sent that message many times, too many times sent it to the players. And the players wanted someone to stand up to Cuz, and they wanted it to be their coach. But at that point, I realized that you either  you compromise or you blow it up, and my job was to make us a better basketball team and get to the end of the year.

There's a reason why successful franchises such as the San Antonio Spurs and now Golden State Warriors are where they are. They don't consider free agents or trades with Cousins' coach-killing reputation and attitude. When the draft comes around, certain players who are more talented than others won't even make their way on their draft boards. They're not even up for discussion. And if that Trojan horse sneaks into the locker room, he's quickly shipped out for little or nothing in return. It's addition by subtraction.

That sort of perspective takes discipline from the top down. Teams that lack it tend to be in the lottery each year. For the Wizards, who fired coach Randy Wittman and brought in Scott Brooks for a fresh start after missing the playoffs, Cousins isn't an option nor should he be. Brooks' presence as a players' coach is to change the tone of a locker room that developed friction with the previous coach. Adding a volatile personality such as Cousins won't help that. It'll make it worse. And Markieff Morris, who the Wizards acquired in a trade with the Suns in February after having a blowup with his coaches, is nothing like Cousins personality-wise and has had a clean record before that (and those coaches vouched for his character to the Wizards, something Karl or previous coaches won't do for Cousins).

As Karl said, Cousins wasn't liked by a lot of players in his own locker room. Earlier this season, when the Kings were at Verizon Center, Cousins led a spirited pregame debate on whether or not Tupac Shakur was alive. Contrast this to four years ago, when I was in the Kings' locker room in Minnesota, and Cousins led a similar goofy discussion 90 minutes before tipoff while then-rookie Jimmer Fredette rolled his eyes in disbelief that he was part of such an incredibly unprofessional atmosphere. This was a group in which when Smart was coach, players would look at their phones and text during film study (yes, Cousins was one of them).

Go in most locker rooms before tip off, players are reading scouting reports, looking at scouting video on the big screen, quietly focusing in with their music, stretching in the trainer's room or studying their concepts for that particular game. In Sacramento, it always has been a comedy show much like the product put on the floor.

Marco Belinelli, who won an NBA title with the Spurs before going to the Kings this season, told this to Sportando about his eye-opening experience:

“I saw some very bad stuff in the locker room. Coming from a perfect organization like the Spurs, I was pretty surprised to see stuff like that”

The best player on a team, especially one with All-Star caliber talent, sets the tone for that and should at least be able to lead his team to a winning record once in six years. His stats should translate to something beyond fantasy league basketball wins. That hasn't happened with Cousins and in those six years there has been one constant in Sacramento. 

Open court: Any Rockets free agents in Wizards' wheelhouse?

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Open court: Any Rockets free agents in Wizards' wheelhouse?

The only difference between the Houston Rockets and Wizards is that they were in different conferences. Both were 41-41, except the West was weaker top to bottom so Houston had the No. 8 and final seed while Washington finished 10th.

The Wizards' goals are to get younger, more explosive and identify a few two-way players in the process to improve their 21st scoring defense. Adding players indiscriminately isn't an option because of the salary cap. The big fish (meaning, big-name free agents) will get signed first. Assuming the Wizards land one, even if it's not named Kevin Durant, they'll construct the roster with the remaining money with as many as eight other spots open. More than likely they'll retain 2-4 of their own free agents which will cut that number of open slots from 5-7.

They'll need a solid backup for Marcin Gortat at center, a true scorer behind Bradley Beal and a backup point guard for John Wall.

These are Houston’s free agents, in order of best fit (and realistically in the Wizards' wheelhouse cap-wise):

Donatas Motiejunas: He’s got the size at 7-foot tall and plays facing the basket. Injuries slowed him as he played in just 37 games for 6.2 points, after averaging 12 a year ago when he started 62 times, but Motiejunas can be a complementary player off the bench or a spot starter with three-point range. He’s also 25 and made just $1.6 million. Coming off a sub-par season with a dysfunctional roster, he can get a raise but still be very affordable.

Terrence Jones: Before the Wizards acquired Markieff Morris at the trade deadline, Jones was in the conversation but giving up a first-round pick for an unrestricted free agent this summer with no commitment long-term would’ve been silly. Plus, Jones is not better than Morris. Jones averaged 8.7 points and 4.2 rebounds in just 50 appearances. The 6-9 forward unrestricted and made $1.8 million this season. A good backup with stretch potential at 31.6% from three, he can be an fill-in starter and probably acquired for a moderate raise.

Jason Terry: The Jet, an unrestricted free agent shooting guard, will be 39 soon coming off averaging 5.9 points in 72 games. He still shot a respectable 35.6% from three-point range but Terry is a few years past his best. A player of his caliber is an ideal sixth man and he was a key reason the Mavs upset the Heat for the NBA title. But that was five years ago. If he continues to play, he’s a late rotation, end-of-the-bench guy for the veteran minimum who plays in a pinch. He played for the $1.5 million minimum.

Josh Smith: The unrestricted free agent ($1.5 million) has gone from being a double-digit scoring average from 10 seasons in a row to a bench player who has fallen out of favor because of his low-efficiency scoring. Smith is 6-10 and can be a good defender. He's also just 30, roughly the same percentage he shoots from three-point range which he does too liberally for a player with his accuracy. Smith isn't in demand. He'll be a cheap pickup. If he plays to his strengths, and Doc Rivers couldn't make him work with the L.A. Clippers, what are the chances that Wizards coach Scott Brooks would succeed?

John Wall, Kendall Jenner hang at White House Correspondents Dinner

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John Wall, Kendall Jenner hang at White House Correspondents Dinner

Show up in the Washington Wizards locker room after games and there's a good chance John Wall puts on a fashion show. The All-Star point guard often sports different and creative looks. For his latest public appearance, Wall went for the presdential look.

Wall was a guest at Saturday's White House Coorespondent dinner. The annual black tie affair brings celebrity and politics together in the nation's capitol. Wall, a guest of USA Today's, took his mother, Frances.

As for the celebrity sightings, we know Wall had at least one. Whether it shows up on a certain reality show is unclear.

UPDATE: Wall didn't just grab a picture with Kendall Jenner, it was also Gabrielle Union