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Wizards Decline McCullough’s Team Option

Michael Scotto

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The Washington Wizards will not exercise the fourth-year team option on forward Chris McCullough, league sources told Basketball Insiders. As a result, McCullough will become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

McCullough was the 29th overall pick in the 2015 draft by the Brooklyn Nets and was traded to the Wizards with Bojan Bogdanovic for a 2017 lottery protected first-round draft pick, Andrew Nicholson, and Marcus Thornton. That draft pick eventually became Jarrett Allen.

The 22-year-old forward owns career averages of 3.7 points and 2.2 rebounds in 11.0 minutes per game.

McCullough is now two years removed from ACL surgery and showed potential while playing in the G-League. Last season, McCullough played in 43 G-League games and averaged 16.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.1 steals in 29.5 minutes per game.

For more information on Washington’s salary cap situation, click here.

Michael Scotto is a Senior NBA Writer for Basketball Insiders in his sixth season covering the league. He also works for The Associated Press focusing on Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks game coverage.

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College Headlines

Sources: NBA, NCAA Meet to Discuss Changing One-and-Done Draft Rule

Basketball Insiders

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With momentum gathering to reshape the one-and-done draft entry rule, NBA commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA executive director Michele Roberts met with the new Commission on College Basketball in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, league sources told ESPN.

Silver and Roberts delivered the league and union perspectives on issues facing the basketball industry, including ways that changing the dynamics of the NBA draft could impact the pro and college games. The meeting was described as informational in nature, although the NCAA ultimately has no formal say in rules governing the league’s early-entry rules.

Draft eligibility rules must be collectively bargained between the NBA and the Players Association, and that conversation has been ongoing between the league and union, sources tell ESPN.

Nevertheless, there’s a growing belief within the league that Silver’s desire to end the one-and-done — the ability of college basketball players to enter the NBA draft after playing one year in college — could be pushing the sport closer to high school players having the opportunity to directly enter the league again. For that change to happen, though, the union would probably need to cede the one-and-done rule and agree to a mandate that players entering college must stay two years before declaring for the draft.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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Luke Walton: ‘No talks of moving Lonzo to the bench’

Basketball Insiders

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Coach Luke Walton says rookie Lonzo Ball remains the Los Angeles Lakers’ starting point guard and that there is no talk of moving the No. 2 overall draft pick to the bench.

Struggling with his shot, Ball has not played in the fourth quarter of the Lakers’ past two games — a win against the Phoenix Suns and a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Walton instead rode with the strong play of sixth man Jordan Clarkson.

“He’s our starting point guard,” Walton said of Ball after practice Thursday. “So there’s no discussion, no talks as of now of moving Lonzo to the bench. Nah. He’s our starting point guard.”

Walton said he was told Ball came to the practice facility late Wednesday night and worked on his shot after going 1-for-9 from the field, including 0-for-6 from 3-point range, in the 115-109 loss to the Sixers at Staples Center.

Source: Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN

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Okaro White Out Indefinitely with Fractured Left Foot

Basketball Insiders

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The Miami Heat is down another man.

Okaro White, who started four games at power forward, but hasn’t played since Nov. 6 at Golden State, will undergo surgery Thursday to repair a fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone his left foot, the Heat announced shortly before Wednesday’s home game against the Washington Wizards.

White (6-8, 215) said he felt his foot “pop” as he went up for a reverse layup in practice Tuesday. He has been ruled out indefinitely, a Heat spokesman said.

White, a second-year forward out Florida State, averaged 3.3 points, 1.8 rebounds, 13.3 minutes and shooting 43.8 percent from the field in six games this season.

Source: Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald

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