Expectations are up in Washington this year — they think they can jump from 29 wins to the playoffs.
They will have a healthy (and much wealthier) John Wall at the point, a more experienced Bradley Beal at the two, hopefully a healthy Nene at the five. Martell Webster will be back and there is rookie Otto Porter. Solid role players such as Emeka Okafor, Eric Maynor and Trevor Ariza fill out the roster. There are some solid pieces, but can it all come together?
To make sure it does, Wall is organizing a mini-camp that starts before training camp, the point guard told Ben Standig of CSNWashington.com.
“Working out with the coaches and stuff,” Wall said about his schedule since re-joining teammates for training sessions.” Getting everybody organized, to have like a mini-camp before we start training camp.”
Wall expects the entire roster together following Labor Day. He also anticipates training with former NBA All-Star point guard Gary Payton at some point before the start of camp on September 28.
Wall is the lynchpin in Washington — there are nice players around him but he needs to play like like a former No. 1 pick, like a max player, for the Wizards to reach their goals.
The fact that he is taking on this kind of leadership role is a good start. But he’s going to have to prove it all on the court starting at the end of October.
DeAndre Jordan‘s free-throw problems – 38.7% this season, 41.5% for his career – are mental.
You can’t watch this trip to the line and convince me otherwise.
Nene hurt his calf. Drew Gooden is banged up. Martell Webster is out for the season.
Those are three players the Wizards expected to play power forward this season.
So, Washington – which has lost four straight – will bring in another big man: Ryan Hollins.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
The Wizards have a full roster of 15 players. They don’t qualify for a hardship exemption, which a team gets if four players have missed three straight games and will continue to be out. Only Webster and Alan Anderson definitely fit that bill. Gooden, who has missed five straight, might. But it’s unclear both how many of those absences were due to injury and when he’ll return.
So, Washington will have to waive someone to sign Hollins now. It’ll probably be Webster, whose $5,845,250 2016-17 salary is just $2.5 million guaranteed. If he’s out for the year and the Wizards plan to drop him by the summer to clear cap space, why not just do it now?
Hollins is more center than power forward and doesn’t appear to fit well with Marcin Gortat. But at this point, Washington just needs big bodies. Hollins – a nine-year veteran who plays decent interior defense, lacks offensive skill and rebounds poorly for his 7-foot frame – is at least that.
Sometimes – as Kristaps Porzingis sees against Dwight Howard – it’s more flattering just to play James Harden-level defense.
This was not Marc Gasol‘s first attempt to head in the ball after a whistle, but this time, he converted.
Here was his January try: