By Bryan Frantz

WASHINGTON — Ian Mahinmi was the Wizards’ biggest free-agent signing in the summer of 2016.

Take that for what it is, and the bench — which is mostly comprised of free-agent signings — has paid dearly for what is generally considered a poor offseason by GM Ernie Grunfeld. The move to replace head coach Randy Wittman with Scott Brooks has paid dividends, and the development of John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter has ultimately led to a surprising 30-21 record.

Mahinmi has missed virtually the entire season to this point, playing just 14 minutes in a single game, significantly hindering the overall effectiveness of the free-agent class.

There’s no guarantee Mahinmi will be effective when he does return, but it sounds as though we won’t have to wait much longer to find out. The Wizards have upgraded the big man’s status to “questionable” for Wednesday night’s game against the Brooklyn Nets, and per several reports, he is expected to get a few minutes of action in the contest.

Brooks indicated to The Sports Junkies last week that Mahinmi was close to a return, saying he thought Mahinmi might be able to practice with the team as soon as last Friday. It appears his working out and practicing went off without a hitch, though only time will tell if Mahinmi is at or near full strength.

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  1. Gerry Miller says:

    A good start for Mahinmi would be to give Gortat a long rest, hold Brook Lopez scoreless, and not allow the Nets to score on a single layup or dunk during the game.

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