Undermanned and depleted by injuries at point guard, the Wizards are looking into outside options as they attempt to fill the void until John Wall’s return.
“We’re definitely looking at our choices,” said Wizards head coach Scott Brooks, who is presented by Greenberg and Bederman. “We have some options out there. There’s some players that are on the market right now, but we haven’t made a decision yet.”
Tomas Satoransky, Wall’s primary replacement at point guard the past couple of weeks, suffered a possible concussion in Saturday’s win over the Bulls. Tim Frazier, Satoransky’s backup, suffered a broken nose, requiring facial surgery, in the same game.
As it stands, the Wizards roster is at 14 players, including an injured Wall. Brooks informed The Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan Tuesday their next move is dependent on how soon Satoransky bounces back.
“A lot of it’s gonna be predicated on Tomas,” said Brooks, “[We’ll] see how he goes today, and then we’ll make a decision. If not, if Tomas can’t go, we have Brad, and, actually, Otto [Porter]. I was actually impressed with Otto yesterday. He was handling the point guard role and doing a very good job.”
“He’s really coming along and improved,” he said. “And I think with John being out, he’s having a little bit more responsibility of handling the ball, and I think it’s paying off. And who knows? Tomorrow night, we might really need him to handle the ball.”
The Wizards remained relatively silent as last week’s NBA trade deadline passed, although they did trade injured second-year guard Sheldon Mac, along with cash, to Atlanta for a protected second-round pick in 2019.
That deal freed up salary and a roster spot, leaving open the possibility for the Wizards to sign a free agent before the March 1 playoff eligibility deadline. They’ve since been linked to notable free agents Derrick Rose, Ramon Sessions and Ty Lawson. So how close were the Wizards to making a significant move before the trade deadline?
“We’re like every team in the league. We’re always looking and trying to figure out ways to improve our team,” Brooks said. “We just weren’t willing to give up a first-round pick.”
“We like our team,” he said. “We just have to get — with John being out, we’re a different team. Hopefully soon he can come back healthy. We have Kelly [Oubre]’s young, 22; Otto’s 24, 25; [Bradley Beal]’s the same age; John is 27; Tomas is really coming along, and he’s 25, 26.
“So we’ve got some good, young players and we just have to continue to grow together, and hopefully add another piece this summer, and just keep getting better. We have a pretty good nucleus right now.”
The Wizards are 6-2 since losing Wall to surgery — an arthroscopic debridement procedure — on his left knee two weeks ago. Wall was expected to miss six to eight weeks, though Brooks is hopeful he can return in the next four or five, which would be one week more optimistic than the initial projection.
“I think he’s on crutches for another day or two, but he’s doing some light walking on the treadmill, the AlterG,” said Brooks. “It’s the gravity treadmill that all the guys do.”
“The last time we talked, he was about to go to Cleveland and meet with his doctors,” he said. “We knew — he banged his knee, I want to say the Dallas game, like the 10th game of the year — so we knew that he was gonna have some good days and bad days, and his doctor and our doctors, our medical team, felt that this was the best way.”
“John is tough as nails and he’s gonna want to play,” he said. “That Oklahoma game, and I think the game before that, you could really tell that he was dragging. That’s when we just said, ‘You know what? We’ve got to shut him down and have him go up to Cleveland.’ That’s when they decided to perform the surgery. Hopefully he’s back in four or five weeks, and we can make our good run down the end of the season.”