As the season nears, Wizards guard Jodie Meeks is still awaiting word on his suspension appeal, writes Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. Meeks was docked 25 games at the end of last season for a reported violation of the NBA’s drug policy. He has already served six games and is hoping to have the penalty reduced. If it isn’t, he won’t be eligible to play until November 26.
“Nothing’s changed,” Meeks said. “I’m preparing like I’m going to play [in] Game 1. So, still in the appeal process. I can’t really talk a whole lot about it, but all I can do is prepare like I’m going to play.”
Meeks signed with the Wizards last summer in hopes of bringing some much-needed firepower to the reserve unit. However, he shot less than 40% from the field and averaged just 6.3 points per game. After testing positive for for ipamorelin and growth hormone-releasing peptide-2, he was forced to miss the playoff series with the Raptors. Meeks contends he’s innocent and filed a formal appeal of the suspension September 13.
There’s more today out of Washington:
- The Wizards are experimenting with a small-ball lineup that includes Otto Porter at center, Buckner adds in a separate story. Porter has never played the position and doesn’t really have the physique for it at 6’8″ and 205 pounds, but it could become an option in the team’s quest for versatility. “The more playmakers that we can put on the floor, I think it’s going to be better for us,” coach Scott Brooks said. “The league is so small, there’s times you can go with maybe four guards and a big or Otto at the five. There’s all kinds of lineups you can do now.”
- John Wall‘s recruiting played a role in Dwight Howard‘s decision to join the Wizards, but the center also recognizes the value of winning a title with the franchise instead of joining a team like the Warriors, relays Chase Hughes of NBC Sports. “I just think Golden State, they’ve won a couple championships in the past couple of years,” Howard said. “So, me going there and winning it’s like ‘well, you went to a team that’s already won.’ In D.C., I think the last time the Wizards won they were the Bullets if I’m not mistaken. So, I think that impact would be bigger for the city.”
- Bringing a title to Washington is also a priority for Wall, who tells Hughes in a separate piece that his career would be a “failure” without one.