Who will be the starter at small forward for the Wizards when the regular season opens up one week from today? According to the candidates laid out by Candace Buckner of The Washington Post, the race is down to three – Isaac Bonga, Admiral Schofield, and Jordan McRae – after Justin Anderson was waived earlier today.
With Bradley Beal and Ish Smith set in the backcourt and rookie first-rounder Rui Hachimura and big man Thomas Bryant likely to start up front, it’s down to Bonga, Schofield, or McRae to join that foursome in the starting lineup with both Troy Brown Jr. and C.J. Miles out injured.
“It’s still open,” head coach Scott Brooks said. “We got a lot of guys that are fighting for opportunities and, like I said, it’s not just talk — it’s wide open. Especially with all of the injuries, it’s really wide open.”
As Buckner notes, the Wizards should really opt to go with Bonga or Schofield if they are serious about a youth movement. But McRae is a scrappy veteran used to fighting for a roster spot, so it will be interesting to monitor the small forward position moving forward in Washington.
There’s more from the Wizards:
- As Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington notes, the Wizards’ best chance to improve on defense lies with the aforementioned Bryant. The 22-year-old youngster hasn’t been much of a rim protector previously, but he possesses some natural abilities that suggest he has the potential to become one. Said Bryant, “I have to be one of those guys to make a big difference. A big man can be the anchor for the defense. I have to take that responsibility to heart every day, whether it’s in practice or the game.”
- In another piece for NBC Sports Washington, Hughes relays that injured point guard John Wall suffered another infection after his Achilles surgery that delayed him getting out of his walking boot. “For me to be where I’m at right now, with all the setbacks and infections and then finding out my Achilles was ruptured and then going through another infection, it was like ‘man, when can I ever get past that point of just getting out of the boot and walking?'”
- And in yet another article, Hughes writes how Wall is embracing his role as an assistant coach while out injured. Wall says this season will give him an idea of whether he wants to get into coaching someday. “I think this year will tell me whether I can be a coach or not… I think you have to have a lot of patience and you’ve gotta know how to interact with every player. Every player’s attitudes and character and mood swings are totally different. I learned from when a coach tried to coach me when I was young and I wasn’t the guy to coach.”