Wizards Notes: Gafford, Bryant, Beal, Dinwiddie

Daniel Gafford had the best stretch of his brief career after being traded to the Wizards in March and he’s spending the summer trying to upgrade his low-post moves, writes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. With a compressed schedule caused by an early-season outbreak of COVID-19, Washington went weeks without practicing, so Gafford had to save the tweaks to his game for the offseason.

Used as a backup center after being acquired from the Bulls, Gafford averaged 10.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 23 games. He may take over the starting role this season and wants to become more of a scoring threat.

I’m really just focusing on if I get the ball down in the post, working on my face-up game,” Gafford said. “Shooting the ball more, just trying to be more of a threat on the floor when I’m out there, during the times that I get on the floor.”

There’s more from Washington:

  • Injured center Thomas Bryant may be ready to return early in the upcoming season, relays Bijan Todd of NBC Sports Washington. Bryant is working his way back from a torn ACL he suffered in January, and his agent, Todd Ramasar, provided an encouraging update this week on SiriusXM NBA Radio. “He’s doing great. He’s right on track in terms of his recovery,” Ramasar said. “If I’m guestimating in talking to his trainers, he’s probably going to make a return towards the end of this (calendar 2021) year, or let’s say, the beginning of the regular season.”
  • Bradley Beal is already a nightmare for opposing defenses and he’s working to expand his game even further, Hughes adds in a separate story. Beal hopes to become more effective on longer three-point shots to put pressure on the defense as soon as he crosses half court. Deeper threes. I’m not trying to compete with (Damian Lillard), I’m not Logo Lillard. But I want to shoot deeper threes and shoot more threes,”  Beal said. “You know I need to shoot more threes. You probably say it all the time. And, obviously, make them. I have to make them.”
  • Beal has been teaming with new backcourt partner Spencer Dinwiddie in pickup games hosted by skills trainer Drew Hanlen, according to Mike DePrisco of NBC Sports.
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