Wizards Notes: Bagley, Holmes, Vukcevic, Future In D.C.

It’s been a season of change for Marvin Bagley III, and it didn’t stop with the January 14 trade that sent him from Detroit to the Wizards, writes Chase Hughes of Monumental Sports Network. Bagley was brought in to be the primary backup to Daniel Gafford, but he moved into a starting role when Gafford got injured. Washington sent Gafford to Dallas at the trade deadline for Richaun Holmes, who took over as the starter, but his recent absence due to a left toe contusion put Bagley back in the starting lineup.

“I’m comfortable now. I think the first few weeks it took me to kind of figure out what guys like to do out there on the court, how guys play a little bit. But now I have a pretty good idea of that, just watching film and playing how many games I’ve played here,” Bagley said. “But just every game figuring it out and I think now I’m at the point where I know what guys like to do, where they like to be out there. I’m just trying to make it easier for them and they make it a lot easier for me. It’s just getting that chemistry together.”

Bagley hasn’t enjoyed much stability in his career, but with one year left on his contract he appears to be a fixture in Washington for at least for another season. The Wizards are happy with the Bagley-Holmes combination, according to Hughes, because they’re similar players who can rebound and be effective in the pick-and-roll. Bagley enjoys being in Washington and believes the experiences he’s had in his career can help him guide younger players.

“I try to be a leader and lead by example,” he said. “I think it’s good to have vets like that in the locker room.”

There’s more on the Wizards:

  • Bagley won’t need surgery after leaving Tuesday’s game with an injury to his right knee, a team official tells Josh Robbins of The Athletic (Twitter link). Bagley has been diagnosed with a sprain, and interim coach Brian Keefe said he’ll be reevaluated “week to week,” which virtually assures that his season is over.
  • With Bagley and Holmes both sidelined, rookie Tristan Vukcevic is making his first NBA start tonight against the Lakers, Robbins tweets. This is just the seventh NBA game for Vukcevic, who signed with the Wizards last month after spending most of the season with KK Partizan in Serbia.
  • It’s been a difficult season for the Wizards, but Tuesday’s win over Milwaukee provides a reason for optimism, Robbins notes in a full story. Washington was able to hold on for a victory against one of the league’s best teams even though it was down to eight healthy players after Bagley left in the second quarter. “It’s a step forward, maybe two steps forward,” Corey Kispert said. “This is the attitude we need to have and the aggression we need to have when we play these kind of games, especially against a championship team like this. Super proud of everybody who played tonight.”
  • David Aldridge of The Athletic examines the future for the Wizards and the NHL’s Capitals in Washington after owner Ted Leonsis‘ plan to move both franchises to Virginia fell apart.
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