Wizards forward Deni Avdija, who has been dealing with a left groin strain this fall, played 5-on-5 on Thursday for the first time since training camp began, tweets Ava Wallace of The Washington Post. As Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington writes, Avdija told reporters earlier this week that he was taking painkillers to deal with the injury while playing for the Israeli national team in August and September.
“It was just something that popped up this summer. I played on pills with the national team to kill the pain,” Avdija said. “At the end of the (EuroLeague tournament), I was barely walking. So, I knew coming into the season, it was kind of frustrating for me after the good summer that I had, taking some backsteps, but it is what it is. I’m here now.”
As Avdija goes through the ramp-up process and attempts to work his way back into game shape, here are a few more notes on the Wizards:
- In another story for NBC Sports Washington, Hughes takes a closer look at the Kyle Kuzma‘s role for 2022/23 as the veteran forward adjusts to playing alongside Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis. While it may take some time to establish chemistry, Kuzma’s wide-ranging skill set should help him coexist with Washington’s stars, says Hughes.
- Porzingis (ankle) will sit out the Wizards’ preseason finale on Friday, but his absence is considered precautionary and he expects to be ready to go for next week’s regular season opener, tweets Ian Begley of SNY.tv.
- Wizards big man Vernon Carey entered the NBA’s concussion protocol on Thursday after being involved in a minor traffic accident, the team announced (via Twitter). Carey is considered day-to-day.
- John Hollinger of The Athletic thinks the Wizards are capable of finishing with a top-10 offense this season, but will struggle on defense due to a “glaring lack of perimeter stoppers.” He projects a 38-44 record and the No. 11 seed in the East.