After finalizing contracts with Alex Len and Jordan Bell earlier today, the Wizards have enough eligible players to resume their season, writes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports. Washington has been among the teams hardest hit by COVID-19 and hasn’t played since January 11. After six postponed games and with a still-depleted roster, the Wizards appear ready for Sunday’s game in San Antonio.
The addition of the two big men should make that possible, with Len signing as a free agent after being waived by Toronto and Bell inking a 10-day deal after being ticketed for Washington’s G League affiliate.
“I’m happy to have them. We need bodies,” coach Scott Brooks told reporters. “Both have good experience. Both will get opportunities, probably, for sure Alex will. Right now we only have one five. He gives us good experience, he gives us good length, defensive protection.”
Washington has been depleted at center by a season-ending ACL injury to Thomas Bryant and the loss of Moritz Wagner due to health and safety protocols. Veteran Robin Lopez has taken over as the starter, and Len is expected to be his primary backup.
There’s more from Washington, D.C.:
- In addition to Wagner, Deni Avdija, Davis Bertans, Troy Brown Jr., Rui Hachimura and Ish Smith are unavailable due to coronavirus-related reasons. Brooks plans to stagger their returns, bringing them back one or two at a time, Hughes tweets.
- If there’s a bright spot to the way the virus has hit the Wizards, it’s that Russell Westbrook has only missed two games after aggravating a quadriceps injury he suffered in the preseason, observes Jackson Filyo of NBA.com. Westbrook has been practicing in a limited capacity and is listed as questionable for Sunday. “(I’ve been) just running through a few things with the team,” he said. “Trying to get myself back in shape a little bit, seeing how I feel each day – trying to ramp up and making sure I take my time.”
- Bertans will miss his second return to San Antonio since the Spurs traded him to Washington, notes Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express News. Bertans was spectacular against his former teammates last season, scoring 23 points and hitting all seven of his shots from the field. “We definitely brought something out in him that I don’t want to see again,” said LaMarcus Aldridge.