The Washington Wizards are in the thick of the fight for a playoff seed as the season heads to the All-Star break. Right now, they are fourth in the East, one-and-a-half games behind the third-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers and only a half-game ahead of fifth and sixth-place squads, the Milwaukee Bucks and Indiana Pacers.
Washington has a rough schedule ahead of them as they will face fellow postseason-bound teams in eight of their next 10 games, including clashes with the Cavaliers, Bucks, Pacers, Toronto Raptors, and the defending champion Golden State Warriors.
The Wizards are actually on a roll, having won six of their last eight games. However, they have one glaring problem. Team leader John Wall is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks after undergoing surgery late last month to repair a chronic knee injury.
Wall’s possible two-month absence could make a difference on crucial postseason positioning or it may even hinder the team’s chances of qualifying for the playoffs. Thus, speculations abound that the Wizards are trying to find a short-term replacement for their starting point guard.
At the moment, seldom-used second-year point guard Tomas Satoransky has been partnering with Bradley Beal in the Wizards’ backcourt. The 26-year-old Czech playmaker is, in fact, holding his own with regards to the responsibility, but his consistency is yet to be proven. It has reportedly led to the club searching for more options at the position.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski recently tweeted about the possibility of Washington signing Derrick Rose, who was immediately waived by the Utah Jazz following the three-team trade with the Cavs and Sacramento Kings at the trade deadline, to take the starting point guard chores.
Rose, 29, is having a lackluster season mostly because of a lack of playing opportunities with the Cavs. The former NBA MVP averaged all career-lows of 9.8 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in 19.3 minutes per game in only 16 games for Cleveland this season.
Last Thursday, Rose, together with Jae Crowder, was traded to the Jazz in a blockbuster deal that also sent Rodney Hood and George Hill to the Cavs and Joe Johnson and Iman Shumpert to the Kings. However, Utah evidently had no intentions of utilizing his talents, so the three-time All-Star was soon released without even wearing the Jazz uniform on the basketball court.
According to a separate ESPN article by Wojnarowski, another option emerging for the Wizards is former Kings point guard Ty Lawson, who is currently playing for the Shandong Golden Stars in the Chinese Basketball Association.
Wojnarowski noted that Lawson’s “strong performance” in China has “merited deeper inspection” from Washington. The former North Carolina standout reportedly has until the All-Star break to “make a case” to the Wizards on the possibility of acquiring him.
The 30-year-old Lawson last played in the NBA during the 2016-2017 season with Sacramento. He averaged 9.9 points, 2.6 boards, 4.8 assists, and 1.1 steals in 25.1 minutes per game in 69 games for the Kings.