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Wizards rebuild takes a new direction


Wizards rebuild takes a new direction

The Wizards have gone from a rebuild to a reinvention of themselves with a surprising trade that brought over veteran players Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza for Rashard Lewis on Wednesday.Ariza and Okafor are expected to be starters up front and bigcontributorsto the Wizards, although Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld said everybody will have to earn their minutes next season.

"We felt like we needed to add some veterans to the roster and we were able to do that with this move," Grunfeld said in a teleconference yesterday. "Instead of going into free agency to try and fill our needs, we did it through a trade."

According to Grunfeld, Ariza can play either the small forward or shooting guard while Okafor, who has averaged a double-double over his 8-year career, will play power forward.

"These players fit in well with what we're trying to do," Grunfeld said. I think we're going to be a better team with the addition of these players and the players we'll add in the draft."

So if you look into the crystal ball for next season, the Wizards would likely start Nene at center, John Wall at point guard, Okafor at power forward, Ariza at small forward, and perhaps the first round draft pick at shooting guard.

It's going to be a new look starting five for the Wizards for sure next season.Several players who started games last season -- such as forward Chris Singleton, guard Jordan Crawford, forward Jan Vesely, forward Trevor Booker andcenterKevin Seraphin-- now would come off the bench.

We're trying to get better," Grunfeld added. "We think we're a better team than we were yesterday but we still have a lot of work left for us."

Grunfeldsaid the trade does not affect the team's approach to the NBA Draft on June 28, but you have to think that the Wizards will go after a shooter, increasing the likelihood that Florida's Bradley Beal will be the team's selection with the third overall pick on June 28.

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Wizards set to have Tim Frazier back against Cavs after nasal fracture surgery

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Wizards set to have Tim Frazier back against Cavs after nasal fracture surgery

The All-Star break came at a good time for Wizards point guard Tim Frazier, who missed their last game before the week off due to nasal fracture surgery.

Frazier was back at the Wizards' practice on Tuesday night at Capital One Arena and expects to play on Thursday when the team returns to action on the road at the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"I feel good. I feel like I can go out there and help them compete," he said.


Frazier, 27, had surgery to repair his broken nose on Feb. 11 after he was knocked out of the previous night's game between the Wizards and Bulls. Frazier collided face-first with the knee of Bobby Portis and was immediately ushered to the locker room with blood streaming from his nose.

Following the procedure, Frazier had to battle through pain and breathing issues. He feels much better now and had no complications after participating in a full practice.

The challenge now is adjusting to a fitted mask he will have to wear to return to the court. Frazier has never had to wear a mask before in his basketball career.

"[Sweat] was one of the issues today, trying to keep it dry when I'm sweating underneath," he said.

"He looked good," head coach Scott Brooks said. "I thought he would be a little uncomfortable with it, but he seemed fine."


Frazier has been given advice from the Wizards' training staff, as well as teammate Bradley Beal who has had to wear a mask twice before in his career.

"Brad said that after a while you get used to it. Nobody wants to wear it for the rest of their careers besides Rip Hamilton," Frazier said.

Getting Frazier back is significant for the Wizards, who are already down a point guard with John Wall rehabbing from left knee surgery. Without Frazier against the Knicks on Wednesday, the Wizards had to use Beal and Otto Porter to bring the ball up at times. Now, with Tomas Satoransky and Frazier, they have a starting point guard and a backup who is used to playing the position.

They could have three point guards, as the Wizards continue to weigh their options in free agency. They have to add a player within the next two days to meet the league's minimum roster requirement. Most of the free agents they have evaluated have been point guards as they aim to compensate for Wall's absence, which could last well into the month of March.


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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Wizards have big questions to answer coming out of All-Star break

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Wizards have big questions to answer coming out of All-Star break

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes and Chris Miller look ahead to the biggest questions the Wizards need to answer after the All-Star break. They also explain why Bradley Beal proved a lot in his first All-Star Game appearance.

They also unveiled a new segment involving guessing Wizards players based on their social media captions.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!