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Deeper dive into Wizards' offseason: How Daniel Ochefu can solidify his spot

Deeper dive into Wizards' offseason: How Daniel Ochefu can solidify his spot

The bigs for the Wizards aren't a problem in terms of volume. They have them but it's a question of what to do with them all and where -- or if -- Daniel Ochefu can find a place going into his second season.

Signed as an undrafted free agent on a non-guaranteed minimum, Ochefu stuck because the Wizards had to get a big body available behind Marcin Gortat due to knee injuries to Ian Mahinmi.

And when Mahinmi came back, that eliminated any real chance of Ochefu logging meaningful time on a team that was in the chase for the No. 1 seed with a month left in the season. 

Ochefu is a true center on a roster in which Markieff Morris and Jason Smith play at the five spot when a stretch option is preferred.

[RELATED: Wizards voice commitment to retaining Otto Porter]

The skinny: 1.3 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 44.4% FG shooting; 19 appearances.

Best game: April 12 regular-season finale at the Miami Heat. It was a game that the Wizards conceded before it began by resting starters with their playoff fate already determined. Ochefu played a season-high 17 minutes with eight points and three rebounds. 

Weak spots: It's difficult to get a read given how sparingly Ochefu played, but he's actually advanced defensively considering his experience level. Offensively, that's where he has the most room to grow. His moves aren't polished.

Fixes: Playing time is the obvious one, and it could be easier to find if he sticks and Mahinmi maintains his health. With two healthy, veteran bigs the Wizards can be more comfortable with sending Ochefu to D-League to get in reps. 

Next step: He'll be at Las Vegas summer league next month. Given that Ochefu is the most affordable big on the roster, any progress he makes creates options.

[RELATED: How Sheldon Mac can play way into Wizards' rotation]

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Celtics and Sixers may go relatively unchanged this offseason, as stars have gone elsewhere

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USA Today Sports Images

Celtics and Sixers may go relatively unchanged this offseason, as stars have gone elsewhere

The 2018 NBA offseason in just three weeks has become one of the wildest summers in the league's history between LeBron James signing with the Lakers, and all the characters that followed him, to DeMarcus Cousins surprising everyone to sign with the Golden State Warriors, to Kawhi Leonard getting traded to the Raptors.

As crazy as it all has been, two teams in the Eastern Conference stand out for so far doing very little, either by choice or circumstance. The Celtics and Sixers, the two teams most see as the favorites in the East, appear at least so far to be running it back with the same group of players.

This appears to be the Celtics' intention. After overhauling their roster last summer, they clearly see an opportunity to take a step forward as-is. Boston was one win away from the NBA Finals and will return Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving from injury. With James gone to the West, they can improve significanly just by keeping it all together.

Boston re-signed Marcus Smart and Aron Baynes. Their biggest addition this summer so far has been their first round pick, Robert Williams.

The Sixers, unlike the Celtics, didn't appear to plan on doing it this way. They wanted James and missed out. They reportedly had interest in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, but both went elsewhere. There are no stars left to sign in free agency and the trade market may be drying up.

Philly made some minor moves like trades for Wilson Chandler and Mike Muscala. They may also have a deal for Kyle Korver in the works. They also had two first round picks in Zhaire Smith and Landry Shamet.

There's a chance the Sixers got better than people think, as many of the moves they made seem smart. But they didn't reel in a big fish and will probably come back for the 2018-19 season with a team very similar to the one that made the second round of the playoffs this spring.

The fact the Celtics and Sixers may stand pat is probably a good thing for the rest of the East. Both teams may improve naturally if they are healthier and if their young players continue to ascend. But neither made a game-changing addition, one that would solidify either as an unstoppable superteam in the conference. 

The West is overloaded with title contenders and All-NBA players. The East, meanwhile, is much more open and it may end up staying that way mainly because Boston and Philly have been quiet so far this summer.

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Wizards set introductory press conference for Dwight Howard

Wizards set introductory press conference for Dwight Howard

Wizards team president Ernie Grunfeld has stayed relatively busy this summer crafting his new-look lineup for the 2018-19 season. 

One of the team's key additions, Dwight Howard, is set to be introduced as a member of the Wizards on Monday. 

NBC Sports Washington will air the introductory press conference live at 1 p.m. while also streaming it online.  

Ernie Grunfeld and head coach Scott Brooks are both expected to be in attendance. 

The 32-year-old big man is coming off a 2017-18 season with the Charlotte Hornets in which he averaged 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. 

Since leaving the Orlando Magic after eight seasons in 2011, Howard has played for four different teams in the last six years. 

Howard is an eight-time all-star and a three-time defensive player of the year. 

 

RELATED LINKS: 

John Wall's take on Dwight Howard 

Wizards make Dwight Howard free agent signing official 

By the numbers: Is new Wizards center Dwight Howard still in his NBA prime?