The call didn't come in until about one hour before tipoff, when the Wizards were notified that Markieff Morris, who hadn't even shot around with his new teammates, was able to play in Friday's game vs. the Detroit Pistons.
He came off the bench and logged 22 minutes in his first action here, a day after being traded from the Phoenix Suns for DeJuan Blair, Kris Humphries and a protected top-9 pick.
"I think he was completely lost," said Marcin Gortat, who along with Jared Dudley played with Morris in Phoenix, when asked how the 6-10 forward looked.
It was a comical yet honest assessment. Morris was 2 of 8 for six points with two rebounds and two turnovers. His first field goal came with 1:08 left in the third quarter when he freed himself with a pump fake, blew by his brother, Marcus, and dropped in the floater.
In the end, the Wizards (25-28) won their second game in a row 98-86.
Morris was given a sheet with a few play calls to get him used to some terminology but a plus in the Wizards' pace-and-space style is they play a lot in flow, meaning without play calls. They push tempo off misses and makes by the opponent, taking advantage of John Wall's superior speed to advance the ball.
But anyone who is a ball-handler, Bradley Beal, Ramon Sessions, Garrett Temple or Dudley, has the green light to push tempo, find the mismatch as the defense is in scramble mode and exploit it.
If that doesn't work, flow into pick-and-roll sets which is where Wall and Gortat flourish. And the power forward, be it Dudley, Nene or Morris, will establish screens on the opposite sides of the lane as ball-handler decides which option to take.
"I've played against everybody in this locker room so it's one of those things where you kind of know them already," Morris said.
All of that should make the process easier for Morris as the Wizards left immediately afterwards for Miami where they'll play the Heat on Saturday for their third game in three nights coming out of the All-Star break.
"The guy has no idea what we are doing and that's the hardest thing when you come out. He had no practice," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. "I just said go out there and play like it's a pick-up game. ... He's going to be fine. He's an intelligent player, good basketball IQ, good size, we can do some different things with him from a defensive standpoint that we haven't had the luxury to do so I see a lot of good things."
Wittman can relate to Morris' situation. When he played, he was traded from the Atlanta Hawks after five seasons to the Sacramento Kings. And soon after that he was sent to the Indiana Pacers where he ended his career in 1992.
"When it first happened to me when I was in the league and I spent five years with a pretty good team in Atlanta, you get traded it's tough," Wittman said. "That first time, no matter what people say -- 'It's part of the business' -- it's tough being traded to pick up and come to a new city, new teammates, new equipment manager, new everything, to feel comfortable. Having guys he's played with, Jared and March, I think will help."
Morris didn't find out until the last 10 minutes of Thursday's practice session with the Suns, just before the 3 p.m. trade deadline expired, that he was on the move. It was welcomed news given his tumultuous fifth season there in which he clashed with coaches, teammates and was suspended.
"I had a good five years in Phoenix, I really appreciate everything they’ve done for me," he said. "My past is the past, and I’m happy for a fresh start, and I’m happy to be in Washington."