Wizards

Quick Links

Wizards 2017-18 roster outlook: Can Ian Mahinmi make a bigger impact in his second season?

usatsi_9951090.jpg
USA Today Sports

Wizards 2017-18 roster outlook: Can Ian Mahinmi make a bigger impact in his second season?

As part of CSN's preview for the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we preview Ian Mahinmi's season...

Player: Ian Mahinmi

Position: Center

Age: 30

2016-17 stats: 31 G, 17.9 mpg, 5.6 ppg, 0.6 apg, 4.8 rpg, 1.1 spg, 0.8 bpg, 58.6 FG%, 00.0 3P%, 57.3 FT%, 58.6 eFG%, 110 ORtg, 104 DRtg

2017-18 storyline: Mahinmi's first season in Washington did not go as planned, as various leg injuries kept him out for most of the year. It started in preseason with a partially torn meniscus and carried into the playoffs with a calf strain. Earlier this summer he had a minor procedure on his left knee, as well.

Because Mahinmi only appeared in 31 games with the Wizards in his first season, health is the storyline for him as he enters the second year of his four-year, $64 million free agent contract. The first question is if he can stay healthy. Next, it's what type of impact will he make if given the opportunity to play for a full season. 

[RELATED: HOW THE NBA CAN PREVENT TANKING]

Mahinmi's impact was seen in glimpses in 2016-17. For instance, he had the best defensive rating of any Wizards player and that happens to be an area the team needs to improve. Mahinmi can add something the Wizards lacked last year, a rim protector who can set a tone particuarly for their second unit.

Mahinmi's presence relates directly to Marcin Gortat, of course. The more Mahinmi plays, it could mean a lighter load for Gortat, who would play 48 minutes every night if head coach Scott Brooks let him. It will be interesting to see if and how Brooks tries to use Mahinmi and Gortat. Will it depend on opponent matchups? Will they play together? Regardless, Mahinmi should help the Wizards improve defensively if he can stay on the court.

Potential to improve: Availability, free throw percentage, chemistry with second unit.

MORE WIZARDS' ROSTER PREVIEWS:

Can John Wall take another step after earning All-NBA?

Is this the year Bradley Beal becomes an All-Star?

What is the next step in Otto Porter's development?

Markieff Morris can be an X-factor this season

Will Marcin Gortat's role change or be the same this year?

Will Kelly Oubre, Jr. make a big leap this season?

[RELATED: WHO WILL BE MOST-IMPROVED ON THE WIZARDS THIS YEAR?]

SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE WIZARDS STORIES

Quick Links

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

bensimmons.jpg
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.

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Quick Links

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?