Isaiah Todd, up until this morning, had been sitting in a hotel room in quarantine with nothing to do but push-ups and sit-ups.
Todd, the 31st overall pick in July’s draft, hit the floor for the first time Thursday evening in the Wizards’ 84-81 double overtime, sudden-death loss to the Nets in Summer League action. It was the first time he’s touched a basketball in over a week, as he was only recently activated off the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
“My shot didn’t fall, but what do you expect, you’ve been in the hotel room a week,” Todd said postgame with a grin. “First time getting on the floor with these guys, it was a lot of fun, it went smoother than I actually thought it would.”
Todd finished with just five points on 2-of-10 shooting and three rebounds, but he played 26 minutes (fourth-most on the team).
“I feel energetic, I feel pumped,” Todd said. “Most of that was adrenaline, just from being excited to play basketball again. We haven’t played since the bubble, only played 15 games there.”
His performance wasn’t necessarily sharp, but that’s to be expected after all he did was Zoom workouts for the last week.
“I think he had some really good turns in the first half, we were watching his energy level just to make sure because he hasn’t worked out in a number of days,” coach Mike Miller said. “It was kind of a tough situation, but he was ready to play. He was excited. He showed up, I love the athleticism, love the aggressiveness. You give him a couple of practices now, we get to play again, this is going to be a great experience for him to take advantage of.”
Todd, a G-League product, played 15 games for the Ignite last season where he made two starts and averaged 12.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.
A 6-foot-10 forward and Baltimore native, he didn’t have any time to practice with his new teammates, including first-round pick Corey Kispert. Instead, he had to lean on what he was taught in the G-League and from a walkthrough the morning of the game.
“What you saw was all stuff that I had learned last year, and I kind of just applied it to the general offense of what we were doing and the spacing on defense,” Todd said. “Everything was kind of second nature to what I learned in the G-League.”
He committed to Michigan and was once a five-star recruit, but elected to forgo his college eligibility in order to begin playing professionally. Now, he’s hopeful that once he gets back into a rhythm, he’ll be ready.
“The NBA game, from the G-League game, is kind of similar,” Todd said. “The G-League is where you go to work on that NBA game. Now that I’m moving, I feel well prepared.”