With Davis Bertans opting out of the NBA's restart, the Washington Wizards are allowed to sign a replacement player before they head to Orlando, and they plan to do just that, NBC Sports Washington has learned.
The free agent would be for the short-term. And, because of that, they can definitively rule out center DeMarcus Cousins, according to a person familiar with their plans.
Cousins has often been linked to the Wizards in rumors over the years and just last week John Wall, his good friend and college teammate, told the Undefeated he was lobbying for Washington to sign him. Cousins tore his ACL just over 10 months ago and, if signed, would be more about taking a long-term flier, hoping he can regain his form when healthy.
The Wizards are thinking in the immediate future and who could help them go for the playoffs when they arrive at Disney World with eight regular season games offered in the NBA's return-to-play plan. But that does not mean they are trying to replace Bertans specifically.
What he does is unique, especially given his size. They could sign a different type of player and search for three-point shooting in other areas of their roster.
Two-way guard Garrison Mathews could help in that area, and so could second-year players Moe Wagner and Jerome Robinson. So could Rui Hachimura, the team believes, as he has returned to workouts with an improved three-point shot. With Bertans out, Hachimura is expected to have an increased role in the offense and take more shots, NBC Sports Washington was told.
The Wizards can sign a player when the league's transaction window opens on Tuesday at noon. That player can receive a prorated minimum contract and will be an unrestricted free agent when this season ends.
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