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Wizards sign point guard Ty Lawson to roster in time for playoffs

Wizards sign point guard Ty Lawson to roster in time for playoffs

The day after their regular season wrapped up, the Wizards signed veteran point guard Ty Lawson to add more backcourt depth to their roster before the playoffs. Yahoo! Sports first reported the news.

Lawson, 30, gives the Wizards a fifth point guard behind John Wall, Tomas Satoransky, Tim Frazier and Ramon Sessions. Given that dynamic, it's hard to see him getting much playing time, especially considering he's joining a new team just days before the postseason begins.

RELATED: FIVE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT TY LAWSON

Lawson comes to the Wizards after spending most of this season with the Shandong Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Associaton. He last appeared in the NBA with the Kings during the 2016-17 campaign and through seven NBA seasons has also played for the Nuggets, Pacers, and Rockets.

With the Kings in his last season, Lawson appeared in 69 games and averaged 9.9 points, 4.8 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 1.1 steals. He shot 45.4 percent from the field and 28.8 percent from three.

During his prime NBA years, Lawson was known for his speed and ability to score on the fastbreak. In his mid-20s he helped lead some good Nuggets teams with borderline All-Star numbers.

RELATED: EVERYTHING TO KNOW ABOUT WIZARDS-RAPTORS SERIES

It is unclear what Lawson can still provide and we may not see much of him at all in the playoffs. The only scenario where would see the floor is if the Wizards plan on moving Tomas Satoransky to the wing and to the extent where he can't be the backup point guard anymore. That would open the door for one of the remaining point guards to be Wall's primary backup.

In the four games, Wall played to close out the season, head coach Scott Brooks tightened his rotation to the point where neither Sessions or Frazier played, and neither did primary backup shooting guard Jodie Meeks. The Wizards instead rolled with Satoransky as their third guard and made do with that trio.

What we do know is that the Wizards had been interested in Lawson going back to February when they began their pursuit for free agents to fill out their roster. Lawson was considered when the Wizards signed Sessions, but they kept tabs on him and ultimately struck a deal.

Now Lawson gets another chance in the NBA and it happens to be with his hometown team, as he is from nearby Clinton, Md.

RELATED: COMPLETE NBA 1ST ROUND SCHEDULE

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For more on the Wizards-Raptors series, check out our in-depth preview on the Wizards Tipoff podcast:

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2020 NBA Draft: Isaiah Stewart would give Wizards rebounding, but overall fit is questionable

2020 NBA Draft: Isaiah Stewart would give Wizards rebounding, but overall fit is questionable

The Washington Wizards are likely to have a lottery pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects who could fall around where the Wizards will select...

2020 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Isaiah Stewart

Team: Washington
Position: Forward/center
Age: 19
Height: 6-9
Weight: 250
Wingspan: 7-4

2019/20 stats: 32 G, 32.2 mpg, 17.0 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 0.8 apg, 0.5 spg, 2.1 bpg, 57.0 FG% (6.0/10.5), 25.0 3PT% (0.2/0.6), 77.4 FT%

Player comparison: Jae Crowder, DeJuan Blair

Projections: NBC Sports Washington 21st, Sports Illustrated 16th, Ringer 27th, NBADraft.net 26th, Bleacher Report 26th

5 things to know:

*One of the strongest built players in this draft class, Stewart is a bruiser on the boards and on the block. He was a force in college, bullying his way to the rim with little resistance. His game is currently best-suited for the interior, as he lacks an outside shot. But he has been effective at every level of basketball so far playing that style, and his high motor will help his chances in the NBA.

*Stewart is one of the best rebounders in this class, averaging 8.8 per game including 2.8 on the offensive end. He was a bit inconsistent in that area, however. Seven times he grabbed five or fewer rebounds in a game, while 10 times he had 11 or more. He had 19 boards in a game against Oregon in January.

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*Stewart was also a standout rim-protector, averaging 2.1 blocks per game. Whether that will translate to the next level, however, is unclear given his height and the fact he does not appear to be an explosive leaper. He would have to rely on his length and instincts. Draymond Green makes that work, but few others have been able to.

*He hasn't shown many signs he can become a reliable outside shooter, but there are some. The fact he made 77.4 percent of his free throws is a positive. Also, he displays solid touch in the midrange. But given he didn't make many outside jumpers at all in college, he will be docked for his shooting in the pre-draft process.

*Stewart was a big-time recruit just one year ago. A McDonald's All-American and the high school player of the year, Stewart was ranked second in his class by Rivals and third by ESPN. The only player rated higher than him by Rivals was James Wiseman of Memphis.

Fit with Wizards: There are some things to like about Stewart's fit with the Wizards, especially the fact his two biggest strengths - rebounding and rim protection - happen to be arguably their most glaring weaknesses. His high energy and physical style of play would also be a nice change of pace on their roster.

If the Wizards drafted Stewart, he would likely slide into their bench as a back-up to Rui Hachimura and Thomas Bryant. He could play the four alongside Moe Wagner or the five in small-ball lineups, perhaps with Davis Bertans at the four, if Bertans indeed re-signs.

The fact Stewart is a committed rebounder and rim protector would give head coach Scott Brooks some lineup flexibility, though it's questionable how Stewart would fit alongside Hachimura given neither would be able to stretch the floor consistently. If Hachimura develops a more potent three-point shot, then they could better co-exist.

Given where Stewart is projected to go in this draft, though, it seems unlikely he will be a fit for where the Wizards are going to pick. He doesn't have the athleticism or well-rounded game to be a top-10 selection. Unless he slipped to the second round, or the Wizards made a trade, the two sides probably won't line up on draft night.

But if he were to somehow slip to them in the second round, Stewart could make a lot of sense for the Wizards. Given his NBA-ready strength and motor, he could be a high-floor type of player with a good chance of becoming a solid rotation piece.

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NBA engaged in conversations for a late-July return at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

NBA engaged in conversations for a late-July return at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

The NBA appears to be on the path to a return.

The league is in significant talks with the Walt Disney Company about restarting the 2019-20 season in late July, with Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando as the lone site to resume the games.

News first reported that Orlando emerged as the clear frontrunner on Wednesday, and NBA Chief Communications Officer Mike Bass confirmed such in a league statement.

"The NBA, in conjunction with the National Basketball Players Association, is engaged in exploratory conversations with The Walt Disney Company about restarting the 2019-20 NBA season in late July at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida as a single site for an NBA campus for games, practices and housing," Bass said.

"Our priority continues to be the health and safety of all involved, and we are working with public health experts and government officials on a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that appropriate medical protocols and protections are in place," the statement concluded.

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The league was also considering both Las Vegas and Houston as potential sites to resume action, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. However, the NBA is reported to prefer the Orlando location due to it's closed campus and ample hotel options. Commissioner Adam Silver has said he doesn't believe the NBA will need to have a closed-off, "bubble-like" environment at the resort when teams do return.

Earlier this week, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the NBA was expected to release guidelines near June 1 for how its teams can recall out-of-market players to return. Wojnarowski called this the "first step toward a formal ramp-up for the season’s resumption."

The NBA season has been paused since March 11 when Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus.

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