The NBA season hasn’t even tipped off yet, but the Washington Wizards are off to a less than desirable start.
Players Emeka Okafor and Chris Singleton have suffered some offseason injuries per ESPN and both are expected to miss the start of the team’s training camp, which begins on September 28th. The oft-injured Okafor has a herniated disc and is out indefinitely. Singleton suffered a broken bone in his foot during a workout and is expected to miss up to two months.
Singleton’s injury hurts, but he isn’t as important to the team as Okafor. Averaging nearly a double-double (9.7 points and 8.8 rebounds) last season, Okafor was the anchor down low for the team. He isn’t an all-star talent, but shot nearly 50% from the field and led the team in rebounds and blocks.
Also, consider the fact that Washington is already paper thin when it comes to quality depth at center. Without having re-signed Jason Collins, the only true center on the team is Nene Hilario. He’s not a horrible option (though, he hardly strikes fear into opposing centers, either), but the problem is there’s no one behind him. Al Harrington can cover minutes there if need be, but he’s also on the downside of his career and at 6’9″, is undersized. Harrington is only 33, but having gone straight from high school to the NBA and having been in the league for 15 years, is realistically more like 35.
The injury will be something to watch as Collins, who recently announced to the world that he is gay, is still out looking for a job. The Wizards need depth at center and Collins not only could provide it, but knows the ins and outs of playing with the team.