The Washington Wizards added four players to their 2013 Training Camp roster Friday, including forward Pops Mensah-Bonsu and center D’Or Fischer, possible fill-ins for Emeka Okafor (herniated neck), as well as forward Josh Childress and guard Xavier Silas, whom might fill-in for the loss of Chris Singleton (fractured foot).
The Wizards released a public address regarding the injuries suffered by Okafor and Singleton last Wednesday, but the team has 15 players on their current roster and would need to lose some pieces in order to make changes for the regular season. In total, Washington will enter Saturday morning--their first day of Training Camp--with a roster of 19.
Pops Mensah-Bonsu will likely be the most familiar name of the bunch for Wizards fans, a former George Washington Colonial who began his NBA journey undrafted, signed by the Dallas Mavericks in 2006. The London-born forward has not played for an NBA team since the 2010-11 season, but he's been busy in Europe and in the Goodman league, where he stayed with and blocked Kevin Durant this summer during an exhibition game. Plus, he's on Twitter.
The 6-9 forward--and Fischer, a 6-11 center out of West Virginia--should help Washington practice "big" drills over their Saturday, September 28, to Wednesday, October 2, stay at George Mason University. It's unlikely Fischer will threaten anyone on Washington's previous, 15-man-roster, but he does have a 7-6 wingspan. If he wasn't turning 32-years-old in October he might be a nice D-League pick-up, but he doesn't trump Kevin Seraphin--or even Jan Vesely--with any sort of noticeable upside.
After Pops, Wizards fans may remember forward-guard Josh Childress the most (maybe even more). Childress hasn't found much success since the Phoenix Suns used the amnesty clause on the swingman in 2012, but he's been involved in Wizards rumors since 2004. He went 6th overall to Washington's Southeast Division rival, the Atlanta Hawks, that year, and after drafting Jan Vesely 6th overall in 2011, the Wizards are likely--or hopefully--unwilling to spend too much cash on another project pick. They secured forward Otto Porter, Jr., and guard Glen Rice, Jr., during the 2013 NBA Draft, and re-signed Martell Webster; Childress would hardly, if ever, play.
Rounding out the new group is Xavier Silas, the youngest of the group at 25-years-old, and as such, the talent with the best potential of a second start. He went to Northern Illinois, played in France after going undrafted in 2011, and--to fast forward a bit--spent last season in the D-League. Despite being young, Silas is a veteran when it comes to bruises, with a long list of career-jarring injuries (great article, regarding the difficulties of the D-League) after what was a very successful college career. The worst injury, perhaps, was a concussion suffered by an accidental elbow dished out by a Philadelphia 76ers teammate:
Silas suffered a concussion after getting struck with an elbow from his teammate and a skull fracture that sidelined him from play. After a facial surgery and some rehabbing, he came back to the 76ers for preseason, but it took just a month before he was waived and reacquired again by the Red Claws. [Dime Magazine]
Again, it's unlikely Silas will get a permanent role with the Wizards, but Washington could give Silas the spotlight he needs to start his career over with another team, whether through a future 10-day pick-up or an overseas proposal. Injuries, unfortunately, are part of any sport.
Washington will be at Mason, in Fairfax, Virginia, from Saturday, September 28, to Wednesday, October 2.
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