Wizards react to losing Nene
Tuesday could be the start of Chris Singleton's future if he can help secure the Wizards' for their first postseason berth since 2008. The 6-8 forward, who doesn't have a contract for next season and has appeared in just 14 games this season, is going to get called on vs. the Orlando Magic at Verizon Center and his ability to perform will greatly impact the big picture in the last seven weeks of the regular season.
The Wizards (28-28) anticipated this would happen, after trading Jan Vesely last week and knowing that Kevin Seraphin and Trevor Booker were injury risks. Seraphin didn't practice Tuesday morning because of a recurring right knee injury and is not playing vs. Orlando. Nene is out six weeks with a left knee ligament strain. That quickly pushes Singleton, a third-year player who didn't have the fourth-year option for 2014-15 picked up by the team, into a significant role.
"I'm definitely motivated. I'm trying to get another deal. Everybody knows that," said Singleton, who averages just 3.7 points and 2.1 rebounds. "I got to do what I got to do."
If Singleton shows well, maybe the Wizards won't have to rely on the still-open 15th roster spot, which is expected to be filled by Drew Gooden with a 10-day contract, to be anything more than someone to log spot minutes in a pinch. They want to see how, or if the 2011 first-round draft pick in Singleton, can regain the form he showed early in his career.
"Being tough-minded," Singleton said of how he has handled the inactivity after playing in 123 games in his first two seasons. "It hasn't been my time. We've been playing well this year. I can't fault coach (Randy Wittman) for going the way he has been. I just got to go out there and play."
What's good for Singleton will be good for the Wizards.