Washington Wizards Mailbag Monday: Disabled Player Exception Thoughts, John Wall and More


Washington Wizards Mailbag Monday: Thoughts On Disabled Player Exception, John Wall and More

Remember how bad the Washington Wizards were, like, a week ago? Now, they actually look like a competent basketball team after stringing together three straight W’s.

We’re back with another Mailbag Monday — one that will hopefully be filled with more #PositivePixels than in the prior weeks.

As always, if you’d like to be featured, feel free to drop us a question on Twitter (@WizofAwes).

To those who participated — thank you. I hope everyone has a wonderful start to their week.

Today’s questions come from Twitter and Reddit.

Otto Porter ranks 14th in the league in eFG% despite not being a good 3-point shooter yet. Is his mid-range game good enough for now or should he be taking more 3’s? – via Boymankid

Nowadays, the fans want their team to completely eliminate the mid-range jump shot. While I understand the idea and I know that the three point shot is a lot more valuable, I’m also against the idea of telling good mid-range jump shooters to stop taking those shots.

The likes of LaMarcus Aldridge, Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Bosh and others should be taking those shots if they’re open.

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I’m not saying that Otto Porter is on the level of any of those players, but he’s capable of hitting those 18-20 foot jump shots.

However, I don’t think that’s really changed his field goal percentage.

He’s making over 70 percent of his shots inside the paint.

He’s finishing in transition and he continues to find himself open underneath the basket by moving without the ball.

Still, Porter needs to start taking and making more threes. He hit a few against the Detroit Pistons. We know that Porter can knock down the deep ball, it’s just a matter of hitting them consistently. Porter has the stroke and he just needs to keep letting it fly.

The bright side is, even though he’s been struggling from deep, he’s been super efficient. Once he finds his rhythm from three, he’s going to be tough to stop. That’s right — Otto Porter, tough to stop, is a thing now.

I believe it was Game-1 against the Toronto Raptors during the 2015 NBA Playoffs. He let out a loud roar, looked into DeMar DeRozan‘s eyes and devoured his soul. From that point on, Otto Porter has been the basketball savior.

(I’ll answer the second question later because it was asked by another reader)

First off, the Washington Wizards need to get the exception. It’s going to take some time. Martell Webster is done for the season and he needs to be evaluated by a league chosen doctor before Washington gets the exception. That’s the first step, really.

Next, Washington has to determine what they want to do with the exception if they receive it. Will they acquire a player through trade or will they sign a free agent?

They will have over $2 million to work with, so don’t expect them to land a game-changer with the exception. Besides, if you desperately need to strike gold with such a small exception, you’re probably in some trouble.

Washington will likely decide to wait until after the trade deadline to see who becomes available post-buyouts. Players who aren’t dealt before the deadline will seek contract buyouts. Then, Washington could end up signing a borderline rotation player. Last year, the likes of Jameer Nelson, Amar’e Stoudemire and Thomas Robinson became available.

I recently wrote about some players that could be available for the Washington Wizards. If you don’t want to read it, here’s the quick list: Austin Daye, Jaron Johnson, Damien Wilkins and Christopher Douglas-Roberts. It’s important to note that none of the aforementioned players have been linked to the Wizards, I just included them because they would fill certain voids.

Washington could go many directions with the exception if they get it. They could look to sign a big man — like, Daniel Orton, for instance. They could also sign another rotation wing like CDR if they believe that they need more depth at that position. Alan Anderson will make his debut next month, though, so they could also decide to sign a stretch four — like, Daye, for instance.

It all depends on who becomes available and what the team thinks is the biggest need. Randy Wittman will give his input and the front office will listen. After all, he’s the one who coaches the crew.

They need to be granted the exception before the team decides who, if anyone, they want to sign. I know that it takes time. Again; Webster needs to be evaluated by a league chosen doctor. Teams have been denied the exception in the past, but given Webster’s situation, I’d be surprised if the Washington Wizards don’t receive it.

John Wall is a pass first point guard and it can certainly be frustrating at times. Our very own Oz Baig wrote about Wall’s passiveness recently.

I don’t know if Wall has it in him to score 30+ points when the team needs him to. It would be nice for him to develop a Russell Westbrook-like mentality, but players who have that mindset usually have a difficult time switching it off. Wall has a tough time switching that on and I don’t think that’s ever going to change. He is who he is — the ultimate pass first point guard, sometimes to a fault.

When the offense goes to sleep, Wall looks for his teammates. He tries to wake them by setting up open shots. Unfortunately, his teammates don’t always connect. Every player in the league is flawed and Wall is one of them. His flaw, as weird as it sounds, is his pass-first mentality. That might change in the future, but right now, that’s who he is.

I’m not a huge fan of putting quotas on shots, especially threes. That will just lead to ill-advised shots. John Wall should take as many good looking threes as he can get. Should he actively seek them out? Probably not. He’s not a good enough shooter to settle for outside shots. Wall should look to get to the basket, find his teammates and then take the outside shot if everything else fails.

Right now, Wall is shooting a career high four 3-point shots per game. He’s only hitting 26 percent of them.

Kevin Durant is a right fit for any team that can get him, including the Washington Wizards. If you can get Durant, who’s arguably the second best player in the league when healthy, you should get him regardless of how well he fits. As a kid, I remember making the puzzle pieces fit, often smashing them together. Get KD, then figure out the fit.

The Otto Porter situation would get a bit weird if Durant chooses to return home, but again, the Wizards will opt to figure that out later if they can get the second best player in the league. It’s really a non-issue. It’s a problem that the Wizards would like to have.

I’d take Durant over any young 4 or 5 that could realistically land in Washington. Anthony Davis just signed a five-year contract extension with the New Orleans Pelicans, so he’s not a realistic option. If this were a fantasy/real-life draft and I could pick between the two, I would likely take Davis. Why? Because his upside is insane. He could end up being one of the best big men ever. You can’t go wrong with either of them, though.

Next: Player Grades: Assessing A Solid Week Of Wizards Basketball

That’s it for Mailbag Monday. If you’d like to be featured in next week’s edition, let us know on Twitter. To check out the previous editions, click here.