Washington Wizards Mailbag Monday: Questioning Small-Ball, Kelly Oubre and More


Washington Wizards Mailbag Monday: Questioning Small-Ball, Kelly Oubre and More

The Washington Wizards are depleted right now. Your uncle, Jared Dudley, has been forced to play the center position. The guards are battling inside, but haven’t been able to contribute on the glass. They’re trying, but it’s just not working. Sometimes size matters more than hustle…

They’ll take on the Miami Heat on Monday night after dropping a hard-fought game to the Dallas Mavericks the night prior. The Heat have Chris Bosh and Hassan Whiteside manning the paint. Randy Wittman will remain without Marcin Gortat and Nene, meaning we’ll get to see the super small-ball lineup again.

It’s Monday, though, so the Wizards — and you — will have the chance to improve and start your week off on a great note.

As always, if you would like to be featured, free free to submit a question to @WizofAwes.

Today’s questions come from Twitter and Reddit. To those who participated: thank you.

Great question, Jake!

It’s almost like you knew that I recently wrote about five available free agents — all big men — who would be solid fits with the Washington Wizards.

Sadly, I don’t expect Ernie Grunfeld to make any major move to improve the issues in the front court. They could waive Ryan Hollins, who’s been a non-contributor, and sign one of the players I wrote about, but I don’t think that would make much of a difference. Really — would signing Henry Sims or Jeff Adrien solve all of the Wizards’ problems? Probably not.

The Wizards just need to wait for Marcin Gortat to return. He’s currently in Poland spending time with his ailing mother but should return to the states soon. Nene, at this point, isn’t very dependable. When he’s on the court, it’s a miracle. He’s not going to be on the court much and that’s just what we’ve come to expect.

So, I don’t see the Wizards making any moves. They might get rid of Hollins to sign a more competent big man from the free agent market, but the market is pretty dry right now.

What can we expect from Alan Anderson when he returns to the court? – via Boymankid

You can expect a taller, better defensive version of Gary Neal.

Alan Anderson is a gunner in every sense of the word.

He looooves to shoot the ball.

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Like Neal, you’re going to have good days and bad days with Anderson.

There are going to be times where you absolutely love Anderson and there are going to be times where you hate him.

But the Washington Wizards need someone like Anderson.

Unlike Neal, Anderson is going to contribute defensively. He’s capable of defending both the shooting guard and small forward positions. It also wouldn’t surprise me if we saw Anderson spend some time as the stretch four as well.

Anderson has been in John Wall and Bradley Beal‘s ear all season long. Even when he hasn’t been playing, he’s made sure to have a positive impact. He’s been the most inexpensive cheerleader this season. Once he can actually contribute, though, Anderson should be able to become the team’s sixth man. If he’s healthy and doesn’t suffer a setback, the Wizards might’ve gotten themselves a steal with Anderson for less than the mid-level exception.

What do we need to do to get Oubre on the court?! How many players need to get injured so that this man sees some minutes? – via Stringphoneinventor

Kelly Oubre is only 19-years-old and played one year of college basketball at Kansas. Do you really want a 19-year-old defending veteran players at this point? I wouldn’t put that kind of pressure on Oubre. He’s simply not ready enough.

Garrett Temple is probably the more reliable option, at least as of right now. Oubre will eventually get some playing time. He’s athletic, can run and defend. He has all the tools to contribute in the future. Right now, though, he’s not ready.

Do you think the Wizards have the personnel to play small ball? – via Ourano

When healthy, the Washington Wizards have the personnel to play small-ball effectively. Wall and Beal play at a fast pace while the likes of Otto Porter, Anderson, Jared Dudley and Neal all space the floor. Washington can play both Dudley and Porter at the four in spurts without giving up much defensively.

The problem is, the Wizards aren’t healthy, which has forced them to play a strange version of small-ball with four guards. For small-ball to be effective, you need at least one good big man on the floor. Marcin Gortat and Nene are both perfect for that job, but they’ve unavailable.

Next: Finding Another Available Big Man: Wizards' Free Agent Targets

That’s it for this week’s edition of Mailbag Monday. If you’d like to be featured in the next edition, just let us know.