3 free agent center who fit perfectly with the Wizards roster

Jock Landale of the Phoenix Suns being coached by Mark Bryant. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Jock Landale of the Phoenix Suns being coached by Mark Bryant. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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One of the biggest weaknesses for the Washington Wizards this past season was their lack of depth at the five. Despite Kristaps Porzingis and Daniel Gafford taking up a majority of the minutes at that position, it was still a major issue throughout the year.

Porzingis only played 65 games this season, while an incredible development for the injury prone big man, was still not helpful for this particular issue with the team. Another aggravating factor to this weakness was the tendency of both Porzingis and Gafford to get into foul trouble, especially against teams with quicker guards.

With neither of these two starting caliber centers able to consistently stay on the court for entire games, it leaves one player who picked up the minutes for them. That player is Taj Gibson, an undersized big who hasn’t contributed meaningful minutes to any team in quite a few years.

With this obvious issue, it would be smart for the Wizards to look into signing a backup center, preferably one who can be a defensive anchor for the team. This would also give them some more injury insurance as lessening their minutes in a position that plays more physically would also lessen their chances of injury.

One major setback in that plan, however, is the fact that the Wizards are not likely going to have much money to spend in free agency. Assuming they retain Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis on the contracts that they are expected to receive as well as keep their first-round draft pick, they are projected to have around $8 million to spend in total. This means they will likely have to look for players willing to take minimum or near minimum deals.

Jock Landale would be a fantastic backup center for the Washington Wizards

Landale has been the go to guy off the bench for Deandre Ayton this year for the Phoenix Suns. He is a skilled big man who isn’t afraid to get physical on defense. In their current series against the Denver Nuggets, he has had numerous instances where he seems to at least annoy Nikola Jokic, an incredible feat as Jokic is one of the most unstoppable offensive forces in the league when he wants to score.

While he may not be the greatest defensive player available, he can offer a large boost of energy off the bench and even make efforts to stretch the floor for players like Deni Avdija and Johnny Davis who may not be able to shoot the ball themselves.