Wizards could be without true point guard vs. Knicks
Wizards point guard Tomas Satoransky had a bandage above his right eyebrow and still had a minor headache Monday evening. Both were the aftereffects from Bulls forward Bobby Portis’ mid-air takedown of Satoransky in the final minutes of Saturday’s Wizards win in Chicago.
After Satoransky’s head smacked the hardwood, he left the game and was placed in concussion protocol.
The 26-year-old who led all scorers with a career-high 25 said Tuesday he passed all his initial tests, but his status for Wednesday’s game against the New York Knicks remains uncertain until he is cleared by doctors.
If Satoransky can’t play, the Wizards already missing starter John Wall while he recovers from knee surgery would be without a healthy point guard on the roster. Backup point guard Tim Frazier suffered a broken nose against Chicago and underwent surgery Tuesday.
Like Satoransky, Frazier’s availability is questionable against New York.
The Wizards have two open spots on their roster. Now might be the time they look to fill one of them.
“Every position is on the board,” coach Scott Brooks said., declining to specifically address whether his team would sign another point guard before Wednesday. “We just have to figure out which one fits best for our team.”
Washington reportedly has been interested in bringing in a veteran point guard, and that should be no surprise given the team’s long history of trying to find a suitable backup to Wall. Last year, the Wizards signed Brandon Jennings after the Knicks bought him out.
With the trade deadline passing, free agency is the most likely option. Washington could bring in a player on a 10-day contract or sign them for the rest of the season.
ESPN reported Saturday the Wizards are exploring signing Derrick Rose, who was released by the Utah Jazz after being traded from Cleveland. Rose, 29, is far removed from his 2011 MVP season, and has struggled to stay healthy amid a sharp decline in play.
The Wizards are also exploring bringing back guard Ramon Sessions, who was with the team for two seasons (2015 and 2016). Sessions has been a free agent since the Knicks released him in January.
And, there are reports the Wizards are looking at veteran Ty Lawson, who is currently playing in China. Lawson, 28, hasn’t been the same player since a history of alcohol incidents led to his trade from the Denver Nuggets to the Houston Rockets in 2015. Lawson averaged 9.9 points in 69 games with the Sacramento Kings last season.
If the Wizards don’t have a true point guard against the Knicks, they could likely get by for one game, with the All-Star break coming up.
Satoransky has helped the Wizards stay on course without Wall. Since Jan. 27, he’s averaged 11.8 points and 5.3 assists in nearly 24 minutes per game. He’s gone largely unguarded at the 3-point line, and has converted his chances, shooting 13-of-19 from three in his last eight games.
Satoransky said he’s even noticing teams starting to adjust to him.
“In the second half, (the Bulls) were a little bit more aggressive with me in pick-and-rolls,” Satoransky said. “Anytime I had open shots, I shoot it. That’s what all the guys want me to do always. They really pushing me into them. But I had a lot of confidence in my game. I was on fire a little bit.”
Satoransky said he’s taking his recovery “step-by-step” so he’ll be ready against the Knicks.
As for Portis’ foul, Satoransky said he wasn’t sure what the Bulls forward was thinking. Portis defended himself by saying he was just aiming for the ball, but Wizards guard Jodie Meeks said it was a dirty play. Brooks called the foul “dangerous.”
“I don’t think he just tried to play the ball,” Satoransky said. “What I saw and what I know from the game, you don’t go for the block like how he went. He got me first hatd and then went for the ball. ... I don’t think he wanted me to fall like that, but he just showed he didn’t even care after the play.
“I’m feeling good,” he added. “It could have been much more serious.”