After about six weeks removed from the last organized practice or game, today the Wizards Summer League squad opened up mini-camp at Verizon Center.
While it's a far cry from the actual team, it was still nice to see live action on the practice court, especially during the summer.
The two to watch this year will be Otto Porter, the Wizards first round pick from a year ago, and Glen Rice, who the Wizards traded up to snag early in the second round in last year's draft.
The Wiz dealt their first round pick in the 2014 draft to Phoenix for Marcin Gortat before the 2013-14 season began and then just over a week ago, on draft night, dealt their second round pick to the Lakers for cash considerations.
That means that the Wiz could very well have no rookies on next year's team, and does mean they have no rookies under contract on this year's Summer League roster.
announced their 16-man roster earlier this afternoon
, headlined by Porter and Rice. A few of the other names on the list were guys that we saw in June for pre-draft workouts, while some others were notable names in college and are looking for another chance at making it in the league.
It's hard to analyze too much after just one practice, but Porter and Rice both played with a lot of confidence and it was quite obvious that they already had a year under head coach Randy Wittman's system. They both knew all the play-calls and sets, which they tried to relay to some of the newcomers. They were both vocal on the court, which is not something we always saw from Porter during his rookie season. Watching him grow into more of a leadership role on this summer squad should be beneficial for his development.
What was not so much of a surprise was seeing Porter use his length to get into the passing lanes for steals and deflections. This will be something to watch for the next two weeks as he goes through scrimmages with the Summer League team and then in the games out in Vegas. Rice also looked good and has a real knack for finding ways to score, even in traffic. Watch for him to use his body to draw contact and finish at the rim, something he's already shown off after one day of practice.
Also of note today, John Wall was on the sidelines to watch part of tonight's practice. While Wall is a current teammate of both Porter and Rice, he played college ball with center Daniel Orton at Kentucky. Orton was a first round pick back in 2010 of the Orlando Magic and has played with three NBA teams and appeared in 51 games over his four year career.
The team will practice again on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday before departing for Las Vegas Thursday night. They open Summer League play on Saturday afternoon (4:30pm ET) against the Atlanta Hawks. The game will be televised locally on Comcast SportsNet.
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