Editor's Note: Scott Schroeder is the webmaster of SB Nation's NBA Developmental League blog Ridiculous Upside and is probably the most well-connected writer covering the D-League out there. He passes along this report about a possible Wizards signing. -Mike.
The money Washington receives from Ilgauskas, they will likely use to add some more frontcourt depth. The Wizards have just 11 players available and JaVale McGee played with a strained tendon in his right wrist on Saturday in Toronto.
"There is a chance we might bring in one guy or make that a rotating spot" with players from the NBA Developmental League, Saunders said on Saturday. "We're pretty much open."
A source close to the situation has confirmed that the Wizards are interested in Dwayne Jones, a 6-foot-11, 250 pound big man who is currently dominating the D-League for the Austin Toros. While I'm told that there is nothing imminent, Jones is currently averaging 16.8 points and 15.4 boards while shooting 61% from the field and averaging nearly two blocks per game, making him the best available option from the D-League pool.
Knowing Jones probably isn't the most well-known D-League player in the Washington Wizards fanbase, I decided to come on over to Bullets Forever and let the Wizards faithful know a bit more about what Jones could possibly bring to the table if the Wizards do indeed opt to call him up.
Most recently Jones led his Toros to a 109-108 victory while finishing with 26 points and 26 rebounds - 12 on the offensive end alone. In that game he was matched up with Wizards Summer League fodder John Edwards, who isn't exactly a dominating presence, but he does have an NBA resume which makes it difficult to discount the manhandling Jones bestowed upon him.
This was the seventh game of the season in which he had at least 20 rebounds, which is his bread and butter. Specifically, though, it's his ability on the offensive boards that makes him stand out. While he won't typically attempt to create his own shot, his 6.3 offensive boards per game is where the majority of his offensive output stems. He's a capable finisher who isn't afraid of contact, but Jones still doesn't possess a terribly high skill level, nor does he create his own shot, so that's about what you're getting from him offensively - offensive putbacks. He also sticks to what he's good - doesn't force anything on the offensive end.
Defensively, he has great size - both height and bulk - and he's very strong. His accolades are hard to quantify (1.9 blocks per game, 0.7 steals per game this season in the D-League), but according to Synergy, he does rank in the 95th percentile. He was also the Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year while a senior year at St. Joseph's on the Cinderella team that also featured Jameer Nelson and Delonte West.
His NBA resume includes 80 games over the past four seasons, having made appearances for the Celtics, the Cavaliers and most recently the Bobcats at the beginning of last season. While he's been on the NBA radar all season, the closest he's been to an NBA call-up this season was in December before the Blazers chose to call-up Shavlik Randolph instead.
While he's not going to be a world beater in the NBA, he's an excellent rebounder, solid defender and will know his role at the NBA level, which is exactly what most teams are looking for in a call-up. I'm under the impression that he's also being looked at to fill a void with the Blazers, and while I don't anticipate a race to get him under contract, it will be interesting to see how long it takes for the Wizards to make a final decision on which D-League player they call up once the Ilgauskas deal is complete because I'm not sure how long Jones will toil in the D-League.
I haven't been able to confirm any other players the Wizards could be interested in from the D-League if they were to make it a "rotating spot" as Saunders mentioned, but my short list of available big men would include Alexander Johnson, Courtney Sims, Earl Barron, Jared Reiner and Rob Kurz. Alade Aminu, a Summer League invite, is also in the D-League and while he's looked impressive at times, he's been too inconsistent to merit a call-up at this point. While he's not a center, fellow Wizards Summer Leaguer Diamon Simpson is averaging an efficient 15.5 points and 9.6 rebounds per game, though I'm not sure he was able to make enough of an impact in Vegas to receive tangible interest from the Wizards brass.