Thank you for the questions you submitted for this month’s mailbag of Wizards and Mystics questions. Due to the number of questions asked, we weren’t able to answer everyone. Here are the questions that we decided to answer. Take a look below to see if your question was selected!
Jim Ivery (email): I’m interested in hearing about the role of the training staff throughout the season. The Mystics have remained relatively healthy this season. I’d like to know what the training staff did before and during the season to minimize injury and expedite recovery.
Albert Lee: The Mystics, with the exceptions of Kiara Leslie since the preseason and Kristi Toliver for the last couple weeks, have been pretty healthy as a whole. I’m not privy to their health staff, but one thing they have done to stay healthier the last couple seasons is sacrifice bigger salaries in Europe or China in the winter for training here in the States and pursuing other opportunities at home.
Elena Delle Donne has never played overseas, though she was in China briefly before she was traded to Washington in 2017. However, other key players like Natasha Cloud, Tianna Hawkins and Toliver stayed in the United States and in regular contact with the Mystics. The lack of players going overseas has definitely helped Washington stay fresh heading late into the regular season.
Unfortunately, this was the only Mystics question. I’m sure there are more questions from fans, so if you have a question on them, please ask!
Alex Choi (email): What is the upside/potential of Issac Bonga? I have heard Nicolas Batum, but looking at some of his G League highlights, I see a poor man’s Giannis Antetokounmpo (shorter, skinnier, but better jumper).
Albert: Bonga is a very raw prospect who could be like Batum at his peak. I know Bryan Oringher compared Rui Hachimura to Antetokounmpo. But keep in mind that he also played point guard in Germany before coming to the Lakers last season so he could be an option there as well.
Expatde (comments): What is the outlook for Wizards depth and defense at the small forward position? Will Troy Brown, Jr. start? Who will be the first SF off the bench?
Albert: I project that Brown gets the nod to start at small forward. But from there, perhaps Admiral Schofield will get his chances as Marcus Atkinson noted earlier this week.
As for depth and defense, the Wizards project to be inexperienced but not necessarily thin if Schofield and CJ Miles can hit the ground running relatively speaking.
CzechWizFan (comments): Which team would you like to see Bradley Beal play to on a hypothetical one-year loan if such a system were possible in the NBA?
Alan Jenkins: If I’m selfishly hoping he wins a title — the Lakers. Brad has been nothing but first-class since he arrived in Washington and year by year, brick by brick has evolved into an All-Star. If I’m the Wizards and looking to get a nice sized package in return filled with good young players and draft picks, my first call is to Denver.
Lyndie Wood: Leaving aside questions about *how* they would get him, I’d love to see Beal in Philly. I think they could do really interesting things with him at point and Ben Simmons in more of a Draymond Green role. And in general an Embiid/Simmons/Beal-led team is going to be really dynamic.
Averagbro (comments): Given the team’s lack of depth on the wing, do you think Justin Anderson has a legitimate chance to make the team? (There are some reports that he’s working toward a camp deal)
Albert: Yes, he has a legitimate chance to make the team. And even if he doesn’t, Anderson could at least have a spot on the Go-Go.
Expatde (comments): Is there any hope that Moritz Wagner will contribute to the 2019-20 Wizards?
Marcus Atkinson: Looking at the roster, the only players listed at center are Thomas Bryant, Ian Mahinmi and Wagner. Of the players who played at least 30 games last season, Mahinmi had the seventh highest foul rate per 36 minutes in the NBA. Given that he is the backup center on the roster, it is almost inevitable that he will get in foul trouble. When he does, the Wizards have a few choices: put Bryant back in (not likely if you’re trying to rest him at that moment), go small or put in Wagner.
Wagner will get his chances. But will be able to contribute in a meaningful way? The jury is still out on him.
Yanir Rubinstein: If indications are that the Wizards are trying to move-in a different direction then Mahinmi will not be playing much. Indeed, any forward looking team would play Wagner in front of Mahinmi and buyout Mahinmi or waive him altogether to clear a roster spot. But with the Wizards, who knows? In my conversation with Kevin Broom we traded off different visions for Wagner.
Passing Time (comments): When will we find out about the disabled player exception for John Wall? What can we do with it if/when we get it?
Albert: There has been no word on whether the NBA approved or denied the exception. But most likely the Wizards will get it. This exception is worth $9.3 million which they can use to sign a player for a one-year contract. They could also use this exception to trade for a player. Like any other exception, it cannot be combined with other exceptions to sign someone to a maximum level deal.
hurtineminthehomeoftheterrapins (comments): Could Phil Booth (camp signee) make the Wizards?
Albert: I think he’s probably another player who’s on a camp contract but more likely a Go-Go player if he stays with the organization and if Isaiah Thomas doesn’t have any setbacks.
VBFan (comments): Does Monumental Basketball create a “too many cooks” situation?
Albert: This is a good question. I think that it’s too early to say at the present time. Sashi Brown is overseeing the basketball teams’ shared services which include general player development, health and post-career management. Several people have been hired under Brown’s umbrella group, but it’s also important to stress that Tommy Sheppard is ultimately responsible for the Wizards’ product on the floor and Mike Thibault for the Mystics’.
If Brown’s or Daniel Medina’s roles start to interfere with what the Wizards, Mystics and Go-Go do, then perhaps there are too many cooks in the kitchen. As for Wizards District Gaming, it will be interesting to see where they fit into all of this.
Thanks again for your questions! Our next mailbag will be in September!