Washington Wizards power forward Markieff Morris will be out 6-8 weeks after having sports hernia surgery, putting him out until potentially mid-November.
This is rough news for the Washington Wizards, as Morris was one of their most valuable players last season, and they don’t really have a whole lot of depth at the position.
Morris had a career-best year last season, averaging 14 points per game, 6.5 rebounds per game, 1.7 assists per game, and shooting 45.7% from the field. Morris also started expanding his game beyond the three-point line last season, shooting 36.2% from beyond the arc, a career best.
One potential replacement for Morris, while he’s out, is Jason Smith, who filled in as Marcin Gortat‘s backup while Ian Mahinmi was hurt and filled in for Morris on a few occassions when he was out during the season. Smith averaged 5.7 points per game and 3.5 rebounds per game, shooting 52.9% from the field.
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Similar to Morris, Smith expanded his game beyond the three-point line, something he never had really done in the past. It worked out pretty well too, as he ended the season shooting 47.4% from beyond the arc (37-of-78). Before last season, Smith had never attempted more than 11 three-pointers in a single season.
Another potential fill-in for Morris is Mike Scott, whom the Washington Wizards recently signed this offseason. This past season with the Atlanta Hawks was the worst season of Scott’s career so far, but also the season that saw him get the least amount of playing time, as he only averaged 10.8 minutes per game and with that, averaged just 2.5 points per game and 2.1 rebounds per game, shooting just 28.8% from the floor. Mostly this was due to missed playing time thanks to a knee injury he suffered earlier in the year, keeping him to just 18 games played on the season.
Mostly this was due to missed playing time thanks to a knee injury he suffered earlier in the year, keeping him to just 18 games played on the season.
However, throughout his career, Scott has proven to generally be a fairly solid bench player. During his second season in the NBA, Scott had his highest average minutes per game, at 18.5, and subsequently had his best statistical season to date, averaging 9.6 points per game, 3.6 rebounds per game, and shooting 47.9% from the floor.
There’s also the potential for Kelly Oubre to fill in for Morris, however at 6’7″, Oubre is a bit on the smaller side for a power forward, though he’s only an inch shorter than Scott, though he’s also over 30 pounds lighter.
Still, though, Oubre is a more-than-capable defender with a solid game beyond the arc. He’s played at the power forward position before as well, as the Wizards put him there a few times in the season in certain situations where they moved Morris to the center position.