Amid all relative chaos of the NBA’s Eastern Conference, the Washington Wizards were a beacon of calm. They were one game away from the conference finals last season and much of the team remained exactly the same after inking star point guard John Wall to a long-term extension and re-signing their top free agent Otto Porter.
That meant that no matter what happened with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics — and plenty happened — the Wiz would be in a good spot to compete for a conference championship once again. Where the Cavs and Celtics will have to adjust to some major changes to their starting lineups, which can often lead to slow starts, Washington entered this season with a great chance to jump out to a fast start in the Eastern Conference that could help them potentially swipe a top-two seed.
That relative calm and promise of continuity hit a rough spot on Wednesday when it was reported that power forward Markieff Morris needs surgery and will miss the start of training camp for the squad.
Candice Buckner of the Washington Post first reported the news that Morris will undergo surgery for a sports hernia in St. Louis on Friday. Though the timetable for a return to basketball is uncertain at this point, the forward is expected to miss the start of training camp next month.
That’s certainly a bad start for a Wizards team looking for continuity heading into the 2017 season. Morris averaged 11.9 points and 6.5 rebounds per game for the Wizards in his first full season in Washington last year. He was traded to the Wizards during the 2015-16 season after spending parts of five seasons in Phoenix with the Suns.
It’s another blow in what’s been a bad week for Morris. Earlier in the week he went on trial with is brother, Marcus, for an alleged assault that occurred in Phoenix in 2015.