The Washington Wizards have signed center Alex Len to a one-year deal, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The Wizards had been looking to add a frontcourt player after starting center Thomas Bryant was lost for the season to an ACL injury. Len will likely play significant minutes once he is cleared to join the team.
Free agent center Alex Len has agreed to a one-year deal with the Washington Wizards, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. After clearing waivers, Len had multiple suitors and chose opportunity with Wizards, who needed depth in frontcourt.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 22, 2021
Len signed with the Wizards after being waived by the Toronto Raptors on January 19th. He was playing just 10.9 minutes per game and was likely not seen as a good fit by Toronto’s coaching staff for their switch-heavy defensive scheme.
Len is an eight-year NBA veteran with career averages of 7.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game and will be an experienced interior defender for a Wizards team that has struggled mightily defending the paint and avoiding fouling. They are currently fouling their opponents 24.6 times a game, good for last in the NBA. They are also 21st in points in the paint allowed per game at 47.3.
While it is not as splashy of a move as trading for a player like Hassan Whiteside or Larry Nance Jr., Len will still help shore up some of the Wizards defensive issues and provide them with a solid interior presence. He is just 27 years old and should be more than capable of playing 25+ minutes per game.
Additionally, Len has displayed a willingness to shoot 3-pointers starting in the 2018-2019 season, and went 3/3 from behind the arc in a game against the New York Knicks earlier this year. It is a skill he has added in just the last couple of seasons, but hopefully one the Wizards coaching staff can continue to develop in order to add some positional dynamicism on offense.
Len’s defensive ability will be a welcome addition to the team, and will give Russell Westbrook an athletic pick and roll partner. It will be exciting to see how he fits in once the team returns to playing games after their hiatus due to an outbreak of Covid-19 among the players and staff. Here’s to hoping head coach Scott Brooks implements and utilizes his talents effectively.
All stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference and ESPN
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