PHILADELPHIA—John Wall has spent all of training camp with Jordan Crawford and Shelvin Mack as his backcourt running mates, with Crawford at the two guard, and Mack guarding him during scrimmages.
On Monday, Nick Young returned to the him after signing a one-yea qualifying offer for a reported $3.7 million, and will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season.
Right after practice, Wall joined teammates Mack, Crawford and Hamady Ndiaye, and Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld among other s for a Family-to-Family initiative, a program that delivered Holiday gifts to three specially chosen families.
During the trip, Wall, Mack and Crawford, all seated near one another, continued trading jokes, just as they have been all during training camp. Each wore a Santa hat with a Wizards logo.
The only missing member of the Wizards backcourt youth movement was Young, who was still on the practice court working with the coaching staff when the charter bus left Verizon Center to spread a little holiday cheer throughout a few local neighborhoods. Of course, finding a Santa hat to fit over Young’s hair might have been a bit tricky.
Wall said he’s glad young is back, and doesn’t believe that missing training camp will hurt Young in any way.
“He can fit right back in,” Wall said. “We have basically the same team we did last year. There are a couple of new plays for him to learn, but he’ll be alright, if he can get in shape.”
“We was in working out shape, so it will probably take him a little time. It’s great to add another scorer in the backcourt.”
For Tuesday night’s second and final preseason game, a rematch against the 76ers in Philadelphia, Crawford is still penciled in as the starter at the two guard spot, and head coach Flip Saunders was non-committal on how much playing time Young will get, if any.
“I expect him to come in and be professional. We’ll have to see how he feels and whether or not we’ll use him [in the Philadelphia game],” Saunders said.
“We open up a week from [Monday] so we’ll have to facilitate his progress over the next six days, no question,” Saunders said.
“He’s pretty familiar with what we’re doing, we’re doing a couple of things a little bit differently, but I think [paring down the offense] should help him a little bit.”
As for the rematch in Philadelphia, after Friday night’s 25-point loss, Saunders said in a lot of ways, it was like starting from square one.
“We’re going to try and clean up a few things.”