The two-year project that goes by the name of Peter John Ramos apparently is nearing an end for the Washington Wizards.
“Peter is not in our plans as we move forward,” coach Eddie Jordan said after practice yesterday at Verizon Center. “I’m looking at other guys. He’s continuing to work, and he’s getting his extra workouts in after practice and before games. But right now he’s not in my plans.”
The Wizards selected the 7-foot-3, 290-pound Ramos with the 32nd overall pick in the 2004 draft. Ramos appeared in just six games with the Wizards over the last two seasons, all as a rookie. He spent most of last season in the NBA Development League with the now-defunct Roanoke Dazzle.
Ramos averaged 14.9 points and 7.7 rebounds for the Dazzle. He can’t be reassigned to the development league because he is a third-year player. The Wizards called him up twice last season, but he did not appear in any games.
Ramos, who left Verizon Center quickly after yesterday’s workout, didn’t appear in either of the Wizards’ two games this preseason. Ramos and injured forward Darius Songaila (back) remain the only Wizards players who haven’t played in the preseason.
Meanwhile, the Wizards appear to be seriously considering 6-foot-10, 285-pound James Lang.
Lang, who lost 30 pounds over the summer after a stress fracture to his left foot last season, played slightly more than 14 minutes Wednesday in the Wizards’ 87-86 loss to the Chicago Bulls. He finished with six points and four rebounds.
Last season, Lang signed three 10-day contracts, two with the Atlanta Hawks and one with the Toronto Raptors. Selected by the New Orleans Hornets out of Central Park Birmingham (Ala.) High School with the 48th overall pick in the 2003 draft, Lang appeared in 32 games last season with the NBDL’s Arkansas RimRockers, where he averaged 8.3 points and 5.0 rebounds.
He attracted the attention of vice president of player personnel development Milt Newton last season and received an invite to the Wizards’ camp.
Lang, 22, still is working his way into shape, but he plays with confidence and has heard encouraging words from Jordan.
“Coach told me that I have an opportunity to make the team,” Lang said. “I worked hard to get the weight off this summer — I did a boot camp in San Francisco — and I’m just thankful that the Wizards invited me to camp.”
Lang said the stress fracture was made worse because he played on it without knowing the damage he had done. That’s when he put on the extra weight.
Meanwhile, Jordan likes what he sees of second-year guard Donell Taylor.
“He’s been very active,” Jordan said. “He gives us good speed, great quickness, length, great ball pressure. He can keep people in front of him and he is athletic. He rebounds, blocks shots.”
The 6-foot-5 Taylor, previously a shooting guard, is learning to play point guard. But he has struggled with the transition.
“He is not a point guard right now,” Jordan said. “He’s having trouble running the team. He’s got to make sure he converts breaks and makes good decisions in the open floor. He’s shown us some really good moments and he’s shown us some moments … we’re disappointed in. So we have to see.”
Note — Backup point guard Antonio Daniels suffered a sprained ankle midway through practice. The severity of the injury was unknown as of yesterday, but Daniels was able to walk unassisted as he left the team’s locker room.
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