The Wizards missed out on Kevin Durant and every other major free agent last summer. Their only real moves were quiet additions of value guys like Andrew Nicholson and Jason Smith, and the big headliner: Pacers free agent center Ian Mahinmi. The move made very little sense, especially on a four-year, $64 million deal, given that they already have Marcin Gortat at center. Now that move is off to an even rockier start.
The Wizards announced Mahinmi's going to be out following knee surgery. From the team website:
The Washington Wizards announced today that center Ian Mahinmi has suffered a partially torn medial meniscus in his left knee. The injury occurred in Thursday's game vs. Philadelphia. An MRI performed on Friday revealed the partial tear and Mahinmi underwent successful surgery Friday evening.
The procedure was performed by team orthopedic surgeon Dr. Wiemi Douoguih of MedStar at Washington Hospital Center. Mahinmi is expected to miss approximately four to six weeks.
Source: Wizards Injury Update | Wizards Today.
Not an ideal start, but the good news was that Mahinmi was largely redundant. The Wizards still have Gortat, and added the veteran Smith who can hit from range in pick and pop situations. Mahinmi has more shot blocking and rim protection features, but the others are more versatile.
If the defense struggles early on, Mahinmi will be pointed to as a player that could have helped, but if that's the case, Washington likely has bigger issues on the perimeter.
Mahinmi started 71 games for Indiana last season, averaging 9.3 points and 7.1 rebounds per game for the Pacers.