Hachimura and Wagner are the two Wizards players in protocol originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Hours after the Wizards canceled practice on Tuesday due to two players being placed in the NBA's health and safety protocol, the team announced who those players are: Rui Hachimura and Moe Wagner. They are considered questionable for Wednesday's game against the Utah Jazz.
Hachimura and Wagner will have to stay away from the team until they test negative enough times to be cleared to return. If that doesn't happen in time for Wednesday's game, the Wizards will be in a difficult spot given the positions they play.
Washington is already missing starting point guard Russell Westbrook (quad) and center Thomas Bryant (torn ACL), who was lost for the season. With Bryant out, Hachimura and Wagner would make three missing frontcourt players. The Jazz happen to have two-time defensive player of the year Rudy Gobert, one of the best centers in the NBA. With Derrick Favors at the four, Utah leads the NBA in rebounding.
With Bryant out, the Wizards have promoted Robin Lopez to the starting lineup. But behind him, things could get interesting if Hachimura and Wagner can't play.
They may have to turn to second-year center Anzejs Pasecniks, who has so far only appeared in one game this season. Or, they could try rookie Deni Avdija at the five in a small-ball lineup, or even Davis Bertans or Anthony Gill, who are both fours but are most impactful on the perimeter.
Either way, the Wizards will need all the help they can get against Gobert and the Jazz. They have already lost one game in part because of a protocol absence, as star guard Bradley Beal was missing on Saturday against the Miami Heat. At 3-8, they can't afford any disadvantage at this point.