The Wizards Need a Center. What About Former Maryland Star Alex Len?

The Wizards need a center. What about Alex Len? originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Wizards are in need of a center and a familiar name has recently become available, as on Tuesday the Toronto Raptors released former Maryland star Alex Len. The 27-year-old is now looking for his fourth team in the past two seasons.

Len will now go through waivers, which is a 48-hour process in the NBA. If a team claims him, they will take on his $2.2 million contract. If no one claims him, he will be released into free agency.

The Wizards only have two healthy centers - Robin Lopez and Moe Wagner - following Thomas Bryant's season-ending ACL injury and the release of Anzejs Pasecniks, which was reported by The Athletic over the weekend. If the Wizards want to make a small move to add depth, Len could make sense.

Washington is expected to check in on Len if he does clear waivers, according to someone familiar with their plans. It is unclear how strong their interest would be, as they are exploring several options.

If they decided to sign Len, it would likely be because he can help as a rebounder. Len hasn't lived up to the billing as the No. 5 overall pick in 2013, but rebounding is his standout skill. He's averaged 11.4 rebounds per-36 minutes in his career.

The Wizards have made some strides in that area this season after last year ranking 30th in rebounding percentage and 28th in total rebounding. This year, they are 23rd and 24th in those categories.

Most encouraging may be the fact they are fifth in defensive rebounding percentage this season after being 27th last year. If sustained, that should help them improve their defense over time. On a related note, they are also allowing the seventh-fewest second chance points after giving up the third-most last season.

Whether it's Len or someone else, the Wizards are unlikely to play their third center much with Lopez and Wagner filling the void left by Bryant in the immediate future. But they need some depth at the position and Len could be an inexpensive option.

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