Wizards guard Delon Wright is expected to be sidelined four to six weeks after suffering a sprained medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his knee, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Washington announced that the injury, which is to Wright’s left knee, occurred during a contact play during Friday’s night’s loss to Charlotte. According to the Wizards, Wright’s injury will be treated “conservatively,” and he will be reevaluated in three weeks.
It’s unfortunate news for both Wright and the Wizards, who will be without their top perimeter defender — and arguably the best defender on the team — for the foreseeable future. The nine-year veteran is averaging 5.0 PPG, 2.5 RPG and 1.6 SPG through eight games (17.6 MPG), dishing out 35 assists while only turning the ball over four times.
Washington currently ranks 29th in the league in defense, and having Wright out for an extended period won’t help matters. The 31-year-old is playing on an expiring $8.2M contract, so it’s a tough blow on a personal level as well, because he’ll be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Wright, who missed a couple of months last season due to a severe hamstring strain, put up solid numbers in 2022-23, averaging 7.4 PPG, 3.9 APG, 3.6 RPG and 1.8 SPG on .474/.345/.867 shooting in 50 games (24.4 MPG). However, individual statistics rarely tell the whole story — the Wizards were 26-24 in games Wright played last season, but went just 9-23 without him.
With Wright sidelined, fellow reserve guards like Landry Shamet, Johnny Davis and Ryan Rollins will have an opportunity to earn more minutes.