In an effort to get some area players ready for NBA training camps that could begin in less than two weeks, free agent guard and former Wizard Roger Mason Jr. has helped organize a mini-camp this week with trainer Joe Connelly. Connelly will hold workout sessions this week at Capital Sports Complex in District Heights.
Mason has invited several players, including current Wizards John Wall, Andray Blatche and Hamady Ndiaye, former Wizards Brendan Haywood and Jared Jeffries, and Baltimore natives Josh Selby of the Memphis Grizzlies and Gary Neal of the San Antonio Spurs.
Connelly said former Georgetown star Mike Sweetney, who last played in the NBA four seasons ago with Chicago, is also expected to participate. The first training session is scheduled for Monday at 11.
Players will trickle in over time, Connelly said, with Haywood planning to arrive Monday afternoon, Jeffries arriving on Tuesday or Wednesday and Wall returning from his home in Raleigh, N.C., later in the week.
NBA owners and players reached a tentative settlement and established the framework of a new collective bargaining agreement over the weekend. But the players still need to dismiss their lawsuit against the NBA, reconstitute the union and negotiate the final terms of the deal.
A majority of the 430-plus players and the 29 owners will then have to ratify the agreement before training camps can officially start on the targeted date of Dec. 9. Until the deal is in place, players still don’t have access to team training facilities and have to find outside venues to train and get prepared for the upcoming season. And, with free agency also expected to coincide with training camps, Mason said: “It’s going to be crazy. You saw what happened with football [after the NFL lockout]. It should be a frenzy, but I think it’ll be good for our league.”
And some players are trying to get an early start.