The NBA lockout denied the Wizards an opportunity to hold training camp at George Mason last season, as the limited time to prepare forced them to hold practices at Verizon Center.
With the NBA returning to a normal schedule, the Wizards are back in Fairfax to get ready for the upcoming season for a second time. They won’t have another college-themed Midnight Madness event – as they did when introducing former No. 1 overall pick John Wall in 2010 – but they will spend more time in Fairfax.
The new-look Wizards will hold two-a-day practices at Patriot Center from Oct. 2 to Oct. 6, travel to Charlotte for their preseason opener against the Bobcats on Oct. 7, and then return to George Mason for two more two-a-day practices on Oct. 8 and Oct. 9.
In the past, the Wizards would have morning and evening practice sessions in the days leading up to the first exhibition game and return to a regular morning practice schedule. But Randy Wittman will have to incorporate several new pieces – No. 3 pick Bradley Beal and offseason additions Emeka Okafor, Trevor Ariza, A.J. Price and Martell Webster – in his first training camp as head coach of the Wizards.
This will also be the first Wizards training camp for Nene, who was acquired at the trade deadline last March. Wall, Trevor Booker, Kevin Seraphin and Cartier Martin have all participated in training camp at George Mason, while Jordan Crawford, Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton and Shelvin Mack will experience their first camp away from Chinatown.
The Wizards rounded out their 18-man training camp roster with the signings of Brian Cook, Earl Barron, Shavlik Randolph and Steven Gray. The team is still finalizing plans for Fan Fest and an open scrimmage, which will be announced at a later date.
The Verizon Center isn’t expected to be available for those last two days of camp because the locker room is currently being refurbished. The Wizards will play their lone preseason game at home on Oct. 11 against the New York Knicks.