The screams of Wizards coach Randy Wittman, on the first day of mini-camp as the 16-man roster prepares for Las Vegas summer league this weekend, are like music to the ears of free agent point guard Maalik Wayns. He's back in his element.
"I played for Jay Wright too so I'm used to it," Wayns, speaking of his spirited coach at Villanova. "Guys need it and it shows you that he really cares about what's going on. A lot of coaches, the head coach doesn't have to be in here hollering and stuff like that in a summer league practice, especially on Day One. It just shows you his enthusiasm. ... I've played for Doc Rivers, Doug Collins, guys like that."
Wayns, 23, has been around for two seasons. His ended prematurely with the Los Angeles Clippers last season when he tore cartilage in his left knee. He was waived, re-signed on a 10-day contract and waived again. Wayns had injured the same medial collateral ligament at Villanova.
The Wizards are in need of another ball-handler behind John Wall after Andre Miller, who is expected to be retained by having his $4.6 million option picked up. Miller, 38, won't be around much longer and Wayns, who also has played for the Philadelphia 76ers and in the D-League, wants to find a more permanent home.
"My last time really playing and being in this environment was around February with the Clippers. I tore a meniscus. I've been rehabbing ever since. This is really my first time being back. It feels good," he said. "That was really the plan after I got released from the Clippers. It was just rehab, wait for summer league and then I get another chance. A second chance after injury, everybody doesn't get those."