Wizards forward Chris Singleton has suffered a bad break at a particularly inopportune time.
The Washington Post reported that Singleton broke the fifth metatarsal in his left foot while working out at the Verizon Center on Tuesday. The break, called a "Jones fracture," essentially requires surgery; natural healing is both exceedingly slow (because of poor blood flow at the point of the break) and risks re-injury, while a quick surgical procedure aligns the foot for regrowth -- often with the insertion of a screw.
As a result, Singleton is expected to miss six to eight weeks, which means that his attempts to win over Wizards officials before the NBA's option deadline are now over.
Singleton, 23, the 18th pick in the 2011 draft, has a $2.5 million team option on the table for the 2014-15 season (his $1.6 million salary for this season is guaranteed), but the Wizards will need to decide by Oct. 30 whether to fulfill it. That doesn't bode well for Singleton, who has yet to make a very persuasive case. Singleton played relatively well for Washington at the Las Vegas Summer League (which the team reportedly asked him to participate in), but he hasn't accomplished much against legitimate NBA competition. The lead-up to the season might have otherwise given Singleton time to curry favor with the team, but will instead be left to rest and rehabilitative work as the Wizards determine his immediate future.
It's worth noting that there is a recent precedent for a team declining a fourth-year option on a player only to re-sign him the following summer. Last year, the Pelicans did not pick up forward Al-Farouq Aminu's $3.8 million option for this season. But New Orleans apparently changed its mind this summer in light of a bounce-back season in which Aminu thrived on the boards and improved his perimeter defense -- the type of growth that Singleton would seem capable of, too. Also Wednesday, the Wizards announced that big man Emeka Okafor is out indefinitely with a neck injury.