The Wizards arguably have the most depth they’ve had since the mid-2000s after the franchise traded away Russell Westbrook in a deal that ultimately netted them six new players. Fitting all the pieces together is difficult from both on and off the court and there was no doubt that issues were going to arise at various points throughout the season.
Sources said Harrell became upset with Caldwell-Pope for not passing him the basketball on a play before the first half concluded, and the two started jawing during the walk to the locker room. As the two exchanged words, Harrell and Caldwell-Pope took swings toward each other — with neither connecting — and became entangled before teammates separated them, sources said.
By the time players entered the locker room, the altercation had ended. There was increased security presence to ensure the tension did not escalate again.
It’s worth noting that both players saw court time during the team’s successful second half. People argue, fight, and make up all the time. There’s nothing suggesting that this is something that will linger and having another game on Wednesday night certainly helps with the team re-bonding if any sort of relationship damage exists.
It’s also a good time to acknowledge that the team probably has to make a trade at some point ahead of the February 10 deadline. Rui Hachimura just returned to the lineup. Thomas Bryant will come back on Wednesday night, adding to a more crowded frontcourt situation.
Tommy Sheppard’s job of figuring out which pieces fit in Washington didn’t change with Tuesday night’s scuffle; it just put a bigger spotlight on the Wizards’ fluid roster situation.