Washington Wizards’ Jodie Meeks (20) drives around Orlando Magic’s Arron Afflalo (4) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, April 11, 2018, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
NEW YORK — The NBA has suspended Washington Wizards guard Jodie Meeks 25 games without pay for using a banned substance.
The league announced the suspension Friday, a day before Game 1 of the Wizards’ first-round playoff series against the East’s top-seeded Toronto Raptors. The NBA says Meeks tested positive for Ipamorelin, a growth hormone that’s prohibited under the league’s drug program.
Meeks’ suspension makes Washington’s signing of guard Ty Lawson just before the playoffs make more sense. Lawson replaces Meeks on the Wizards’ bench behind starting guards John Wall and Bradley Beal.
In his first season with the Wizards and ninth in the NBA, the 30-year-old Meeks averaged 6.3 points off the bench and was shooting just under 40 percent.