The Wizards are releasing Okaro White and signing Ron Baker to a deal, according to multiple reports.
Baker will help restore the team’s depth at guard after the team dealt Austin Rivers to the Suns earlier this week. He hit the free agent market last week after the Knicks waived him to clear a roster spot to sign Allonzo Trier — who was on a two-way deal — to a full contract.
The undrafted guard out of Wichita State had a strong rookie year, starting 13 games and making a strong impression with his defensive tenacity. He parlayed that success into a two-year, $8.9 million deal the following summer but struggled to find a place in the Knicks’ rotation, despite their depth issues at guard.
He hasn’t lost his knack at pestering opposing guards, but he has struggled to make an impact on the offensive end throughout his career. He’s a career 36.3 percent shooter from the field and a 27.3 percent shooter from deep who has only attempted 75 free throws in over 1300 minutes of career playing time and only averaged 4.5 assists per 36 minutes.
The interesting thing to monitor moving forward is how the team will manage the 14th spot on the roster. The team has cycled through several players with their 14th roster spot throughout the season to minimize luxury tax payments but stay within league rules that state you can only have 13 players on the roster for a maximum of two weeks at a time. When the next two-week period comes up, it will be interesting to see if they keep Baker, or stick with recently-signed Chasson Randle, who has more familiarity with the team thanks to his experience with the Capital City Go-Go.