The move clears Baker’s non-guaranteed deal ahead of the January 10 deadline at which point all contracts are guaranteed for the rest of the season. Washington had to make the move today so that Baker could go through the customary 48-hour waiver period ahead of Wednesday’s 5 pm deadline.
With Baker gone, the Wizards are back down to 13 players, which means they will have two weeks to sign another player to get back up to the NBA roster minimum. Once they get to that point, Washington will have the option to sign someone to a 10-day contract instead of the non-guaranteed deals they’ve used throughout the season for players like Baker, Okaro White, and Chasson Randle.
Speaking of Randle, this move likely ensures his contract will get guaranteed for the rest of the season. He started getting playing time last month after the Wizards dealt Austin Rivers, which left a hole in the team’s guard rotation. He’s averaging 6.8 points and 2.1 assists in 15 minutes of action per game, while shooting 44.7 percent from the field and 10-of-24 from deep.