The Wizards have 13 players on guaranteed contracts, which means that there are two slots available plus a two-way contract. Two-way contracts do not count against the NBA roster so a team may have 15 players plus two two-ways. Here are the 13 guaranteed players:
- John Wall
- Bradley Beal
- Ian Mahinmi
- C.J. Miles
- Thomas Bryant
- Davis Bertans
- Ish Smith
- Rui Hachimura
- Troy Brown Jr.
- Moritz Wagner
- Isaiah Thomas
- Isaac Bonga
- Admiral Schofield
Justin Anderson — Anderson has shot the ball well (38% from three), and he is arguably the best wing defender on the roster. I've liked the way he plays; he isn't forcing things, and he is playing within the offense. Though he is already 25 years old, he has talent and has room to grow. Last season towards the end of the year Anderson played well for the Hawks, including a 24 points and 12 rebounds outburst against the Bucks. He is a keeper, and deserving of the 14th roster spot.
Phil Booth — Booth had a good game against the Bucks, but hasn't done much else in preseaon. With more talented options available, this is an easy decision.
Jordan McRae — McRae is a keeper. He can flat out score the ball at will, giving bucket after bucket with ease. Honestly, with how he's played in preseason and last year in the G-League, it's puzzling why teams aren't fighting to sign him. Walking buckets are a hot commodity in the NBA, but somehow McRae has been overlooked. The only knocks on him are his age and his mediocre defense, but those don't bother me too much for this season. The Wizards are trying to get younger, but he's likely to be a contributor in the rotation for the next season or two.
Chris Chiozza — Chiozza has grown as a player since last fall. He has nice court awareness, which shows in the assists he's racked up during the preseason. In limited minutes, he's shot 61% from the field, and 33% from three. And the offense has been run well with him at point guard. He is only 23 years old, and with two small point guards already on the roster, Chiozza would be best served with more development time in the G-League.
Decision: SIGN 2-WAY
Jemerrio Jones — Jones is my favorite player from this group. I like his rebounding and defense, and while the big knock on him is that he is a black hole on offense, I don't think that's the case. He made two threes against the Knicks, suggesting he may have three-and-D potential. I don't understand why Scott Brooks would play him only during garbage time, but this may be a case where they know something I don't. I think every team needs a Jones-type player, but given the current configuration of this team, I don't see where he can fit. If the Wizards are finally given the Disabled Player Exception for Wall, opening up a roster spot, I would use it on Jemerrio, but as of right now, and it pains me to say this, I would pinch my nose and cut him.
Decision: Pinch my nose and CUT
Some notes and thoughts on the regular roster
For the regular roster, I think Admiral Schofield should be sent to the Go-Go for most of the season, as it has been evident during preseason that he just isn't ready for NBA basketball. I also have a hunch that C.J. Miles won't play more than 25-30 games this season due to various injuries. Troy Brown Jr. will be the starting small forward when healthy, but I wouldn't be too surprised if Rui Hachimura or Davis Bertans opens the season at the three. In my lineup prediction, Hachimura will be coming off the bench behind Bertans, but that is fluid and can be changed if need be. Same goes with the point guard position, when Isaiah Thomas comes back. If he shows out he can start over Smith, and visa versa.
The final roster sorted by position in this scenario would be:
SG: Bradley Beal, Jordan McRae
SF: Troy Brown Jr., C.J. Miles, Justin Anderson
PF: Davis Bertans, Rui Hachimura
C: Thomas Bryant, Mo Wagner, Ian Mahinimi