The Washington Wizards do not have any players on injury hardships. But they have another deadline looming on Jan. 15. This is the last date the Wizards have to convert a two-way player to an full-time contract. According to Candace Buckner of The Washington Post, center Anzejs Pasecniks could be a full-time NBA player for the remainder of the season.
If this happens, the Wizards will have two decisions to make. First, they will have to cut someone on the roster. Second, they will have an opportunity to use their second two-way contract to sign another player.
Which players could the Wizards cut to convert Pasecniks?
These are the following players who could be waived, in no particular order after the first.
- CJ Miles — Miles is likely out for the season due to a wrist injury, especially since the Wizards had to get injury hardship exceptions in December. He appears to be the one most likely to get waived for now.
- Ian Mahinmi — The veteran center is starting games and would have been an easy target to get cut ... at least until Thomas Bryant got injured. Though you may not like his large contract, Mahinmi is averaging a solid 7.6 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. Even his Per-36 foul rate has dropped to 5.0 from 6.1 last season! But really, Mahinmi appears to be a solid guy in the locker room and you can’t replace that.
- Isaiah Thomas — The starting point guard is not a fit for the Wizards beyond this season. He is averaging 13 points per game whcih is nice, but ... again ... Thomas isn’t a fit for this team and he could be a help to title contenders looking for more perimeter firepower. I’d rather see Ish Smith get to the starting lineup since he likely has a longer term fit in Washington.
- Admiral Schofield — Washington’s second round pick has only played 22 games in limited minutes this season. But I think rookie draft picks on any team deserve a solid two years. There’s a reason why the Wizards brought him in, and it takes time for players, in particular later draft picks to develop.
Who should the Wizards add to a two-way contract?
I think the answer is clear and there is one frontrunner in this scenario. The Wizards should re-sign Johnathan Williams. Yanir Rubinstein wrote a detailed analysis yesterday on why Williams could return as well as a deeper dive on her time in Israel where he was on Maccabi Rishon LeZion. Click on the link below to read his column!