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Wizards acquire Joel Ayayi off waivers, waive three more

The Wizards’ new addition originally signed a two-way contract with the Lakers in Auguest.

Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers
Joel Ayayi is coming to D.C.
Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

On Sunday, the Washington Wizards announced that they acquired guard Joel Ayayi off waivers. Ayayi originally signed a two-way contract with the Los Angeles Lakers on Aug. 3 and played for them in the preseason. Because they claimed him off waivers, Ayayi will be on a two-way contract with Washington and play primarily with the Capital City Go-Go.

With the Lakers, Ayayi averaged nine minutes per game in five appearances but shot just 10 percent from the field and didn’t even average one point per game. Despite his showing in the preseason, the Lakers were hoping that he would play for the South Bay Lakers, their G-League affiliate.

One of the reasons why the Wizards may have selected Ayayi is because of his familiarity with other players on Washington’s roster. Like Corey Kispert and Rui Hachimura, Ayayi played college basketball at Gonzaga. During his senior season (2020-21), Ayayi averaged 12.0 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists when the Bulldogs made a run to the NCAA Division I national championship game.

Ayayi hails from Bordeaux, France, which is in the southwestern part of the country.

In a separate move last Saturday, the Wizards also waived Jaime Echenique, Jordan Goodwin and Devontae Shuler from their training camp roster. Goodwin and Echenique played sparingly in the preseason while Shuler didn’t get any time, so the moves aren’t surprising.