Daniel Gafford and Mike Muscala are really the only “bigs” on the Wizards roster heading into the 2023-2024 NBA season. Yesterday, we gave you several veteran candidates they could consider who could provide depth if they ended up with an open roster spot.
Given that none of those options were particularly exciting, I would advocate for trying to fill this void with a player who could be signed on a two-way contract. Adding someone young would mean that player likely has some untapped upside and also would not occupy a full-time roster spot.
I haven’t done a deep dive on this yet, but I’d rather see the Wizards take a shot on whoever is the top unsigned center from the G League last season. The Wizards should have enough veteran leadership with their current group so going young makes more sense to me. Is someone like Makur Maker from last year’s Capital City Go-Go roster worth giving a shot? Personally, I didn’t see enough there to offer a two-way. Here are some names that could make sense though.
Usman Garuba, 21 years old
Garuba was recently released by the Thunder and I would assume he would welcome a two-way contract with a team where minutes are possible like Washington. Admittedly, I was not high on Garuba during the pre-draft process and haven’t seen anything to really change my mind thus far but I would much prefer him to the veteran options listed above. He’s young and likely has some room to grow, whereas the others are all clearly trending down.
Reggie Perry, 23 years old
Perry was great in the G League last season. In 41 games, he averaged 21 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block. He only shot 27% from three on 4 attempts per game but he is an 80% free throw shooter and appears to have the touch to improve upon that.
Vernon Carey Jr., 22 years old
He’s still young enough to conceivably improve as a player but I’m not sure this new front office would value his skillset the same way the previous front office did. His familiarity with some of the other players on the Wizards roster might make it at least worth kicking the tires on.
Michael Foster Jr., 20 years old
In 41 games for the Delaware Blue Coats, Foster Jr. averaged 13.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.8 blocks. He did not show much aptitude as a floor-spacer, making 25.4% of 1.4 attempts per game.
Foster Jr. is a former five-star recruit and McDonald’s All-American who opted to join the G League Ignite program rather than go the college route. This ultimately may have cost him as he wasn’t as ready to contribute right away as his peers and still needs more time to see if he can develop. The Wizards seem well-positioned to use their two-way to offer him that time.
I’m also somewhat biased as the two times I’ve seen Foster Jr. in person he’s been really impressive in those games. In one particular game for the Ignite, he was the best player on a team that featured Scoot Henderson, Jaden Hardy, and Dyson Daniels. I realize that’s a small sample size but it demonstrates what his high-end upside looks like. I would have to go back and watch more to see what he looks like all the time but, in general, I like the idea of giving second chances to guys with top-end high school pedigrees.
Jontay Porter, 23 years old
Jontay Porter, the younger brother of Michael Porter Jr., played 32 games for the Wisconsin Herd last season. He averaged 12.4 points, 10 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 2.1 blocks. He also hit 34% of his 6.4 three-point attempts per game. Given that volume, it seems pretty likely he has some upside as a shooter.