As Adrian Wojnarowski of reported Friday, the Wizards and center Taj Gibson have agreed to a one-year, $3.2 million deal. At 38, Gibson returns to the D.C. to backup Daniel Gafford and Mike Muscala. The Wizards had a need at center, and Gibson fills that void.
As for the roster, Washington has some decisions to make. Entering training camp, each team is allowed 21 players on the roster. However, by the start of the season, that must be chopped down to 15.
As of now, the Wizards have 17 guaranteed contracts, two more than allowed. GM Will Dawkins must decide which players get waived or traded prior to opening night.
Here’s where the roster stands:
PG: Jones / Wright / Rollins
SG: Poole / Shamet / Davis
SF: Avdija / Kispert / Coulibaly
PF: Kuzma / Gallinari / Cooks / Gill / Baldwin Jr.
C: Gafford / Muscala / Gibson
Gill or Cooks? Both? Neither?
My eyes immediately point toward the logjam at PF. Five guys, two of which are 30+, are competing for minutes. One of these guys probably gets moved, either by trade or through waivers.
The consensus amongst Wizards fans is that one, if not both, of Xavier Cooks and Anthony Gill gets waived, and it’s hard to disagree with that.
Cooks, 28, and Gill, 30, fall victim to age here. With Washington transitioning into a rebuild, minutes are better spent on younger players.
It’s also important to note that Gill and Cooks were signings made by the previous regime. Dawkins and Winger have no ties to them, and therefore could be more inclined to let them go.
Others on the bubble
There’s also been concern surrounding Patrick Baldwin Jr’s roster spot, as he could be considered the odd-man-out. However, considering the rebuilding state of the Wizards, waiving a 20-year-old with the potential to open up minutes for a 30-year-old veteran is unlikely. I think PBJ is safe for now.
Another option is to convert the contract of PG Ryan Rollins to a two-way deal. The Wizards already have two point guards in Tyus Jones and Delon Wright, so Rollins minutes would be scarce anyways.
Additionally, sending him to the G League would allow Rollins, just 21 years old, to develop. He’d start, get the bulk of minutes at point guard, and improve his decision making.
Trades are also on the table. Not so much for our young guys, but the veterans on this team could be moved at any time. I’d love to keep Gallinari and Shamet, at least until the trade deadline, but Dawkins might have other ideas.
If an offer comes through that he can’t resist, I wouldn’t put in past Dawkins to act quickly. One of the goals of our new direction is to develop young talent, and we can’t do that if all our young players ride the bench.
Trading our veterans now, before the season even starts, would open up minutes for Johnny Davis, Bilal Coulibaly, Deni Avdija, and others. They’d get real-time NBA action, something that drills and scrimmages can’t replicate.
The Wizards still have plenty of time to make this decision. Dawkins, Winger, and Schlenk will have all of training camp to analyze these players. By October 25th, they’ll have to decide who stays and who goes.
Let me know in the comments which two guys you’re moving on from, and why.