The Wizards made a pair of roster moves over the weekend, waiving Justin Robinson and Johnathan Williams, but they may not be done. According to Candace Buckner of The Washington Post, the Wizards would like to promote Anzejs Pasecniks to the 15-man roster, then sign a new two-way player in his place.
Pasecniks, a former first-round pick, began the season as a G League player with the Capital City Go-Go before signing a two-way deal with the Wizards in December. Forced into regular action due to Washington’s frontcourt injury issues, the Latvian center has held his own, with 7.7 PPG and 6.3 RPG in 11 games (21.0 MPG).
Currently, Washington has a full roster, with 15 players on standard contracts and Pasecniks and Garrison Mathews on two-way deals. While there’s not necessarily any rush to promote Pasecniks to the 15-man squad, the deadline to sign players to two-way contracts is January 15. So if the team waits until after that date, it won’t be able to sign a new two-way player to replace the big man. As such, the Wizards are likely to take action within the next eight days.
Assuming Gary Payton II isn’t released today, all 15 players on the Wizards’ standard roster will have guaranteed contracts, but that doesn’t mean one can’t be waived to make room for Pasecniks. Ian Mahinmi, C.J. Miles, Isaiah Thomas, Jordan McRae, Isaac Bonga, and Payton are among the Wizards who have no guaranteed money owed to them beyond this season and could be candidates to be traded or cut.
The Wizards were previously permitted to carry two extra players on their roster via the hardship provision, but with Davis Bertans and Thomas Bryant on the verge of returning, the club is no longer believed to qualify for an extra roster spot.
If Washington does open up a two-way slot by promoting Pasecniks, Williams is a prime candidate to return on a two-way contract of his own after being waived on Sunday, according to Buckner.