Anzejs Pasecniks

Eastern Notes: Kornet, Morris, Pasecniks, Wall

The Bulls are trying to get by in the middle with rookie Daniel Gafford and Luke Kornet until Wendell Carter Jr. returns, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times relays. Carter is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with an ankle injury.

The Bulls used their room exception to sign Kornet to a two-year, $4.5MM contract during the offseason but he’s only appeared in 20 games this season, averaging 3.2 PPG in 9.7 MPG. He had 15 points against Detroit on Saturday but went scoreless against Boston on Monday.

‘‘[Kornet] was just waiting for his time to come back and show what he can do, and that’s what he did [Saturday],’’ Gafford said of his Bulls teammate.

We have more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • The Knicks are leaning toward retaining forward Marcus Morris, who will be a free agent again after the season, Marc Berman of the New York Post reports. Morris, who will miss his fifth straight game Tuesday against the Bucks with a neck injury, may not be dealt unless they get back a star-quality player in a large package, Berman continues. Several playoff teams are interested in Morris, Berman adds, but the Knicks would prefer to preserve their 2020 or 2021 cap space in any deal.
  • The Wizards used part of their mid-level exception to convert center Anzejs Pasecniks‘ contract from a two-way deal to a standard one, Fred Katz of The Athletic tweets. Pasecniks was signed to a multi-year pact on Sunday. The Wizards will take a $482K cap hit this year. Pasecniks has a $250K guarantee on his $1.52MM salary for the 2020/21 season. The contract for next season becomes fully guaranteed if he remains on the roster through July 8, Katz continues. His $1.78MM salary for 2021/22 is non-guaranteed, Katz adds.
  • Wizards GM Tommy Shephard reiterated that point guard John Wall will not return this season unless he’s completely healthy, Mike DePrisco of NBC Sports Washington writes. Wall has been participated in 3-on-3 drills with members of the player development staff. “We’re not going to skip steps, we’re not going to get excited about 3-on-3,” Sheppard said. “Down the road, I think we’ll start to add more players to the court and make it feel more like home, but we’re not in a rush to see John come back unless he’s 100 percent healthy.”

Wizards Waive C.J. Miles, Promote Anzejs Pasecniks

11:54am: The move is official, the Wizards announced in a press release.

“We appreciate CJ’s contributions to our team this season and wish him and his family the best as he continues his career,” general manager Tommy Sheppard said. “He is a consummate professional who provided a great example for our younger players despite having his season cut short by an unfortunate injury.”

The team also confirmed that Pasecniks has been signed to a multi-year contract and Williams received a two-way deal.

8:12am: The Wizards will waive injured swingman C.J. Miles, tweets Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. His roster spot will be used to convert Anzejs Pasecniks‘ two-way contract to a standard deal, and Johnathan Williams will be re-signed to fill the two-way slot.

Miles, who is making $8.73MM in the final year of his contract, was acquired from the Grizzlies in a trade last summer. He played just 10 games for Washington before suffering a wrist injury in November that will sideline him for the rest of the season.

The 32-year-old has been a positive presence in the locker room, Buckner adds, but the Wizards have been dealing with a string of injuries and need more healthy players (Twitter link).

The team will keep the $4.4MM Disabled Player Exception it received in the wake of Miles’ injury, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN. The DPE is not affected by the decision to part with Miles.

Pasecniks, a rookie center, has played 13 games for the Wizards, averaging 8.2 points and 6.2 rebounds in about 22 minutes per night. Washington waived him before training camp, then signed him to the two-way deal in December. Buckner reported last week that the team hoped to promote him to the 15-man roster.

Williams recently had a brief stint with the Wizards as a hardship player, and impressed team officials enough that they wanted to give him another chance. He averaged 5.5 PPG and 6.3 RPG in six games, starting five of them, but was waived last week when the hardship exception expired. He’ll rejoin the roster in advance of the January 15 deadline for two-way signings.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Wizards Notes: Culture, Bryant, Smith, Mathews

The culture in Washington has changed dramatically from last season and Ish Smith believes the team the Wizards could be on a similar path to the one the Nets are on, as he told Hoops Rumors and other media in attendance after the team’s recent win over the Celtics.

“Brooklyn, I thought, did a great job of it last year. They’ve been doing a great job over the last two years – they haven’t had any true superstars, but now they do,” Smith said. “They’ve just been playing hard and guys have emerged out of nowhere.

“You look at Joe Harris; Joe Harris wasn’t a household name, now he is one. Spencer Dinwiddie, I can go down the line, all of those guys who played really, really well and held down the fort – and they made it to the playoffs last year. Obviously, D’Angelo [Russell] was a household name and everybody knew who he was, but I thought Brooklyn had laid that [foundation] down. We’re just trying to play hard, try to play smarter. We’re embodying who Coach [Scott] Brooks is. Coach Brooks is a fighter and that’s who he was his whole career. I think we’re doing a great job of doing that these last few games.”

The Wizards have had a stockpile of injuries and players without much brand recognition have stepped up. Here’s more on the unique squad out of Washington:

  • The front office would like to promote Anzejs Pasecniks, who is on a two-way deal, to the 15-man roster, though good luck guessing which player would be waived if that happens. Gary Payton II‘s contract for the season became fully guaranteed on Tuesday, which makes the Wizards roster 15-for-15 in guaranteed contracts.
  • Thomas Bryant could make his return to the court this weekend. The Wizards play the Hawks on Friday and the Jazz on Sunday.
  • Wizards guard Jordan McRae spoke about how Smith, has impacted the club “Ish [Smith] is doing what Ish does. We’ve been going through droughts where we can’t score. Him being the point guard, him being the leader that he is, he’s taken it upon himself,” McRae said. We recently detailed how Smith is channeling his inner Steve Nash for the Wizards.
  • Brook said there is no update on Garrison Mathews, who is dealing with an ankle sprain, Fred Katz of The Athletic relays on Twitter.

Wizards Hope To Promote Anzejs Pasecniks Soon

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.

Southeast Notes: Bertans, Wizards, Parker, Heat

Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard recently declared that the team fully intends to keep sharpshooter Davis Bertans beyond this season, and it appears that interest is reciprocated by the Latvian Laser and his camp. Bertans tells Fred Katz of The Athletic that he’s happy with the Wizards and that his family has been enjoying D.C.

“(D.C.) is just more something closer to home, like a little international, European style,” Bertans said. “There’s some history that not a lot of cities in the States have. And then when you’re downtown, everything is walking distance. That’s about it. My family loves it here. So, that’s a big part. … Happy wife, happy life.”

Bertans has, of course, been enjoying a career year on the court, emerging as one of the NBA’s best three-point shooters in terms of both accuracy (46.2%) and volume (4.0 made threes per game). According to Quinton Mayo of NBC Sports Washington, longtime agent Arturs Kalnitis said his client has appreciated the opportunity to “showcase his abilities” and has had an “all-around great experience” in Washington. Still, Kalnitis noted that Bertans figures to draw plenty of interest in free agency next July.

“This will be an interesting summer for Davis as many teams are high on him,” Kalnitis said. “Every team needs players like him to win a championship.”

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • Former first-round pick Anzejs Pasecniks, who signed a two-way contract with the Wizards this week, made his NBA debut on Wednesday, marking the first time two teammates from Latvia played together in the same game. Both Pasecniks and Bertans spoke about how much they valued that opportunity, as Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington writes. “You can’t even imagine what kind of a small possibility that is,” Bertans said. “It’s an amazing feeling. It just shows that basketball in Latvia is growing very rapidly.”
  • In addition to being the first team to reach out to Jabari Parker in free agency, the Hawks also promised the most regular playing time, which was a major factor in the forward’s decision, as he tells Michael Pina of SB Nation. “Forget the contract and whatever. I’ve made a lot of money other places,” Parker said. “So it’s not just for the money. It’s just so I can enjoy the game. As long as I’m playing, that’s all I care about. It’s not about anything else.” Parker is averaging 27.4 minutes per game in Atlanta this season, his highest mark since 2016/17.
  • As a result of the offseason trade that sent Josh Richardson to Philadelphia, he and Justise Winslow are no longer teammates after spending the first four years of their respective NBA careers with the Heat. Still, Winslow claims the trade actually brought him and Richardson even closer. Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel has the story and the quotes.

Wizards Sign Anzejs Pasecniks, Cut Chris Chiozza

The Wizards have signed former first-round pick Anzejs Pasecniks to a two-way contract, waiving two-way player Chris Chiozza to make room for Pasecniks, the team announced today in a press release.

Pasecniks, who will turn 24 this Friday, was drafted 25th overall by the Sixers in 2017 but never suited up for Philadelphia, having spent the next two seasons overseas. After the 76ers renounced his rights earlier this year, the 7’1″ center joined the Wizards’ Summer League team, then reported to Washington’s G League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go, this fall.

In 12 NBAGL games, Pasecniks has averaged 10.5 PPG and 5.0 RPG with a .604 FG%.

As Fred Katz of The Athletic explains (via Twitter), the Wizards “really like” Chiozza, but felt they had to add another center to the mix with Thomas Bryant and Moritz Wagner both injured. Ian Mahinmi is currently the club’s only healthy player at the five.

Chiozza, who appeared in 10 games for Washington this season, will become a free agent if he clears waivers on Thursday. The point guard is expected to return to the Go-Go if he goes unclaimed, tweets Katz.

Wizards Waive Pasecniks, Jones

The Wizards have waived center Anzejs Pasecniks and forward Jalen Jones, the team’s media relations department tweets.

Both players were recently signed to Exhibit 10 contracts and will likely wind up with the team’s G League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go.

Pasecniks, a seven-footer from Latvia, was acquired by the Sixers on draft night in 2017 after he was selected with the 25th overall pick by Orlando. He played overseas the last two seasons for the Spanish team Gran Carania. Philadelphia renounced his NBA rights, clearing a path for him to join the Wizards for Summer League play.

Jalen Jones, a 6’7″ forward out of Texas A&M, has appeared in 32 total games for the Pelicans, Mavericks, and Cavaliers over the last two seasons. He was waived from his two-way contract with Cleveland in January and finished the 2018/19 season with Baskonia in Spain.

Jordan McRae and Justin Robinson are likely to get the last two roster spots now that Pasecniks and Jones have been waived, Fred Katz of The Athletic tweets. McRae’s veteran minimum salary includes a guarantee of $600K if he’s on the opening night roster. His $1.6MM contract would fully guarantee if he’s still on the Wizards through December 20th.

Robinson’s $988K contract doesn’t become fully guaranteed until January 10th. Robinson, a 6’2” guard, was signed in July after going undrafted out of Virginia Tech.

Guard Chris Chiozza will likely receive the team’s other two-way contract, Candace Buckner of the Washington Post tweets. Chiozza was signed to a training camp deal last month. The Wizards’ other two-way player is guard Garrison Mathews.

Wizards Sign Anzejs Pasecniks To Exhibit 10 Contract

1:23pm: The Wizards have officially signed Pasecniks, the team announced today in a press release. Washington also confirmed the signing of Jalen Jones, which we noted in a separate story. The club has waived Justin Anderson, Jemerrio Jones, and Phil Booth, leaving 19 players on the roster.

11:12am: The Wizards have reached an agreement to sign former first-round pick Anzejs Pasecniks, sources tell Fred Katz of The Athletic (Twitter link). It’ll be an Exhibit 10 deal, Katz adds (via Twitter).

Pasecniks, a seven-footer from Latvia, was acquired by the Sixers on draft night in 2017 after he was selected with the 25th overall pick by Orlando. However, he continued his career overseas for the last two seasons, playing for Spanish team Gran Carania.

The 23-year-old was interested in coming stateside this year, but was seemingly no longer in the Sixers’ plans, having initially been acquired by the team’s old Bryan Colangelo-led regime. Philadelphia renounced his NBA rights, generating some extra cap room and clearing a path for him to join the Wizards for Summer League play.

Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington reported last month (via Twitter) that Pasecniks was expected to play for the Capital City Go-Go in the G League this season. Signing him to an NBA contract will ensure that the Wizards can designate him as an affiliate player, while the Exhibit 10 clause will make him eligible for a bonus worth up to $50K if he spends at least 60 days with the Go-Go.

Washington currently has a full 20-man roster, so the team will have to make a cut to create an opening for Pasecniks.

Southeast Notes: Kidd-Gilchrist, Pasecniks, Beal, Fultz

Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist comes into camp without a clearly defined role, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer writes. Kidd-Gilchrist opted in to his $13MM contract this season rather than pursue free agency, which he did for his family’s financial security, Bonnell continues. Kidd-Gilchrist’s stock has plummeted in recent seasons and he would have had to settle for a major pay cut if he had dipped his toe into the free agent pool. He was used sparingly last season by coach James Borrego and it’s uncertain if that will change. “I don’t know,” Kidd-Gilchrist said of how he fits on the current roster.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Center Anzejs Pasecniks will play for the Wizards’ G League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington tweets. Pasecniks, a 2017 first-round pick by the Sixers, played for the Wizards during the Las Vegas Summer League. Philadelphia renounced its rights to Pasecniks during the offseason.
  • Count Wizards guard Bradley Beal among the stars interested in playing for Team USA in the Olympics next summer, Candace Buckner of the Washington Post tweets“I don’t plan on having a son this next summer. Or daughter! I don’t plan on having no kids, let’s say that,” he said.
  • Magic guard Markelle Fultz plans to play in the team’s preseason opener on Saturday, Josh Robbins of The Athletic tweets. Fultz appeared in 19 games with the Sixers last season but has yet to make his Orlando debut. The No. 1 overall pick in 2017 was traded to the Magic in February.

And-Ones: Pasecniks, Beauchamp, Motiejunas

The No. 25 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft, Anzejs Pasecniks had his rights renounced by the Sixers earlier this offseason, then joined the Wizards for Summer League action in July. Pasecniks averaged just 4.0 PPG on 28.6% shooting in four games (12.5 MPG), though he did chip in 5.3 RPG.

Despite his modest Summer League numbers, Pasecniks suggests that he’s receiving NBA interest, as Bruno Perkons of Sportazinas.com relays (hat tip to Sportando).

I don’t have a contract at the moment and am a free agent, but let’s just say the negotiations are mostly with NBA teams,” Pasecniks said.

Acquired by Philadelphia from Orlando in a draft-night trade in 2017, Pasecniks remained overseas for the last two seasons, playing for Gran Canaria in Spain. He has yet to sign an NBA contract, so we’ll see if that changes before the 2019/20 season gets underway.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • A top-30 high school recruit, MarJon Beauchamp plans to forgo college and will instead go through a year-long training program with Chameleon BX to prepare for the 2021 NBA draft, writes Jeff Borzello of ESPN.com. Beauchamp was ranked as the fifth-best small forward in the 2020 recruiting class, Borzell notes. A press release from Chameleon BX provides more information on Beauchamp’s decision.
  • After finishing the 2018/19 season with the Spurs, veteran power forward Donatas Motiejunas is headed back overseas for the 2019/20 campaign. Motiejunas recently signed a contract with the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association, tweets journalist Zhang Duo (hat tip to Nicola Lupo of Sportando). The Lithuanian big man previously spent two seasons with China’s Shandong Golden Stars.
  • In an interesting story for ESPN.com, Jackie MacMullan explored how head coaches like Kenny Atkinson (Nets) and Doc Rivers (Clippers) found out about – and reacted to – their teams signing star free agents this offseason. MacMullan also examined the other side of the coin, talking to Nick Nurse (Raptors) and Steve Kerr (Warriors) about losing their stars.
  • The NBA G League released its list of 50 invitees for this year’s NBAGL Player Invitational. The group of undrafted rookies and veteran free agents will get the opportunity to showcase their skills at the event in the hopes of securing a G League roster spot for the 2019/20 season.