LAS VEGAS – Through three games, the Wizards are winless at Las Vegas summer league, which shouldn’t come as a major surprise. It’s about the bigger picture anyway and not Tuesday's 82-73 loss to the Chicago Bulls.
Of their 15 regular-season roster spots, 13 of them are filled with guaranteed deals. The other two, held by Sheldon Mac and Daniel Ochefu, are non-guaranteed which means those players can be waived at any time before Jan. 10 without penalty under the salary cap. Then there's one two-way deal remaining for a G-League addition.
The case for Mac is the strongest. Entering his second year after going undrafted in 2016, he has an NBA gear. There are no statistics that’ll reflect this but it is clear when he’s on the court with nine other players.
Mac, who scored a team-high 20 points on 8 of 11 shots Tuesday, can get to spots on the floor when seemingly there are none. He can finish or create space by initiating contact and can shift down a speed with a Euro step to knife through traffic to find the rim.
Mac will be out of control at times and has to tighten his ball-handling but he’s too good to let walk at $1.3 million. He can handle the speed of NBA play and is better in the open court.
The case for Ochefu can be made but he could end up a numbers game casualty with $30 million this season tied up into proven vets, Marcin Gortat and Ian Mahinmi. The caveat, of course, is both are well past 30 and Mahinmi is coming off a season in which he missed 50 games with issues with both knees.
Ochefu, who went undrafted last year and earns the same as Mac on a non-guarantee, hasn’t gotten as much time and could benefit from the G-League once the Wizards have a team in 2018, but can they wait that long? He had nine points and 10 rebounds against Chicago.
If a move is possible involving Gortat or Mahinmi before the regular season tips, Ochefu would make sense as a more affordable option. He has a soft touch around the rim and is an adept passer out of the post.
With one of their maximum of two two-way contracts filled by Michael Young, that’s where another developmental player can land. The spot can pay anywhere from $75,000-$275,000 pending how many days are spent with the full team during the regular season.
Young, a combo forward, has a solid defensive IQ and did well to stay in front of guards on switches and battled bigger players on the low block as well. He’s also able to bring the ball up the floor to start the offense and push tempo.
The best of the rest (alphabetical) based on how they've played so far at summer league with two games remaining: Jared Cunningham; Marcus Keene; Jaleel Roberts; and Devin Robinson.
Danuel House is with the Wizards for the second year in a row after being released late last season and hasn't looked the part given his experience. He shot 0-for-7 and had three turnovers. House didn't play in the second summer league game but got the start Tuesday.
The Wizards will invite a group back to attend training camp that'll likely begin in the last week of September with some familiar names from the summer league team. Others will be new arrivals, but roster spots will be limited if any are available at all.