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All signs point to Wizards promoting from within for final roster spot, sources say

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USA TODAY Sports

All signs point to Wizards promoting from within for final roster spot, sources say

With nearly two weeks passed since the trade that sent Jodie Meeks to the Milwaukee Bucks, the Wizards have a decision to make on Tuesday to fill the open roster spot he left behind.

The Wizards need to add a player to their NBA roster to reach the league minimum of 14. They had 14 days from when the Meeks trade was completed on Oct. 15 to do so.

At this point, the Wizards are highly likely to promote a player from within to fill that final roster spot, according to multiple people familiar with the situation. 

The Wizards have several directions they can go if they do pick an in-house player. They could promote one of their players on two-way contracts, Jordan McRae or Devin Robinson. Or, they could negotiate an NBA contract with a player from their G-League team.

Given those parameters, four players stand out as likely options: McRae and Robinson, plus forward LaVoy Allen and guard Chasson Randle. All four have varying degrees of NBA experience.

For the two-way players, the Wizards could either convert one of their deals to an NBA contract, or they could negotiate a new deal altogether. For those on the G-League team, the Wizards would work up a new deal irrespective of their current contract. 

Regardless of whom they sign, any contract would likely be non-guaranteed until Jan. 10.

The four players the Wizards have, who boast NBA experience, bring different selling points to the table. Allen, 29, has 388 career NBA games across seven total seasons. He is also a big man and the Wizards have two starters in their front court dealing with injuries in Dwight Howard and Markieff Morris.

Randle, 25, is a guard, so he could fill the void left by Meeks. So is McRae, who has appeared in four NBA seasons, including the Wizards in 2018-19. Robinson, 23, is the youngest and least experienced of the group, but could help at the power forward position and has intriguing upside.

Two other names to watch with outside odds would be guards Chris Chiozza and Tiwian Kendley. They participated in NBA training camp before getting assigned to the Go-Go.

After trading Meeks, the Wizards' initial thought was to evaluate their internal players first before looking elsewhere. With a new G-League team, they have for the first time in franchise history a pipeline of players who have already been in their program and have an understanding of their system. 

The Wizards hope to use their new resources with the Capital City Go-Go whenever possible. This decision could be an early example of the benefits from that investment.

The Wizards could still go in another direction. An injury or something else unforeseen could dictate their list of needs. But the guys already in-house appear to have a major leg up for the 14th spot as the deadline nears.

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Davis Bertans' incredible start to the season, by the numbers

Davis Bertans' incredible start to the season, by the numbers

Davis Bertans was on fire once again on Tuesday night in the Wizards' loss to the Charlotte Hornets, as the Latvian Laser continues his breakout season in Washington hitting threes at a historic rate. Here are some numbers to put what he is doing in perspective...

32

Bertans had 32 points in Tuesday's game, the ninth time he has scored 20 or more already this season. He had scored 20-plus points only three times previously in his career.

6

Bertans has made six or more threes in a game six times already this season, including four times this month. Before he joined the Wizards, he had done it twice as an NBA player.

8

Bertans is one of only seven players in Wizards/Bullets franchise history to make eight threes or more in a game. The others are Gilbert Arenas, Trevor Ariza, Bradley Beal, Bojan Bogdanovic, Rex Chapman and DeShawn Stevenson. Only Beal (nine) and Ariza (10) have made more than eight.

92

Bertans has made 92 threes through 23 games this season. The ony players who have made more through this point in NBA history are James Harden and Stephen Curry. The previous high for a Wizards/Bullets player was 72 (Arenas).

328

The 92 threes in 23 games has Bertans averaging four per game and on pace to make 328 on the season. Only two players have ever made 300-plus threes; Harden and Curry. The record is 402, by Curry in 2015-16.

4

Bertans has made four threes or more in six straight games and five or more in four straight. Both are franchise records. During this six-game stretch, Bertans is 36-for-71 (50.7%) from long range.

9.6

Bertans is making most of his threes on catch-and-shoot plays and leads the league in most related categories. He is tops in the NBA in points off catch-and-shoot plays (9.6/g), field goals made (3.2/g) and three-pointers made (3.1).

70.8

A whopping 70.8 percent of Bertans' shot attempts this season have come from three-point range. The next highest percentage for a Wizards player is 34.6 percent, by Moe Wagner.

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Ish Smith helps mop the court during a timeout

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NBC Sports Washington

Ish Smith helps mop the court during a timeout

As a guard, Ish Smith is asked to do a lot on the court. Pass, shoot, and defend, the Wizards need him to do it all in order to succeed. On Tuesday, however, Smith demonstrated another on-court intangible that isn't always seen from NBA players: cleaning.

During the final moments of what would be a 114-107 loss to the Hornets, the game came to a halt in order to mop up a wet spot on the court. Smith happened to find himself near the large mop under the baseline, grabbed it and began helping out the worker. 

Overall, it's pretty good form here from Smith. He bent his knees, extended his arms and had a solid motion with the mop. Smith finished the night with 13 points and five assists in the boxscore, but this sixth assist was his most innovative.

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