Wizards

Wizards

The Wizards are so injured right now, they've been granted a second hardship exception and plan to use it to sign another big man. 

Washington is signing 24-year-old big man Johnathan Williams, the team announced Thursday. He should be ready to play Thursday night for the Wizards after getting clearance from FIBA to leave Maccabi Rishon in Israel. 

Earlier this week, the Wizards used a hardship exception to sign Gary Payton II from the South Bay Lakers. In his first game, he put up a historic stat line with 10 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and six steals in 34 minutes. 

Teams are granted hardship exceptions when they have four or more players miss at least three games at the same time and are expected to be out longer. They are then allowed to exceed the 15-player roster limit to bring in healthy players. 

Entering their game against the Pistons, the Wizards are down Davis Bertans, Rui Hachimura, Thomas Bryant, Moe Wagner, Isaiah Thomas, CJ Miles and John Wall. Once those players return from injury, the Wizards will have to release at least two players from the active roster, and it does not have to be Payton or Williams. 

Williams played 24 games with the Lakers last season and 36 games with their South Bay affiliate. He averaged 6.5 points and 4.1 rebounds in 15.5 minutes per night at the NBA level. 

Williams figures to provide some frontcourt depth behind Ian Mahinmi. Washington has gone with 6-5 rookie forward Admiral Schofield at power forward, and while he's played well in that spot, the Wizards will need more size against teams like the Pistons and Knicks this week. 

 

Williams will wear No. 19.

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