With 15 players under guaranteed contracts, the Wizards might not appear to be the most welcoming landing spot for NBA free agents hoping to latch on in the league. Despite long-shot odds of making the team, Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Xavier Silas and D’or Fischer have all joined Josh Childress in accepting training camp invitations, according to league sources with knowledge of the situation.
Although a roster spot isn’t necessarily up for grabs, the four invitees will have an opportunity to get some action when training camp gets underway on Saturday. Injuries have already sidelined starting center Emeka Okafor and versatile reserve forward Chris Singleton creating a window that otherwise wouldn’t have been open.
Mensah-Bonsu, 30, last appeared in the NBA with New Orleans in 2010-11 but has spent most of his career overseas after going undrafted in 2006 following a standout career at George Washington. The 6-foot-9 forward helped the Colonials reach the NCAA tournament his last two seasons and has played in Italy, Russia, Spain, Turkey and France. In 2012, Mensah-Bonsu led Besiktas Milangaz to the Turkish League championship, the FIBA EuroChallenge title, and was named tournament MVP. He has also spent time with Dallas, San Antonio, Houston and Toronto.
Silas, 26, is a 6-5 shooting guard who went undrafted out of Northern Illinois in 2011. He averaged 12.1 points last season for the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League and appeared in two games with Philadelphia in 2011-12. He is the son of former Spurs player James Silas, whose jersey has been retired by the franchise.
Fischer, 31, is a 6-11 center from West Virginia who has yet to appear in an NBA game but has made a name for himself playing in Israel, Belgium, Spain, Germany and Poland. He was Belgian League MVP in 2008.
The Wizards expect to enter camp with 19 players. They will open the preseason on Oct. 8 against Brooklyn.