Ron Baker, we hardly knew ye. The former Wichita State star and Knicks guard signed with the Wizards on Dec. 20 after Washington traded Austin Rivers to the Suns. Baker became the 20th player to take the court for the Wizards this season, four shy of the franchise record. He appeared in four games, grabbed four rebounds and missed all four of his field goal attempts before being unceremoniously waived on Monday.
Baker’s D.C. tenure will perhaps best be remembered for the digits he wore during his 11 minutes of game action. Tomas Satoransky already had the No. 31 Baker sported with the Knicks, so the mop-topped guard elected to join former Bullets forward Chris Webber as the only NBA players to wear No. 84. Baker said he chose the unconventional number because it was the average of his immediate family members’ birth years. He initially considered No. 14 — the average of his family members’ birth days — but ultimately decided that 84 was better “because it was higher.”
Baker joins a long list of players who have played five or fewer games for the Wizards over the years. Let’s take a few minutes to remember some of those guys from the past two decades, because no one else will.
Wizards Tenure: Undrafted out of Texas A&M, House signed with the Wizards as a free agent in the summer of 2016. He played 50 seconds in his NBA debut, which would turn out to be his only regular season appearance with Washington. House fractured his right wrist during a practice in November 2016 and was released the following March to make room for backup point guard Brandon Jennings.
Highlight: A rebound in his only minute of game time. That’s efficiency.
Postscript: House signed a two-way contract with the Suns in December 2017 and split his time between Phoenix and the team’s G League affiliate during the 2017-18 season. This year, House has appeared in 21 games for the Houston Rockets. He scored nine points and made two of the Rockets' NBA record 26 three-pointers in a 136-118 win over the Wizards on Dec. 19.
Wizards Tenure: The Wizards waived Martell Webster and signed the 7-foot Hollins, who was cut by the Grizzlies at the end of the preseason, to a non-guaranteed contract on Nov. 30, 2015.
“They’re not asking me to do anything that I can’t do or be someone that not,” Hollins said after joining the Wizards. “So just come in and be myself and give myself to the team. I’m really appreciative of the opportunity and will just go be me.”
Hollins was released on Dec. 23 after appearing in five games.
Highlight: Had four points, five rebounds and a block in a win over the Heat on Dec. 7.
Postscript: Hollins re-signed with the Grizzlies six days after being released by Washington and played 32 games for Memphis over the remainder of the season. He’s now an NBA analyst for ESPN and recently predicted the Wizards would make the playoffs without John Wall. He even referred to the Wizards as “my former team” during the segment.
Wizards Tenure: Looking to add backcourt depth after Garrett Temple strained his right hamstring in March 2015, the Wizards signed Murry to a 10-day contract. The former Wichita State standout averaged 1.5 points over four games for Washington before being released to make room for Will Bynum. Murry played for the Wizards’ Summer League team and was invited to training camp the following season, but he was cut after appearing in four preseason games.
Highlight: Murry was still a Wizard on photo day in 2016.
Postscript: Murry hasn’t played in another NBA game. He spent the 2017-18 season in Germany and Greece.
Wizards Tenure: Late in the 2011-12 season, the Wizards signed Almond after Roger Mason Jr. underwent season-ending surgery on his finger. Almond, a 6-6 shooting guard who was the 25th overall pick in the 2007 NBA draft out of Rice, was averaging 23.4 points for the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League. Almond averaged 3.5 points and two rebounds in four games, all of them Wizards wins.
Highlight: Had five points and five steals in Washington’s 34-point win over Miami in the meaningless regular season finale. The Wizards won six straight games to end the lockout-shortened season and finished 20-46.
Postscript: Almond wouldn’t play in another NBA game.
Wizards Tenure: The Wizards acquired Turiaf, a 2013 second-round pick and cash considerations from the Knicks as part of a three-team deal in December 2011.
“Ronny brings us a tough, inside presence and we’re looking forward to adding his defense and tenacity to our front line,” Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld said. “This trade brings another solid veteran to our team along with additional assets in the form of draft picks and allows us to maintain our financial flexibility moving forward.”
Turiaf averaged 1.5 points and three rebounds in four games with the Wizards before he was traded, with JaVale McGee, to Denver for Nene, Brian Cook and a 2015 second-round pick at the trade deadline.
Highlight: Turiaf tried his darndest to get through to Wizards rookie Jan Vesely in practice, but whatever he told him didn’t stick.
Postscript: Turiaf was waived by the Nuggets shortly after the trade and signed with the Heat. He played two more full seasons in the NBA with the Clippers and Timberwolves before announcing his retirement in 2016.
Wizards Tenure: After trading Nick Young to the Clippers at the 2012 trade deadline, the Wizards signed Ubiles from the NBA Development League. Ubiles, who played for Puerto Rico’s national team, averaged 3.5 points and 2.5 rebounds in four games for the Wizards.
Highlight: Became the first player from Siena College to appear in an NBA game.
Postscript: Ubiles never played in another NBA game. Last season, he played for the Albany Patroons of the NAPB.
Wizards Tenure: Before the 2011 trade deadline, the Wizards dealt veteran point guard Kirk Hinrich and backup center Hilton Armstrong to the Hawks for Mike Bibby, Maurice Evans, Jordan Crawford and a 2011 first-round pick.
“He’s a terrific clutch player who can back up John [Wall] and help him along,” Grunfeld said.
Bibby appeared in two games for the Wizards and shot 1 for 9 from the field while sporting No. 00. The 13-year veteran had so little interest playing for Washington in the twilight of his career that he agreed to a buyout from the team that required him to give back his entire $6.2 million salary for the following season.
“Sometimes in the latter part of your career, you feel you’re maybe financially set, there are other things that maybe are more important,” Wizards Coach Flip Saunders said. “You hope the agenda for him is to win. That says something about him a little bit.”
Highlight: The one basket Bibby made in his second and final appearance with the Wizards. His 8-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio in Washington was impressive.
Postscript: Bibby played the remainder of the season with Miami, which advanced to the NBA Finals before losing to the Mavericks.
Wizards Tenure: The Wizards signed Jackson in March 2010 as an injury replacement for Randy Foye while Washington was on a road trip, which didn’t give the team’s equipment manager enough time to prepare a jersey for the former Cleveland State star. Instead, Jackson was given a No. 88 Wizards jersey with no name on the back.
“It doesn’t matter,” said Jackson, who had his own jersey with the No. 9 by the time he made his Wizards debut. “I’m here.”
Highlight: Jackson scored a career-high eight points, including the go-ahead three-pointer, in the Wizards’ one-point win over the Pacers in the regular season finale.
Postscript: Jackson, who averaged three points in four games with Washington, never played in the NBA again.
Wizards Tenure: The Wizards signed Braggs to bolster their frontcourt after forward Christian Laettner was suspended for five games for violating the NBA’s drug policy in January 2004.
“Torraye is a physical, high-energy player who will add depth to our frontcourt,” Grunfeld said.
Braggs averaged 1.5 points in four games with Washington before being released to make room for Gilbert Arenas’s return from the injured list.
Highlight: Either picking up three fouls in less than four minutes in his Wizards debut or inadvertently elbowing teammate Kwame Brown during pregame warm-ups and fracturing Brown’s nose.
Postscript: Braggs played in seven games for the Rockets during the 2004-05 season before taking his career overseas.
Wizards Tenure: The former Purdue star was acquired in the trade that brought Jerry Stackhouse to Washington for Richard Hamilton, Bobby Simmons and Hubert Davis in September 2002. Cardinal, who battled left knee tendinitis all season, scored four points and grabbed five rebounds in five games with Washington He was released in March to make room on the roster for Anthony Goldwire.
Highlight: I’m hesitant to call this a highlight, because one of the worst dining experiences of my life was at D.C.'s ESPN Zone during the Redskins’ 2008 loss to the Steelers on “Monday Night Football,” but Cardinal and several of his teammates were invited to the since-closed sports bar to learn how to make pesto pasta and stir-fry as part of a publicity stunt in January 2003.
Postscript: Cardinal averaged a career-high 9.6 points and 4.2 rebounds for the Warriors the following season and carved out a respectable career. He won an NBA title with the Mavericks in 2011.
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