After the moves, the Wizards (13-26) remain at 17 players, with 15 on the NBA roster and Williams and rookie Garrison Mathews on two-way deals. In a team statement, General Manager Tommy Sheppard highlighted Pasecniks’s advancement through the team’s system.
“AP has worked tremendously hard with our coaching staff during his time in summer league, with the [G League’s Capital City] Go-Go and with the Wizards, and his development has shown great progress,” Sheppard said. “He is following the path set by Jordan McRae last season and provides another example of our vision for developing players within our own system and the benefit of sharing our facility with the Go-Go.”
In a season dedicated to the development of young players yet disrupted by injuries, Miles, who will miss the remainder of the regular season, epitomized the team’s biggest story line.
In July, Washington traded Dwight Howard for Miles, seeking a positive locker room presence and a boost to its outside shooting. Miles made a fast connection with teammates — he even was spotted Saturday afternoon at the Wizards’ practice facility, supporting the healthy players — but he could not stay on the floor.
“We appreciate CJ’s contributions to our team this season and wish him and his family the best as he continues his career,” Sheppard said in a team statement. “He is a consummate professional who provided a great example for our younger players despite having his season cut short by an unfortunate injury.”
Upon joining the team in the summer, Miles was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his left foot and required surgery. He missed all of training camp and preseason and made his Wizards debut Nov. 4.
As a backup, Miles appeared in 10 games, averaged 6.4 points and shot 31.4 percent from beyond the three-point arc. By the time he was entrenched as a role player off the bench, however, Miles suffered ligament damage in his left wrist when he took a charge in a Nov. 26 game in Denver. Miles underwent another surgery that effectively ended his season as well as his short time in Washington.
Not too long after Miles’s season-ending surgery, the Wizards started dealing with a rash of other injuries. By the end of the five-game Western Conference road trip in which Miles was hurt, Washington’s top two centers were experiencing pain.
Thomas Bryant and Moritz Wagner have been sidelined for several weeks, and the Wizards turned to their G League rookie center for help. Pasecniks, a 7-foot-1 big man from Latvia and a 2017 first-round draft pick, has appeared in 13 games while averaging 8.2 points and 6.2 rebounds.
Pasecniks has scored more than 15 points twice playing behind Ian Mahinmi, and the team has relied on his inside defensive presence. With the Wizards, Pasecniks has recorded a 104.4 defensive rating, the lowest on the team among the regular rotation players. Washington had been hoping to find an avenue to convert his deal and accomplished that Sunday.
The 24-year-old Williams, a former Gonzaga standout, played six games with the Wizards after the team qualified for a hardship exception. He started five games and averaged 5.5 points and 6.3 rebounds, but the team had to waive Williams once the exception expired a week ago. Williams has returned to Washington and will split his time between the Go-Go and the Wizards.
“Johnathan has shown the ability to impact the game on both ends of the court during his time with us and during his previous NBA experience,” Sheppard said in a team statement about the move. “His experience playing for Coach [Mark] Few at Gonzaga prepared him to be a professional both on and off the court, and we look forward to his continued development within our program."