Washington Wizards get some center help, sign Anzejs Pasecniks

Washington Wizards Anzejs Pasecniks (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Anzejs Pasecniks (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Washington Wizards have a new Latvian on the squad.

After more than a week of trying to get by with a patchwork frontcourt, the Washington Wizards are finally caving and getting some help down low. Today, the Wizards announced that they signed Anzejs Pasecniks to a two-way deal.

The move comes one day after small ball center Rui Hachimura missed the end of the game versus Detroit after an accidental kick to the groin from Isaac Bonga. Hachimura will reportedly miss at least the next five games as a result. Ouch.

In Pasecniks, the Wizards get a healthy center. At this point, availability is the best ability, and Pasecniks has that box checked, for now. But the 23-year-old Latvian (yes, another Latvian beside Davis Bertans) can do more than just breathe and stay off the injured list. This season with the Capital City Go-Go, Pasecniks is averaging 10.5 points and 5.1 rebounds per game on 64 percent shooting.

Take a look at his highlights from a dozen Go-Go games, and you’ll see a center that can rebound and finish around the rim with authority. Plus, he shows a nice passing touch for 7’1″. Just don’t expect Pasecniks to stretch the floor, he hasn’t made a single three-pointer with the Go-Go.


At the G-League level, Pasecniks is a reliable rim protector, averaging two blocks per 36 minutes, per Basketball-Reference. It’s not a given that his shot-blocking will translate to the faster, stronger NBA pace, though. Pasecniks is a towering 7’1″, but could afford to bulk up a bit. Listed at 229 pounds, Thomas Bryant and Moritz Wagner each have about 20 pounds on Pasecniks. Ian Mahinmi outweighs him by over 30 pounds. Whether he can bang down low with much bigger bodies is yet to be seen.

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Despite being drafted by the Orlando Magic in 2017, Pasecniks has yet to record any minutes in an NBA game. His first appearance with the Wizards will be his first taste of the big stage. However, Pasecniks has logged minutes with the Wizards in the Summer League and in the preseason.

To make room on the roster for Pasecniks, the Wizards were forced to waive Chris Chiozza. Chiozza had been solid in recent games, filling in as a backup point guard while Isaiah Thomas was injured. While letting him go isn’t ideal, the Wizards are thinner at the five than they are at the one. Good news for Chiozza fans, though. His time in Washington might not be over after all, according to Fred Katz of the Athletic.  Only time will tell.