The Washington Wizards made their final roster cuts on Sunday, releasing guard Shelvin Mack and forward Brian Cook, bringing the final roster count to 15. The final two spots on the team that seemed to be up for grabs went to Jannero Pargo and Earl Barron.
Pargo was signed just before training camp to provide some depth at the point guard position when John Wall was sidelined by a left patella injury. Pargo was in competition with A.J. Price to fill in for Wall as the starter until Wall’s return, but Price looks like he’s locked up the job.
During the eight preseason games, in which the Wizards went 3-5, Pargo appeared in five games and averaged 7.6 points and 3.2 assists. Pargo was slowed down in training camp by a rib injury.
Price played in all eight games and averaged 9.6 points and 3.9 assists. The Wizards signed Price as a free agent in July, shortly after the team finished summer league play.
It was a lackluster performance during summer league that signaled the beginning of the end for Shelvin Mack, who was the backup point guard last season. Like Price, Mack appeared in all eight preseason games, posting averages of 4.1 points and 2.8 assists.
The only category in which Mack excelled was turnovers, averaging less than one per game (0.75) to 3.2 for Pargo and 2.3 for Price. Mack was drafted by the Wizards in the second round in 2011 with the 34th overall pick.
Mack, a 22-year-old second year guard out of Butler, was working to make the adjustment from a shooters mentality to that of running the team at the point, but just was’t able to beat out the veteran experience of the 33-year-old Pargo, the team’s oldest player, or Price, 26, who’s entering his fourth season in the league.
Cook was acquired by the Wizards at the trading deadline from the Los Angeles Clippers in the deal that sent Nick Young to Los Angeles and JaVale McGee and Ronny Turiaf to Denver in exchange for Nene. The journeyman forward/center has helped fill in a few holes in the Wizards injury-depleted front court.
Earl Barron will now be called upon for that task. The 7-0 Barron solidified his spot on the team with a couple of strong preseason performances, including the final game against the San Antonio Spurs, when he scored 12 points and had 10 rebounds while having to guard Tim Duncan.