By Ben Golliver
The Wizards, who have been up a creek at the point guard position due to injuries, made a series of minor roster moves this weekend in hopes of improving the position.
The Washington Post reported Saturday that reserve point guard Shaun Livingston and reserve center Earl Barron were both released on Friday.
Shortly after losing to the Detroit Pistons, 96-89, on Saturday at Verizon Center – their seventh straight defeat to drop to a franchise-worst 3-22 – the Wizards released Barron and Livingston to open up two roster spots that the team plans to fill with backcourt help, according to league sources.
Yahoo! Sports reported Sunday that the Wizards will sign Shelvin Mack, who has been playing for the Maine Red Claws in the D-League after being released by Washington earlier this year.
Once the three moves are officially executed, Washington will have 14 players under contract, leaving one open roster spot.
Washington's point guard situation, spotty at best in the absence of star guard John Wall, who hasn't played all season because of a stress reaction in his knee, turned untenable when A.J. Price broke his hand earlier this month.
Price's injury left coach Randy Wittman with only Livingston, Jordan Crawford and Bradley Beal to fill out his backcourt rotation. Wittman opted to start Crawford and Beal but the duo lacked a true distributing presence. Since losing Price, the Wizards are 1-7, losers of seven straight, and have averaged just 83.9 points per game. Washington, a league-worst 3-22 on the year, currently ranks dead last in offensive efficiency and is tied for 25th in assist rate.
With Wall's timetable for return still indefinite, even though he was recently cleared to "ramp up" his activity level, the Wizards clearly concluded that enough was enough. Enter Mack, who was waived by the Wizards back in October after spending the 2011-12 season in Washington. Mack, 23, averaged 3.6 points and 2.0 assists in 12.2 minutes per game as Wall's back-up last last season. In ten games with the Red Claws this season, Mack averaged 20.2 points and 7.1 assists. The Wizards selected Mack in the second-round of the 2011 Draft out of Butler.
Livingston, 27, signed as a free agent with the Wizards back in November and posted averages of 3.7 points and 2.2 assists in 17 appearances. Barron, 31, signed with the Wizards in September and averaged 2.5 points and 3.9 rebounds in 11 games.