Wanted: Three Point Shooters

Everyone knew that when Roger Mason Jr. left for San Antonio in the off-season that the Wizards were losing their best perimeter shooter.  I don't think many would've forseen the Wizards finishing 29th in three-point shooting this season, hitting only 33% from deep.  Only two Wizards hit more than 40% from long range; Antonio Daniels who connected on 5 of his 11 shots from deep before being traded to New Orleans (he ended up shooting 36.7% for the season) and Dominic McGuire who hit 2 of his 4 long balls.  Once you eliminate those two, who shot a combined 15 three-pointers for the Wizards this season, the next best shooter from deep-range was Mike James who shot 36.7%.

Of course, part of the problem was the injuries.  Without Gilbert Arenas, the team lacked a player to create drive & dish opportunities, not to mention that he's pretty good at hitting threes in his own right..  A healthy Brendan Haywood might not have sucked opposing teams into the paint in the same way that Yao Ming can, but he would've done more to give shooters a better chance of an open look than Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee did this year.  Also, let's not forget that if DeShawn Stevenson was anywhere near healthy this season, he wouldn't have shot anywhere near 27.1%.

With those pieces back in place next season, there's no reason to beileve that this can't be at least an average team from outside.  Still, it's hard to imagine that if everyone was healthy that anyone on the team would've had as productive of a season as Mason Jr. did this year.  

What makes this all the trickier is that there aren't many options available to bring in someone to flll the role that Mason played while he was here.  Juan Dixon is the only player coming off the books this season and his roster spot will presumably be filled by whoever the Wizards take with their lottery pick.  Since there isn't a real dead-eye shooter available early in the first round, it makes it very hard to see a way where the Wizards end up with a consistent outside threat that makes them an elite three-point shooting team unless they make some kind of trade.  That, or we have to hope that Nick Young, Javaris Crittenton, or Dominic McGuire can make the leap this off-season.

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