Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE
The Thunder are reportedly listening to offers for Eric Maynor. Is this someone the Wizards should pursue?
I wouldn't expect the Washington Wizards to be too active come trade deadline day. We've been fooled before (hello, last year!), and this front office historically plays things close to the vest, but save for a potential move that ships Jordan Crawford elsewhere, the probable best move is to do nothing and let the current group play some time together.
But there is some potential for smaller moves, particularly as the Wizards begin to evaluate their young players. At some point, the organization has to know that their future won't include all five of Crawford, Trevor Booker, Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton and Kevin Seraphin. A couple will need to be flipped for better fits, whether young or old.
It's in that vein that I found this rumor particularly interesting:
Thunder has been getting numerous inquiries about guard Eric Maynor, sources tell Y! Sports. OKC inclined to keep Maynor but is open-minded.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) February 10, 2013
Backup point guard is a big long-term need for the Wizards. A.J. Price will work for one season, but long-term, John Wall needs a player he can count on to help when he's not on the floor. Price certainly hasn't shown to me that he's a viable long-term solution to what will be a needed gap in case Wall gets injured again. Keeping Price just means you're kicking the can down the road.
That brings us to Maynor. Reggie Jackson surprisingly beat him out for the Thunder's job, leaving Maynor to languish on the bench, but I think that Maynor will soon recover the form that made him one of the league's top backup points a couple years ago. Maynor is in his first year back from a torn ACL, and players tend to look like shells of themselves in that first year. Oklahoma City is a win-now team that can't afford to have a rotation player coming back slowly. Therefore, Maynor lost his job. But next year, Maynor will be another year removed from the injury, so he should return to form.
I also think this is a good buy-low opportunity. It may not take much to pry Maynor away from the Thunder, not when they currently have $66 million committed in salary before re-signing Kevin Martin. If the Thunder really want to keep Martin, dealing Maynor elsewhere for expiring contracts will give them the flexibility needed. (As a sidenote, it's too bad the Wizards don't have a trade exception that's larger than Maynor's $2.3 million salary. Then, they could just deal a second-round pick).
A trade of Price and Cartier Martin for Maynor relieves Oklahoma City's potential luxury-tax burden and gives the Wizards a player with a chance of becoming a strong long-term backup for Wall without losing much. I think it's a gamble worth inquiring about.
Thoughts? Any better realistic trade targets?