clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

How Badly Do The Wizards Need To Sign A Backup Point Guard?

Getty Images

It's pretty clear that the Wizards are thinking about adding another point guard to play behind John Wall next season. The latest, from FOX Sports' Chris Tomasson, suggests the Wizards are looking at John Lucas III and are willing to offer him more than the minimum if that's what it takes.

Besides Miami and Chicago, where he played last season, other teams looking at John Lucas III are Washington, Boston, Minnesota and Toronto. The Wizards, Celtics and Timberwolves all have offered more than the veteran minimum.

We've discussed Lucas III before, and the basic conclusion is that he can score, but will pound the rock a lot and not do a lot else. But this post isn't really about John Lucas III specifically. Instead, here's a question to consider: how important is signing another backup point guard anyway?

If the Wizards simply need someone who can run the offense and spell Wall for 10 minutes, I think they're fine just keeping Shelvin Mack in that role. Mack wasn't spectacular as a rookie, and he's not exactly a playmaker, but I rarely felt like he lost command of what he was being asked to do. He's also a pretty solid positional defender that can wear out the opposing team's point guard by picking him up full court.

But perhaps the Wizards need someone who can create more offense than Mack can. Mack's jump shot was pretty abysmal last year, and he struggled all year with penetrating into the lane. While there were plenty of games where Mack's game management skills were valuable, there were several others where his inability to run pick and roll to create good looks for either himself or his teammates hurt the team. In Lucas III's case specifically, you can at least know that he'll create open shots for himself in pick and roll situations.

There's also the question of whether Wall needs a veteran backup to pick up some tips. This may be Sam Cassell's job, but peer learning can also be really valuable, especially when the veteran backup is helping to play either the good cop or the bad cop to the coaching staff.

If the Wizards weigh one of those two factors very heavily, I can understand the desire to wanting to make a change. There are options for the kinds of players that could fill either scenario. In the case of the former, there's Lucas III, A.J. Price, Patty Mills and other under-the-radar guys that are more dynamic than Mack offensively. In the case of the latter, there's Derek Fisher, or more realistically, Keyon Dooling. There's also the possibility that the Wizards can get a combination of both factors by spending a little more money on C.J. Watson or engaging the Timberwolves in trade talks for Luke Ridnour.

At the end of the day, though, I don't really see one option that's a silver bullet. Rather than pick one area to address and sign someone, maybe it's just better to save the money and groom Mack.