clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Wizards reportedly interested in Celtics' Jameer Nelson

New, comments

If the Celtics can't find a taker for Jameer Nelson at the trade deadline, he might find a home in Washington, according to a report.

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

If the Wizards can't lure Ray Allen to Washington, it sounds like they already have a pretty solid Plan B ready, according to CSN Washington's J. Michael:

If Jameer Nelson gets bought of his contract, he could end up in a Wizards uniform. Nelson was part of the deal for Rondo that sent him from Dallas to Boston. The Wizards will be in hot pursuit because he's experienced and the type of combo guard they covet most for the open roster spot. This is the most likely of all the scenarios. Nelson is expected to negotiate a buyout. He would be on a pro-rated salary which would be a minimal cost to the Wizards, he'd come off the books after the season and it allows the veteran a chance to go deep into the playoffs for the first time in a while. And the playing time is there behind Beal (see item No. 1 on Allen). He simply has to be on the Wizards' roster by March 1, the deadline to be eligible for the postseason, and want to come here. If Nelson is bought out and doesn't end up in D.C., it won't be from lack of effort on this end.

Certainly, Nelson fits the classic veteran combo guard mold the Wizards have gone to time and time again in the Ernie Grunfeld era - Mike James, Juan Dixon, Jannero Pargo, Kirk Hinrich, Earl Boykins, Randy Foye and Antonio Daniels all say hi - and has the right things the Wizards would be looking for in a late season addition.

Nelson has playoff experience from his time in Orlando with Dwight Howard and Stan Van Gundy. He's still shooting 34.3 percent on threes this season with Dallas and Boston (a number that would likely go up if he's playing alongside John Wall and Andre Miller) and he won't suck up too many possessions (his usage rate this season is 16.5 percent, which is lower than Rasual Butler and Martell Webster's). If nothing else, he's an immediate upgrade over Garrett Temple as the Wizards' third-option at point guard.

Still, there are some reasons for concern. For one, unless Wall or Miller gets injured, there's really no need to play Nelson at point guard. Currently, Wall is averaging 35.5 minutes per game, and Miller is averaging 12.8 per game. Add it together and they're 48.3 minutes per game as is, so they're already got the point guard minutes effectively covered, without stretching Wall or Miller beyond the number of minutes they should be playing. So Nelson's only real value would come against other two point guard lineups, unless you think the 32 year old, 6 foot, 190 pound Nelson can still hold his own against shooting guards.

Furthermore, on the offensive end, the only real benefit you're going to get from Nelson is three point shooting and the occasional assist. Just over a third of his shots this season have come from inside the arc and he's only shooting 35 percent on those shots this season. At this point in Nelson's career, he can't create much offense for himself or others off the dribble. But as he proved in Dallas before the Rondo trade, he can still be part of effective offensive units if he isn't asked to do a lot of the penetration.

Quick take

Jameer Nelson is a good third option to fill the Wizards' last roster spot, so long as Ray Allen isn't available and the Wizards don't need to use the spot to address injury concerns.