Trading for Blair filled a hole on the roster, with Al Harrington and Trevor Booker leaving (Harrington is now playing overseas and Booker accepted a fairly sizeable contract from the Utah Jazz). Now, fans are seriously wondering where Booker is. We miss him.
The trade for Blair seems almost useless in retrospect, considering how little he's played. This season, he's appeared in just 16 games, and is averaging 1.8 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.1 fouls in 5.3 minutes per game. Most of the time, though, he's sitting on the bench next to Drew Gooden.
With Kris Humphries out, Gooden has absorbed his minutes off the bench, not Blair. And when Blair did get into the game, he went off on Humphries for a turnover. A turnover that would equally responsible between Blair and Humphries.
(Vine via Hoop District)
Blair often is (rightfully) discounted for playing poor defense. He is slow on rotations at time and plays pretty flat-footed. In 15 minutes on Feb. 5 against the Charlotte Hornets, though, he scored four points, had five rebounds and one assist.
It's tough to really blame Randy Wittman for not playing Blair. In two games now without Humphries, Drew Gooden has scored double-digit points in back-to-back games, and is coming off a double-double Wednesday night against the Raptors.
Humphries is currently posting the best defensive rating of his career and is averaging 11.3 rebounds per 36 minutes, per Basketball-Reference.com. The lineup of John Wall, Otto Porter Jr., Bradley Beal, Marcin Gortat and Humphries is also out-rebounding its opponents by 8.1 per 100 possessions and produces 7.9 more assists.
Granted, Blair has played a very small number of minutes, so there's not a huge sample size of work off of. But in 85 total minutes this season, this is Blair's shot chart, per StatMuse.
Not particularly inspiring stuff. In 15 minutes per game last season for the Mavericks, Blair was far more active (and efficient in the paint).
Gortat is shooting just over 60 percent in the paint this year, and 41.8 percent from the mid-range. Humphries isn't nearly as good in the paint (50.9 percent) but is shooting 43.3 percent from mid-range, while Gooden is shooting 46.9 percent in the paint and 41.5 percent elsewhere inside the arc.
Simply, there just isn't a need for Blair on the roster right now. They have enough guys off the bench and in the starting lineup who can operate in the paint. When he wants to, Kevin Seraphin can get his hook shot rolling, and he's putting himself on pace to get paid this offseason.
It's certainly nice to have Blair for depth, but the way the rest of the big men are playing on the roster right now, Blair doesn't bring anything to the table that's new or exciting for the Wizards.
Blair does bring energy off the bench, and I think it's basically useless to not use him at all, especially as we get into the home stretch and saving guys for the playoffs becomes a need/reality. But for the sake of winning games, he doesn't do one thing particularly well, nor does he play defense well enough (he only has 3.1 defensive win shares in his past three seasons) to absorb the minutes that Gortat doesn't play in the fourth quarter.
The upside for any potential trade partners are that Blair has fairly fresh legs considering how little he's played his season, and he can be an energy guy off the bench for any contenders who feel like they need to bolster their frontcourt.