The Wizards didn’t make a move to improve the backup point guard position at the trade deadline, but it appears they may be ready to make a move on the buyout market.
Washington is reportedly interested in adding Brandon Jennings, according to Chris B. Haynes of ESPN. Jennings, who signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Knicks last summer, was waived by the team on Monday morning.
Jennings still needs to clear waivers before the Wizards can sign him. That should be a formality since most other contending teams who would be interested in him lack the cap space to make a waiver claim.
Once he hits the free agent market, the Wizards have a leg up on most other teams, because they can offer him more money for this season. Washington can offer the Room Mid-Level Exception, a cap exception worth more than the veteran’s minimum other teams can offer.
Though Jennings isn’t the same player he was in Milwaukee or Detroit, he should still be an upgrade behind John Wall. He isn’t as good of an outside shooter as Trey Burke, but Jennings would be able to set up the other team’s shooters, like Bojan Bogdanovic and Kelly Oubre, much better.
The Wizards are currently at the 15 player roster maximum, so if they chose to sign Jennings, they would have to release a player to clear a roster spot. The most likely options would be one of the Wizards’ undrafted rookies or Burke, who is in the last year of his deal, and likely wouldn’t factor into the team’s rotation going forward.
UPDATE: Or maybe Jennings isn’t going to Washington. Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy says Jennings is headed to Charlotte.
Stan Van Gundy spoke to Brandon Jennings' agent this morning. Apparently he's headed to Charlotte.— Aaron McMann (@AaronMcMann) February 27, 2017
The Hornets, like the Wizards, can also offer the Room Mid-Level Exception but what’s interesting is the team just signed Briante Weber, another point guard, to a 10-day deal Monday afternoon. Perhaps things changed after Van Gundy talked with Jennings’ agent. We’ll find out soon enough.