By now, most people understand the Wizards are going to be very quiet in free agency this summer. Sure, there could be plenty of trades and other moves to shake up the roster, but free agency itself will be very quiet. Even if they make some moves to shed salary, there just isn’t enough free cap space out there to get the Wizards in a position to sign someone notable.
Still, some of you might be thinking, “Oh, that’s just Bullets Forever being their typical pessimistic selves.” Fine. Let’s bring in some outside analysis. Bleacher Report recently put out a piece titled “Every Team’s Realistic Dream Signing in 2018 NBA Free Agency.”
Their pick for Washington was ... Shabazz Napier, and even there they don’t seem to be sold on the idea:
To be clear, Napier is hardly an automatic fix. His career previously appeared on life support—he’s been traded for both a top-55 protected pick and cash considerations—before finally showing a faint pulse in Portland. Even then, we’re only talking 42.0 percent shooting, 8.7 points and 2.0 assists against 1.2 turnovers per game.
But Napier can control offenses in limited doses, and his outside stroke (37.4 percent the past two seasons) would allow him to play alongside Wall and Bradley Beal. And given some of the second units Washington has deployed recently, there’d have to be some excitement in seeing the offensive potential of a bench mob featuring Napier, Tomas Satoransky, Kelly Oubre Jr. and (if he’s re-signed) Mike Scott.
Napier fits the mold of the speedy, undersized backup point guard the Wizards seem to sign every year before they inevitably disapopint. His particular resemblance to a former Wizards backup point guard doesn’t help that perception.
Could Napier be better than the ghosts of Wizards past like Maynor, Ramon Sessions, Jannero Pargo, Trey Burke, Tim Frazier, Brandon Jennings, and Will Bynum? Sure, but that’s a loooooooooooooow bar to clear for the player who could be your best realistic signing.
Then again, the last time the Wizards were a big player in free agency, that didn’t go so well either, so maybe a boring free agency window isn’t the worst thing in the world.