Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. The Washington Wizards will go into the offseason searching for an answer at point guard.
The 2022 free agent class is headlined by four guards with player options: James Harden, John Wall, Russell Westbrook and Kyrie Irving. Safe to assume three of those four are out of consideration. Harden is staying Philly. Even if Wall agrees to a buyout on his final season, he’s highly unlikely to rejoin the Wizards. He’ll have plenty of interest from title contenders at the right price. There’s no indication the team has any interest in a reunion.
Russ is… Russ. I think we got off the ride at just the right time.
We don’t appear to have the flexibility in terms of cap space to pay Kyrie, not that the Front Office would try given his inconsistent availability. He played 54 games last year and 20 the year before that. On the court, he’s not attacking to finish as much as he used to, which is one area where he’s always been special. Tommy likes to talk about taking big swings. Kyrie, who’d likely need to come via sign and trade, would be his biggest yet.
On the restricted free market there’s Collin Sexton. Does he qualify as a point guard? He’s a scorer but not much of a distributor. Six assists per 100 possessions for his career. He’s coming off a torn meniscus in his left knee. Not that I like Sexton’s fit next to Beal to begin with. With Brad running the offense more often the PG spot becomes more ball mover and less ball stopper. I have to believe Wes will be asking for better defense at the point of attack as well.
The Spencer Dinwiddie sign and trade showed that the Wizards can get creative when paying a point guard. The problem with the ‘22 free agent class is that there aren’t many options worth creating space for. Jalen Brunson is a popular choice in this range between the MLE and the Max. He’s scoring 16 per game and shooting 41% on catch and shoot 3’s.
Dallas loves him but can only pay him so much. They’re going to offer everything they can and hope a team with cap room steers clear. I think this will be worth watching after Tommy explained how the conversations with Dallas weren’t centered around Porzingis in the days leading up to the trade deadline. Was the front office testing the waters for Brunson?
Acquiring him would require, you guessed it, a sign and trade which makes it even more unlikely. Without a pick to add, it’s hard to see what else Dallas would accept in return or why Brunson would take our deal vs a similar offer from a team with cap space.
For the Mid Level Exception or Less
The Mid Level Exception should be enough for the next tier of point guards including Tyus Jones, Delon Wright and Ricky Rubio.
Rubio tore his ACL in late December so he wouldn’t be part of any teams’ plans early in the season. It’s a shame. He was playing so well defensively that he would have been an option if otherwise healthy.
Tyus Jones is a reserve in Memphis. At 6 feet tall and 190ish he’s not exactly stout at the point of attack. At 25 years old Jones has started 63 games in his career, 14 games for the Grizzlies this season. In those 14 starts he’s averaging 12pts, 6 assists, 3.5 rebounds and a steal in 31 mpg. Jones is shooting 36% from three this year which is up from his career average of 34%. A little on the small side and not the shooter you’d hope for to make up for it.
Delon Wright has played off the ball more in Atlanta with Trae Young holding down the point. He’s basically splitting his time between roles which is what he’d do next to Brad too. At 6’5 he brings size back to the position. He’s a better defender than the other options in the market. This season he’s shot a higher percentage on pull up 3pt shots than he has catch and shoot. That’s the exact opposite of his previous year in Sacramento when he shot 47% on catch and shoot 3’s. DW will be 30 by the time the season starts so he’s on the older side of these options.
I like parts of each of these guys. Neither seems like a guy you acquire and name your PG. I could see either coming in alongside a high draft pick so that the team isn’t relying on a rookie PG.
It’s a who’s who of names you know with games you vaguely remember: Dennis Schröder, Patty Mills, Cory Joseph (PO), Avery Bradley, and Rajon Rondo.
Shout out to Patty Mills. Love his game. He’s not coming here. He’s aiming for a title.
I’d hire Rondo as a coach before I acquired him to play for my team. Kuzma talks up his contagious love of film sessions. Darius Garland is currently getting a crash course from Rajon in Cleveland.
I have a feeling the Wizards want Ish to play the sage PG whisperer role next season even if his salary is currently unguaranteed.
Choose Your PG Path
This poll is closed
Take a giant swing to see if Kyrie is interested.
Follow up on potential interest shown toward Brunson at the deadline.
Pick from the mid level assortment of reserve-worthy options.