The Washington Wizards were one of the teams that kicked the first day of free agency off with a signing, and a good one at that, reaching a verbal agreement with former Portland Trailblazer combo guard Eric Maynor.
The Wizards will be Maynor’s fourth spot as an NBA player. The former VCU guard will return to the DMV area to back up point guard John Wall. This is exactly what the Wizards needed.
Maynor brings a lot to the table. He’s a pass-first guard who isn’t much of a shooter or scorer, but has shown the ability to perform well out of pick and roll situations. In Oklahoma City, he and James Harden ran a high percentage of high pick and roll or pick and pop plays between Nick Collison and Serge Ibaka.
A gaudy 29.6 percent of Maynor’s plays were in pick and roll situations in 2010-11 (per Synergy Sports technology). He will be able to step right into the Wizards offense without experiencing a major drop off in terms of pick and roll plays and penetration.
Maynor is has an excellent ability to get into the lane and dish the ball out to open shooters. He’s an above-average passer in most situations, even through double teams. His turnover rate is a bit higher than teams would like it to be, but this is why he is a back up. His possessions will be minimal and there shouldn’t be too much backlash depending on the situation in the game.
With Oklahoma City in the 2010-11 season, he was a decent spot up shooter. He’s only a career 35 percent three point shooter, but during that year he shot 47 percent from deep in spot up situations while taking only 79 spot up threes.
This season he shot 39% in those situations with the Portland Trailblazers. He isn’t really known as a spot up guy, but there is some ability there.
Even still, what he brings as a facilitator and an offensive initiator is going make him worth this deal. Maynor is as good of a playmaker as AJ Price, maybe even better, which makes a situation where Price is back on the Wizards unlikely.
This is a good deal for the Wizards. It’s only a two year deal for somewhere around $4 million reportedly. They desperately needed a consistent force backing up John Wall after what happened last season. That’s not to say that AJ Price didn’t do what he could with an atrocious unit, but Maynor may have gotten the Wizards the offensive consistency they needed.
The Wizards have started free agency on a good note, and following up a good draft, they hope to keep the positive vibes going.