Assessing the Wizards Roster: Guards

With the start of free agency rapidly approaching, now is a good time to break down Washington’s roster and see where the Wizards could improve (and trust me, there’s a lot of room for improvement). This will be part one of a three part “series,” and today’s focus is the guards. Tomorrow is forwards, and Wednesday is the center position.

I’ll separate guards into point guards, shooting guards, and combo guards to make things simpler.

Let’s start off with point guard…

Point guards in 2009-2010–

Gilbert Arenas

GP: 32 (50 game suspension) PPG: 22.6 APG: 7.2 SPG: 1.3

Washington Wizards player Gilbert Arenas departs District of Columbia Superior Court in Washington on March 26, 2010. Arenas was sentenced to two years of probation for bringing guns into the Wizards

Photo Courtesy of Yardbarker.com

Earl Boykins

GP: 67 PPG: 6.6 APG: 2.6

 

March 03, 2010 Milwaukee, WI. Bradley Center..Washington Wizards Earl Boykins brings the ball up the court, Boykins had 8 points coming off the Wizards bench..Milwaukee Buck won over the Washington Wizards 100-87. Mike McGinnis/CSM.

Photo Courtesy of Yardbarker.com

 

Shaun Livingston

GP: 36 PPG: 6.9 APG: 3.6

 

Washington Wizards Shaun Livingston (2) plays against the Charlotte Bobcats during the fourth quarter at the Verizon Center in Washington on March 23, 2010. The Bobcats beat the Wizards 95-86, delivering the Wizards 12th loss in a row. UPI/Alexis C. Glenn Photo via Newscom

Photo Courtesy of Yardbarker.com

 


Javaris Crittenton

Didn’t play and got suspended for his role in the gun incident, so no picture for you, Javaris.

Analysis: Obviously, Agent Zero’s return to the court following a series of knee surgeries wasn’t what fans expected. He was suspended for 50 games following the now infamous gun incident with Javaris Crittenton, and has gone from most popular Wizard in D.C. to most wanted out of town.

Earl Boykins stepped in and gave some stability to the point guard position. He was a nice one-year addition, but won’t be brought back this season.

Shaun Livingston surprised everyone by returning to the NBA following his horrific “Gumby”-like injury (video below) and played well down the stretch. The Wizards would love to bring Livingston back, but with John Wall and Kirk Hinrich on board, it’s very unlikely he’d want to stick around and get limited minutes. Expect Livingston to bolt town.

Projected Point Guards in 2010-2011

John Wall

Statistics at Kentucky–PPG: 16.6 APG: 6.5 RPG: 4.3 SPG: 1.8

NBA number one draft pick John Wall smiles during a Washington Wizards news conference upon his arrival in Washington June 25, 2010. The Wizards selected=

Photo Courtesy of Yardbarker.com

Kirk Hinrich

GP: 74 PPG: 10.9 APG: 4.5

 

Jan 20, 2010; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich (12) dribbles the ball during the game against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center. The Clippers defeated the Bulls 104-97.

Photo Courtesy of Yardbarker.com

 


Analysis: John Wall is the future of this team, and the future starts now. Wall will log major minutes, run the point, and should put up nice numbers. In fact, I’d say he’s a front runner (along with Evan Turner) to win Rookie of the Year.

Hinrich will have a major role on the Wizards. I still don’t think Ernie Grunfeld should have ever traded for him, but now he’s very likely coming, so it’s time to embrace one of the few nice bench pieces we have. Hinrich can mentor Wall, play some tough, hard-nosed defense, and also knock down three point shots.

Shooting Guards in 2009-2010–

Mike Miller

GP: 54 PPG: 10.9 APG: 3.9 3P%: 48

Washington Wizards Mike Miller (6) plays against the Charlotte Bobcats during the fourth quarter at the Verizon Center in Washington on March 23, 2010. The Bobcats beat the Wizards 95-86, delivering the Wizards 12th loss in a row. UPI/Alexis C. Glenn Photo via Newscom

Photo Courtesy of Yardbarker.com

Nick Young

GP: 74 PPG: 8.6

March 03, 2010 Milwaukee, WI. Bradley Center..Washington Wizards Nick Young shoots around before the start of the game..Milwaukee Buck won over the Washington Wizards 100-87. Mike McGinnis/CSM.

Photo Courtesy of Yardbarker.com

Analysis: Washington’s shooting guards were a main source of fans’ headaches all year long. Mike Miller shot an incredible 48% on his three pointers–problem is, he was afraid to shoot when it mattered. Nick Young, on the other hand, was the exact opposite. He jacked up any jumper he saw fit, and while he is capable of scoring in bunches, he also plays lackadaisical defense and isn’t big on dishing to teammates.

Projected Shooting Guards in 2010-2011–

Gilbert Arenas

GP: 32 (50 game suspension) PPG: 22.6 APG: 7.2 SPG: 1.3

Nick Young GP: 74 PPG: 8.6

Analysis: The big issue here is Gilbert Arenas’s transition from point guard to shooting guard. I don’t think there’s any question Arenas can play the two position–he’s more of a shoot first player anyway. The real problem is his willingness to share the ball with John Wall. As a point guard, Gil wanted the ball in his hands all the time, and often wasted down shot clocks setting up jumpers or drives for himself. Now, he’s got to make quicker decisions, and will need to let Wall run offensive sets. I’d expect a bumpy start to the season as Agent Zero adjusts to a new role, but as David Aldridge has been pointing out, Arenas has no choice but to change. It’s no longer his team, and he needs to allow himself to become second-fiddle. Nick Young will continue to come off the bench and take tons of shots. At least the Wizards have another scoring option to work with, but I’d say they’ve grown tired of Young’s me-first attitude. If he doesn’t play tougher defense and pass more often, this will certainly be his last season on the team.

Combo Guards in 2009-2010–

Randy Foye GP: 70 PPG: 10.1 APG: 3.3

 

March 03, 2010 Milwaukee, WI. Bradley Center..Washington Wizards Randy Foye brings the ball up the court, Foye had 18 points and 5 assists in the game tonight..Milwaukee Buck won over the Washington Wizards 100-87. Mike McGinnis/CSM.

Photo Courtesy of Yardbarker.com

 

Cedric Jackson

GP: 12 PPG: 1.7 APG: 1.2

Analysis: Randy Foye was a major disappointment, especially in the eyes of coach Flip Saunders. Foye fell out of the coach’s favor, and finished the year with his lowest minutes per game since his rookie season. There’s no chance he returns to D.C. Cedric Jackson won’t be back either.

Looking Forward: What’s Next?

John Wall is what’s next. He’ll  have to play with the hopes of an entire city resting upon his shoulders. And he’s only 19.

Here’s my very, very early predicted statline for Wall’s rookie campaign: 17 PPG, 7 APG, 2 SPG.

I know I listed Hinrich as point guard, but his role will probably be closer to a combo guard. He’s the only source of stability the Wizards have off the bench as of this moment.

Washington’s backcourt will have to be its strength. The Wizards have  more depth at guard than at any other position. Still, they need to add one more combo guard to play spotty minutes in case an injury occurs. Potential free agents who will sign for cheap include:

  • Marquis Daniels (UFA)
  • Acie Law (UFA)
  • Jannero Pargo (UFA)
  • Anthony Carter (UFA)
  • Luther Head (UFA)
  • Carlos Arroyo (UFA)
  • Jerry Stackhouse (UFA)
  • Eddie House (UFA)
  • Anthony Johnson (UFA)

Out of that list, Eddie House seems like the most appealing option. He’s a good locker room presence, can play both guard positions, and will knock down three-point shots. I’m guessing he will try to sign with a contender though.

To sum it all up, here’s the projected depth chart for guards:

Point Guard

Starter: John Wall

First Backup: Kirk Hinrich

Second Backup: Veteran free agent from list above

Shooting Guard

Starter: Gilbert Arenas

First Backup: Kirk Hinrich

Second Backup: Nick Young

Third Backup: Veteran free agent from list above


Tags: Cedric Jackson Earl Boykins Ernie Grunfeld Flip Saunders Free Agents Gilbert Arenas Guards Javaris Crittenton John Wall Kirk Hinrich Mike Miller Nba Nick Young Randy Foye Shaun Livingston Washington Wizards

comments powered by Disqus