With the Wizards needing a backup point guard and the free agent market running dry, Ernie Grunfeld turned to former Indiana Pacer point guard A.J. Price.
John Wall made it clear earlier this off-season that he wanted a veteran backup point guard to help him and Shelvin Mack develop. Price fits the backup bill, but what about the veteran part? A.J. Price has spent all three of his NBA seasons with the Indiana Pacers. In those three seasons, he has played in 150 games and started three, but his points per game and shooting percentage have declined from year to year.
How much of that is due to a lack of playing time? I’m not sure, but it’s worth finding out for the Wizards.
The team knew they had to address the point guard spot this off-season at some point, but the timetable for finding one was moved up once Shelvin Mack struggled mightily during the Las Vegas summer league earlier this month.
The team had flirted with bringing back Kirk Hinrich in free agency and they kicked the tires on John Lucas III, but Hinrich returned to the Chicago Bulls and Lucas is on the verge of signing with the Raptors. Either one of those players would have been the unquestioned backup to John Wall this season, however, that’s not the case for A.J. Price.
I assume that Price will win the competition with Shelvin Mack, but given Price’s poor play in limited minutes over the past two seasons, it’s not a given that he’ll win the backup job. But if Shelvin Mack is going to unseat Price, he’ll have to look like a legitimate NBA point guard — something that he didn’t resemble during the summer league.