Taking a Closer Look at the Washington Wizards’ New Players

PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 12: Tim Frazier #2 of the New Orleans Pelicans goes for a lay up during the game against the Portland Trail Blazers on April 12, 2017 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 12: Tim Frazier #2 of the New Orleans Pelicans goes for a lay up during the game against the Portland Trail Blazers on April 12, 2017 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Washington Wizards management added three key pieces in free agency, with the goal of adding depth to the team’s bench, which struggled mightily last season. Each has something to prove, and will bring a different skill set to the team.

One of the biggest offseason needs for the Wizards was to improve their bench. In the 2016-17 season, the Wizards’ bench was their biggest weakness, and ultimately led to their elimination from the playoffs in game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals to Boston. To make matters worse, the Wizards were not able to resign one of their best bench players, Bojan Bogdanovic, due to a lack of salary cap space. However, the Wizards were able to add three players to their bench for relatively cheap: Mike Scott, Jodie Meeks, and Tim Frazier. These three players are relatively unknown, but could greatly help the Wizards next season.

tim frazier washington wizards
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – FEBRUARY 26: Tim Frazier #2 of the New Orleans Pelicans shoots the ball against the Oklahoma City Thunder on February 26, 2017 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Tim Frazier

The Wizards traded for point guard Tim Frazier of the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for the Wizards’ 2017 second round draft pick, number 52 overall. Frazier is projected to be the Wizards’ primary backup point guard.

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Frazier went undrafted in the 2014 NBA draft out of Penn State. In 2015, he averaged 16 points, 7 rebounds, and 9.5 assists per game in the NBA D-League. His productivity led him to win the D-League’s MVP award that season.

Since then, Frazier has spent time with the 76ers, Trail Blazers, and the Pelicans. Last season in New Orleans, Frazier played 65 games, starting 35 of them. Frazier averaged 7.1 points as well as 5.2 assists per game and even recorded a triple-double. He has made a name for himself as a very quick and excellent ball-handler. He uses his speed to drive into the lane and has the ability to either kick it out to a teammate or draw contact from a defender.

Frazier’s passing ability is his strongest asset, as he is known for finding teammates through tight windows. However, his shot from outside is inadequate, shooting just 31% from three last season. Also, he is undersized and lacks physicality which hurts his ability to drive to the basket. While Frazier could use improvement on some aspects of his game, expect him to be highly productive backing up John Wall next season.

mike scott hawks wizards
NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 16: Mike Scott #32 of the Atlanta Hawks shoots the ball against the New York Knicks during the game on January 16, 2017 at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Mike Scott

The Wizards signed forward Mike Scott to a one year deal at the league’s minimum. Wizard fans may have heard of Scott before from this ferocious dunk over Bradley Beal.

Scott was a second round pick by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2012 NBA Draft out of the University of Virginia. Scott has played with the Hawks for his whole career. In his career, Scott averages 7.1 points and 3 rebounds per game and shoots over 50% from the field.

For most of his career, Scott has been a productive 3 and D player coming off the bench . However, last season, he took a major step back. Scott only played in 18 games last season, averaging just 2.5 points per game and he shot a dismal 15% from three.

Scott had been facing legal issues since 2015 after he was arrested on drug possession charges. However, he was recently cleared from all charges. Scott stated that injuries to his knee and ankles and his legal issues were to blame for his drop off, but also said that he his now 100% healthy. Look for Scott to revitalize his career coming off the bench in the nation’s capital.

jodie meeks wizards magic
ATLANTA, GEORGIA – DECEMBER 13: Jodie Meeks #20 of the Orlando Magic shoots the ball during the game against the Atlanta Hawks on December 13, 2016 at Philips Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Jodie Meeks

The Wizards signed shooting guard Jodie Meeks to a two-year, $7 million deal. Meeks is an NBA veteran and journey man, but is absolutely deadly from behind the ark. With the Orlando Magic last season, Meeks shot over 40% from three and averaged 9.1 points. However, injuries have plagued Meeks for the past couple seasons. Last season, injuries to his foot, back, and thumb limited him to only 36 games.

Since the signing, Meeks has recently stated that he is finally 100% healthy. In 2014, before his injuries began to occur, Meeks averaged 15.7 points  and made over two three pointers per game. If he can stay healthy, Meeks could be the lift off the bench the Wizards desperately need.

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None of these players will blow away fans or the competition, but with their limited cap room the Wizards looked to add quality players who could give the team a deeper roster. Expect each to contribute, as each will be on a mission to prove doubters wrong.