Washington Wizards: Jordan McRae proves he deserves more playing time

Washington Wizards, Jordan McRae (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards, Jordan McRae (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Two-way contract player and reserve Jordan McRae has been an underutilized asset for the Washington Wizards this season, as Monday’s game against the Detroit Pistons showed.

The Washington Wizards fell 121-112 to the Detroit Pistons on Monday night, but Jordan McRae continued to distinguish himself as an offensive weapon that the team should look to play more.

Throughout the season, the team has brought him a handful of potential reserves to bolster their bench—Sam Dekker, Jabari Parker, Bobby Portis, Wesley Johnson—but they’ve had McRae all along. When given the opportunity, he’s proven he can play a role as a dynamic scorer. Against the Pistons, he finished the game with 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting in 19 minutes, and propelled them to a second-quarter lead before it slipped away

At first glance, his numbers on the season don’t inspire much: He’s averaging 4.5 points in 9.1 minutes per game (albeit on 52 percent shooting). Those statistics don’t tell the whole story.

Where McRae has stood out is when he gets playing time. Usually buried at the end of the bench, especially earlier in the season, McRae usually only gets a few minutes of playing time, which brings his averages down.

But when McRae plays more than 10 minutes per game, his numbers change significantly. Including his Monday night performance, he’s averaging 10.3 points per game and shooting 56 percent from the field when he plays at least 10 minutes.

At this point in the season, when the franchise is assessing who will stick around and be part of the near-term future, it’s worth giving McRae some consistent minutes to see how he fares.

McRae’s impressive play also is a welcomed sign of how the Wizards are actually utilizing their two-way contract slots this year. Last season, the effectively didn’t play two-way guys Devin Robinson (who is still on the roster but almost exclusively on Capital City Go-Go), and Michael Young.

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McRae is evidence that sometimes its worth taking a chance on intriguing prospects and giving them opportunities to figure things out and prove themselves. He’s doing some when he gets time. The Wizards should give him more.