Washington Wizards: 3 Training camp battles to watch

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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Washington Wizards Jerome Robinson
Washington Wizards Jerome Robinson (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /

Training Camp Battle #3: Consistent Bench Scorer
Best Options: Jerome Robinson or Garrison Mathews

The Washington Wizards accomplished their main goal this offseason. They retained sharp-shooter Davis Bertans on a five-year deal worth up to $80 million. GM Tommy Sheppard made it known early on that this was priority number one entering free agency.

Bertans is coming off of his best season as a pro. Last year he averaged 15.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.7 assists. He shot a staggering 42.4  percent from behind the three-point line on an outrageous 8.7 attempts per game. The Latvian Laser can surely light it up, but Washington needs another consistent scorer off the bench.

The Wizards need someone on their second unit, other than Bertans, that they can depend on every game. Maybe Jerome Robinson can be the guy. The Wizards acquired the third-year player from the Clippers via trade last season. In 21 games for Washington, he averaged 9.4 points, 2.0 assists, and 3.3 rebounds, shooting a subpar 34.9 percent from behind the arc on 4.1 attempts per game.

Robinson’s real coming-out party was down in the Orlando bubble. In eight games, his scoring increased to 14.8 points per game and his assists to 2.7 per game. He shot 36.7 percent from deep on 6.1 attempts per game in the bubble. He started two out of the eight games in Orlando due to Bradley Beal’s absence, so he was able to find his rhythm early.

Robinson may be up to the task, but there’s also another option for this role, and he’s somewhat of a sleeper. Garrison Mathews was a rookie last year and only played in 18 games. In his short stint with the team, he proved to be a sniper from outside, shooting 41.3 percent from three on 2.6 attempts per game. Mathews signed his qualifying offer from the Wizards on November 21, so he’ll return on a two-way contract this season.

Last season, his potential as a knockdown shooter was evident, especially after one game in particular. Mathews really opened people’s eyes in a 123-105 win against the Miami Heat last December. In only 29 minutes, he erupted for 28 points (6-9 FG, 4-7 3PT, and 12-13 FT) and was the key to a Wizards victory. Check out the highlights from his career-high game down below.


Right now, I will give the slight edge to Jerome Robinson because he can score the basketball in a variety of ways. Garrison Mathews is more of a spot-up or off-the-screen shooter. However, if he adds more elements to his game during training camp and preseason, he could easily be the Wizards’ second-most consistent bench scorer behind Bertans. Robinson gets the nod for now, but that could change quickly.

Projected Winner: Jerome Robinson