Washington Wizards: 3 Offseason regrets the Wizards are feeling now

Washington Wizards Bradley Beal Deni Avdija. Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports
Washington Wizards Bradley Beal Deni Avdija. Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Wizards Garrison Mathews.
Washington Wizards Garrison Mathews. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /

Regret #1) Not signing Garrison Mathews to a longer deal

This may not be a regret that the Washington Wizards are feeling yet, but they will. Heading into the 2020-21 season, the Wizards had a group of young guards/wings that were one big collective question mark: Jerome Robinson, Isaac Bonga, Troy Brown Jr, and Garrison Mathews.

It’s not all that much clearer who the Wizards will commit to and who will need to find a new home. After 22 games, all four guys average 14-18 minutes per game, and none of them are regular starters. Even though the Wizards did pick up Troy Brown Jr’s fourth-year option, he’s faded from the rotation. The whole thing, like most of Scott Brooks’ decisions these days, is a mystery.

But of the four, there’s no debate as to who has played the best in their sporadic opportunities. That would be Garrison Mathews, who is shooting 39 percent from three on 3.5 attempts per game. Despite some out-of-nowhere performances his rookie year, Mathews didn’t earn a full-time contract. During the offseason, the Wizards signed Mathews to another  two-way deal.

As a two-way player, Mathews can spend a maximum of 50 games with the Wizards this season. Despite some inexplicable absences early in the season, he’s already played in 16 games. The Wizards could always convert his deal to a full-time roster spot and have him for as much of the season as they’d like. That probably means the end of the road for Jerome Robinson or Anthony Gill or someone else on the fringe.

If Mathews spends the whole season on his two-way deal, then he’ll be a restricted free agent, giving the Wizards more leverage in any offseason negotiations. But it will also limit how often the Wizards can use him throughout the remainder of the season. That may not matter if the Wizards continue losing, but Mathews may grow more valuable later in the season if they stay committed to a playoff run.

Either way, Mathews is getting more run this season than he did last year, and that only means he’ll be less of a secret this upcoming offseason than he was last offseason. The Wizards should have locked Mathews in last summer for cheap instead of trying to stretch his value for another season on a two-way deal. It may cost them the sharpshooter this upcoming offseason if they aren’t smart about it.

Next. Igniting the Davis Bertans Fire. dark