As expected, rumors, rumors everywhere for day one of NBA free agency. Talks between the Wizards and Martell Webster, who is in D.C. today, check. Showing interest in a backup point guard, check. Possibly reuniting with Antawn Jamison, check...wait, what?
The Jamison nugget is from Yahoo's Marc Spears, who reports the Wizards also would "love" to bring back the ex-Wizard and that Jamsion, who played in Washington from 2004-2010 has shown mutual interest.
On the surface, signing a soon-to-be 37-year-old forward who averaged a career-low 9.4 points last season might seem like an odd fit. Depending on the contract terms and projected role, it could be.
However, as I wrote back in April, Jamison's skill set fits in with the role John Wall, Bradley Beal and others are clamoring for: a stretch-four. The experienced veteran and former team captain an two-time All-Star in Washington shot 36.1 percent from the 3-point range last season for the Lakers, but Jamison's percentage rose to 42.2 percent after the All-Star break. Here's an excerpt from my Jamison free agent profile:
Did someone say the Wizards needed a stretch-four and another scoring threat off the bench? While the14-year veteran is non-factor defensively and no longer a primary point-producer as was the case during his 5 1/2 seasons with Washington, Jamison can still drain perimeter shots. Moreover, there is the experience thing, even though 37 might be more experience than the Wizards are looking to add for next season. Another positive locker room presence never hurts and the two-time All-Star is well respected around the league and inside the Verizon Center.
Nene and Emeka Okafor occupy the primary power forward and center minutes, combining for 53 per game last year, leaving 43. Based on the current roster, center Kevin Seraphin should continue to see ample time inside. Some of the minutes will to Otto Porter or another small forward in small ball situations. That could leave a 10 minute-ish role for Jamison, a very endorsable scenario.
No, we haven't forgotten about Trevor Booker, Jan Vesely or Chris Singleton. It's just that until the Wizards move one or two of them (or perhaps Trevor Ariza if the team re-signs Webster), it's hard determining how any of them fit into the plans. They certainly don't provide consistent offense, though when healthy Booker's been a decent point producer around the rim.
It would be a bummer if the addition of Jamison, one that is probably not a high priority, took time away from the three recent first round picks. Of course, if any of them could knock down jumpers with consistency, they wouldn't be in this situation.
Jamison on a one-year contract and assuming he isn't simply taking up a roster space or minutes away from others more central to the team's future, that's something certainly worth considering. But like in a week or two, not today or tomorrow.