Is Maynor the NBA's worst free agent signing?

Is Maynor the NBA's worst free agent signing?
January 2, 2014, 6:30 pm
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(Geoff Burke/ USA TODAY Sports)

When historians tell the tale of 2013 NBA free agency, the focus will center on the likes of Dwight Howard, Andre Iguodala and Josh Smith. Wizards backup point guard Eric Maynor will be no more than a footnote, a minor one at that even if his performance sparkled.

Perhaps that's a good thing considering only six months after free agency tipped Maynor ranks among the worst signings to date.

That is according to USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt, who posted a "Best and Worst free agent signings" article earlier this week. Three names finished on the wrong side of ledger: Detroit's Smith, Cleveland's Andrew Bynum and Maynor, who the Wizards signed on July 1, the first day of free agency. From the USAT article:

Washington Wizards guard Eric Maynor: Signed to a two-year, $4.1 million contract, Maynor was penciled in as a capable backup for John Wall. It hasn't worked, and Maynor knows it. He's shooting 30.0% and averaging 2.4 points in 9.5 minutes a game. Maynor said he will play better, but he's not getting the opportunity right now. He's played in only six games and topped 10 minutes once this month.

Considering Bynum's high profile quit job and Smith's massive contract, Maynor by definition cannot be the worst free agent signing. On a pound-for-pound basis, well, let's see what transpires. What's happening now is that the former VCU sits while the Wizards turn elsewhere for help.

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Maynor hasn't seen action in two straight games and has played only 20 minutes over the last 11 contests. Never a tremendous shooter, but the hope was that he would provide true floor leadership with the second unit. Instead, his propensity for excessive dribbling over the pass led to minimal offensive flow on the second unit. Washington ranked last in bench scoring most of the season, though has picked up lately with Nene and Martell Webster in the mix along with Garrett Temple, who replaced Maynor in the rotation.

Temple is not a natural point guard; Nene essentially serves as the de facto playmaker. However, his ego-less style combined with a defensive knack has made the lengthy wing option a Randy Wittman favorite ever since joining the roster on Christmas Day 2012. Actually, a good way to look at what Maynor has not provided is by noting Wittman's response to a question about what is working for Temple.

"One thing I know when I put [Temple] in is he's going to defend, he's going to play hard. He's not going to make a lot of mistakes," the Wizards coach said before Wednesday's game against the Dallas Mavericks. "That's important from a standpoint - when you're dealing with the point guard position it's almost every night you're dealing with a high quality offensive player. He's really come in and established that he's going to defend and give us a great lift there. As I told him, just run the club from an offensive standpoint of making sure we're in [a play] and we're not in a situation where we're freelancing. Having some structure when he's in the game. He's getting a good feel for that."