The Wizards' regular season is over, meaning it's now all about the offseason, including free agency. Throughout the NBA playoffs, we will highlight a new 2013 free agent playing on that given day while projecting a possible fit in Washington. The Wizards currently do not have significant salary cap space for any big-ticket items, but six players on the current roster will hit the open market this summer including Martell Webster, A.J. Price, Garrett Temple and Cartier Martin. Some under contract could be traded. Obviously re-signing some or all of the aforementioned free agents is an option and the Wizards have three draft picks, including a first round selection, but those pieces won't solve all their needs. That's where other team's free agents come in, that's why we want to know these free agents a little better...
Free agent: Nate Robinson, PG, Chicago Bulls
Vitals: 5-foot-9, 180 lbs. Turns 29 in May
Stats: averaged 13.1 points and 4.4 assists in 2012-13. Matched his career-high with 1.7 three-point field goals per game. Shot 40.5 percent from beyond the arc. Finished the regular season with a Win Shares of 5.9, which would have finished second on the Wizards behind only Martell Webster (6.3).
Playoff Matchup: No. 5 seed in the East, Chicago trails the Brooklyn Nets 1-0. Game 2 is Monday night at Brooklyn.
The fit: Robinson would essentially be a 2-for-1 signing in that he can play backup point guard behind John Wall and fills the instant offense/high confident bench scorer role left empty since the Wizards traded Jordan Crawford. The pocket-sized point-producer with crazy leaping ability and slithery driving skills can carry an offense for stretches when injuries or ineffectiveness strikes elsewhere, as was often the case in Washington this season. Seeing as Robinson started this season with a non-guaranteed $1.15 million contract, he should fit into the Wizards limited financial options even after his solid season.
Chances of becoming a Wizard: Let's start with the idea that bringing back Price appears a realistic option and one both sides will entertain, though we can never assume how the offseason plays out. Realistically Robinson, more scorer than facilitator, is no true floor general let alone a pass-first type player. That is the ideal in the reserve role, but several Wizards including Wall stated adding another scoring perimeter threat off the bench before next season is a main priority, which it is. While the perception is that player is a backup to Bradley Beal, going with Robinson could work if Price signs elsewhere. In this scenario, draft Indiana swingman Victor Oladipo in the first round to play behind Beal. Then bring back Temple with his combo guard skills and calm demeanor as a point guard alternative when Robinson's antics prove too erratic.
After watching Randy Wittman squirm on the bench following countless ill-timed shots by the ball dominant Crawford, it might be too cruel projecting a similar style player back on the Wizards though Robinson is a (somewhat) tamer, more veteran version. Bouncing around the NBA - five teams over the last four seasons - can have that effect. Maybe the Wizards make it six in five.
NBA Free Agent profiles