When is right time for Eric Maynor to play again?

When is right time for Eric Maynor to play again?
January 26, 2014, 10:00 pm
Share This Post
(Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports)

Granted, Eric Maynor has been a disappointment for the Wizards, who acquired him as a free agent last summer to back up John Wall. It hasn't quite worked out that way as Garrett Temple has jumped ahead of him in the rotation. 

Maynor only has made six appearances since Dec. 1, playing 19 minutes in a blowout of the Orlando Magic and never more than five minutes in the other five. 

Maynor and coach Randy Wittman have said all the right things. Maynor insisted the best of him has yet to come. Wittman contends that the veteran's attitude and work ethic haven't suffered.

[RELATED: Rice completes strong weekend with Iowa Energy]

But given that the Wizards have been on the both sides of blowouts during this stretch, Maynor still can't get on the court. Remember how badly they played in the first half against the Boston Celtics last week? The starters deserved to be benched and the reserves put in. San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich wouldn't hesitate to make such a move.

Of course, taking such a risk is a lot easier when your team is at the top of the table in its conference and you have job security such as Popovich. But at some point, as Wittman has even alluded to, the Wizards are going to need Maynor even though he's averaging just 2.4 points, shooting 30%, and 1.8 assists. 

If he's not playing even in garbage time, how can he possibly get himself ready? If he isn't worthy, why keep him around? His contract is fully guaranteed so the Wizards still would be on the hook for his salary if he was released and only have $1.3 million of room under the salary cap. 

It's a classic chicken-and-egg argument. Maynor has a player option for 2014-15 to return to Washington, which he could decide not to pick up. Then again, his value is at a career low and if he moves on it'll be a significant pay cut from the $2.1 million that he's due. 

Truth is, Wall isn't going to be on every game. Neither is Temple. It's a long season. If Maynor's benching continues, it'll just be a lost season.