Washington Wizards Fill in the Depth Chart by Picking Up A.J. Price
Most of the moves made to fill out NBA rosters are utterly unremarkable—necessary additions, safe pickups, retreaded veterans and uneventful trials. Every signing or trade can't make a big splash, and so teams pick up players who aren't an ideal fit or don't mesh with their long-term plans solely for the sake of fleshing out their roster.
That seems to be a fair way to view and describe the one-year agreement reached between the Washington Wizards and A.J. Price, as reported by Michael Lee of the Washington Post. Price doesn't make the Wiz anything more than they were a day ago, but he prevents Washington from having to rely heavily on Shelvin Mack and provides some steady, conservative play-making in the process.
That's not of much importance in the grand scheme of the basketball universe, but it also shouldn't be discounted; low-risk players like Price can provide a nice counterpoint on a young team still trying to find itself, where they can stabilize and contribute without really getting in the way.
Price's game may be so unobtrusive as to be unremarkable, but he's nonetheless useful enough to round out the Wizards' rotation for a single season—contrary to what his individual statistics would have you believe. Averages of 3.9 points and 2.0 assists per game aren't going to win over anyone, but Price's per-minute numbers—as well as a solid assist percentage and turnover rate—are a bit more persuasive.
Even more so is the fact that, despite largely being involved in bench lineups that were among the worst in the NBA last season, Price's adjusted plus-minus and defensive net rating corroborates the notion that he was actually one of the saving graces of Indiana's reserves last season.
That's good enough to earn him a reserve role on a team in need, and a chance to showcase his game with more minutes in a different system. It's an opportunity to boost his three-point percentage to warrant the number of attempts he hoists, and round out his passing game by working off of different personnel.
This may not be a move that we'll be talking about a few months from now, but for the moment it's good enough; Price will do what the Wizards need him to, the Pacers will ultimately be fine without him, and the league at large will roll on without the slightest hiccup.
It's just another move in a long string of them, even if it quietly gives Washington the rotation fodder it needed.
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