Eric Maynor joins Wizards, giving John Wall a competent, but unspectacular backup

USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Wizards moved quickly to upgrade the backup point guard position, agreeing to a two-year contract with former Blazers point guard Eric Maynor for the bi-annual exception. But was this much of an upgrade?

The Washington Wizards didn't waste much time finding a new backup point guard for John Wall, agreeing to terms on a two-year contract with Eric Maynor for the bi-annual exception of just over $2 million. The second year of the deal is a player option.

This definitely fills a need for the Wizards, but it feels like they may have moved too quickly.

Maynor has always had a better reputation than his numbers suggested. He's never posted a PER above 12 and hasn't even posted a true shooting percentage above 50 over a full season. He's an excellent passer, but isn't much of a scorer and has not shown much improvement since playing well as a rookie as Russell Westbrook's backup. Fans and coaches value him because he is unselfish and cerebral, which is often a contrast to the player he's backing up.

There is definitely some upside here, to be fair. Maynor fell out of Oklahoma City's rotation after struggling to return from a torn ACL suffered in January of 2012, but started to rediscover his game once he was dealt to Portland. He played a lot behind and with Damian Lillard (357 minutes, to be exact) and started to show some of the slick passing and quickness he displayed as a rookie. He also hit 38 percent of his three-pointers, which is an encouraging sign because he has to demonstrate some scoring ability if he wants to stick. His defense was poor, but that should improve with fewer minutes alongside another smaller guard and one more year removed from ACL surgery.

There's no question that this could be a good gamble by Wizards GM Ernie Grunfeld, and the Wizards couldn't exactly offer free agents more than the bi-annual exception because they needed to save the mid-level exception to keep Martell Webster.

That said, I'm surprised Washington jumped at making this move on Day 1 of free agency instead of waiting to see if other options presented themselves. Maynor isn't that much of an upgrade on A.J. Price.

GRADE: C+

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