Full to the brim in guaranteed salaries, the Washington Wizards made one small attempt at bolstering their jam-packed roster by signing free agent shooting guard Jodie Meeks to a two-year deal worth $7 million, according to The Vertical’s Shams Charania.
Free agent Jodie Meeks has agreed to a two-year, $7 million deal with the Washington Wizards, league sources tell The Vertical.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 2, 2017
Meeks averaged 9.1 points on 40.9 percent shooting from downtown with the Magic last season. But the oft-injured marksman endured another rash of injuries last season, missing the first 19 games of the season before a thumb injury in late January sidelined him until mid-March.
Still, the 29-year-old wing has shown shades of the college player who still holds the record for most points ever scored in a Kentucky game (54). Meeks scored 23 points on 6-of-7 three-point shooting in a win over the Knicks last season. He had four more games of 15 points or more and was able to maintain a solid perimeter stroke in spite of his injuries.
For the Wizards, this is a win
A healthy Meeks adds to a Wizards team that posted the third-best record in the Eastern Conference.
Washington has its core of John Wall, Bradley Beal, Marcin Gortat and Markieff Morris set. Otto Porter’s deal is coming up next. The Wizards are short on cash but needed to find a way to improve for next year’s playoff run.
Even if Meeks doesn’t stay healthy, Washington loses little in its cost-effective approach to improving its reserve unit.
For Meeks, this is a shot at redemption
It’s hard to blame injuries on the injured. Meeks hasn’t had the best fortune health wise, but when he last played 77 games for the Lakers in 2014, he averaged 15 points on 40 percent three-point shooting and had a steal and a half to show for it.
This season, provided he stays healthy, affords Meeks an opportunity to improve his value on the market and showcase his talent as a long-range threat on one end and a pesky defender on the other.
He won’t be asked to do too much; Washington has its rotation solidified and only needs complementary pieces. But if fills his role off the bench as a spot-up shooter and defender, Meeks could very well play himself into one more lucrative contract at the end of his current one.