Eric Maynor made his name as one of the best backup point guards in the NBA coming off the bench behind All-Star Russell Westbrook Oklahoma City.
The Washington Wizards are hoping he can have similar success in a similar situation with them.
The Wizards and Maynor have agreed to a multi-year deal where he will back up John Wall, according to Michael Lee of the Washington Post. The terms of the deal are not yet known.
Maynor played his college ball at Virginia Commonwealth University, just down the I-95 a stretch from the Wizards’ home.
If healthy, the Wall/Maynor combo could be one of the better point guard combos in the league. Both are quick and play smart, both can score and set up teammates.
Healthy is the key. Wall has a stress injury to his kneecap that caused him to miss time but near the end of the season started to look like what people expected of the former No. 1 overall pick. Maynor had an ACL tear that caused him to miss parts of a couple seasons. Last season Maynor played in just 27 games in Portland but looked pretty good by the end of the season.
This is a good get for the Wizards, who were stuck last season when Wall missed time.
Washington is also working on bringing back Garrett Temple and Martell Webster, according to CSNWashington.com.
Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld and forward Martell Webster “are talking” as of Monday afternoon, the opening of free agency, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed to CSN Washington.
Another person told CSN that the Wizards likely will work out a deal to retain another free agent, Garrett Temple, as early as this week.
Washington looks more and more like a playoff team in the East next season. At least on paper and if healthy.
The Houston Rockets are in control of their series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and were up 3-1 heading into Tuesday night’s Game 5 in Texas.
That did not stop what appeared to be Rockets owner Leslie Alexander from complaining to NBA referees. During gameplay. While standing directly next to an official, some 20 feet from his courtside seat.
Congratulations are in order to Bill Kennedy, the official in question, for keeping his cool. Or perhaps he just was so surprised by some dude yelling in his ear from right next to him he didn’t know how to react.
Come June 26, Drake will be on stage in New York City, handing out the NBA’s awards — Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, and so on. (We need to set an under/over on the number of players Drake hugs that night.)
The NFL does it. The NHL does it. And the NBA has decided to follow suit with a broadcast awards ceremony where everything — except the All-NBA Team — will be announced that night. It’s happening because the broadcast partners want it.
Brandon Jennings is not a fan. Here is what the Wizards’ point guard Tweeted:
Jennings took down a Tweet that said if he had won the award he would have wanted to get it with the organization and his teammates around him. (And no, he knows he’s not winning the award. If you were going to put that in the comments be more creative.)
There’s something to what Jennings is saying. The NBA award roll out was awkward at times in previous years, but it gave the fans a chance to celebrate the awards with their favorite player. Now, everyone will watch it unfold on television from a ballroom in NYC. That feels a little colder. Also, we will get to see the reaction of those who don’t win (particularly this season, where several players can make a strong case for MVP).
It will be interesting to see how this first year goes, and how the league tweaks it going forward. The more than two month gap between the end of the regular season and the awards could feel a bit awkward. But we’re not going to knock the idea until we’ve seen it in action.
This season the Portland Trail Blazers found their center of the future (and the present) in Jusuf Nurkic.
Which makes the next step fairly obvious: Portland will not pick up the option on Festus Ezeli for next season, GM Neil Olshay confirmed at the team exit meetings Tuesday.
Portland signed Ezeli on what they thought was a great contract (one-year, $7.4 million, with a team option for the second year) because he was coming off knee surgery last summer. However, Ezeli was never healthy, needed a second surgery, and never got on the court. After taking it slow over last summer he practiced with the team twice in mid-October, there was more swelling, so he pulled back.
This summer Ezeli will not draw any guaranteed money from teams, but some teams may take a look at him. Athletic bigs get a lot of chances in the NBA.
Gordon Hayward has averaged 20.5 points a game in these playoffs — and that includes a 40 point outburst in Game 3 — but what has been more impressive is he has done it efficiently, with a true shooting percentage of 61.1. While Joe Johnson and others have stepped up, Utah will need Hayward’s shot creation if they are going to win this series.
They will have it Tuesday night in Game 5.
After missing the second half of Game 4 due to food poisoning (he tried to play but was ineffective in the first half), he is back and ready to go this time around.
So is Rudy Gobert. The Jazz will be at full health, while the Clippers remain without Blake Griffin for the remainder of the playoffs.
Having those two back is a boost for the Jazz, they need to score more consistently against the Clippers, but the bigger key will be defensively trying to deal with Chris Paul on the pick-and-roll. He has been masterful this series, and the Jazz need to keep him in check to give their offense a chance.