By Michael Huberman
The Wizards received terrible news yesterday when it was announced point guard John Wall will miss eight weeks with a stress injury to his left patella. Fortunately for the Wizards, Wall is expected to avoid surgery and he should be available by Thanksgiving.
In the meantime, it's a huge loss for the Wizards. Wall was one of only three players last year to average 16 points and 8 assists per game. The third-year point guard is the face of the franchise, and was expected to make another leap forward in his development. If his rehab goes according to plan, there's no reason Wall won't make that leap, but it'll have to wait.
Currently, free-agent acquisition AJ Price and Shelvin Mack are the only true point guards on the Wizards roster. Jordan Crawford could fill-in, but he's much more effective off the ball and the Wizards likely would want to keep rookie Bradley Beal at his natural position. So for now, it looks like the competition will between Price and Mack for the starting point guard job until Wall returns.
But could the Wizards look on the scrapheap for help in the interim? This close to the beginning of training camp there's really not much out there, but there are some intriguing names on the market.
Derek Fisher provides strong veteran leadership and can still drain an open three. However at 38, Fisher has lost much of his quickness and can easily be exposed on defense. Fisher may also be looking to land with a team with a more realistic shot at winning a championship.
Mike James played for the Wizards from 2008-2010, and during the 2009-09 season he averaged 9.6 points per game over 53 games with the team. Like Fisher, the 37-year-old James is a strong locker room presence who has some experience filling in for an injured star point guard. Last year while Derrick Rose was dealing with some lingering injuries, James was signed by the Bulls, and in 11 games averaged 4.8 points per game and 2.6 points per game.
Jannero Pargo has bounced from the NBA to Europe and back during his pro career. Last year Pargo played in 50 games with the Hawks and averaged 5.6 points per game while shooting 38 from three. He's streaky and not particularly efficient, but he certainly can provide some help on offense.
The Wizards may just be best served working with what they've got. Besides those players, there's really not much help available. However there is one point guard out there looking for a job, but it's safe to say the Wizards will NOT be signing him.