By Steve Chaconas
Fishing on the Potomac
By Steve Chaconas
Fishing on the Potomac
Keeping the 52nd pick in Thursday's NBA Draft would have offered the Wizards another young player to develop, but as they took stock of the players on their roster and those likely to be available late in the second round, they determined the best course of action was to acquire a sure thing. In comes Tim Frazier, a 26-year-old point guard who spent last season with the New Orleans Pelicans and gives the Wizards a proven commodity to toss into what they feel like is a balanced blend of veterans and players still trying to find a role in the league.
The Wizards won 49 games last season and made it to Game 7 of the second round of the playoffs. Backup point guard was a weakness for much of the season and they feared that would continue if they had to rely on a player right out of college.
"We got someone who we feel can help us because he’s experienced," Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld said. "He’s been around, he brings something to the table. We didn’t feel like we could get someone like that at 52, who can come in right away and help us."
"With the 52nd pick, you never know if somebody is going to be able to help," head coach Scott Brooks added. "I like developing players, but we had a chance to get a veteran guy who has worked his way into the league and made himself into a very good player."
Both Brooks and Grunfeld pointed to what they feel is an enviable core of young players. John Wall and Markieff Morris will turn 27 right before the season begins. Bradley Beal turns 24 next week. Otto Porter, who they each refer to as a part of their future despite his restricted free agency, turned 24 earlier this month.
Beyond those four they have Chris McCullough (22), Daniel Ochefu (23), Sheldon Mac (24) and Tomas Satoransky (25). There is only so much room for prospects for a team that wants to win now.
Grunfeld said it's ideal to have a "good mix" of youth and experience and they like the balance they currently have. Frazier, who averaged 7.1 points and 5.2 assists per game last year, helps that cause.
"He's an experienced player, he averaged over five assists a game last year, he started about 30 games for New Orleans last year when they had some injuries. He’s a good teammate, he pushes the ball, he’s a competitive guy and, again, he has experience," Grunfeld said.
Whether Frazier can fully solve their backup point guard issues isn't clear yet. For one, he's a short-term fix with just one year left on his contract. Also, he isn't a great shooter with a career 40.3 field goal and 31.6 three point percentage. He isn't considered a very good defender, either.
But Frazier does possess attributes the Wizards covet and they think Satoransky can help fill the void now with one year of NBA experience under his belt.
"We’re happy with what we did with Tim. It gives us another player that fits what we need," Brooks said. "He’s a winner, he’s a tough kid, gritty, knows how to play, another guy that can push the pace and continue our pace and play fast. Defensively, he’s scrappy. I think it’s a great pickup, a great addition. He’s an important piece to our team to give us some options playing behind John."
Backup point guard was a big need for the Wizards as they entered this offseason. In Frazier, they believe they have found the solution.
Having a workout buddy is good. Having a workout buddy who's a three-time All-Pro and who churns out 100-catch seasons like Michael Bay churns out dreadful Transformers sequels, however, is better.
It's that second kind that Terrelle Pryor has chosen to spend time with recently. On Thursday, the Redskins wideout tweeted footage of him working out alongside Antonio Brown, and even though he is much taller and 40+ pounds heavier than the Steelers star, Pryor didn't have that much trouble keeping up with the NFL's top outside threat.
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Take a look at this race between the two, for instance, in which the pair of pass-catchers blow by the camera man so quickly, he fails to film the contest's conclusion:
You can also watch Pryor and Brown go through a ladder drill while wearing a band around their ankles at the end of this video from the Redskins. Now, that band would likely cause some problems for common folk trying to complete the drill, but as these two show, they aren't common:
They even found time for yoga (please be sure to note how Pryor's groutfit is so thorough that it includes his mat):
For a guy like Pryor — who's still relatively new to his position — spending offseason time with Antonio Brown could really pay off for both him and the Redskins in 2017.