The Washington Wizards have had to be patient throughout the start of this summer’s NBA free agency. They’ve missed out on some noteworthy talent one way or another. One loss that may sting a lot is Mike Scott deciding to spurn the Wizards and sign a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Clippers. With his departure, the Wizards are left with a huge hole at backup stretch-four and now they must continue to survey the market for a suitable replacement. According to NBA.com’s and D.C. native David Aldridge, Washington has now turned their attention to Cheverly, Md., native Jeff Green.
— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 3, 2018
Fans have yearned for years for the Wizards to bring in Green, but to no avail. It’s debatable if such interest is about two years late, but Green has proven to still be a productive combo forward.
Last season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Green averaged 10.8 points while shooting 47.7 percent from the field and 31.2 percent from three. He shot 86.8 percent from the free throw line and got to the line at his highest-rate — with three free throws per game — since the 2014-15 season.
If he were to sign with the Wizards, you’d have to expect his shooting percentage will improve along with his threes playing in Scott Brooks’ system and having spaced with John Wall and Bradley Beal on the floor. Scott enjoyed that spacing to the tune of shooting 40.5 percent from three and 52.7 percent from the field. In fact, players at the combo forward position improving their shooting percentage with the Wizards is an ongoing trend. Even the legendary Paul Pierce saw a spike in his three-point shooting, as he shot 38.9 in his one season (2014-15) with the Wizards, his highest since 2008-09. And when he left to go to the Clippers, it dipped the following season to 31.0 percent.
Green, who will turn 32 next month, is the best option on the open market to replace Scott. If Washington can sign him, he returns to an area that he starred in for much of his first 20 years of life. He grew up in nearby Cheverly and won a Maryland state championship in 2004 with Northwestern High School in Hyattsville. He played three seasons at Georgetown, where he was named the 2007 Big East Player of the Year and led the Hoyas to the Final Four that year. Green has since played for six teams in the NBA throughout his 11 year-career.
Of course, one may be jumping the gun. During the utterly stale era of general manager Ernie Grunted, the Wizards have struck out repeatedly on free agent targets of all calibers. Throw in the fact the Wizards are cash strapped within the NBA salary cap and nothing is guaranteed. One would hope the Wizards can find someone of substance to replace Scott, but as Kevin Durant, Al Horford, and more recently Noel and Scott shown, there are more appealing options around the league than Washington.