Brandon Jennings Could Play a Vital Role for the Wizards
Following a less-than-thrilling trade deadline for the Washington Wizards last week, the team agreed to terms with point guard Brandon Jennings on Wednesday, in hopes the recently-waived veteran can upgrade a junky second unit and serve as the primary backup to John Wall.
Although trading for Bojan Bogdanovic was a nice step toward improving a bench in desperate need of scoring help, getting someone who can run the show when Wall is off the floor could end up being a big move. For a team with legitimate aspirations of taking down the Eastern Conference, a bench unit led by Trey Burke and Tomas Satoransky probably wasn't going to cut it.
And to be fair, this isn’t to say a second unit run by Brandon Jennings will cut it either. But it’s an improvement.
Or so the Wizards hope. But in Washington’s situation, they weren’t left with much choice. They needed a backup point guard. Deron Williams went to Cleveland, Mario Chalmers apparently didn’t excite anyone, and then the New York Knicks waived Jennings. There was very little out there, and Jennings sort of fell into fitting the bill.
That bill, of course, is running the second group. Washington has been a significantly different -- read: worse -- team without Wall on the court this season. Just check out the on/off splits, per Basketball-Reference.com.
|Split||Offensive Rating||Effective Field Goal Percentage||Pace||Turnover Rate|
|Wall on court||113.5||54.10%||98.7||14.20%|
|Wall off court||101.5||48.80%||91.5||16.10%|
Jennings may be able to fill a much-needed hole for the Wizards. His addition could allow head coach Scott Brooks to run his bench unit more like his first. Jennings can keep up the pace against opposing backups and help maintain good floor spacing.
Of course, this is Brandon Jennings we're talking about, so there's a risk of him getting nuts with the ball, whether that be dribbling too much, putting on the blinders as a career 39-percent shooter, or both.
With that said, Jennings is a capable playmaker who should help Washington's second unit maintain the first unit's brisk pace.
This is the beginning of the Brandon Jennings playmaker thread: pic.twitter.com/FHLDjYNHtM
— Jake Weingarten (@JakeWeinNBA) March 1, 2017
Signing Jennings may not register as a huge blip on the radar outside of Washington, but it has a decent chance of paying dividends for a team that looks like they have the goods to make some noise in the playoffs.
Not to mention, for a guy like Jennings who was fortunate enough to escape New York and make his way onto a contending team, his play and resulting numbers have nowhere to go but up. It looks like a net win for everyone involved.