The Wizards announced today that they have signed free agent point guard John Lucas III to a non-guaranteed contract, more or less finalizing their opening day roster. The move paves the way for the dismissal of the Wizards’ three training camp invitees: Xavier Silas, Damion James and Rasual Butler. Before the Lucas signing, it seemed as if things were tilting more towards Silas taking that last roster spot but the team brass decided to go with a more experienced guy. Lucas is 31 years old and will be playing for his fifth NBA team. Lucas also had various stints in the D-League as well as overseas.
Key JLIII Numbers
-He started 6 of 42 games played last season with Utah and averaged 14.1 minutes.
-Shot a career-low 32% from the floor on just 4.5 shots per game.
(these aren’t very enchanting figures, I know.)
(it really doesn’t get better.)
-Shot below 30% from 3-point range on 84 attempts.
-If it’s in any way consolatory, Lucas does seem to take care of the ball, totaling just 22 turnovers in 42 games last season and 0.5 turnovers a game for his career. That’s just around 2 turnovers per 100 possessions.
Sadly, the biggest memories of John Lucas’ otherwise bleak playing career came on the night of January 11 in 2012 when Lucas got his first ever career start against the Wizards and promptly torched John Wall for 25 points. He also had 8 rebounds and 8 assists. However, Lucas wasn’t exactly spectacular that night, needing 28 shots to earn those 25 points plus it was pretty evident that, defensively, Wall didn’t take Lucas as seriously as he should have. That’s no fault of Lucas’ though as he took Wall to the rim multiple times, hit him with pump fakes, and seemed to have good control of his team’s offense.
While Lucas enjoyed most of his night, this particular instance wasn’t as joyful for him. In an attempt to guard against the Wizards’ break, Lucas found himself face-to-face with a gunning John Wall, tried to take a charge and ended up looking foolish after Wall glided to the rim for a dunk and the foul.
For his career, Lucas’ stat sheet is pretty barren, averaging just 4.8 points and 1.4 assists per game over six seasons. He’s career field goal percentage is .382 on just five attempts a game. He’s started just eight of his 216 career games.
This deal is far from a splash for the Wizards but instead something of a quick while they cope with all the backcourt boo-boos. Lucas’ shot is decent enough to trust it sometimes *I think* because quite frankly with Glen Rice and Bradley Beal out, the notion of #WhoElseGonShoot is at full throttle. It certainly wasn’t gon be Xavier Silas, who showed enough of a knack for chucking to sway the team brass in another direction. The signing of Lucas also means that it’s likely we’ll be seeing a good amount of Garrett Temple at the 2 while Lucas helps Andre Miller spell John Wall. Not to mention Lucas’ moderate shooting ability should also allow him to play with Wall at times was well. A secondary ball handler and shooting option have long been coveted elements for Wittman and company as well as an ongoing void thanks to injuries. Here’s another shot at maintaining sanity while the Wizards continue to deal with the setbacks.
Welcome home, Luc.