Wizards' Loss of Gee Is Spurs' Gain
I mean ... no, seriously ... what?
The Washington Wizards lucked out. Finally. In a season of misery and abject failure, the Wizards made one singularly solid roster move -- not brilliant, but solid. They signed Alonzo Gee, a 22-year-old rookie out of the NBA D-League -- D-League All-Star, top call-up prospect, great scoring ability, good length and highly coachable -- to a 10-day contract. And then, after he dropped double-digit points, they signed him to a second 10-day. Fine, they wanted to see what they would get.
Then this weekend, Alonzo Gee scored 19 points in a loss to Charlotte. His per-40 numbers are phenomenal for a rookie out of the D-League. Coach Flip Saunders announced they planned to sign Gee for the rest of the season. Yay! A success story!
Ridiculous Upside was first on the scene (as per usual) and Michael Lee confirmed via Twitter: the Wizards let Gee's 10-day expire and the Spurs immediately snatched him up for the rest of the season. It's not known at this time whether they'll be reassigning him to Austin in a Curtis-Jerrells-type deal, but we'll keep you updated.
In the meantime, what the Flip?
Lee reports that the Wizards decided to let Gee go because of salary cap reasons. Which is a little insane, given that the Spurs landed him for a non-guaranteed deal for next year. But maybe it was about this year, and trying to get under the tax, as Bullets Forever is thinking. (By the way, Wizards fans aren't taking this well.) Even if so, you're talking about three weeks of the season prorated, for a chance to have the kid on your summer league team.
Meanwhile, if the Spurs do keep a hold of him, and after him showing he can produce at the NBA level, it's hard to imagine them not holding on to him, it'll be interesting to see what they do with him.
They could assign him to Austin for the rest of the year to help the Toros push for a championship while the Spurs make their playoff push, then evaluate him in Summer League, guarantee him for next season and reassign him, giving him two years in full development before coming in as a backup or third-string man, depending on what they do with Manu Ginobili and George Hill. This is the benefit of having your own D-League team. You get to make decisions like this with little cost.
For the Wizards, well, hey. At least they can look forward to more minutes for ... who's left on this team, again?