Wizards sign Rasual Butler, Damion James
The Wizards could use another shooting guard behind Bradley Beal.
So far, the candidates are:
- Martell Webster, who’s probably better suited to playing in the front court
- Glen Rice Jr., who has played just 11 NBA games
- Xavier Silas, who’s likely on an unguaranteed contract just for training camp
The Wizards are trying to drum up competition in training camp and maybe find another shooting guard that way. That means adding Rasual Butler.
Shams Charania of RealGM:
Free agent swingman Rasual Butler has reached agreement on a non-guaranteed deal with the Washington Wizards, league source tells RealGM.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 22, 2014
Although shooting guard seems to be Washington’s priority, the Wizards also signed big man Damion James. Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reports James’ contract is fully guaranteed, but I have yet to confirm that.
James’ level of guarantee would have a large effect on Butler’s (and Silas’) chances of making the team. If Butler is fully guaranteed, Washington would have 14 players with guaranteed contracts plus Rice, whose deal is $400,000 guaranteed.
If Butler or Silas impress, the Wizards could eat Rice’s guaranteed salary and keep an unguaranteed shooting guard instead. However, that would leave Washington just $85,202 below the luxury-tax line, and it’s possible Nene could meet incentives – the exact conditions are unknown – that push the Wizards into the tax.
But Butler has been here before. In a similar situation in 2012, he went to the Bucks’ training camp and didn’t make the team. Last season, he stuck with the Pacers after signing a non-guaranteed contract.
I actually like Butler’s chances in Washington – as long as James isn’t standing in his way. The 11-year-vet provides experience the win-now Wizards desire, and he’s been a relatively steady scorer.
It’s just a matter of knowing James’ contract status and whether there’s really an open competition for a roster spot.