WASHINGTON — In a move that will come as a surprise to precisely nobody, Wizards GM Ernie Grunfeld has reportedly traded the team’s second-round pick.
The price for the 52nd overall pick in Thursday’s draft? Guard Tim Frazier, previously of the New Orleans Pelicans.
Frazier, who turns 27 in November, will serve as John Wall’s backup next season. He averaged 7.1 points and 5.2 assists per game for the Pelicans last year, starting 35 games and playing 65. Having also played with the Philadelphia 76ers and Portland Trail Blazers, Frazier has averaged basically six points, four assists and two rebounds per game over three NBA seasons.
The Wizards are now left without a draft pick for the second year in a row. They added Kelly Oubre in a draft-night trade in 2015, but otherwise the last player to be drafted by Washington to actually play for the Wizards was Otto Porter, in 2013.
Frazier, meanwhile, becomes the latest journeyman point guard to attempt to fill the backup spot in Washington. Trey Burke, Brandon Jennings, Ramon Sessions, Andre Miller, Will Bynum and others have all held that role in the past few seasons, and Tomas Satoransky — the most recent second-round pick by the Wizards to play for the Wizards, despite being drafted five years ago — spent some time in the role last year.
At 6-foot-1, Frazier is in the final year of a contract that will pay him $2 million this coming season. He will then be an unrestricted free agent, and Grunfeld will be forced to find his replacement or give him a significant raise.
Meanwhile, the Wizards will again fail to bring in any homegrown young talent. While the core of Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter (and to a lesser extent, Satoransky and Kelly Oubre) remains quite young, the rest of the team is not.
Perhaps Grunfeld will resort to the tactic he employed a year ago, when he signed three undrafted rookies — Danuel House, Daniel Ochefu and Sheldon McClellan (now Mac) — but that strategy proved to have minimal effect as the three players combined to play fewer than 400 total minutes all year.
Regardless, it looks as though the franchise will have trouble stocking its new G-league team in the coming years.