The Wizards have signed Jodie Meeks, giving Washington a proven scorer off the bench. Meeks, another Kentucky guy, can score around the rim, from midrange, and from beyond the arc. He's a dynamic reserve who will benefit the Wizards this coming season and step into the role Bojan Bogdanovic played during the second half of the 2016-17 season.
Jodie will improve our backcourt rotation and fill a need with his scoring and shooting,” Wizards President Grunfeld said of Meeks. “He is an eight-year veteran who has been a reliable player throughout his career, and we look forward to him bringing that stability to our bench.”
Meeks, who turns 30 in August, has played for the Bucks, Sixers, Lakers, Pistons, and Magic. A career 37.6% from beyond the arc and 88.1% from the free throw line, Meeks has been a consistent bench scorer for the past several seasons. He has the talent to be one of the league’s best bench producers, but injuries have slowed him down in the last few years.
After having right foot surgery last July and dislocating his thumb during the season, Meeks was only able to play 36 games during the 2016-17 campaign. He averaged 9.1 points per game in those games, including 10 starts for Orlando. During this past year, Meeks went 47-for-109 (43.1%) on catch-and-shoot 3-pointers, which will fit in quite well with the way John Wall runs the offense in D.C. Meeks made 45.5% (41/90) of his open 3-point attempts in the 2016-17 season, one of the top marks in the NBA.
Meeks’ best season came in 2013-14 with the Lakers in which he started 70 of 77 games and averaged 15.7 points in 33.2 minutes per game. He shot a career-best 46.3% from the field, as well as 40.1% from deep and 85.7% from the charity stripe. He was an excellent 43.4% (134/309) on catch-and-shoot 3-pointers and a solid 41.9% (134/320) on open triples. In that season of high usage, Meeks thrived and was able to work with Kobe Bryant to develop his own game.
Meeks is only a few years removed from a career season, but multiple upper and lower body injuries have got in the way. The Wizards will focus on keeping him healthy and hope he returns to form and becomes a valuable go-to scorer off the bench.
The 29-year old Norcross, GA, native was originally selected in the second round (41
st overall) by Milwaukee out of Kentucky in 2009, where he named All-SEC First Team as a junior at after leading the conference in scoring (23.7 ppg, including games of 54, 46 and 45 points) and setting the school record for three-pointers in a single season (117) and a single game (10).