Wizards Report Card: Mike James
Mike James has been what Mike James is.
That's about the best way I can summarize the season turned in by the journeyman guard, who arrived on Dec. 10 in that three-team trade that sent Antonio Daniels to New Orleans and brought Javaris Crittenton from Memphis for a conditional future draft pick.
In 52 games with the Wizards, James has started 49 games and averaged 9.5 points and 3.6 assists while shooting 38.4 percent from the field and 36 percent from three-point range. He's never been a pure point guard and hasn't been with the Wizards.
Instead, he's a guy who can periodically knock down a long jumper and occassionally drives to make one of those floating runners he likes. He's an OK passer but seldom gets into transition, he seldom gets to the free throw line (only 80 attempts in 1,534 minutes as a Wizard) and doesn't do a whole lot of creating for teammates by breaking the defense down in the halfcourt.
Though he did have a season in which he averaged 20.3 points with the lottery-bound Raptors in 2005-06, that has pretty much been James throughout a nomadic but ultimately enriching career that has included stops with Miami, Boston, Detroit, Milwaukee, Houston (twice), Toronto, Minnesota, New Orleans and now Washington.
Not bad for a guy who wasn't drafted out of Duquesne and had a to scratch and claw his way to a fat contract that Kevin McHale gave him after that season in Toronto.
Like Darius Songaila, it's hard to knock James because he's been asked to fulfill a role he shouldn't be in this season. But that's how it's been for the Wizards.
As for his future, James holds a $6.46 million player option for next season. No chance he walks away from that so, barring a trade, he'll be a Wizard.
Given that he's been durable, professional and pretty much done what you could have expected at this stage of his career, I'll give James a C.
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