McGuire wishes he could've stayed in Washington
Dominic McGuire thought he needed to get traded to get an opportunity to play this season. But in the past month or so, McGuire realizes that he might have been better off staying with the Washington Wizards.
McGuire can't help but wonder what might've been when he sees the opportunities that have been presented to his former teammates -- especially Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee -- in the aftermath of dealing away Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson.
"They got a good thing going in Washington right now; they finally turned it over to the young guys. I wish I could've been a part of that, especially with us coming up together. But it's a business," McGuire said on Sunday after receiving a DNP-CD against the Los Angeles Clippers. "Seeing those guys out there, it seems like they having fun out there; we used to always talk about it -- me, Dray and Nick [Young] and JaVale -- we felt like we could've been like the Eastern Conference Oklahoma City if they just turned it over to us. To not be there with them is hard, but it is what it is."
McGuire didn't really have much of a choice when the Wizards traded him to the Sacramento Kings at the deadline on Feb. 18 -- the team had to move him and his $825,497 salary for a conditional second-round pick in order to get under the luxury tax threshold. He said he thought that he was going to get traded somewhere, but when the deadline passed quietly, he thought he was staying his Washington. About 30 minutes after the deadline, McGuire's agent, Aaron Mintz, called him to tell him that was moving on -- to Sacramento.
"I actually thought I was going to Charlotte. I was caught off guard 'cause I heard [Bobcats Coach] Larry Brown was trying to get me over there," said McGuire, a San Diego native who isn't complaining about returning to his home state. "I love Cali. I'm loving that, the weather. I don't see the snow no more. I wake up and the first thing I see is the sun beaming; it's lovely."
Not playing, however, isn't lovely. He said he has only been able to have four practices with his new team and is averaging just 0.6 points and 1.6 rebounds in 5.9 minutes in seven appearances for Sacramento. His production is nearly identical to what he was producing in Washington, where he averaged 0.7 points and 1.5 rebounds in 5.9 minutes in 41 games.
"We had a new coaching staff, I was playing behind two all-stars in Caron and Antawn. Then you had Dray also coming off the bench, so you can't really expect to play too many minutes, with those guys being the type of players that they are," McGuire said, explaining why he saw limited action with the Wizards. "I was excited because I feel like I really didn't get a chance in Washington, so I was thinking I was coming here and going to get an opportunity. It really hasn't worked out that way. They got some young wings, first-round picks, so I can't really expect to play right away. I'm really, really just waiting on the opportunity."
McGuire is approaching free agency this summer, and he knows that he would've been in a better situation had he been in this position after last season, when he started 57 games and averaged 4.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists. "Last summer, I would've felt really good about it," McGuire said. "This summer, I'm not too worried about it, really. I just haven't gotten the opportunity to see what I can do. I think if people look back at what I did last year, and see that I planned on making improvements off last year, but never got a chance. I had a good training camp. I couldn't get no playing time."
But McGuire is happy to see how Blatche has been coming along, now that he is being used as a go-to guy. "What? I talk to him all the time. We knew he had it in him," McGuire said. "They giving him an opportunity and he taking advantage of it. That's Dray. I done seen Dray every day in practice, so that doesn't surprise me. I think he can do the same thing next year."
Nick Young has remained up-and-down despite few offensive weapons on the Wizards. McGuire said, "With Nick, it's more mental with him. He can't go out there thinking, 'cause when he just plays his game, he's good."
McGuire said he won't complain about his current situation. "It's cool. It's a contract year. I got family to feed. I got a son. And the main thing is, I wanted to play, but it wasn't happening in Washington for me," he said. "I was just looking for a situation where I was going to play. I'm in a good situation. I've known Coach [Paul] Westphal for years. He recruited me out of high school. He knows what I can do. Just waiting on my opportunity."
March 23, 2010; 1:35 PM ET
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