A.J. Price is one of five players competing for the Minnesota Timberwolves‘ final two roster spots. After starting 22 games for the Washington Wizards last season, Price seems like he wouldn’t have trouble making an NBA roster, but he’s certainly on the fringe here.
After completing his career at the University of Connecticut, Price was drafted by the Indiana Pacers in the second round in 2009. He actually got decent playing time his rookie year, appearing in 56 games while playing 15.4 minutes per game. In that time he managed to score 7.2 points per game on 41 percent shooting.
Price’s career with the Pacers never really got any better, though his per-36 minutes stats were always solid. He signed with the Wizards last year and saw heavy playing time while John Wall was out. In the 22 games he started, Price averaged 9.0 points and 4.7 assists, not huge improvements over his normal numbers.
Price would fit well as a third point guard behind Ricky Rubio and J.J. Barea. He handles the ball well, averaging only one turnover per game throughout his career, and likes to shoot the three. Price shot 200 three-point attempts and 213 two-point attempts last year. All of those threes really brought down his overall shooting percentage to just 39 percent, but he did shoot threes at a decent 35 percent, his best mark yet.
While Price has always had decent numbers, especially for a backup guard, he is certainly not guaranteed to make the team. The Wolves know what he can contribute, and as a 27 year old, his game likely won’t improve much. Most of the players Price is competing with for a roster spot are young rookies who have yet to show what they can do in the league. Of course, there’s a good chance they’ll never meet his production, so the Wolves must decide if they’d rather take a low-risk, low-reward player or see an unproven player’s potential.