The Washington Wizards have agreed to sign free agent forward Andrew Nicholson to a four-year, $26 million contract, according to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski. Nicholson, 26, spent the first four years of his career bouncing in and out of the Orlando Magic's rotation.
Ever since pairing Bradley Beal with John Wall in the backcourt in 2012, the Wizards have been trying out stretch 4s to open up the floor for them. Three years ago, Al Harrington got some minutes at that spot. Two years ago, Paul Pierce and Drew Gooden played that role in the playoffs. They began last season using Kris Humphries in that role, and then they acquired Markieff Morris at the trade deadline. Morris should keep the starting spot, but Nicholson gives Washington another option.
Orlando declined to give Nicholson a qualifying offer, so Nicholson was an unrestricted free agent. Given that the Magic have added both Serge Ibaka and Bismack Biyombo to their frontcourt, there would not have been any room for him there, anyway.
Despite never quite establishing himself in Orlando, Nicholson showed enough flashes for a team to take a chance on him. He made 36 percent of his 3-pointers last season, and he has been a crafty scorer ever since he came into the league. Nicholson struggles on the glass and isn't a great athlete, but if Wizards coach Andrew Nicholson can get offense from him in pick-and-pop situations and turn him into an average defensive player, then this could be a nice signing.
It is unlikely, though, that Washington fans will be particularly enthused about Nicholson. Much like the reported agreement with Ian Mahinmi on a four-year, $64 million contract on Saturday, this is not necessarily a bad move. It's just that, after the Wizards were "really close" to signing Al Horford, according to NBA.com's David Aldridge, spending $90 million for four years of Mahinmi and Nicholson has to feel disappointing.