Where Does Glen Rice, Jr. Fit In?
Washington’s biggest weakness is scoring. Luckily, that’s Glen Rice, Jr.’s biggest strength. With Martell Webster’s future in doubt, Rice has a real chance to compete for a roster spot. Otto Porter and Trevor Ariza are locked in at small forward, and Wall and Beal are set as the starting backcourt, but after that there are no guarantees.
Does it make sense to give Webster a multi-year deal if you expect Otto Porter to be around for a while? Can Rice give you spot minutes for the rookie minimum?
It’s way too early to factor Rice into any free agent decisions, but the front office knows it has to surround Wall with shooters. If Webster is not re-signed, Rice has a great opportunity to shoot his way onto the roster.
Rice was the D-League’s fourth most efficient scorer with 1.066 points per possession (one spot ahead of Jeremy Lamb, who has looked great on the Tulsa 66ers, OKC’s D-League affiliate). Rice also shot 58 percent on 2-pointers, 38 percent off the dribble (to compare, last year Otto Porter shot 25.6 percent), and made 38 percent of his attempts from deep in his first year behind the NBA 3-point line.
More numbers, from the D-League website:
In 42 regular season games, 25 starts, for the Vipers last season, Rice, Jr. averaged 13.0 points, shooting 49 percent from the field, to go with 6.2 rebounds and 23.7 minutes. He scored in double figures 26 times, including a career-high 35 points in a 112-97 road win over the Springfield Armor on Feb. 4. He notched double-figure rebounds in eight regular season games.
In postseason play, Rice, Jr. upped his numbers, averaging 25.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 2.0 steals, 2.0 blocks and 39.2 minutes as the Vipers went 6-0 in the playoffs en route to capturing the 2013 NBA D-League Championship. He recorded three point/rebound double-doubles and was second overall in scoring and minutes in the playoffs.
That D-league experience gives Rice a huge leg up on his fellow rookies when it comes to his first audition at the Las Vegas Summer League. For most rookies, even the top picks, summer league can be a bit of an adjustment as they get used to the speed and athletisism of NBA talent.
But summer league will be nothing new to Rice. Many of the rosters will be filled with D-league players. With Otto Porter slated to play more of a glue-guy role, look for the coaches to feature Rice on offense. He has a chance to be among the top scorers in Vegas.