Wizards sign point guard Jannero Pargo [UPDATED]

October 1, 2012

Jannero Pargo, right, averaged 13.4 minutes per game last season for the Atlanta Hawks.

With John Wall on the shelf for approximately eight weeks because of a left knee injury, the Wizards were in need of more depth at the point guard position and addressed those concerns by signing veteran point guard Jannero Pargo on Monday to a one-year contract. The deal partially-guaranteed contract, according to a league source.

Pargo, 33, has averaged 6.5 points and 2.0 assists in eight seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, Toronto, Chicago, New Orleans and Atlanta. He averaged 5.6 points and 1.9 assists and shot 38.4 percent from beyond the three-point line in 50 games for the Hawks last season.

“It feels good,” Pargo said. “Any time you can put on an NBA uniform it’s a dream come true. I’m thankful for the opportunity.”

Pargo wore a uniform that didn’t have a number or his name during media day, but said he plans on wearing the No. 7, which previously belonged to the recently amnestied Andray Blatche.

He chose to sign with the Wizards rather than return to his hometown Chicago Bulls, who will be without former MVP Derrick Rose for most of the season while recovering from a torn ACL. He has played with the Bulls for part of three different stints and was a valued reserve in 2004-05, when the Bulls and Wizards met in the first round of the playoffs. He last played in Chicago three seasons ago.

“Chicago was always there. They wanted me, but when this opportunity presented itself, the Bulls understood,” Pargo said. “I’ve been in Chicago a number of different occasions and didn’t really get the opportunities I wanted. This situation, they’re going in the right direction. [Trevor] Ariza, Nene, guys who know what it takes to win. I think they’re rebuilding and they’ll be a lot better than last year and I want to be a part of that.”

The Wizards will now enter training camp Tuesday with three healthy point guards in Pargo, A.J. Price and Shelvin Mack. Price signed as a free agent last summer after three seasons in Indiana, and Mack, a converted shooting guard, served as Wall’s primary backup last season.

Wall visited orthopedic specialist David Altchek last Thursday in New York, where he discovered that he would be forced to rest and heal a stress injury before it developed into a fracture. Pargo, a 6-foot-3 veteran, has been a reserve for most of his career, but he has started 18 games — 15 more than Price and Mack combined.

“I had some other options I could have taken,” Pargo said, “but I thought this was a good opportunity. Unfortunately, John got hurt. You never want to see anyone go down but it’s an opportunity for myself and I want to make the most of it.”

Michael Lee is the national basketball writer for The Washington Post.
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Michael Lee · October 1, 2012