The Clippers have signed guard Maalik Wayns out of the NBA’s D-League to a 10-day contract, according to Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
Wayns will take the 15th and final spot on the Clippers’ roster.
Wayns is a Philadelphia guy through and through. He grew up there. He went to college there. He played in 21 games for the 76ers earlier this season, though he didn’t garner much playing time there (7.9 minutes a night). At the beginning of January, Philly waived him, only to sign him to a 10-day contract two days later. Once that contract expired, he signed with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the D-League for nine games and averaged 12.4 points per game, 3.0 assists per game, and 2.8 rebounds per game in his 22.0 minutes a night.
He fits the mold of a score-first point guard, one that works often out of the pick-and-roll. As a freshman and sophomore at Villanova, he was surrounded by high-volume jump shooters named Corey: Corey Fisher and Corey Stokes. That made his situation a little easier. He was a strong enough and quick enough collegiate point guard (6-foot-2, 185 pounds) to create space, get by guys and set up Stokes and Fisher for threes.
The problem is that even though Wayns’ jump shot struggles to go into the hoop, he still lets it fly often. Once the Coreys left, it was up to Wayns to cary ‘Nova to a tournament birth, a goal that he didn’t reach during the Wildcats’ 13-19 (5-13) season. Wayns shot 29.8 percent from three that year and still managed to take 5.2 three-point attempts per game. With the 76ers, he shot only 5-for-25 from beyond the arc. Yet, he still keeps chucking.
Even though Wayns was more than a quality collegiate player, there’s a very simple reason for why he went undrafted: He doesn’t take and make efficient shots.
So much of what Wayns did at Villanova came as a mid-range jump shooter. He doesn’t make shots at a high rate from beyond the arc. He can get to the rim at times, but struggles to finish there. As the mid-range shot continues to become more and more forgotten in NBA circles around the league (it’s one of the most inefficient shots a player can take), players whose styles are mid-range-centric are going to suffer. Wayns is one example.
Basically, the pick-and-roll is his bread and butter. When he has his 13-to-19 footer going, he looks good – sometimes, he looks really good – but the jumpers don’t always fall and when they don’t, he doesn’t automatically go into facilitator mode.
Having Wayns on the bench can help the Clippers. It’s one more body, one more guard that can handle the ball and that doesn’t make too many mistakes. Though Wayns may not get to contribute much on a 10-day contract, the Clippers might give him a chance to prove himself before that time is up.