Former Wizards shooting guard Gary Neal has signed a contract to play in the D-League, according to Chris Reichert of The Step Back (Twitter link). It’s not clear yet which team Neal will land with, but Reichert tweets that either Maine or Long Island has top waiver priority. Those are the Celtics’ and Nets’ NBADL affiliates.
Neal, 32, started his NBA career with the Spurs, playing a major role off the bench for the team for three seasons, starting in 2010/11. After leaving San Antonio, Neal also spent time with Milwaukee, Charlotte, and Minnesota, before landing in Washington last season. In 350 career NBA games, he has averaged 9.9 PPG, shooting 38.3% on three-point attempts.
While Neal’s numbers last year – and in the past – were solid, he was unable to find an NBA home to start this season. In July, he wrote on Facebook that he was the Wizards’ leading scorer off the bench and their best three-point shooter, pointing to some of the contracts his fellow second-unit players received and hinting that he should be in line for a decent payday of his own.
Around that same time, J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic.com reported that Neal rubbed some Washington players and coaches the wrong way, and was viewed by some as a player who was out for his own stats. Perhaps that perception contributed to Neal’s inability to find a new contract over the summer after his deal with the Wizards expired. In any case, it looks like he’ll try to get back into the league by making an impression in the D-League first.