Wizards Have Interest In Shane Larkin

Veteran point guard Shane Larkin is drawing serious interest from the Wizards, according to Donatas Urbonas of BasketNews.com.

A first-round pick out of Miami in 2013, Larkin spent his first three professional seasons in the NBA with Dallas, New York, and Brooklyn, then played for Baskonia in Spain for a year before returning stateside and joining the Celtics for the 2017/18 season. After playing a minor role in Boston, Larkin headed back overseas and has spent the last several years in Turkey playing for Anadolu Efes.

Although he was primarily a reserve in the NBA, starting 41 of his 256 regular season games, Larkin has emerged as a star in Europe. The 29-year-old made the All-EuroLeague Second Team in 2021 and the All-EuroLeague First Team in 2022 and won consecutive EuroLeague titles. He ranked in the league’s top five this season in points (14.7), assists (5.3), and three-pointers (2.4) per game.

According to Urbonas, Larkin’s current team – Anadolu Efes – is making an effort to retain him and is offering a salary similar to what he has made in each of the last two seasons. Sources tell BasketNews that’s around €3.2MM, which currently converts to about $3.43MM.

Larkin said in 2020 that he wouldn’t return to the NBA to be a team’s third point guard, and spoke more recently about being happy to remain overseas and play a starring role in front of passionate European fans. So if the Wizards are serious about signing him, the salary and the role they offer will have to reflect that.

Washington is in the market for help at point guard after last summer’s acquisition of Spencer Dinwiddie didn’t work out. Ish Smith, who has a non-guaranteed $4.7MM salary for 2022/23, is the only point guard currently under contract with the Wizards.

Larkin’s backcourt partner in Istanbul, Vasilije Micic, is also reportedly considering a move to the NBA.

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