<
>

Report: Gary Neal joined the Wizards to win

AP Photo/Gus Ruelas

The Washington Wizards may have lost some playoff experience with Paul Pierce's departure to the Los Angeles Clippers, but they gained some back by signing Gary Neal in free agency.

Neal spent the first three seasons of his career with the San Antonio Spurs, who won five playoff series in that span and nearly won the NBA title in June of 2013.

Neal's teams haven't been as successful in recent years: Charlotte was swept in the first round of the playoffs two seasons ago before trading Neal to the Timberwolves during the 2014-15 season.

A desire to play for a winner once again had a lot to do with Neal's decision to join the Wizards, according to the Washington Post.

From Jorge Castillo of the Post:

    "'I was looking for a team that was actually playing for something and had expectations,' Neal said. 'And I was looking for a roster that was suitable and could help my skill set and I think I found those two in the Wizards.' When Neal opposed or watched the Wizards play on television last season, he noticed a pattern. In his opinion, Washington’s starting five could compete with any in the league. The problem, he determined, was the bench. More specifically, the unit’s inability to score. 'They were skilled players, it’s just that they weren’t skilled in the offensive sense that you could just keep the scoreboard going,' Neal said. 'When you came in as a bench player up 10, they didn’t have the ability to maintain that 10 because they didn’t have scoring ability coming off the bench.' The Wizards were cognizant of the deficiency and made adding scoring punch off the bench a priority this offseason. And if there is one thing Neal can do on a basketball court, it’s score. The 6-foot-4 guard has averaged 16.6 points per 36 minutes in his five NBA seasons and supplies another three-point shooting threat to spread the floor."