The Washington Wizards were in the process of finalizing a deal to acquire striker Sam Dekker for veteran center Jason Smith in a three-team deal that would involve the Cleveland Cavaliers and Milwaukee Bucks, according to a source from the league.
The main element of the agreement was to send goalkeeper George Hill to Cleveland in exchange for Matthew Dellavedova and the great wounded man John Henson.
Although the team separates from Smith, a positive presence in the locker room that was in the final season of his three-year contract, Washington adds a youthful young winger while moving away from the traditional centers that the team has accumulated over the years.
Dekker, who was selected 18th overall at the 2015 NBA by the Houston Rockets, also played for the Los Angeles Clippers, in addition to the Cavaliers, during his four-year career. This season with the Cavaliers, Dekker appeared in just nine games and averaged 6.3 points while beating 38.5% of his three-point attempts. For his career, Dekker scored 5.3 points per game.
Although Dekker has not yet found his place in the league, he was a sporting threat while at the University of Wisconsin, helping the Badgers reach the NCAA finals in 2015. He joins a group consisting of Jeff Green, Markieff Morris and Thomas Bryant, who started at the center since Dwight Howard's departure due to low back pain and subsequent surgery to repair the injury.
Smith, 32, was the oldest player in the Wizards locker room and owed $ 5.45 million in the final year of his contract. In 2016, the Wizards signed the 7-foot Smith and Ian Mahinmi on the loose. While Smith played 74 games in his first season in Washington, his role had diminished over time. Smith strove to develop a three-point shot – attempting to win 78 triples in career during the 2016-17 season – but remained largely out of the rotation. This season, Smith has appeared in 12 games.
Hailed by coaches and players for his selflessness, Smith earned respect in the locker room. John Wall said Smith was one of his favorite teammates and, in 2017, he won an award from the National Basketball Players Association for his status as "teammate having the most impact on the pitch. "
During the same season, as Smith's minutes dwindled and the DNP piled up, Wall said, "He's always ready, he's getting ready every game, every day, like he's going to have minutes . If he does not, he is one of the main guys to cheer us on and we could not ask more from a guy like that. "
This is a story in development and has been updated.
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