— NBC Sports Wizards (@NBCSWizards) May 16, 2018
Jason Smith will be returning to the Washington Wizards next season. The veteran big will exercise his player option to return to the Wizards for the 2018-19 season. He revealed his intentions on NBC Sports Washington’s Tipoff podcast.
Smith’s option for the season comes at a price of $5.45 million.
He appeared in 32 games last season, averaging 3.4 points and 1.6 rebounds in 8.6 minutes. Often times he was brought in for garbage time and not significant minutes. He averaged 14.3 points, 6.7 rebounds per 36 minutes. A large part of his reduced minutes was defense and shooting.
Last season Smith shot just 39.1 percent from the field and 12.5 percent from three-point range. Those numbers were dramatically off from the previous season of 2016-17 in which he shot 52.9 percent from the field and 47.4 from three-point range. That season he appeared in 74 games.
During the regular season, Smith posted the worst net rating of any Wizards player with minus-13.4, according to NBA.com.
After being eliminated by the Toronto Raptors in six games, the Wizards were left with more questions than answers after a disappointing season. Its leader John Wall chastised the makeup of the roster, including the team’s lack of athletic bigs. Smith’s return won’t change the narrative and may not appease Wall or Wizards fans.