Five Fast Facts
- Greely, Co. native, played college hoops at Colorado State
- Mountain West Freshman of the Year in 2004-05
- 2-time first-team All-Mountain West (2006, ’07)
- Selected Round 1, 20
th overall by Miami Heat in 2007 NBA Draft
- Career-high averages: 9.9 ppg (2011-’12, New Orleans), 5.8 rpg (2013-14, New Orleans)
Entering this offseason, the Wizards had already signaled a clear focus area for improvement at last season’s trade deadline. With the addition of promising young forward Markieff Morris, Washington was able to acquire a multi-faceted big capable of stretching opposing defenses out to the 3-point arc. As we get closer to the 2016-17 season, there’s little doubt that Morris will be installed as a major part of the starting five.
While Morris and Marcin Gortat make up a formidable starting battery in the frontcourt, Washington quickly moved to overhaul its bench unit down low with a different focus. With the additions of Ian Mahinmi and now Jason Smith, having a size advantage off the bench is clearly the identity new head coach Scott Brooks wants from his reserve bigs.
Smith stands at 7-0 and brings eight years of NBA experience to the Wizards, and should bring a sound mid-range game to the table in Washington. In his eighth NBA season last year with the Magic – where he played alongside new Wizards forward Andrew Nicholson – Smith posted his best field goal percentage since 2012-13 and scored a modest 7.2 points per game in 15.5 minutes per contest.
The addition of Smith will give head coach Scott Brooks some versatility at the five spot with his ability to step out of the paint and knock down jump shots, mainly of the catch-and-shoot variety. Just over 70 percent of his shots in Orlando last season came between 10 feet and the 3-point arc.