Wizards’ Jason Smith opting into $5.45 million salary

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

John Wall wants the Wizards to add athletic bigs.

Jason Smith, though big, probably won’t satisfy the star guard.

Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington:

Wizards big man Jason Smith will exercise the player option in his contract and return for the 2018-19 season, he revealed to NBC Sports Washington on the Wizards Tipoff podcast.

Smith will make $5.45 million next season – far more than he could get on the open market. The hardly athletic 32-year-old didn’t even crack the playoff rotation this year. This was surely an easy call for him.

The Wizards are well above the projected luxury-tax line for next season. They might try to shed salary, and their centers – Marcin Gortat, Ian Mahinmi and Smith – would be a good place to start. Dumping Smith would require a sweetener, though his expiring contract could be useful in a larger trade.

Granting Wall’s requests and upgrading the roster? That’s even more difficult.