It won’t be incumbent backup Tomas Satoransky, who showed nice production and promise in Washington.
Instead, the Wizards will turn to Ish Smith.
Shams Charania of The Athletic:
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Emiliano Carchia of Sportando:
David Aldridge of The Athletic:
I like Satoransky for the Bulls. They drafted Coby White but needed a veteran option. Satoransky deserved a shot to start somewhere, and he can hold that role as White develops. If White becomes ready in the next three years, the 27-year-old Satoransky can slide to the bench. Though he’s better at and prefers to play point guard, Satoransky can also sometimes play the wing with White in the backcourt.
Between Satoransky and Thaddeus Young (three years, $41 million), Chicago has added a couple quality veterans. The Bulls also traded for Otto Porter, another upgrade, during last season. If its young players – Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr., Chandler Hutchinson – are ready to take the next step, Chicago could compete for the playoffs next year.
Will Washington? Bradley Beal is better than any Bull, but his supporting cast is lacking. Burdened by Wall’s, Ian Mahinmi‘s and Dwight Howard‘s contracts and trying to stay out of the luxury tax, the Wizards are on a tight budget.
Smith is a fine placeholder given the circumstances. He can run the offense provide a good presence in the locker room. Washington needs both.
But there are reasons he came cheaper than Satoransky. Smith became expendable to the Pistons when they got Derrick Rose. Smith, who turns 31 this week, is a speedster with an unreliable jumper. He doesn’t carry untapped upside, but for the stability the Wizards want now, he’s perfectly fine.
Washington also gets a couple picks for Satoransky, whom the Wizards probably weren’t keeping, anyway. That’s part of the leverage a team gets in restricted free agency.