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Maybe Sam Dekker wasn’t a throw-in

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Washington Wizards Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Daily Digits is a new daily feature we’re doing at Bullets Forever this year where we take a look at stats about the Wizards. We’ll dive into the numbers, add some context, and discuss how they affect the product on the court.

Today’s stat is the number of points Sam Dekker scored in the Wizards’ win over the Lakers on Sunday, which was...

20

Last week, I made the argument that the value of the Sam Dekker trade was primarily — if not exclusively — about the tax savings from shedding Jason Smith’s salary this season. I’ve had some bad takes in my life, but I felt pretty good about that one. Dekker hadn’t done much to impress the Rockets, Clippers, or Cavaliers, and it didn’t look like there was a spot for him in Washington’s rotation.

Well, a few funny things have happened since then. In his first game as a Wizard, he posted the best plus/minus on the team as Washington went on a big run to flip a game that was about to go into garbage time back into a competitive affair. He didn’t produce much individually, but he certainly didn’t hurt the cause.

Then, the Trevor Ariza trade happened. And then it didn’t. But then it happened again and now the Wizards have an opening at backup small forward where Dekker has a fresh chance to show what he can do. He made a good first impression on Sunday, scoring 20 points in 21 minutes, while chipping in 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals.

Granted, the Lakers were on the second night of a back-to-back and he got some of those numbers well after the game was in hand, but you can see where some of his skills could come in handy for Washington this season if he can keep it up. Hopefully he doesn’t play his way out of the Wizards’ price range before the trade deadline!