This is primarily a cost-cutting move for Washington. The move will shave $4.7 million off the team’s luxury tax bill this season, according to Bobby Marks of ESPN. By making the move today, Washington will be able to package Dekker along with other players in potential trades before this season’s February 8 trade deadline.
Fred Katz of The Athletic is reporting the Wizards removed the protections on the 2020 second round pick the team owed Milwaukee from the Jodie Meeks trade inorder to deal the 2022 pick in the Dekker deal.
In order to trade their 2022 second-rounder to Milwaukee, the Wizards removed the protections on the 2020 second-rounder they’re supposed to send to the Bucks, according to a league source. Pick was previously 46-60 protected in 2020 and unprotected in 2022.— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) December 8, 2018
Speaking of the Jodie Meeks trade, Washington can take Dekker in with the $3.5 million trade exception they created in that deal, which would allow them to create a $5.5 million exception for Smith, according to Albert Nahmad.
Although this move is mostly about helping Washington’s payroll, there’s also a chance it could help on-court product. Smith had only played 130 minutes all season, with most of them coming in garbage time, so even Dekker doesn’t crack the team’s rotation, the team doesn’t lose anything meaningful in this deal.
Anything he provides once he recovers from the ankle injury he suffered last month is a plus and gives Washington more depth on the wing in case of an injury. Plus, if he pans out better than expected, they’ll have matching rights this summer when he enters restricted free agency.