CONCORD – Over his nine-year NBA career, Ish Smith has played for 10 teams and earned the title “journeyman.”
The Central Cabarrus graduate’s journey continues, and this time it’s taking him to the nation’s capital.
On Monday, Smith reached a two-year deal to play with the Washington Wizards. The Athletic and The Washington Post reported that Smith is expected to sign a guaranteed two-year deal worth $12 million.
Smith, a 6-foot point guard, is expected to provide relief for another North Carolina native, injured Wizards star John Wall, who played high school ball at Raleigh’s Word of God Christian Academy.
The 30-year-old Smith spent the past three seasons with the Detroit Pistons before becoming a free agent this summer. Over his career, he’s averaged 7.4 points and 3.8 assists.
Smith went undrafted out of Wake Forest University in 2010, but signed a free-agent deal with the Houston Rockets to begin his extensive NBA career. Washington will be his 11th team, but he had the longest tenure of his career with the Pistons, having signed a three-year, $18 million deal in 2016. He averaged 9.8 points and 4.6 assist during his time with the team.
In Detroit, Smith became a fan favorite because of his engaging personality, activism in the community and selflessness on the court.
Smith thanked Detroit fans on Monday with a post on his Instagram page.
“Detroit has been more than a team for me, it has been a family.,” he wrote. “I appreciate the welcoming arms of the fans, and the support and encouragement from the coaching staff. I will miss the strength and boldness of the city, and most importantly, my teammates! #DetriotStrong”
Smith remains the only Cabarrus County native ever to play a full NBA season.