[UPDATE: The move was officially announced by the Wizards on Wednesday night. In return for Blair, the Wizards will send Dallas the rights to Emir Preldzic, who was acquired in the three-team Antawn Jamison trade in February of 2010.]
LAS VEGAS -- Early Wednesday, while the Wizards summer league team had what is relatively an "off" day with no game scheduled, the front office stayed busy and is in the process of finalizing a deal that will bring DeJuan Blair on board, CSNwashington.com has confirmed through three people with knowledge of the situation, to bolster what now appears to be one of the NBA's better benches.
The Wizards had been in discussions to acquire Blair earlier in the week from the Dallas Mavericks, but details had to be hashed out to make it work and stay out of the luxury tax.
The details: The Wizards used their $2.1 million trade exception, acquired last season when they dealt Eric Maynor to the Philadelphia 76ers. Blair receives a three-year deal for $6 million, the final year is a team option. The Wizards still have a $1.2 million trade exception and a $4.3 million exception. In acquiring Kris Humphries on Tuesday, the Wizards only used half of the $8.6 million exception they received in trading Trevor Ariza to the Houston Rockets.
Blair was chosen 37th overall in the 2009 draft by the San Antonio Spurs, bypassed by the Wizards who took Jermaine Taylor five picks ahead of him. Taylor was then sold to the Rockets.
At 6-7, Blair is a bit undersized to play in the middle but he has proven to be a competent backup. He fell out of favor with the Spurs after spending the middle two of his four seasons there as a starter. As a backup, Blair rebounded last season with the Mavericks, who went to the playoffs as a No. 8 seed and pushed the eventual champion Spurs to seven games in a first-round series.
Blair has career averages of 7.5 points, 52.9% shooting and 5.6 rebounds.
The Wizards have extended a one-year qualifying offer to Kevin Seraphin for $3.8 million to keep him as a restricted free agent. However, landing Blair would mean there's no room for Seraphin in the rotation -- particularly at that price-tag -- with Marcin Gortat, Nene, Drew Gooden, Humphries and now Blair occupying the frontline. But, if Seraphin is willing to agree to a lower number, there is a chance he would be retained, CSNwashington.com was told late Wednesday.
The Wizards are expected to secure Garrett Temple to a one-year, veteran minimum contract later Wednesday or possibly Thursday.
Amidst reports from CSN and ESPN that a trade to the Wizards was imminent, Blair appeared to allude to the move in a tweet.
DC!!— DeJuan Blair (@DeJuan45) July 16, 2014