Kevin Seraphin will leave the Wizards to sign with the New York Knicks, per a report.
BREAKING: New York Knicks have agreed to sign Kevin Seraphin to a one-year, $2.8 million deal, a league source tells Sheridan Hoops.
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) August 4, 2015
The French center was drafted by Chicago in 2010 and sent to Washington in a draft-day trade.
At 6-foot-10, 270 pounds, Seraphin developed into an effective back-to-the-basket option behind starting center Marcin Gortat. His offensive skill set -- including efficient hook shots and serviceable short jumpers -- paired with a sturdy frame made him an attractive choice for teams looking for low post players.
Defense hasn't come as naturally for Seraphin, who struggled with position defense and tended to commit reach-in fouls early in his career. He made significant improvements in the 2014-15 season, averaging 6.6 points and 3.6 rebounds per night and appearing in six postseason games for Washington.
Seraphin's most impressive performance came in the last game of the Eastern Conference semifinals against Atlanta. Gortat got sick and couldn't stay on the floor for long stretches, opening the door for Seraphin to log 28 minutes. He scored 13 points on 6 of 11 shooting and added 8 rebounds in the loss.
After the season, he spoke about the future to Wizards Insider J. Michael.
"I definitely want a chance to be a starter," he said. "If I really want to learn -- it's easy to say, 'Yeah, stay on the bench' -- but in basketball or any sport it's best to be on the court.
"I remember the John [Wall] who used to run, get charges all the time. Now he controls the game better. He became an All-Star because he had the talent, he had the opportunity and everything. That's basically what I want. I want to play."
Gortat's $60 million deal ensures Seraphin won't start for Washington next season, so moving on makes sense. But getting that opportunity in New York seems like a long shot, too.
The Knicks went out and signed Robin Lopez to a five-year, $54 million contract this offseason and drafted Latvian prospect Kristaps Porzingis fourth overall in the 2015 NBA Draft. They also have Kyle O'Quinn, Lou Amundson and Derrick Williams, so Seraphin will have to fight a crowded frontcourt for playing time.
The former Wizard will make less money than last year, when he accepted Washington's one-year qualifying offer of $3.9 million. The deal gives Seraphin another chance to convince teams that he can be a starter, but he'll probably have to do that coming off the bench again.