July 10th, 2014 at 8:11 PM
By Matthew Graber
The Washington Wizards are reportedly ramping up their efforts to keep free agent center Marcin Gortat in Washington, with a team led by coach Randy Wittman flying to Poland to meet with Gortat before free agent negotiations begin on July 1. With Gortat drawing interest from teams such as the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks, Washington appears to recognize the realistic possibility of Gortat moving on and seems prepared to do whatever it takes to prevent that from happening.
Gortat is going to get paid, whether it be from Washington or another team. Coming off a strong season in which he averaged 13.2 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks, Gortat proved himself as a quality two-way center, a rare commodity in today’s NBA. That kind of rarity is a key reason why retaining Gortat is essential to the Wizards’ future.
The Wizards will struggle to keep both Gortat and fellow free agent forward Trevor Ariza, who should himself command strong attention on the strength of his play during Washington’s surprising playoff run. However, while Ariza was undoubtedly a key player last season, his skill set is easier to replicate than Gortat’s. Defense, three point shooting and athleticism are easier to find than Gortat’s combo of size ( 6’11”, 240) and skill.Read more... Join the Conversation...
July 9th, 2014 at 2:23 PM
By Matthew Graber
The Washington Wizards’ small forward position, put simply, is in a state of flux. Trevor Ariza is a free agent, Martell Webster just had back surgery, Chris Singleton is a disappointment, and at this point in his career, Otto Porter Jr. is a huge question mark. If the Wizards are unable to keep Ariza and Webster is forced to miss a significant amount of time, the small forward position becomes a gaping hole and could potentially torpedo the Wizard’s season.
While small forward is one of the deepest positions in this year’s free agent class, many of the top options (LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Luol Deng, Chandler Parsons), aren’t realistic options for the Wizards. However, there are a few potential additions that could step in and contribute right away, alleviating the pressure on Webster to rush back from injury and allowing Porter to ease his way into a larger role. Let’s examine a few potential options:Read more... Join the Conversation...
July 2nd, 2014 at 2:58 PM
By Andy Livingston
photo credit: Joseph Glorioso Photography via photopincc
Marcin Gortat was the main target for the Wizards front office this free agency period, and Ernie got his man. Gortat's 5-years for $60 is steep, appears to all be guaranteed (but the terms themselves do not appear to have been released) and is given to a 30 yr old. The free agency in it's early stages this year are fraught with some big number contracts to relative role players leaving most NBA fans scratching their heads.
The deal with Gortat will be placed in some kind of context later when all the deals are made, but on the surface in comparison, it's not the worst or weirdest deal out there. Jodie Meeks signed a three-year deal with the Detroit Pistons worth between $19 to $20 million. Detroit was anemic on shooting last year and Jodie Meeks is pretty much all shooter. He is not, however, Kevin Durant. So this solves a problem for the Pistons, but doesn't really propel them much further. The Pistons are still hampered by the huge cost of the Josh Smith contract and are looking to bring back Greg Monroe. The financials are caught up by deposed GM Joe Dumars, so the Pistons are a while away anyways, but locking up Meeks for that high, learning a new system with a new administration for that much seems like a lot.Read more... Join the Conversation...
July 1st, 2014 at 8:38 PM
By Andy Livingston
Marcin Gortat was the number one option for the Wizards this offseason and in the first day of free agency they locked him up. Securing a 5-year deal worth $60 million, the Polish Hammer will call Washington home for a while.
News was broken by teammate John Wall via Twitter
But soon after, Gortat followed up on his own on Twitter-
A breakdown of the payments during years hasn't been released yet, but should probably happen shortly.
The other top prospect in the Wizards free agency hunt, Trevor Ariza, is still fielding meetings. Coach Randy Wittman met him earlier this week.Read more... Join the Conversation...
July 1st, 2014 at 12:00 PM
By Andy Livingston
photo credit: Keith Allison via photopincc
The great Tom Ziller posted a story recently about a wish that NBA teams could have the ability to trade for everything. Given the recent history in this offseason of teams trying to trade for coaches, why stop there? Below are a number of options that the Wizards could make in this ridiculous What If scenario.
Kevin Seraphin and cash to the Brooklyn Nets for their color scheme and to play in the Atlantic Division
The Southeast division was long thought to be a joke, the LeBron Heat plus 4 scrubs (you know, like how the Heat played this offseason). But the division has become a contender in the upsetter category. Four of the 5 teams in the division went to this years playoffs, including the under .500 Atlanta Hawks who still almost upset the Indiana Pacers.
However, the Atlantic Division hosts three under.500 teams in Philadelphia, Boston and the New York Knicks. The Brooklyn Nets are as elderly as they are dysfunctional and a divisonial rivilary with the Toronto Raptors could bring triple-overtime time games on the regular.Read more... Join the Conversation...