With the league's moratorium officially lifted as of today, the Wizards were able to ink Marcin Gortat to his five-year, $60 million dollar contract. If you're like me and were sitting by a computer at 4 p.m. this afternoon, you had the privilege of watching (through Monumental Network's stream) the always candid Polish Hammer talk alongside Ernie Grunfeld about his extension, riding a tank in Poland, and his future in D.C.
Here's a few highlights from his presser:
On Trevor Ariza's free agency:
"We would like to have him back. His experience, his length, his quickness, his ability to shoot threes, he's very important to our team. I know Ernie's doing all he can to get him back and we gotta make sure we make the right decision as an organization... If it was so easy, he'd be here already. We're hoping that we're gonna have him back."
On long-term security and the future outlook of this team:
"First of all I believe I can be a good player for another four, five years, and I believe that getting a guaranteed contract for five years is gonna give me an opportunity to develop and mentally I'm gonna be more secure and I'll be able to focus on basketball.
I will like to be with this team for as long as possible because Bradley and John.. and Otto -- you can't forget about Otto -- these three guys will be special for the next few years and I'll definitely like to be apart of their legacy.
"We have John Wall who's one of the best point guards in the league. I truly believe next year he can definitely be top-2, top-3 point guard in this league. He's definitely not a selfish guy and he's definitely developed his game since game 1 in Detroit (season opener). I see huge progress from John and I'm excited to play with him."
Ernie Grunfeld on free agency so far:
There's a lot of stuff that goes on when free agency starts. A lot of phone calls, a lot of people you have to talk to - agents, players - but obviously we had some priorities and our own players were the one's we contacted first.
I thought this was interesting as well:
Gortat: "The moment I realized [DC] would be good 4 me--it may not be proper 2 say--but when Nene got hurt." (allowed him 2 be leader, etc)— Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It) July 10, 2014
Gortat per-game averages didn't standout that much in Nene's absence -- his offensive efficiency actually dropped with more touches -- but by the eye-test alone, it seemed like he was much more comfortable as the lone presence down low. He wants his touches, and it's a lot harder to get him clean looks when Nene's occupying the high-post area, but he also benefits greatly on the glass with Nene clearing out space by boxing out and on defense as Nene prevents dribble penetration.
It'll be interesting to see how these two coexist in the final two years of Nene's deal. Washington was still just 21st in offensive efficiency, and had trouble spacing out the floor with both big men in the lineup. Wittman will have to tinker his rotation to get the most out of this group, and I'll be interested to see just how much Gortat benefits with Nene (hopefully) getting more rest this season.
UPDATE: The video of Gortat's press conference has been embedded above the post. If you cannot see the embed, click here for the link from Monumental Network.