Every season, there are big moments which are influential toward helping make the season as good (or as bad) as it was. The Washington Wizards definitely had a great 2013-14 season, as they emerged as a rising star in the Eastern Conference, and the NBA as a whole.
Instead of making this a Top-10 list, or ranking moments in terms of their significance, I'm going to select one moment within each month of the Wizards' season that played a significant factor toward making it the success that it was.
First, let's get back to October 2013 and revisit a significant moment then. Namely, the trade for Marcin Gortat.
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For all of October 2013, the Wizards knew that then-starting center Emeka Okafor would be sidelined indefinitely due to a herniated disc in his neck. Yet they were also skeptical that other post players like Kevin Seraphin could fill the void as a starter right away. After assessing their options, they traded Okafor and a protected 2014 first round pick to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Marcin Gortat (and other players who were waived upon arrival).
At the time of the trade, we weren't particularly pleased. The move seemed like a desperation move to just get the Wizards into the playoffs. But he ultimately fit about as well as we would have hoped, if not more. Those definitely were contributing factors as to why he was able to sign his five-year, $60 million contract.
On top of all that, Gortat has shown that he is a great personality on, and off the court. For example, he gave a video breakdown on how he "crashed" the Boston Celtics' huddle in their April 2 game. Then Gortat also was noted for screaming dramatic movie quotes before games. His teammates genuinely like having him in the locker room.
Gortat's also friendly to the media (while wearing "appropriate" attire), explaining how he got to ride on a tank, and how he meditates during the offseason. And of course, he responds to fans' tweets in the coolest way ever.
The trade was definitely one of the most important moments from the season that was. If the Wizards stayed pat, it is not unreasonable to say that the Wizards may have just limped their way to the 2014 Playoffs. Or perhaps they may have missed them altogether. Then, the Wizards probably wouldn't have had the offseason they had.
So, I'm sure that most of you would agree that the trade for Marcin Gortat was a major factor in the Wizards' 2013-14 season becoming what it was. However, let's say that this trade never happened. Do you all still believe that the Wizards could have still made the postseason? Would they have traded for someone else perhaps? Would love to hear your thoughts on this one.