On the heels of a report on Monday that the Wizards are still exploring ways to get DeAndre Jordan, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst is reporting the Wizards are shopping Marcin Gortat. However, according to the report, the team appears to have a very specific set of criteria they’re looking for in any deal involving their starting center.
Several teams have shown interest, but the Wizards are looking to improve their team now while not taking on additional long-term money, sources said.
It makes sense that Washington would want to explore trading Marcin Gortat. His production is down across the board and he’s averaging the fewest minutes per game since joining the Wizards in 2013. Plus, they have a lot of money tied up at the center position between him, Ian Mahinmi, and Jason Smith.
On top of that, the Wizards face a tricky situation if he’s still on the team when his contract is up at the end of the 2018-19 season. He said last month next season will “probably” be his last one in the NBA. Even if it isn’t, his expiring contract won’t provide any value to Washington because the team projects to be over the cap even after his deal comes off the books. It would make more sense to move him before his deal expires and get someone back who would be part of the team’s plans beyond 2019.
That said, it doesn’t seem like the Wizards are offering much to help facilitate a deal here. They want to get better, but they don’t want to commit to taking on more long-term money, they don’t have meaningful expiring contracts to offer other teams, and they’re also reportedly determined to keep their first round pick this season. So what incentives are the Wizards really offering to make something happen? Unless the team is offering Kelly Oubre or Tomas Satoransky (not a great idea!) it sounds like they’re just trying to see if someone’s willing to give up a player Washington values more than Gortat in a swap.
There are a couple players out there who might fit the billing. Tyson Chandler is making similar money in Phoenix and his deal expires in 2018-19, like Gortat. Derrick Favors is reportedly on the trade block in Utah, but he will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, so Washington would need to pony up to keep him this summer and they’d be right back where they are now with a lot of money tied up in centers. The other way they could go is trying to flip Gortat for some wing depth, but there aren’t many teams with an abundance of wings looking to bring on an aging center.
To sum it all up, this report shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but that doesn’t mean we’re any closer to seeing a deal. Unless Washington is willing to add some sweetener or there’s a team out there that really values what Gortat brings to the table, it’s hard to see how something materializes between now and Thursday’s trade deadline.