Marcin Gortat has been the Wizards’ starting center for each of the last five seasons. He has remained very consistent, both in terms of his production and durability. The Polish Machine is also likely to be traded this summer, according to Ben Standig of The Sports Capitol (link requires subscription).
There are many reasons why trading Gortat makes sense. He is entering the fifth year of a $60 million contract he signed in 2014 and can consistently produce. Gortat may be 34 years old, but he is arguably the Wizards player who is in the best physical shape. Another reason why Gortat may be moved is so Ian Mahinmi can start regularly, even if he is terribly foul prone. Or perhaps the Wizards are eyeing a center with the 15th pick in the draft, if they don’t trade it.
But Gortat may also be traded because of off-the-court issues. Last February and March, John Wall sat out due to a knee procedure, allowing Tomas Satoransky to start at the point guard position. The Wizards quickly won their first few games, prompting this tweet by Gortat on February 2:
Unbelievable win tonight ! Great "team" victory!— Marcin Gortat (@MGortat) February 2, 2018
That was followed by a Twitter response by Wall where he “LOL’ed.” Though that tweet was deleted, Wall said on a SportsCenter 6 episode that he was shocked Gortat would put the tweet out because he was the most “spoon-fed” player ever.
Regardless of “whose side” you’re on regarding this topic, Wall is the Wizards’ franchise player. He is getting a four-year supermax extension starting in the 2019-20 season. He won’t be the player who leaves.
The Wizards have limited cap flexibility and the supporting cast around the “Big Three” of Wall, Bradley Beal, and Otto Porter is quite old. Washington needs to find younger frontcourt talent now while their trio is still in its prime. Therefore, it should not be a surprise to see Gortat traded to another team, whether this week during the NBA Draft, or next month when free agency kicks into high gear.