The Washington Wizards made a surprising run in the NBA Playoffs this past season, pushing the Indiana Pacers to six games in the second round. Washington acquired Gortat from the Phoenix Suns last season, and he was a big reason for the Wizards making the playoffs. He may not be the best scorer, but he is a near double-double machine and plays solid defense as well.
According to a report from CSN Washington, the Wizards are making a strong push to re-sign Gortat this offseason.
“Now that the NBA draft is over, the full-court press is on to convince Marcin Gortat to remain with the Wizards, who are sending a contingent to Poland before the free-agent negotiation period opens July 1, CSNwashington.com has confirmed with multiple persons with knowledge of the situation. Coach Randy Wittman and Tommy Sheppard, senior vice president of basketball operations, are leaving Friday to visit Gortat who has been coordinating basketball camps across his homeland.” – CSN Washington
It’s no surprise that the Wizards are going to put on a full-court press to bring Gortat back, as he proved just how important he was in the playoffs. There is no guarantee that he will be back in Washington though, but he has made it clear that he enjoyed this past season. The Wizards have something special building, and it would be wise for him to stick around and see if he can help them take the next step.
Gortat played in 81 regular season games with the Wizards last season, starting in all but one of those appearances. He averaged 13.2 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game, and was a true leader on the court. The Wizards are going to have to fight off quite a few other potential suitors to bring him back, but they have the money and organization to convince him to return.
Overall, it is widely expected that the Wizards will be able to retain Gortat. He is going to test the market to see what other offers are out there, but there simply isn’t a better situation for him than Washington. Expect to see the Wizards lock him up fairly quickly when free agency opens up on July 1st.