After a successful run in the NBA Playoffs, the Washington Wizards made it clear that they’d like to re-sign all of their core players which contributed to their unexpected series win and push in the semi-finals. With that said, re-signing Marcin Gortat and Trevor Ariza has become Washington’s priority this summer, but given their successful seasons, both players will undoubtedly get interest from other teams.
Ariza is coming off a career shooting year and became one of the league’s deadliest three point threats as a result of sharing the court with John Wall. Marcin Gortat, who was acquired by the Wizards in a trade prior to the beginning of the season from the Phoenix Suns after Emeka Okafor went down with injury, also had a bounce back season in the nation’s capital. As a result, both players played major roles with the Wizards and helped them make the second round in the NBA Playoffs for the first time in about a decade.
The Dallas Mavericks, who signed Marcin Gortat to an offer sheet before it was matched by the Orlando Magic in 2009, do have some money to spend this summer and they’ll reportedly look to target both Ariza and Gortat. (h/t Bullets Forever)
ESPN: They also have significant interest in Washington’s Marcin Gortat, whom they recruited as a restricted free agent in 2009, signing him to an offer sheet that was surprisingly matched by the Orlando Magic.
Mark Fisher: NBA sources tell DallasBasketball.com that the Mavs have Trevor Ariza high on their list of July 1 shopping targets. This is, of course, at a level beneath “big fish.”
As previously mentioned, re-signing both Ariza and Gortat will be a priority for the Wizards this summer.
David Aldridge of NBA.COM is reporting that Gortat could make about $13 million per year, which is similar to the contracts Minnesota’s Nikola Pekovic and New York’s Tyson Chandler received. If that’s the case, the Wizards would probably have to overpay to keep both Ariza and Gortat on the team, especially when winning teams such as the Dallas Mavericks express interest.
The Wizards have traded a first round pick and Okafor’s expiring contract in exchange for Marcin Gortat, so re-signing him will be a priority. Teams tend to overpay to keep their players around, especially after successful seasons, so it’s not a surprise that the Wizards might have to do that with Ariza and Gortat.
Washington’s other options include letting Gortat walk, signing a cheaper alternative such as Spencer Hawes, Jordan Hill or even Emeka Okafor, or sliding Nene back up to center. Even though they do have some options, it’s clear that they’ll try to retain Gortat, even if he gets more money than warranted.