Unrestricted free agent Marcin Gortat agreed upon a five-year, $60 million deal to re-sign with the Washington Wizards, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. Wizards guard John Wall technically broke the news first.
The Wizards had to fend off a strong challenge from the Miami Heat, who were looking to sign Gortat using the space they will be gaining from Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade pay cuts. Nevertheless, Gortat will stay in D.C., where he helped provide much-needed stability up front for a Wizards team that made the second round of the playoffs last season.
What he offers
Gortat is a mobile, athletic center who paid large dividends for the Wizards in 2013-14 following an offseason trade that shipped him out of Phoenix. He averaged 13.2 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game during the regular season and provided point guard John Wall with an excellent pick-and-roll threat.
The Polish center also has the ability to pick-and-pop as an above-average shooter from 15 feet. During the postseason, Gortat made a notable impact in Washington's first-round series win against the Chicago Bulls and then six-game series with the Indiana Pacers -- the latter included a 31-point, 16-rebound game where Gortat went 13-for-15 from the field.
How he fits in D.C.
He worked out well in his only year in the District, developing excellent pick and roll chemistry with John Wall and improving as a defender over the course of the season. Washington badly needed a player that could move Nene to power forward and preserve his body, and Gortat was just that. He should fill a similar role throughout the duration of his contract.
Is this a good contract?
It's a premium to pay for a player that made under $8 million last year, and five years for a player that turns 31 next season is a lot. But the center market was very weak this summer and big men always get paid in this league. The Wizards also badly needed to preserve the core of this year's playoff team and were willing to break the bank to do so. Thus, one can understand how Gortat is making this chunk of change near the tail end of his prime.
How does this affect other teams?
Miami will need to search for a more cost-effective center, if the Heat want a center at all. Most other teams did not heavily pursue Gortat, knowing that the Wizards were highly motivated to keep him.