Suns trade Marcin Gortat to Wizards for Emeka Okafor, protected 1st round pick

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The teams will swap centers and other assets in a trade that lands Phoenix a protected first-round pick in next year's draft.

The Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards have completed a trade that will send Marcin Gortat, Shannon Brown, Kendall Marshall and Malcolm Lee to Washington in exchange for Emeka Okafor and a top-12 protected 2014 first-round pick, reports ESPN's Jeff Goodman. Both teams announced the deal on Friday evening.

The Wizards announced that Okafor will be out "indefinitely" due to a herniated disc in his neck, diminishing the team's frontcourt depth and putting pressure on their young players to perform.

Gortat trade reactionsBright Side of the Sun Bullets Forever

Gortat is a six-year NBA veteran who started his career playing behind Dwight Howard with the Orlando Magic before being traded to the Phoenix Suns. He has been Phoenix's starting center over the last two seasons, averaging 13.3 points and 9.3 rebounds per game with the organization. The Suns drafted big man Alex Len with their lottery pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, however, and are preparing to make him one of their future building blocks.

Marshall played in 48 games last season behind starting point guard Goran Dragic and struggled to break into the rotation. The addition of Eric Bledsoe over the summer has added further depth at the position, making the 2012 first-round draft selection expendable.

UPDATE: The Wizards are not expected to keep Lee, Brown or Marshall once the transaction is complete, according to TNT's David Aldridge and Michael Lee of the Washington Post.

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