The Wizards leaped over every expectation set out for them this past season, and after a year of getting into the Elite 8 of the NBA, the Wizards have some tough decisions to make that could really impact their NBA Odds next season.
Washington’s free agent dilemma
The Wizards have a ton of free agents this offseason both unrestricted and restricted, and a couple of them were starters on this past season’s team. Both Marcin Gortat and Trevor Ariza are unrestricted free agents heading into the summer, and both will get some heavy consideration in other places outside of Washington DC. Both played well, and are probably going to be making more money next season, and if Washington re-signs both of them to anything but a team-friendly deal, they are going to have to say goodbye to some of their other free agents this season.
How will this affect your future NBA picks?
Andre Miller has a contract that isn’t fully guaranteed, so even if the Wizards let him go they would only be saving a few million dollars. Gortat is easily going to demand eight figures in a contract this offseason, and while Ariza might not demand that much, it’s going to take a sizeable amount of Washington’s cap space to resign both of them. However if they had to choose between the two, Gortat is far more valuable to both the Wizards, and the development of the young guards in DC. Even though he is the more expensive of the two, bringing back Gortat is priority number one for Ernie Grunfeld.
This would almost surely mean that other free agents like Trevor Booker, Al Harrington, and Kevin Seraphin would be moving on to other places, and it might cost the Wizards Miller if they want to stay below the luxury tax. However my feeling is Ariza might be on his way out of town. It’s not that the Wizards don’t appreciate him, but they have Martell Webster to take his place, along with 2013 draft pick Otto Porter. Ariza might be a luxury the Wizards aren’t ready to afford. Ariza’s defense is second to none on that team, but in the end, unless he is willing to take a slight discount, Ariza might go to another team offering more money.
After those tough decisions are made, the Wizards don’t have much to do this offseason. Their young backcourt duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal will continue to get better this offseason and grow as one of the best young backcourts in the game. Along with Nene, and hopefully for Washington, the return of Gortat, the Wizards are going to be a force to reckon with in the East for years to come.
Washington won’t have a draft pick this season due to the Gortat trade with Phoenix last offseason, which ultimately gives Gortat more leverage and gives the Wizards even more reason to shell out almost anything Gortat asks for. It would not surprise me to see him get an average annual deal between 12 and 15 million dollars per season for the next three or four years.
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