The Washington Wizards enjoyed a fantastic 2013-2014 season.
Led by All-Star point guard John Wall and arguably the most balanced starting lineup in the league, the Wizards finished with a record of 44-38 and returned to the postseason. In the playoffs, they drew the Chicago Bulls in the first round and quickly took care of business in five games before falling to the Indiana Pacers in the second round in six.
Now, the Wizards have two starters they are set to become free agents – center Marcin Gortat and small forward Trevor Ariza.
Chuck Myron of Hoops Rumors believes the Wizards should make Gortat the priority, but shouldn’t give either player more than a three-year deal.
You might not want to hear it, Matthew, but I think I’d stand pat. Or at the very least, I’d make a strong effort to re-sign Gortat, even if it costs me Ariza, which appears to be Washington’s thinking. Wall and Beal are young stars in the making who are improving, and the team is not that far from Eastern Conference title contention. The one thing I’d do is limit the years on Gortat and Ariza to no more than three so there’s some degree of flexibility. But I just don’t think the Wiz can do much better this offseason, even if they tried.
Gortat averaged 13.2 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.5 blocks per game while shooting 54.2% from the field and 68.6% from the charity stripe this season. Ariza averaged 14.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.6 steals per game last season. He shot 45.6% from the field, 40.7% from beyond the arc and 77.2% from the free throw line.