The Washington Wizards finally dealt Marcin Gortat in a deal that surprisingly saw Austin Rivers as the return for Washington.
Marcin Gortat has been trying to force his way out of Washington for what feels like at least half of a decade. Lots of players end up on the trade block, but not many of them insist on putting themselves on it over and over again. Gortat is the exception.
The Polish Hammer has been loudly making his feelings known for years now, and the Wizards finally sent him off to the LA Clippers. Los Angeles dealing for a center with DeAndre Jordan’s free agency looming is interesting enough, but it gets weirder: the return for Gortat was Austin Rivers, Clippers coach Doc Rivers’ son.
Many people on Twitter are asking Doc how he could trade his son, and while those tweets are funny, it’s important to point out that Doc is no longer in control of LA’s roster. Michael Winger is the Clippers’ GM, Lawrence Frank is in a front office leadership position and Jerry West is currently the overall architect of their front office. This most likely was not a Doc decision.
Still, it is pretty bizarre for an NBA team to trade the son of its head coach. Considering Doc and Austin were the first father-son, coach-player duo, it is literally unprecedented. That doesn’t make this a bad deal for the Clippers, who get a quietly effective and burly center who will serve as a serviceable stopgap if Jordan does indeed leave this summer.
The Wizards, in return, get Rivers. Rivers is also an effective player, although his most famous moment is a toss-up between an epic turnover (who can forget “HERE COMES AUSTIN RIVERS”) and a funny Blake Griffin impersonation.
Rivers often rubs players the wrong way, which means he’ll fit right in with a Wizards team that seems to be fueled by disdain. He and John Wall will get into it at some point — it’s a question of if rather than when.
This is a fair trade that makes sense for both sides. It’s just a weird version of that trade. Doc will certainly be asked about it soon, Gortat will say something inflammatory and Tomas Satoransky will lose all of his minutes again. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
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