The Washington Wizards are committed to keep the core of their 2014 playoff team intact, agreeing to a five year, $60 million deal with center Marcin Gortat.
The 30-year-old Gortat was heavily influential in last year's playoff run of the Wizards averaging 13.2 points and 9.5 rebounds, highest in the team. The Polish center served as the anchor in the middle for the Wizards which finally ended a long playoff drought last season. The Wizards sent Phoenix a first round pick along with an assortment of assets in a five-player deal last year which netted them Gortat.
Yahoo! Sports reports that with the signing of Gortat coupled with the picking up of the team option of veteran guard Andre Miller and the contract extension of coach Randy Wittman, the team from the capital is practically saying it likes the make-up of last year's team and has confidence that the same group of guys can compete with the Eastern conference.
Next up to be convinced to stay will be starting small forward Trevor Ariza who has suitors from multiple teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz, Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns, who all contacted the forward. Ariza just celebrated his 29th birthday with family and friends yesterday and present during the occasion were teammates John Wall and Al Harrington. Wall was not shy of his pitch to Ariza to stay with the team and continue the success and growth of the Wizards.
"That's my guy he know I want him back," Wall wrote in a text message.
Ariza is the team's best three point shooter last year topping at 40.7 percent, a career best. He also held the responsibility of shutting down the other team's best offensive weapons. While being a prized commodity, all of the other teams attached to Ariza are also holding out for Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James, thus his locking up into a contract may take considerable time.