Marc Stein of ESPN.com continues his Summer Scoop series with a look at the Wizards, who have little to be disappointed about in spite of last night’s playoff elimination at the hands of the Pacers. We’ll sum up the highlights here and pass along some additional insight:
- The Wizards are indeed interested in re-signing Trevor Ariza as well as Marcin Gortat, but there’s concern that they’ll prove too expensive to retain, Stein writes, pointing to Gortat as the team’s top priority should it have to choose. Martell Webster shot a dreadful 23.1% from behind the arc in the postseason, but he looms as a superior plan B at small forward than anyone the Wizards have to replace Gortat, Stein suggests.
- J. Michael of CSNWashington.com pegs the salary that the Wizards will have to shell out to retain Gortat at about $10MM. Executives around the league believe Gortat and Ariza will cost a combined $15-20MM in annual salaries, as Grantland’s Zach Lowe reported this week.
- Coach Randy Wittman, whose contract is up, is likely to return as coach, Stein hears, but there was chatter entering the playoffs that a loss in the first-round would prompt the Wizards to dump Wittman and pursue George Karl and Alvin Gentry. Now the only question is whether the team will offer Wittman a one-year deal to align his contract with that of GM Ernie Grunfeld, which expires after next season, or make it a long-term pact for the coach.
- The Wizards are leaning toward retaining Andre Miller, whose $4.625MM salary for next season is only guaranteed for $2MM, but they haven’t made up their minds yet, Stein reports.