The Wizards reportedly offered Marcin Gortat an extension, but sources tell Shams Charania of RealGM that Gortat let the team know before the season that he’s uninterested in signing one. The Guy Zucker client‘s recent comments about his priorties in free agency this summer were a strong hint that he doesn’t want to do an in-season deal.
The January report from Marc Stein of ESPN.com that made mention of the extension offer also noted the Wizards’ strong interest in retaining the 30-year-old center, whom they acquired from the Suns before the season began. He’s averaging 12.8 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game as the starting center for Washington, numbers that top his career averages but fall short of the marks he put up in 2011/12, his best season in the NBA. He’s making $7,727,280 in the final season of a five-year deal he originally signed as an offer sheet from the Mavericks. The Magic matched it and later traded him to Phoenix.
Gortat’s salary for this year is identical to Trevor Ariza‘s, and the swingman is also set to become a free agent this summer. Charania’s piece focuses on John Wall‘s leadership of the Wizards, noting that he’s already begun pitching Ariza and Gortat on a long-term future in D.C. Washington has about $43.5MM in commitments for next season, meaning they’ll probably have between $18-19MM worth of flexibility under the cap. I speculated in January that Gortat could command a deal around $10MM a season, and bringing back Ariza on a salary similar to the one he earns now would take up most, if not all, of Washington’s cap room.