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What the Pre-Draft Trades Mean for the Wizards

June 26th, 2014 at 12:00 PM
By Andy Livingston

 photo credit: Keith Allison via photopincc


 One of the big question marks this off season was what the market would be for Free Agent Center Marcin Gortat.

Last night two trades concluded that helped answer some of those questions.

The Dallas Mavericks brought back Tyson Chandler along with Raymond Felton The Knicks, desperate for picks under the Phil Jackson regime, get number 34 & 51 in tonight's draft and Wayne Ellington.

The Mavericks need at center has been filled, so Gortat is crossed off their wish list.It does open up a need for center in New York now and with the Knicks presumably running the triangle offense and the center position being vital to that triple-post, it could create a whole new market for Marcin.

However, there is no rumbling that the Knicks are making a move for any big center, and just appear to be stockpiling draft picks to go fresh and young.

Another move eliminated a spot in need for a center when the Houston Rockets traded Omar Asik to the New Orleans Pelicans for their 2015 first round pick. The pick is protected, but now the Rockets get some cap space to pursue one of the big name free agents and shed themselves of the failed Asik-Howard front court. The Pelicans now have an even more feared presence at the rim with Asik and Anthony Davis.

The Pelicans were looking hard to add another defensive body in the middle, so now they can be crossed off the Marcin Wish List.

So who is left at this point? The Celtics could use some strength inside, but the Ainge braintrust is close to the vest and is more liable to make some oddball decisions concerning whether they win out on the Kevin Love lottery. The Cavaliers seemed poised to take on Joel Embiid first overall, but his foot fracture has him out next season entirely. Embiid could still be a top lottery pick for someone willing to stash him, but after the bust of Anthony Bennett, the Cavs need something real in the paint.

A sleeper might by the Philadelphia 76ers, who have Spencer Hawes in free agency and Nerlens Noel finally able to play this coming season, the Sixers could look to pair Noel with another big defensive player to mirror the Pelicans.

The real risk now that the market has shrunk for Gortat is that Ernie Grunfeld will outbid himself for the services of the Polish Hammer. As he's done in the past, Ernie could find himself shuffling between two sides of a table, raising the price over and over on himself. Keep in mind Grunfeld is still without an extension for next season, so the first choices he makes may make or break his future.

Tags: Basketball, Marcin Gortat, NBA, Tyson Chandler, Washington, Washington Wizards

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