Marcin Gortat was the main target for the Wizards front office this free agency period, and Ernie got his man. Gortat's 5-years for $60 is steep, appears to all be guaranteed (but the terms themselves do not appear to have been released) and is given to a 30 yr old. The free agency in it's early stages this year are fraught with some big number contracts to relative role players leaving most NBA fans scratching their heads.
The deal with Gortat will be placed in some kind of context later when all the deals are made, but on the surface in comparison, it's not the worst or weirdest deal out there. Jodie Meeks signed a three-year deal with the Detroit Pistons worth between $19 to $20 million. Detroit was anemic on shooting last year and Jodie Meeks is pretty much all shooter. He is not, however, Kevin Durant. So this solves a problem for the Pistons, but doesn't really propel them much further. The Pistons are still hampered by the huge cost of the Josh Smith contract and are looking to bring back Greg Monroe. The financials are caught up by deposed GM Joe Dumars, so the Pistons are a while away anyways, but locking up Meeks for that high, learning a new system with a new administration for that much seems like a lot.
Avery Bradley re-signed with the Boston Celtics for 4-years/$32 million. Bradley again had a great year statistically, taking over as a pure shooter after the hole was opened when Ray Allen signed with the Miami Heat. But the Celtics still have Rajon Rondo (for now) and just signed Marcus Smart from the draft. Presumably one of those pieces that rhymes with Majon Mondo will be tested to be moved either this off-season or by the trade deadline. Bradley will serve a good spot on the court, he's ace defensively and last year averaged 14.9 PPG and 3.8 RPG. But the holes in Boston are as deep as the potholes and they seem determined to occupy as many young assets as possible.
Lance Stephenson reportedly passed on a 5-yr/$44 million offer from the Indiana Pacers, probably the team most determined to sign him. Lance is rough for sure, but has great talent and even a signing for him as sixth-man would be a steal, but is his mental breakdown during the post-season worth $44 million? The blow into LeBron's ear, being dragged off the floor, literally, by Roy Hibbert, the fake concussion after the flop, and the fight with Evan Turner worth $44 million?
Yes, Gortat has miles, but he's not worn down and his value to his team is probably higher than all the other free agents listed above. (Maybe Lance goes higher, but maybe Lancer needs thorazine, so who knows). And his teammates and coach wanted his use badly considering the possibility of losing him to the Heat with a drop in Centers available in free agency. His last two years could see him in the role Nene currently has if he stays healthy. Wiley veteran with limited skills but still willing to put the fear into a player when the time arises.Tags: Basketball, Jodie Meeks, Lance Stephenson, Marcin Gortat, NBA, Washington, Washington Wizards
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