While the headlines on Friday evening were dominated by the first trade of the young NBA season — Washington and Phoenix completed a deal centered around Emeka Okafor, Marcin Gortat and a 2014 1st round draft pick — one team out West made yet another under-the-radar move that could alter the landscape of the Western Conference.
SH Blog: Warriors and Bogut Agree To Three Year Extension; Wizards Make First Trade; LeBron Claims He Has No Rival
Turns out Marcin Gortat is the Polish Prophet.
After saying he expected to be traded by the Phoenix Suns, the “Polish Hammer” was indeed dealt Friday to the Washington Wizards in a multi-player deal that sent injured center Emeka Okafor to what should be the worst team in the Western Conference.
Phoenix also gets a top-12 protected 2014 first-round pick and could have four first-round picks in a loaded draft.
“We have solidified our frontcourt by adding a player who has established himself as a very consistent and productive inside presence over the last three seasons,” Wizards general manager Ernie Grunfeld said. “Marcin’s ability to rebound, defend and score will allow us to continue where we left off last season and pushes us further toward our goal of becoming a playoff team.”
Gortat (6-11, 240) holds career averages of 8.6 points and 6.9 rebounds while shooting .547 from the field in 357 career games (144 starts) in six seasons.
A native of Lodz, Poland, Gortat enjoyed his best season as a pro in 2011-12, when he averaged 15.4 points, 10.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks while starting in all 66 games for the Suns. He joined Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum as the only players that season to average at least 15 points, 10 rebounds and 1.5 blocks.
In his last three seasons with Orlando and Phoenix, Gortat has averaged 12.1 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks while shooting .546 from the field. Last season, he averaged 11.1 points and a team-leading 8.5 rebounds while shooting .521 from the field in 61 games.
Gortat was Phoenix’s highest-paid player at $7.73 million this season, the last year of his contract. Okafor also is in the last year of his deal and will make $14.49 million this season.
Okafor, who has missed the entire preseason with a herniated disc in his back, averaged 9.7 points and 8.8 rebounds in 79 games (77 starts) in his only season with the Wizards. The nine-year pro was originally acquired by the team along with Trevor Ariza for Rashard Lewis and a 2012 second-round pick on June 20, 2012.
Washington also acquired guards Shannon Brown, Kendall Marshall and Malcolm Lee.
Only Marshall, a 2012 first-round pick who struggled as a rookie, has potential obligations beyond this season. He has a $2.09 million option for 2014-15 that has yet to be picked up.
With the addition of the top-12 protected pick from the Wizards, Phoenix now potentially possesses four first-round selections in the 2014 NBA draft: its own pick, Indiana’s pick (top-14 protected) and Minnesota’s pick (top-13 protected).
“We are excited to add another first-round pick in what is shaping up to be the best draft in a decade,” said Suns general manager RyanMcDonough. “We now have a chance to make four first-round selections in 2014. Emeka Okafor is a solid veteran center who will help solidify our front line when and if he is able to return from injury.”
With Gortat traded and Okafor injured, Phoenix’s centers are rookie Alex Len – also coming off an injury – and untested second-year man Miles Plumlee.
Brown (6-4, 210) has averaged 8.1 points and 2.0 rebounds in 374 career games with Cleveland, Chicago, the LA Lakers, Charlotte and Phoenix. Marshall (6-4, 195) averaged 3.0 points and 3.0 assists last season. Lee (6-5, 200) has averaged 4.9 points and 2.4 rebounds in 35 career games with Minnesota before being traded to Phoenix last summer.
The season has not yet begun and teams have started making moves.
News broke Friday afternoon that the Phoenix Suns and the Washington Wizards have struck a deal.
It is bound to happen to most men.
Whether it be their daughter or little sister, most guys typically make light of needing a shotgun to fend off the womanizing young beasts knocking down the door.
It is the moment in most men’s lives that they fear before it ever comes, watching the little lady in their lives grow up and walk out the door [typically, this action involves some sort of dance (junior prom, senior prom, etc.)].
For Phoenix Suns guard Kendall Marshall, that moment was his little sister’s Saturday night homecoming dance.
Just got off the phone with my sister’s homecoming date. called me Sir, he’s good in my book.
— Kendall Marshall (@KButter5) October 19, 2013
I’m gettin old. http://t.co/BQjLipOgaR
— Kendall Marshall (@KButter5) October 19, 2013
In his Instagram post, Marshall states that he gave the young man “the talk” before going on to clown his hair in a hashtag, “#HerDateIsGeraldFromHeyArnoldlol.”
While the moment may make him feel old, especially being addressed as “Sir” by a young man in middle school, at least he managed a snappy reference.
For those who are completely unfamiliar with the Nickelodeon cartoon show Hey Arnold, here is a picture of Gerald for comparison.
In all fairness, there are worse things that he likely could have made reference to.
A silly cartoon character was probably going easy on the kid, though an easy NBA comparison could have been made to either Miami Heat guard Norris Cole or New York Knicks guard Iman Shumpert.
Shumpert made news recently by cutting his iconic flat top look, but that’s beside the point.
For Marshall, of course, he seems to be doing right by his sister, looking out for her as big brothers should. Considering his busy NBA schedule, that’s proof positive that he’s deeply committed to his family.
There’s no telling what his talk with young man may have entailed, but it may be safe to assume that he put the fear of God in him.
Previous Tweet Posts:
Michael writes the Tweet of the Day for SheridanHoops.com.
Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard and a few other NBA athletes took to Instagram to record four bars of freestyle rhymes for what is being touted as #4BarFriday.
Some of the rhymes are pretty nice, especially Indiana Pacers swingman Paul George. On the flip-side, NBA writer/analyst Ric Bucher should probably stick to his day job.
What follows may be perceived as anything from very entertaining to, perhaps, downright unethical. Enjoy.