ESPN reports the Phoenix Suns are sending center Marcin Gortat to the Washington Wizards for Emeka Okafor and a 1st round pick:
Hearing: Suns are trading Marcin Gortat to the Wizards. Okafor on his way to Phoenix. More details to come
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) October 25, 2013
Deal is done between Phoenix and Wizards, sources told ESPN: Okafor and protected 2014 pick to Phoenix for Gortat, Marshall, S Brown, Lee.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) October 25, 2013
It’s clear these teams are going in two separate directions with this swapping of players and picks.
Adding Gortat to the starting lineup of the Wizards provides them more scoring from their front court though it will hurt them on the defensive end by swapping the two bigs. With Emeka Okafor out indefinitely with a neck injury suffered in September, that forced the Wizards front office to play their hand as his absence could’ve been the difference between making/not making the playoffs.
For the Suns, they get closer to a top pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. Getting Emeka Okafor and his $14 million expiring contract was a consolation prize to the first round pick they’ll receive from the Wizards. According to Adrian Wojnarowksi of Yahoo! Sports the pick will be protected through the number 12 pick. Most importantly the addition of this pick means the Suns currently have four first round picks for the upcoming draft that is supposed to be the best draft “since 2003″.
As for the three players traded to the Wizards alongside Gortat, they are expected to be cut as Michael Lee of the Washington Post reveals:
Hearing Marcin Gortat is main piece for #wizards. Kendall Marshall, Shannon Brown & Malcolm Lee not expected to stick around in DC
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) October 25, 2013