Marcin Gortat

Wizards re-signing Marcin Gortat, as first reported by John Wall


The Wizards were extremely pleased with last season. All along, their goal was making the playoffs, and not only did they do that, they upset the Bulls in the first round.

Washington has made no secret of its plan to duplicate that success. And by duplicate, I mean duplicate.

The Wizards want to keep practically the same roster together. They kept Andre Miller when it made some sense to waive him, and their top two free agent targets are Marcin Gortat and Trevor Ariza. They even flew to Poland to pitch Gortat.

That worked.

John Wall actually broke the news:

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo sports is first with the contract figures:

Marc Stein of ESPN has more:

Gortat made $7,727,280 last season, so this is a substantial raise. Ariza made the same salary last season, so you can bet he’s also expecting a big pay increase. He should see how desperate the Wizards are to keep the band together, and he can leverage that. He might not get as much as Gortat – big men are always in higher demand – but Ariza can seek that range now.

This deal will carry Gortat through age 35. It’s always risky to pay someone so much at that age, but it’s even riskier for a large brutish player like Gortat. He takes (though mostly inflicts) a pounding. The deal is probably fair in the short term, but Gortat will likely hold negative value by the end of the deal due to its cost.

There’s little reason to believe the Wizards care about that far into the future, though. They want to win now, and to them, that means trying to win exactly how they did last season – with Gortat, Ariza and everyone else.

Washington has Gortat. Ariza is up next.

Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers dislocated shoulder in preseason game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:

Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.