Marcin Gortat sees writing on the wall about trade from Wizards

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The Wizards’ with the highest salaries for next season – if they re-sign Otto Porter, as they’ve repeatedly said they will – are slated to be:

That’s a point guard, a shooting guard, a small forward, a power forward and three centers.

Even Washington’s starting center, Gortat, can see where the bloat is.

Candace Buckner of The Washington Post:

Gortat, via J. Michael of CSN Mid-Atlantic:

I’m the oldest guy on the team,” Gortat said during exit interviews. “I know how the business works. I’m the oldest guy on the team. They signed Ian also. He’s younger than me and he got a longer contract. I just know how the business works so I’m prepared for everything just in case. We’re going to talk. I’m going to talk to Ernie (Grunfeld). I’m going to talk to managment and we’re going to figure it out.”

Keeping Porter, who could command a max salary in restricted free agency, would push the Wizards near the luxury-tax line. Dumping the 33-year-old Gortat this summer to dodge the tax might have been the intended plan.

Gortat has two years and more than $26 million left on his contract, and he’s likely to decline. This could be the right time to sell.

But his replacement would be Mahinmi, who’s 30 and spent most of the year injured. He doesn’t look ready to assume a major role on a team knocking on the door of the conference finals.

Potential trade partners also understand Gortat’s aging curve. There also isn’t much demand for centers in a league where size has been deemphasized and most teams already have at least one starting-caliber center.

Gortat is still Washington’s best player at the position. Keeping him might not be ideal, but unless Mahinmi looks much more physically capable by next fall, it might be the Wizards’ best option, though they’d be forced to duck the tax with other moves.