Wizards

Quick Links

NBA free agency: Day 1 recap and names still on the market

usatsi_8472932_141983962_lowres.jpg

NBA free agency: Day 1 recap and names still on the market

Say what you want about NBA free agency, but just don't call it boring.

Day 1 proved to be a wild ride from the start and ended with $1.3 billion in contracts doled out headlined by monster extensions for Anthony Davis and Kevin Love. Yes, that includes the relatively low cost, though longer than expected deal now ex-Wizards forward Paul Pierce signed with the Los Angeles Clippers. The volume of deals likely won't be matched, but there are plenty of massive contracts still waiting for completion. Probably some crazy trades as well, though it will be hard topping the Sacramento Kings' bizarre maneuver for cap space.

What stood out:

  • The two teams that faced the Wizards in the playoffs were active on Day 1 and impacted with one signing. The Raptors added a 3-and-d force by signing Hawks free agent DeMarre Carroll. Meanwhile, Atlanta kept all-star Paul Millsap in the fold with a three-year, $58 million contract and bulked up by acquiring center Tiago Splitter from the San Antonio Spurs. Factor in Toronto previously dealing away Greivis Vasquez while adding guards Luke Ridnour and Delon Wright, and the Raptors are switching up their look. Intentional or not, so are the defending Eastern Conference champion Hawks. 
  • Forget the Sacramento side of the trade with Philadelphia or why the Kings believe the smart move was trading away 2014 first rounder Nik Stauskas plus a future No. 1 while giving the 76ers rights to swap picks in two upcoming drafts for the sake of clearing cap space. Just note that Philadelphia's continuing plan of wait and see paid off in this case. The 76ers gave up nothing of interest, but certainly improved the present and future just by adding Stauskas, a sharpshooting lottery pick. Now let's see what they do with newly added vets Carl Landry and Jason Thompson. As for the Kings, let's hope they add reported targets Rajon Rondo and Monta Ellis. Combined with DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay, rookie Willie Cauley-Stein and coach George Karl, we're talking reality show scene and not the good kind.

Who's next:

LeBron James - Just a matter of time before he re-signs with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who kept Love, Tristan Thompson and Iman Shumpert with new deals Wednesday. 

LaMarcus Aldridge - It appears three teams remain in play for the Trail Blazers scoring forward with the San Antonio Spurs the perceived frontrunner. The Phoenix Suns moved into contention in part because they added defensive center Tyson Chandler in free agency. Portland's chances might not be the best, but a chance remains that Aldridge stays put for another run with Damian Lillard.

DeAndre Jordan - Does the Pierce signing indicate Los Angeles is keeping their shot blocker? Jordan spent lots of time with the Dallas Mavericks on Day 1. If he indeed wants to play a larger role, the Mavs have plenty of room 

Of the 10 names on this list of potential fits for the Wizards, seven remain available.

MORE WIZARDS: Which Wizards free agent is most likely to re-sign?

Quick Links

2017-18 Wizards roster review: Marcin Gortat

2017-18 Wizards roster review: Marcin Gortat

To wrap up the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we evaluate Marcin Gortat's season...

Player: Marcin Gortat

Position: Center

Age: 34

2017-18 salary: $12.8 million

2017-18 stats: 82 G, 25.3 mpg, 8.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 1.8 apg, 0.5 spg, 0.7 bpg, 51.8 FG%, 67.5 FT%, 51.8 eFG%, 112 ORtg, 107 DRtg

Best game: 10/18 vs. Sixers - 16 points, 17 rebounds, 3 blocks, assist, 7-for-12 FG

Season review: Marcin Gortat is self-aware enough to know that what happened to him in 2017-18 was inevitable in many ways. He even publicly called it before the season.

He was one year older, with Ian Mahinmi healthy and in the rotation, and with the NBA continuing to move towards small-ball and big men who can play on the perimeter. As a result, Gortat saw his role in the Wizards rotation pared down noticeably.

Though he still started all 82 games, his minutes went down from 31.2 per game the year before the 25.3. Kelly Oubre, Jr., who played the majority of the season coming off the bench, logged more minutes than Gortat, though he was a starter.

Gortat's minutes were his fewest since the 2009-10 season, when he was a 25-year-old bench player for the Orlando Magic. His numbers this season followed suit. Gortat's points and rebounds per game were both the lowest since that 2009-10 campaign.

Gortat averaged a career-best 10.4 rebounds per game in 2016-17, but the minutes had a direct effect on his volume of boards. He pulled in 2.4 less per game this season despite his rebound percentage (17.0) being close to his career average (17.5). That career average, by the way, is 30th-best all-time an eighth among active players.

Not getting the same opportunities he had in years past, plus public misunderstandings with teammates, combined to make for a frustrating year for Gortat. He said on the Wizards Tipoff podcast midseason it was the worst year of his career. Gortat, though, did continue to make an impact setting screens for the Wizards and he rallied to finish relatively strong.

He had several solid outings in the playoffs, including his 16 points in Game 3 and his 12 rebounds in Game 5. The question is whether that is the last time we will see Gortat in a Wizards uniform.

Washington has played with the idea of trading Gortat for a while now. He popped up in rumors around the trade deadline in February, but remained on the roster. Now he has an expiring contract working in his favor, making it a bit more likely he gets dealt.

Gortat knows his future in Washington is uncertain, though he said following the season he would like to stay. It would not be surprising to him or anyone if he were traded this summer. If not, he's got one year left with the Wizards and could very well have his role decreased even more.

Potential to improve: Rim protection, midrange shooting, free throw percentage

More player season reviews:

John Wall, PG

Bradley Beal, SG

Otto Porter, SF

Kelly Oubre, Jr., SF

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Quick Links

2017-18 Wizards roster review: Kelly Oubre, Jr.

2017-18 Wizards roster review: Kelly Oubre, Jr.

To wrap up the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we evaluate Kelly Oubre, Jr.'s season...

Player: Kelly Oubre, Jr.

Position: Small forward

Age: 22

2017-18 salary: $2.1 million

2017-18 stats: 81 G, 27.5 mpg, 11.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.0 spg, 0.4 bpg, 40.3 FG%, 34.1 3P%, 82.0 FT%, 48.2 eFG%, 106 ORtg, 109 DRtg

Best game: 3/21 at Spurs - 21 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, 2 steals, 9-for-17 FG, 3-for-6 3PT

Season review: The first half of Kelly Oubre, Jr.'s 2017-18 season went very differently than the second half. Through 46 games to begin the year, Oubre shot 44.9 percent from the field and 40.5 percent from the perimeter. Oubre then shot just 34.9 percent from the field and 27.4 percent from three in his last 35 games to close the regular season. That included a stretch from March 25 through April 5 in which he shot 2-for-35 from long range and 23-for-77 (29.9%) overall in seven games.

As his head coach described, Oubre had a tale of two seasons. By mid-January it appeared to be a breakout year, as he was scoring consistently and shooting at a high percentage. He was even limiting his mistakes on defense. Then, his shot went away and Oubre could never quite regain it.

All in all, Oubre's season represented a step forward. He proved he could be a top-six player in a playoff rotation and had extended stretches of success he can draw confidence from in the future.

Now Oubre enters his biggest offseason yet as a basketball player. He has just one year left on his rookie scale contract and will be in line for a considerable raise if he keeps developing. If Oubre takes even a slight step forward, he will make big money in his next contract. If he takes a major leap forward, like Otto Porter did when he was in the same position in 2016-17, he could earn way more money than the Wizards can afford as currently constructed.

That dynamic gives the Wizards a decision to make this summer on Oubre's future. He has significant trade value at this point, given his upside and his contract. He is due to make just $3.2 million next season and will be a restricted free agent in the summer of 2019. If they don't see a long-term future for him in Washington, trading him this offseason should not be ruled out.

It figures to be a busy summer for the Wizards and when it comes to Oubre there are a lot of factors in play. If they want financial flexibility, another option would be to deal Porter or another frontcourt starter and roll with Oubre as a less expensive option. Though his season was inconsistent, Oubre has shown enough to warrant consideration as a starter.

Regardless of what the Wizards decide, Oubre himself is in good shape. If he keeps getting better, he will earn a nice deal whether it's in Washington or somewhere else. He just needs to find consistency on both ends of the floor. 

He can do that on offense by tightening up his ball-handling and improving his ability to get to the rim. That would allow him to circumnavigate the type of shooting struggles that held him back late in the year.

Defensively, he has all the natural ability needed to be an elite player. He just needs to limit the gambles he takes that turn into blown assignments or unnecessary fouls.

Potential to improve: Consistency, efficiency, ball-handling

MORE PLAYER SEASON REVIEWS:

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!