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Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld sees Marcin Gortat as a 'big part' of team's future

Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld sees Marcin Gortat as a 'big part' of team's future

One day after the Wizards were eliminated in the NBA Playoffs in Game 7 against the Boston Celtics, Wizards center Marcin Gortat openly questioned his future with the organization while meeting with reporters in his final media availability of the season. He noted the signing of center Ian Mahinmi the summer before and how both his role and the league had changed. Gortat said he and his agent would speak with the team to determine his next step.

On Wednesday, Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld confirmed that a conversation has already taken place. While addressing the media on the team's final predraft workout day, he sounded committed to keeping Gortat around.

"I've talked to March. March is with us. March, we've had him for four years. He's averaged a double-double for four years. He's been in the second round for three out of those four years and is a big part of what we're doing. Everybody has frustration after a tough loss and a tough series. March is with us and he's going to be a big part of what we're doing," Grunfeld said.

[RELATED: Shooting guards to watch for the Wizards in the NBA Draft]

Gortat, 33, has two years left on his contract worth $26 million. He is due $12.8 million in 2017-18. He played in all 82 games this past season and averaged 10.8 points and 10.4 rebounds.

Mahinmi was signed to a four-year, $64 million contract last offseason and spent most of the 2016-17 campaign dealing with injuries. But when healthy, he rarely played with Gortat given their similar styles. Once Mahinmi returned from injury in February, Gortat's minutes were pared down.

Given the two will make close to $30 million combined next season and aren't good fits to play on the floor together, it would not be surprising if the Wizards made a move with one or the other.

[RELATED: Wizards Tipoff podcast: Wiz are thinking big with Paul George]

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Wizards set introductory press conference for Dwight Howard

Wizards set introductory press conference for Dwight Howard

Wizards team president Ernie Grunfeld has stayed relatively busy this summer crafting his new-look lineup for the 2018-19 season. 

One of the team's key additions, Dwight Howard, is set to be introduced as a member of the Wizards on Monday. 

NBC Sports Washington will air the introductory press conference live at 1 p.m. while also streaming it online.  

Ernie Grunfeld and head coach Scott Brooks are both expected to be in attendance. 

The 32-year-old big man is coming off a 2017-18 season with the Charlotte Hornets in which he averaged 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. 

Since leaving the Orlando Magic after eight seasons in 2011, Howard has played for four different teams in the last six years. 

Howard is an eight-time all-star and a three-time defensive player of the year. 



John Wall's take on Dwight Howard 

Wizards make Dwight Howard free agent signing official 

By the numbers: Is new Wizards center Dwight Howard still in his NBA prime? 

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Carmelo Anthony traded to Hawks in three-team deal, but not likely to stay

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Carmelo Anthony traded to Hawks in three-team deal, but not likely to stay

The stage has been set for Carmelo Anthony to hit free agency, as the 10-time All-Star was traded to the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday in a three-team deal, one that will lead to a subsequent buyout of his contract. ESPN first reported the news and noted that the Rockets are the favorites to sign him.

The full deal sends Dennis Schroder from the Hawks to the Thunder in exchange for Anthony and a protected first-round pick, and sends Mike Muscala from Atlanta to Philly. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot will go to the Thunder from Philly and Justin Anderson will go from the Sixers to the Hawks.

That's a complicated deal, but it ultimately frees Anthony up to choose a new team. He was set to make $27.9 million from the Thunder next season, but the Hawks are footing the bill to let him walk.

Anthony's skills have declined now that he's 34 years old. Last season, he averaged 16.2 points on 40.4 percent shooting, way down from the 22.4 points he averaged the season before with the Knicks.

Still, Anthony could help a team looking for a scoring punch and the Rockets would like some more help in their quest to take down the Warriors. If he signs there, he will join friend Chris Paul and the 2017-18 MVP, James Harden. 

Houston has been the logical landing spot for Anthony ever since news broke that the Thunder were looking for a way out of his contract. If he doesn't go there, perhaps the Lakers would make sense. LeBron James is going to need a lot more help than the roster he currently has around him to make some noise in the crowded Western Conference.