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Marcin Gortat trade between Wizards and Suns started in a hotel breakfast room

Marcin Gortat trade between Wizards and Suns started in a hotel breakfast room

This week's episode of 'Wizards Greatest Hits' featured general manager Tommy Sheppard and former Wizards big man Marcin Gortat as guests, as they told stories to NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller while watching Game 5 of the 2014 playoff series between the Wizards and Bulls.

Sheppard was in the front office at the time and Gortat was in his prime as a screen-setting, glass-cleaning center. But before that decisive game was made possible, the Wizards had to execute a trade to acquire Gortat the summer before.

Sheppard told the story to begin Thursday night's show and it happened to include some unique circumstances. This wasn't your run-of-the-mill GM calls another GM type of NBA trade.

"I was in Slovenia for the European Championships. That summer, Phoenix had a front office change. Phoenix was actually at the same site. I was there to watch the Czechs. We had Jan Vesely, we had Tomas Satoransky's draft rights. So, I was there spending time with those two players. Phoenix sent their front office and Jeff Hornacek and Ryan McDonough came out to see Marcin Gortat," Sheppard recalled.

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"In conversations with their front office, I kind of found out they wanted to reset their roster. What's nice about FIBA events is that teams usually all stay at the same hotel. I was in the food room and Marcin was sitting there. I got a chance to sit down and have some breakfast with him. After breakfast, I called back to D.C. and said 'I really think we should go for this kid, I think he's perfect for what we need.' It was very convenient their front office was there at the same place. So, at lunch I mentioned to their GM that we had great interest in Marcin Gortat. It worked out. They wanted to acquire picks, so we traded Emeka Okafor and a protected first-round pick to them."

So, basically a continental breakfast spread was the negotiating table for the Wizards to trade for Gortat. It was an unorthodox process, but it worked out well for the Wizards.

Sheppard had some high praise for Gortat's time in D.C.

"That pick ended up being Tyler Ennis and we ended up with one of the best centers in Wizards history. For us, that ended up as probably one of the greatest trades we ever did," he said.

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Report: Pacers' Victor Oladipo opts out of NBA restart in Orlando

Report: Pacers' Victor Oladipo opts out of NBA restart in Orlando

Victor Oladipo has opted out of playing in the NBA's restart in Orlando, marking the biggest star yet who was expected to play backing out.

The news, which was first reported by the Athletic, is a health precaution as he aims to get 100 percent healthy for next season. He had played only 13 games this season after missing a full year due to a torn quadriceps tendon.

Oladipo, 28, is a two-time All-Star. His absence leaves the Indiana Pacers, the fifth-seed in the Eastern Conference, without their best player.

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The Wizards happen to play the Pacers as part of their new eight-game schedule to close out the regular season. Now they won't see Oladipo, who they had yet to face this season. 

Given Oladipo's recent injury history, it is not all that surprising he would make this move. But it also could open the door for other players of his stature to decide similarly.

Oladipo is a star in the league, but not on a team expected to compete for the title. Will others in a similar boat decide not to go? Wizards guard Bradley Beal, for one, is still mulling his own decision on whether to play.

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Rui Hachimura 'sad' Olympics were delayed, hopes to still play in Tokyo next year

Rui Hachimura 'sad' Olympics were delayed, hopes to still play in Tokyo next year

Though he understands the reasons why, Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura can't help but be disappointed in the postponement of the 2020 Olympics, which were set to take place in Tokyo, Japan later this month.

Hachimura figured to play a prominent role for the host country, as one of Japan's most famous athletes and the best player on their basketball team. The plan is to play the games in 2021, still in Tokyo, and Hachimura hopes that remains the case despite continued uncertainty for all sporting events amid the coronavirus outbreak.

"I'm honestly so sad about it. We can't do anything about it," he said on Friday. "Of course, I would like to play in the Olympics. Next year, we'll see how things go."

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Hachimura had participated in some lead-up press events for the 2020 Olympics representing his country in the months before coronavirus hit. But, really, he had been looking forward to the 2020 Olympics for many years.

Hachimura has already made history as the first Japanese-born player to get selected in the first round of the NBA Draft. The Olympics this year were supposed to be another major step forward for the sport of basketball in Japan.

"Japan Olympics was one of my dreams to do. It was big to me. Ever since I started in basketball, they talked about the Olympics in 2020. Then, this happened," he said.

Hachimura should be able to still participate next year as long as the schedule works out. As of now, the NBA is aiming to begin the 2020-21 season in December. That would put them on track to end in time for Hachimura and other players to play in Tokyo.

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