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After the 2017-18 season ended, Marcin Gortat asked the Washington Wizards to trade him, as his relationship with point guard John Wall continued to deteriorate — according to a report from Ben Standig of The Sports Capitol.
The Wizards traded Gortat to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for guard Austin Rivers. Gortat has one-year left on his contract and is slated to make $13.6 million in 2018-19.
Gortat and Wall met privately in February after Wall took offense to a tweet Gortat sent out. The meeting, which didn’t last long, facilitated the airing of grievances, but there was still more work to be done to fully repair that relationship.
In 82 games this past season, Gortat averaged 8.4 points and 7.6 rebounds, shooting 51.8 percent from the field. It was his lowest scoring output since he joined the Wizards in 2013.
The feud between Gortat and Wall never got heated to the point where the two needed to be seperated in the locker room, but was frustrating enough that the Wizards knew moving Gortat would ultimately make the team’s dynamic better.
At the end of the 2017-18 season, Wall and head coach Scott Brooks highlighted specific types of players they wanted to see added to the Wizards roster this summer. Most notably, the two men pointed to an athletic big.
Wall recruited Dwight Howard to Washington after Howard secured his buyout with the Brooklyn Nets. Howard signed a two-year, $11 million free agent deal with the Wizards.
Wall is excited to play with Howard and says he will benefit the team in a variety of ways.
“Even though he’s older, he’s still an athletic big and still has respect in this league,” Wall told Chris Miller of NBC Sports Washington. “I mean, averaging [16.6 ppg and 12.5 rpg], he’s a guy who can score in the low-post and block shots, a guy that gets a lot of rebounds and a guy that can catch lobs and do things that when teams switch against us or we’re attacking the paint, if they help for a second then we’re throwing lobs. I think that benefits us a lot.
“I think it’s an opportunity to see how it pans out, to have an athletic big and somebody who’s going to re-correct their career. I think it should be fun and exciting for us. Hopefully he comes in with a serious focus and mind-set (that) he wants to get better and help our team. We’re about to sit back and see what happens.”