The Washington Wizards failed to reach the Eastern Conference Finals after losing in Game 7 against the Boston Celtics on Monday night at TD Garden. In the upcoming offseason, veteran center Marcin Gortat plans to evaluate if the Wizards are still the “right fit.”
After struggling earlier this season, the Wizards bounced back and earned the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference. They managed to beat the Atlanta Hawks in the first round but lost to the East No. 1 seed Boston Celtics in the second round. Recently, the Wizards had exit interviews at the Verizon Center with both coach Scott Brooks and the media.
Marcin Gortat playing the most underappreciated position in the NBA
Marcin Gortat expressed his frustration with the Wizards’ inability to reach a higher level this season. In his four seasons in Washington, their only greatest achievement was reaching the Eastern Conference Semifinals. In the exit interview, Gortat talked about playing an “underappreciated” position with the emergence of “small ball.”
“Somebody has to take sacrifices on this team,” Gortat said. “We can’t have five guys scoring every game 20 points, it’s impossible. Nobody can do that. That’s why somebody has to be responsible for collecting rebounds and setting screens, and somebody else got to score. That’s how it is on this team, and I feel like this year it was me who was doing a lot of the sacrifices, and I got one of the most underappreciated positions in the NBA.”
At 33, Gortat remains productive, averaging 10.8 and 10.4 rebounds per game this season. However, there is no doubt that he’s already on the downside of his career. He still has two years left on a five-year, $60 million deal he signed with the Wizards in 2014.
Marcin Gortat evaluating if Wizards are still the “right fit”
Aside from Gortat, the Wizards have two other centers, Ian Mahinmi and Jason Smith. Mahinmi signed a four-year deal worth $64 million last summer but missed most of the regular season games due to injury. In the upcoming offseason, Gortat will try to figure out if the Wizards are still the “right fit” and opens to be traded for the sake of the team’s future.
“I’m just going to sit down in the summer and talk to my agent, talk to my people and I’m going to analyze if this is the right fit. Winning is the most important, at the end of the day. But right now, I had an average, maybe good, season. The team had a great season, we went to the second round, I think everybody would like to take that result around the NBA. I know how this business works. I’m the oldest guy on the team, they signed Ian, also, he’s younger than me, he got a longer contract. I just know how the business works, so I’m prepared for everything, just in case,” Gortat said.
Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr
Video courtesy: Youtube/Paul P