WASHINGTON (AP) — Adding a front-court piece in hopes of finally returning to the playoffs, the Washington Wizards acquired center Marcin Gortat from the Phoenix Suns in a multiplayer trade Friday.
Phoenix got injured center Emeka Okafor and a top-12-protected first-round draft pick in 2014 — giving the rebuilding Suns potentially four choices in the opening round.
The Suns also sent guards Kendall Marshall, Shannon Brown and Malcolm Lee to Washington so the deal will work financially. The Wizards are expected to waive all three.
The 6-foot-11, 240-pound Gortat averaged 11.1 points and 8.5 rebounds last season. He is entering his eighth NBA season, and has averaged 8.6 points and 6.9 rebounds while playing for Orlando, Toronto and Phoenix.
In a news release announcing the deal, Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld referred to Gortat as a "very consistent and productive inside presence" who "pushes us further toward our goal of becoming a playoff team."
Okafor, the 2004-05 NBA Rookie of the Year, has been sidelined indefinitely by a herniated disk in his neck. He arrived in Washington before last season in a trade from New Orleans.
With a young, dynamic pair of guards in John Wall and Bradley Beal, along with rookie small forward Otto Porter, the Wizards were in need of help from a big body as they try to reach the postseason for the first time since 2007-08.
Washington went 29-53 last season, missing out on the playoffs for the fifth consecutive year. Since their last trip to the postseason — in 2007-08, when Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler were still on the roster — the Wizards haven't even won 30 games in a season once. They had a low of 19 wins in 2008-09.
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