WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — When Marcin Gortat inked a $60-million deal to remain in Washington the next five seasons, it’s clear, he did so by capitalizing off an inflated valuation of big men in the NBA, and a free agency market that was shrinking by the day.
Still, the Wizards were hamstrung.
Either keep the team’s chemistry in-tact, by bringing back an integral part of its first playoff berth in six seasons — which helped to wipe away years of waning support from Wizards fans — or risk losing Gortat, and having to explain the decision to one of the league’s brightest young tandems in John Wall and Bradley Beal.
Early in free agency and prior to re-signing, Gortat’s price was perhaps driven up by multiple reports of the Miami Heat’s possible interest in him.
It’s easier on the soul to imagine the likelihood of that now, in retrospect, having removed the potential of a new Big Three, revamped to include the Polish hammer alongside maybe LeBron James and Chris Bosh.
The sheer existence of such
reports rumors was likely enough to force the Wizards into action, and they did act, by giving Gortat a year more than they were probably comfortable giving.
But about those rumors, which in the hype of free agency, especially a class that includes the league’s best player, can have ramifications which result in things like more money and extra years, Gortat was asked about Miami’s interest in him by 106.7 The Fan’s Chad Dukes on Thursday.
“Was that something you ever considered?” Dukes asked. “Did your agent have any dealings with [Miami]? Did that have a chance of coming to fruition?”
Gortat’s response was simple enough, and in offering it, he may have taken an inadvertent shot at Lebron.
“You know what? I heard something, the day before the free agency, I heard something about that,” Gortat said. “But I personally never got a phone call from anybody. Obviously, it was just some kind of rumors, all probably rumors. And end of the day, I don’t know if I want to jump in on the wagon with Lebron James and everybody else. I want to build my own wagon here in Washington.”
“Ah, so you’re not one of those guys that’s gonna go join up with another bunch of superstars, you’re just gonna do your own thing?” Dukes asked.
“Yea, I want to do my superstar thing with Bradley and John,” Gortat said.
This post will be updated to include Gortat’s thoughts on potholes in D.C.