Trans. Feb 10 10:14 ET (Feb 10 10:14 ET ) Flash back to March 25, the night that John Wall solidified himself as a max player. He put up a career-high 47 points against the Memphis Grizzlies, a defensive-minded bunch who would make a run to the Western Conference finals for the first time in franchise history. The Wizards won 107-94, but it came at Verizon Center. He played with four starters -- Garrett Temple, Chris Singleton, Trevor Booker and Emeka Okafor -- who are no longer starters.
The Scoop:Okafor may not see the court this season, but his contract could play a large part in the Suns acquiring Pau Gasol. In the rumored swap, the Lakers would take on Okafor's expiring $14.5 million contract in exchange for Gasol as they attempt to gain some salary relief. Fantasy owners don't need to concern themselves with what happens to Okafor, but he could still play a part in what might be the biggest trade before the deadline.
COMMENTARY | A potential deal that would send Pau Gasol to the Phoenix Suns is in the works. If the deal can indeed be made, it would be a match made in heaven for the Suns on a number of different levels. Marc Stein of ESPN.com first reported the potential deal, which is based around the Suns sending Emeka Okafor's expiring contract to the Los Angeles Lakers for Gasol. Although Gasol makes more, the Suns have the room to pick up the extra salary this season.
COMMENTARY | If you know anything about general manager Ryan McDonough, you know he's got his line wide open to listen for any trade possibilities in order to improve the Phoenix Suns. While they've already got a glut of draft picks, they also have some valuable expiring contracts to work with. Let's take a look at some trades the Suns could consider: Suns acquire Kevin Love, Corey Brewer and Alexey Shved from Minnesota Timberwolves for Goran Dragic, Emeka Okafor and three first-round draft picks
Just how good is Kendall Marshall, and did the Wizards make a mistake in not finding a way to retain the point guard when they orchestrated a trade with the Phoenix Suns for Marcin Gortat? Marshall, who was released along with Shannon Brown and Malcolm Lee, signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday.The Lakers are in dire need of help with injuries to guards Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Jordan Farmar and Steve Blake. The Wizards wanted another center because Emeka Okafor had a disk injury in his neck and was out indefinitely.
Marcin Gortat is rightfully looked upon as a season-saver for the 2013-14 Washington Wizards. With Emeka Okafor going down for an indefinite amount of time during training camp with a herniated disc, the Wizards badly needed someone to plug the middle for a team that was hoping to go all in for a playoff berth. For the price of a first round pick, the team was able to send Okafor’s expiring contract to a rebuilding Phoenix Suns squad for Gortat’s services.
Yes, the “rebuilding” Suns currently have a better record than Washington – BUT THAT IS NOT THE POINT. The point is that Gortat has been playing terrific basketball for the Wizards after a bit of a let-down 2012-13 campaign. The big man is averaging 13.3 points and 9.2 rebounds, alongside 1.6 blocks in 34 minutes a contest. This is only the beginning, too, as Gortat and point guard John Wall develop their pick and dive game after missing out on a full training camp and exhibition season together.
Actually, the real point is that Gortat and his father Janusz have kind of a weird chemistry of their own. The elder Gortat was a bronze medalist light-heavyweight boxer for Poland during the 1972 and 1976 Olympics, which is part of the reason why Marcin has a bit of a pugnacious spirit. The Washington Post’s Mike Wise documented their back and forth recently :
Our friends over at Bullets Forever posed this question on Thursday: What should the Wizards do with Trevor Ariza? The premise is simply whether the Wizards should take advantage of the small forward's rising value following his strong start by dealing him and his expiring contract. BF provided the details, including that Ariza is draining 3-pointers (a staggering 57 percent from the corners), that the Wizards defense is statistically better when the lengthy forward is on the court, but that he also plays the same position as Otto Porter and essentially Martell Webster. The simple answer is no. For now and likely for good, that window has closed, though I admit to thinking Ariza could have been dealt during the offseason, preseason or when Emeka Okafor went down. If the Wizards were out of the playoff mix or fighting just for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, then we could talk.
WAKING UP with the Wizards, who shoot around Friday morning before playing the Brooklyn Nets at Verizon Center (CSN, 7 p.m. ET). Suggesting he should be cut or have been the one traded instead of Emeka Okafor are beyond silly, as if the Wizards would be better off with such a glaring vacancy in an 82-game season and that there's a plethora of quality big men available around the league. But the Wizards are pot-committed at this point. And now that they have another scoring option in the low post with Marcin Gortat, the Brazilian doesn't have to do all the heavy lifting on the offensive end.
The Scoop:It's unclear when he'll be able to make his Phoenix debut.
Oct 30 1:16 ET
News (various sources)
David Lee, Warriors defeat Hawks, 111-97 (Automated Insights) (7 Hours Ago | courtesy: Automated Insights) The Golden State Warriors shot lights out from the field in this one, going 43-80 (53.8%), in a 111-97 win over the Atlanta Hawks. Golden State (39-24) has now won three consecutive games. More...