The Washington Wizards took a huge step last season in the Eastern Conference, winning 44 games and making it to the second round of the playoffs. They’re led by the young back court of John Wall and Bradley Beal, but the team’s two key free agents to retain are center Marcin Gortat and forward Trevor Ariza. This week Wizards team officials got started on the re-up for the Polish Hammer, who averaged 13.2 points and 9.5 rebounds on 54.2 percent shooting in 81 games last season.

In the playoffs, he kept up his play with averages of 13.0 points and 9.9 rebounds in 11 games. The Wizards are focused on retaining their big man, and have sent a contingent to Poland ahead of July 1st.

The group who departed yesterday include head coach Randy Wittman—who was recently signed to an extension—and senior vice president of basketball operations Tommy Sheppard. Gortat made $7.7 million last year, and could be due for a raise. He’s been pretty relaxed in Poland this offseason, posting a picture of himself recently at a shopping mall with a pet pig.


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