Marcin Gortat key in trade between Suns, Wizards

Posted by on October 25th, 2:40 pm

The Suns have agreed to send Marcin Gortat, Kendall Marshall, Malcolm Lee and Shannon Brown to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Emeka Okafor and a protected 2014 first-round pick in the trade first reported by ESPN’s Marc Stein and the Arizona Republic’s Paul Coro.

ESPN’s Jeff Goodman added the specifics of the draft pick, which is protected through the first 12 picks. If the pick is retained by Washington in 2014, then it is top-10 protected from 2015-19 and has no more protections thereafter, according to David Aldridge.

(Update: 4 p.m.): The trade is now official.

“Marcin, Shannon and Kendall have been valuable members of the Suns family the past few years,” said Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby in a release. “We have enjoyed working with each of them and appreciate their hard work and professionalism. We wish all of them well.”

Okafor’s $14.5 million contract that expires after this season is added to the Suns books, but the veteran big man is out indefinitely with a neck injury.

Washington will not keep Brown, Lee or Marshall, according to Aldridge.

Of course, the biggest piece of the proposed deal is Gortat, who admitted at media day his days as a Phoenix Sun were likely numbered.

“We all know what I am right now,” Gortat said, “and we all know what’s going to happen, probably. It’s business. I totally understand that, I totally understand the situation. I totally understand the management, the front office people. There’s no hard feelings. At the end of the day I’m a pro, I’m going to try to do everything necessary to win a basketball game.”

The trade does a number of things.

Firstly, the exchange of four players to one brings Phoenix’s roster down to 14, meaning another move could be in the books if Phoenix so chooses. It opens up opportunities for the Suns’ young players in Alex Len, Miles Plumlee and Slava Kravtsov, and gives the outgoing veterans in Brown and Gortat a chance to legitimately fight for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. It also gives Marshall a fresh start with the Wizards — he likely sits behind Eric Maynor as John Wall’s backup point guard.

On Friday, Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said Marshall was battling for his job, but that competition with Ish Smith is all but over. The point guard riddle is now clear.

The Suns won’t tie themselves up financially in the deal with Okafor’s contract — another plot line could be Okafor potentially taking a leadership role in the locker room as he recovers. It’s quite possible he doesn’t see the court for the Suns considering he’s dealing with a herniated disc that had some people speculating he might need to call it a career.

Most importantly, Phoenix general manager Ryan McDonough has positioned his team to have up to four first-round picks in next year’s exceptional draft.

“We are excited to add another first-round pick in what is shaping up to be the best draft in a decade,” McDonough said in a team release. “We now have a chance to make four first-round selections in 2014. Emeka Okafor is a solid veteran center who will help solidify our front line when and if he is able to return from injury.”

It’s another win for the new front office, and just before the season begins, the lingering questions have seemingly been answered.

Kevin Zimmerman is the lead blogger and editor for Valley of the Suns. He is also editor of, an Arizona Wildcats\’ blog, and a contributor at SB Nation and

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Tags: Emeka Okafor · Kendall Marshall · Marcin Gortat · Phoenix Suns · Phoenix Suns News · Ryan McDonough · Shannon Brown

58 responses so far ↓

  • 1 DBreezy // Oct 25, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Props to McD and his staff for successfully exploiting weaknesses and desires of the Pacers, Clips and Wiz this offseason. Incredible.

  • 2 Richie // Oct 25, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    You would think we could’ve gotten more for Gortat. Okafor isn’t apart of our future but glad we got that 1st rounder. Its number 12 ? I’m telling ya , Aaron Gordon.

  • 3 DBreezy // Oct 25, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    It’s top 12 protected next season and the Wizards are in the mix for the lower playoff seeds out East. Gortat joins Nene on the frontline and gets to play S/R with his best pg since Nash allowing Nene to stay on the box.

    It’s an excellent deal, grabbing another pick on a team starved for young talent( I’d officially start worrying about those options Morii), took no additional salary back beyond this season, and you get the bonus of seeing if Okafor can fetch anything interesting as an expiring deal if he gets healthy. I don’t expect him to get healthy until close to the deadline..

  • 4 Scott // Oct 25, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Good luck and well wishes to all the departing players!

    I hope Marshall in particular is able to make some sort of gain from moving to a new venue.

    This is a nice roster-clearing move that removes guys who likely would not be playing.

    As for the draft pick … I’m guessing the Suns won’t be able to use it in 2014 … but maybe, just maybe they will! :)

  • 5 Daniel // Oct 25, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    I’m confused how the pick they’re getting works. On NBC Sports they write: “That pick is the Wizards valuable 2014 No. 1, but it is protected through No. 12, Stein reports. ”

    So the pick could fall anywhere between 1 and 12?

  • 6 DBreezy // Oct 25, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    David Aldridge says everyone except Gortat is getting waived.


    The pick can only fall between 13 and 30 for the Suns to get it.

  • 7 Kevin Zimmerman // Oct 25, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Daniel, if the Wizards are terrible and get a top-12 pick, it won’t be coming to the Suns.

  • 8 Daniel // Oct 25, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Thanks guys. So lets say the Wizards are terrible and earn themselves a top 12 pick. What do the Suns get in return in that scenario? Nothing?

  • 9 Scott // Oct 25, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Yup, apparently the Wiz did the Suns the favor of buying out Marshall, Lee, and Brown.

    And I’ve heard that the pick from the Wiz does not roll over. So unless the Wiz can’t keep themselves from winning, it sounds like the Suns probably won’t get that pick.

  • 10 Dominik // Oct 25, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Gortat just said goodbye through FB. So I guess the deal is done.

  • 11 Scott // Oct 25, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    @Daniel -

    When they say it is the “2014 #1,” what they mean is it is the first round pick that would normally go to the Wiz.

    Now if at the end of the season the Wiz have lost a lot of games and get a pick in the 1-12 range, they keep the pick. If, however, they’ve won a fair number of games, they’ll get assigned a draft number that’s 13 or higher, and in that case, the Suns get the pick.

    If the Wiz can keep their team from injury, it is possible they could do well enough for the Suns to get a pick.

  • 12 Daniel // Oct 25, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    I see so this was really more about getting contracts off the books for the Suns. Well, here ‘s hoping the Wizards have a fantastic season :D

  • 13 hawki // Oct 25, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    The 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers worst ever NBA record of 9-73 is now in serious jeopardy.

    EBJM…sprint to the nearest Sportsbook & put anything you can afford on the Suns going under the 21 1/2 O/U total.

  • 14 Voqar // Oct 25, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Another nice move. We get rid of the mouthy legend in his own mind gortat, inconsistent and generally underperforming brown, and the not nba worthy marshall (and someone else can cut him so our FO doesn’t have to look so bad for picking him). And we get more salary cap space for building in the near future. All around win.

    Ryan McDonough for exec of the year, IMO. I have no idea who qualifies for that or how it goes, but his moves have been incredible compared to our FO’s recent history.

  • 15 Scott // Oct 25, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    @hawki -

    Before you place your bets, find out more about Okafor’s injury.

    I think I read something like he hurt his neck while stretching out? lol

    EJ should have fun with the story, if that’s the case. ;)

  • 16 Scott // Oct 25, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    @Voqar -

    I know Coach of the Year has a curse on it, so I wouldn’t wish GM of the Year on McD if it bears a similar curse.

  • 17 DBreezy // Oct 25, 2013 at 3:47 pm


    The pick is top 12 protected in 2014. Then top 10 protected from 2015-2019 before it goes away. This is according again to David Aldridge.

  • 18 hawki // Oct 25, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    @ Scott.
    I’d make that bet, but I don’t even have enough money to get to the airport.

    Let’s see now…Best Case Scenario:
    Suns own pick….definite top 3
    Wizards pick….projected 13 to 20
    TWolves pick….projected 13 to 20
    Lakers pick guaranteed….hopefully top 20

    Correct me if I’m wrong.

  • 19 Scott // Oct 25, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Well, one of the bigwigs on BSotS is saying that McD got hoodwinked and the pick is conditional and expires after this season. (This was said in correction of someone who was claiming what you just quoted.)

    I wonder what the real deal is?

  • 20 DBreezy // Oct 25, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    I tend to believe Aldridge Scott, not only because of his history but I believe he actually works for these days. If so he’s probably got the best info on the trade paperwork.

  • 21 Kevin Zimmerman // Oct 25, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Coro has the same details of the pick as Aldridge. Now, you all have to be rooting for the Wizards to make the playoffs.

  • 22 hawki // Oct 25, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    @ DBreezy
    That makes much more sense….didn’t think McD would risk that draft pick on just one season.
    David Aldridge is one of the most respected guys out there.

    Suns Dream Draft
    Andrew Wiggins SF Kansas
    Adrien Payne PF Mich. St.
    Jahii Carson PG ASU
    James Young SG Kentucky
    James Young SG Kentucky

  • 23 Ty-Sun // Oct 25, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    Every time I played around with ESPN’s trade machine it looked like a trade with Washington seemed like a good idea but I wasn’t sure if the Wiz would toss in a 1st round pick with Okafor. Without that, the trade wouldn’t have been worth the effort to do the paperwork for the Suns.

    I really like this trade. The Suns ge another 1st round pick AND clear some dead wood off the bench (and I’m not including Gortat in that “dead wood” description).

  • 24 Scott // Oct 25, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Okay, I guess it was just BSotS having some fun with being sarcastic and silly.

  • 25 EBJM // Oct 25, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Damn Hawki! I’m in Houston right now! I had no idea McD was this slick and it didn’t leak out. But I love it! Forget about my homerism! Go Wolves and Wizards! Suns are in full tank mode for the 1st time since the great drug scandal! YEAH!

  • 26 Scott // Oct 25, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    @EBJM -

    You must be referring to the trade of Gortat, because you can’t be thinking getting rid of Brown and Marshall leads to tanking.

  • 27 Ty-Sun // Oct 25, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Plumlee is probably freaking out right now because it’s very likely that he will be the Suns’ starting center on opening night. Len obviously isn’t ready, Frye still needs to improve his conditioning and Kravtsov had very few mins in the preseason games.

    Of course the Suns could start Frye at the 5 and split the minutes fairly equally between him, Plumlee, Len and Kravtsov but I’m thinking that Plumlee probably gets the nod to start.

  • 28 Foreveris2long // Oct 25, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    I work for a couple of hours without reading the board and McD strikes again. I actually think this trade makes the Wizards a playoff team this season but if not, certainly next year. My money says they make the playoffs this season. However just in case I hope DA is right that the contingencies on the protected 1st round pick last until 2019.

    Hawki, I do not think the Suns get the Lakers pick in 2014 (we get it in 2015) however we get the 1st round pick of the Pacers in 2014. That is crazy funny stuff about EBJM getting to the sports bookie. McD saw the pre-season and re-thought the plan in that this team was looking better than he thought. Therefore he thinks we need to trade Gortat now before the Suns build any sort of momentum in their own minds. Take that 76ers. Top 3 for sure.

  • 29 Ty-Sun // Oct 25, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    And I have to give Gortat his due. I think the Wiz made a good deal for themselves since they are trying to get back in the playoff race in the East. Gortat will help them get there… and give the Suns a 4th 1st round draft pick in the process.

    Best wishes in Washington Marcin!

  • 30 Noitall // Oct 25, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Let’s be real, this was a non-move. I give McD a solid “D” for being very creative to accomplish absolutely nothing, but giving us all hope that a big payday will come. It more than likely won’t. It will get us about zero. Wizards aren’t making the playoffs and will not be in the top 18 in the league. Not happening. This team only won 4 more games than the Suns. And I don’t see them improving enough next year to warrant getting them out of the bottom 10 in the league. One could hope, but not likely.

    Sota looks fairly awful. They shouldn’t be, but proof is in the pudding. It is possible that Sota’s pick disappears as well.

    So all likelihood, we basically spent $500K to rid ourselves of roster spots rather than waiving them and eating their salary. Not sure what that got us???

    2014 draft will be our pick [top5] and Indy’s [23-30]. And yippie, we have lots of cap space to sign that superstar that isn’t coming here for anything. Good luck with that.

    So here is the deal, this season is about rooting for Washington and Minnesota. We are praying they play average basketball and end up 17th [WAS] and 16th [MIN] in the league standings.

  • 31 hawki // Oct 25, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    @ Forever
    Yes Pacers pick in 2014…my bad
    Suns have so many picks now can’t keep track of them

    @ Ty-Sun
    Initial reports are that Plumlee fainted when informed of the trade…
    He was revived by waving a pair of JJ Redick’s old sneakers under his nose.

  • 32 HunterSThompson // Oct 25, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    I have the same type of excitement for this Suns team moving forward as I did in the 02-03 preseason when Joe Johnson and Amar’e were on board and you could just see the potential for some interesting times ahead.

    Last season was total purgatory. I could barely bring myself to even watch a game, let alone track down a blog conversation to get into it. I’ve enjoyed the writing on this site for a while now and it is great to see many of the old AZCentral comments gang (pre-Facebook data-mining) congregating here just as things start to look up in a meaningful way.

    Ahhh yes! Interesting times ahead! Cheers to all!

  • 33 JD // Oct 25, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Coro tweetedthe pick is top-12 protected in ’14 and top-10 protected thereafter. So the will convey eventually not expire it seems.

  • 34 Ty-Sun // Oct 25, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    Noitall, the Wiz finished the season strong when Wall came back from injury. He only played in 49 games last season but had a 20.91 PER. If he stays healthy this season, the Wiz will at least make the 8th seed in the playoffs.

  • 35 Luka // Oct 25, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    At the bare minimum I’m glad that: Gortat, Marshall, and Brown are gone. All of them have worn out their welcome. If nothing else this locks is into a top pick now.

    As far as the pick goes, I tend to agree with noitall. The Wizards aren’t a very good team even with Wall healthy. They obviously did the trade out of desperation to give them some sort of offensive threat at the the rim. Gortat may bag them a few more wins but they’ll miss the playoffs I think.

  • 36 Scott // Oct 25, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    @Noitall -

    I don’t know what you were hoping for. Gortat was due to leave by the end of the season with no compensation to the Suns, so they had to find a deal for him.

    The Suns used this trade to concentrate some of their expiring deals into a single expiring deal … and they gained a 2014 first round draft pick in the process.

    Essentially, that’s it. Instead of waiting for Gortat, Marshall, and Brown to expire (and paying off Lee early), the Suns wait for Okafor’s contract to expire (this summer) and collect a draft pick that could be in the late lottery.

    That’s not horrible for a rebuilding team. In fact, it’s pretty good, especially when you consider that the Wiz only wanted Gortat, and have already waived Brown, Marshall, and Lee.

  • 37 DBreezy // Oct 25, 2013 at 5:23 pm


    They did the trade because it allows them to keep their strong defense from last season. They didn’t rely on shot blocking, mostly position D which is fine for Marcin although Okafor is a better individual defender. Offensively it allows Marcin to go back to his S/R which should make him more efficient and give Nene more room to operate down low. Nene is the main offense inside. They get a healthy Wall and Beal, along with Porter and still have decent depth with Webster, Ariza, Maynor, and on some nights Serraphin. They keep playing that D and it should be enough out East. When you look at the teams vying for the East’s lower seeds, Washington plays the best D which should give them an edge.

  • 38 Scott // Oct 25, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    @Luka -

    The draft pick does roll over into future years, and loses protections as it does so. So while it isn’t a top 10 pick, it’s still another pick that could potentially deliver a future starter or star.

    My apologies if I mislead anyone with information to the contrary about the roll over on the WAS pick.

    So currently the Suns have in 2014 their own first round pick, plus conditional first round picks from WAS, MIN, and IND, where the Indiana pick is the most likely to convey. The WAS and MIN picks are probably about 50/50.

    In the 2015 draft, the Suns have their own first round pick plus whatever rolls over from this year, plus a conditional first round pick from the Lakers.

    So long as McD continues to draft well, these new players will be impact players, not guys like Markieff and Marshall.

  • 39 Ty-Sun // Oct 25, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    In the East, Miami, Brooklyn, Indiana, Chicago and NY (maybe) will likely get the top 5 playoff spots. After that, the last three are up for grabs. Washington has as good a shot at one of those three spots as anyone if they stay healthy.

  • 40 DBreezy // Oct 25, 2013 at 5:40 pm


    Good to see another familiar poster back in the mix.

  • 41 john // Oct 25, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    I think the suns are fairly likely to turn Okafor into another asset. This is a fantastic deal for Phoenix. They got rid of some problems and turned Gortat into a first rounder. Win win. And if they get something else out of Okafor? Win win win. McD is a gunner, and I love it.

  • 42 Suns ship Marcin Gortat to Wizards – ESPN - Sexxy Sports Network // Oct 25, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    […] Phoenix Suns trade Marcin Gortat, Kendall Marshall Shannon Brown …Arizona SportsMarcin Gortat key in trade between Suns, WizardsValley of the SunsReport: Suns to trade Marcin Gortat to Wizards for Emeka […]

  • 43 Wizards land Marcin Gortat in trade with Suns – USA TODAY - Sexxy Sports Network // Oct 25, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    […] To WizardsRotowireReports: Wizards acquire Gortat from PhoenixKAREFully Clips -Arizona Sports -Valley of the Sunsall 19 news […]

  • 44 Azbballfan // Oct 25, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    Well looks like i correctly predicted that McMiracle had a Gortat and Marshall trade being cooked up

    i dont remember if i said it was going to be for Okafor, but im going to pretend i did

    trading players we dont really need and a pick that we will probably get for a veteran on an expiring deal is a great move

    yeah could he have gotten more for Gortat? sure

    but oh well

    McMiracle saw an opportunity and took it

    by the way, Marshall will be waived by the Wizards

    which just proves how disastrous of a pick he was by lance blanks

    going from number 13 pick to technically not even being in the league now

    i hope someone picks him up and gives him a chance maybe he can turn around his game and his attitude if that is the problem

  • 45 Russell's Suns // Oct 25, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    Here are the Picks for 2014:

    Suns own: top 3 pick
    Wizards pick: pick 14-16: they went over .500 when Wall came back from injury they will get either the 7th or 8th seed in the East now that they have Gortat.
    T’wolves pick: pick 14-17
    Pacers pick: pick 24-27

    So the suns will potentially have the own pick (1-3), then pick 14(Twolves), pick (15) Wizards, and pick (25) Pacers.

    Phoenix can chose to trade the 14th and 15th pick along with a 2nd rounder for the 9th pick easily, if not lower: This would give Phoenix the top 3 pick, followed by the 9th pick followed by the 25th pick.

  • 46 Azbballfan // Oct 25, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    looks like Kravtsov, Christmas, Plumlee made the team

    good for them!

    obviously, Okafor isnt going to play soon with a herniated disc in his neck, so who starts with channing frye on opening night?

    well its gotta be Len or plumlee

  • 47 Scott // Oct 25, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Hasn’t there been talk of Plumlee and Frye playing well together?

  • 48 Evan // Oct 25, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    So hypothetically speaking there are a few “SuperStars” who could demand out of their current team if their team does poorly, Westbrook/Durant, Rose, Aldridge, Curry ext, who do you think those teams are going to call first to set up a trade? Yeah the team with 4 first round picks (one of which top 3 likely) in the best draft in years. Add the fact that Melo and Lebron are free agents, and the Suns may put out a “Big three” next season that takes over the league.

  • 49 sturmtank // Oct 25, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    I like the trade.
    I also thought we could get “more” assets for gortat, but we should keep the following “assets” in mind:
    - tanking (every loss leads to a better pick)
    - developing players
    gortat (fore sure) and brown (probably) would just eat up time which young players now get, which leads to more losses but more complete players come 2014-2015.

    really exited for the future, wondering what they do with bledsoe …

    and honestly I’m pretty sure that McD will go after LeBron next summer …

  • 50 john // Oct 26, 2013 at 6:02 am

    Everyone will give LeBron a call. No one really has a chance though. I like the optimistic thinking that the suns can land a superstar FA or in a trade, but I just don’t think it’s likely to happen before things start turning around. 2015-2016 is the earliest I see any huge things happening. Hopefully I’m wrong and it’s earlier though. I would love that.

  • 51 Ty-Sun // Oct 26, 2013 at 8:02 am

    john, just the fact that the FO and the team as least looks like it is moving in the right direction should at least encourage FAs to give Suns’ offers more serious consideration in the future. It will take time but McD is building the team right.

  • 52 Noitall // Oct 26, 2013 at 9:38 am

    @ Scott

    I had zero expectations that Gortat would yield more than a 2nd round pick or rid us of paying partial of his salary by exchanging him for a lesser paid player. From my viewpoint, we got less than that. This is a non-trade. Not mad about it. Just not sure we should be jumping up and down about it.

  • 53 Noitall // Oct 26, 2013 at 9:41 am

    @ Ty-sun

    I will take that bet. They went 4-10 to finish the season. Yes, they had a middle stretch where they played well, but this isn’t a playoff team. my guess is that they win 35 games.

  • 54 Scott // Oct 26, 2013 at 9:59 am

    @Noitall -

    Hmm … I don’t follow your reasoning. The Suns got a first round pick for Gortat, plus they avoided having to shell out cash to waive at least one of the players they weren’t going to use. They also gained another trade asset in Okafor, in that his expiring contract has more value than a cluster of expirings (due to roster space issues), and if he recovers during the season, he could even be an emergency big man to trade to a contending team in need of one (in addition to being an expiring contract).

    So, as I see it, while this trade didn’t bring back young talent immediately, like the Scola trade did, it still brought back useful assets.

  • 55 Russell's Suns // Oct 26, 2013 at 10:17 am

    @Noitall are you saying the Wizards wont make the playoffs the next 6 years? You are high. The Suns can collect that pick any time int he next 6 years, this year it is top 12 protected after that it’s top 10 through 2019. The Suns just landed a 1st round pick for Gortat, 99.99% guaranteed, and you thought we couldn’t get anything better than a 2nd rounder. This was an incredible deal for the Suns.

  • 56 HushPuppy // Oct 28, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    @Noitall, I’m not sure how a guaranteed first round pick isn’t a win for us, especially considering Gortat had no future here. What did we lose? Players that would have won us a couple games and eaten up playing time from the youngsters, that’s what. Plus, Wizards more than likely make the playoffs this year. Hopefully the Wolves do too, they are a good enough team.

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