After an uneventful season, the Washinton Wizards have already started to retool the roster. According to an Adrian Wojnarowski report, the team has traded center Marcin Gortat to the Los Angeles Clippers for guard Austin Rivers.
The Los Angeles Clippers are trading guard Austin Rivers to the Washington Wizards for center Marcin Gortat, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 26, 2018
According to Woj, Washington has been trying to move the big man for the last several months.
A fresh start for both
Both men were probably in need of a change in scenery. Gortat, the 57th overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, carved out a nice niche for himself as John Wall's pick-and-roll dance partner. In five seasons in Washington, Gortat averaged 11.6 points and 9.2 rebounds per game with a 55.5 true shooting percentage. However, his numbers slipped a bit this year; he averaged less than 10 points per game for the first time since he served as Dwight Howard's understudy with the Orlando Magic and his 14.7 Player Efficiency Rating was the second-lowest mark of his career.
Rivers, the son of former NBA guard and current Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, has struggled to step out of his father's shadow. He has never posted a PER above 12.6, let alone the league average threshold of 15. His box plus/minus has never been above zero. This, of course, didn't stop his dad--who was the general manager at the time as well as the head coach -- to hand Rivers a three-year, $35 million deal.
Where do both men fit?
For Gortat, the Clippers obviously acquired him as an insurance policy in the event that current center DeAndre Jordan -- who is an unrestricted free agent if he doesn't pick up his player option -- departs. He can do many of the same things that Jordan can at a cheaper rate, roughly $30 million over the next two seasons to be exact. Rivers will likely serve as the backup to Wall at point guard as he looks to cement himself as a competent role player.