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Marcin Gortat mentions possibility of playing elsewhere, devalued role of centers

Marcin Gortat mentions possibility of playing elsewhere, devalued role of centers

When the trade deadline came and went a few months ago, Marcin Gortat was surprised to still be with the Wizards.

He seems to be bracing for a possible change now that their season ended in the East semifinals for the third time in five years, but he has two years left on his contract.

Gortat is realistic about the possiblities of what might happen after a 49-win season. He has two years left on a five-year deal that he signed for $60 million in 2014. The Wizards signed Ian Mahinmi, who was his backup, to four years for $64 million last summer.

RELATED: Olynyk the latest D.C. sports villian 

"I had 103 games this year and I haven't missed even one game. I didn't miss one practice or shootaround. On top of that I'm the oldest guy on the team," Gortat said during exit interviews. "I know how the business works. I'm the oldest guy on the team. They signed Ian also. He's younger than me and he got a longer contract. I just know how the business works so I'm prepared for everything just in case. We're going to talk. I'm going to talk to Ernie (Grunfeld). I'm going to talk to managment and we're going to figure it out."

Gortat didn't have a strong finish to the regular season as the double-doubles stopped. He had just six points and a game-high 11 rebounds in a Game 7 loss in Boston on Monday night. He shot 2-for-6 and had four turnovers as the Wizards couldn't take advantage of the smaller lineups the Celtics rolled out. 

Mahinmi played 11 minutes but was ineffective as he didn't grab a rebound or score. He picked up four fouls. 

"We tried to do out best," Gortat said of the 115-105 game 7 loss at TD Garden. "We had five talented guys in the starting lineup. Everybody wants to score. Everybody wants to be the guy but there's only one basketball. Somebody has to do sacrifices for the team. We just came up short.

"People don't thow balls into the post-up anymore because percentage-wise it's better to shoot a few more threes. ... It's not a secret. At the same time somebody has to take sacrifices for this team. You can't have five guys scoring, every game, 20 points. That's impossible. Nobody can do that. That's why someobdy has to be responsible for collecting rebounds and setting screens. Soembody else got to score. That's how it is on this team. I feel like this year it was me doing a lot of sacrificing. I got one of the most (under)appreciated positions in the NBA. Nobody respects centers anymore. Nobody looks at them as a valuable piece. I've been doing a lot of things for the team to win.

"I know there's a lot of freaking idiots looking directly at the column with the points telling me that, 'You only score four to six points. We lost because of you.' That's how it is. People that know basketball, they know what I bring to the table."

 

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Wizards 2017-18 roster outlook: Chris McCullough has potential, but will he get any minutes?

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Wizards 2017-18 roster outlook: Chris McCullough has potential, but will he get any minutes?

As part of CSN's preview for the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we preview Chris McCullough's season...

Player: Chris McCullough

Position: Power forward

Age: 22

2016-17 stats: 16 G, 5.0 mpg, 2.3 ppg, 0.1 apg, 1.2 rpg, 0.1 spg, 0.5 bpg, 50.0 FG%, 14.3 3P%, 60.0 FT%, 51.6 eFG%, 37 ORtg, 98 DRtg

RELATED: HOW THE NBA CAN PREVENT TANKING?

2017-18 storyline: McCullough appeared in just two games for the Wizards in the 2016-17 season after joining them in the trade deadline deal that brought Bojan Bogdanovic to Washington.

McCullough was a mainstay on the inactives list in what was his second NBA season. Combined with the 14 games he played for the Nets last year, McCullough appeared in a total of 80 minutes all year.

McCullough's athletic potential is obvious, as he shows in practice all the time and as he showed in the 2017 Summer League in Las Vegas.

He can run the floor, play above the rim and even has a smooth jumper from long range. How and if McCullough can put it all together are the real questions.

RELATED: WHO WILL BE MOST-IMPROVED ON THE WIZARDS THIS YEAR?

In the Summer League, McCullough showed an ability to finish strong at the rim and grab rebounds, but his shot was cold and he spent considerable time on the perimeter. It's not clear yet what type of NBA style suits him best. Will he be a stretch-4 or is he best served by simply focusing on rebounding and defense?

The Wizards won't be able to give McCullough much of an opportunity this year, either, and that's even with the expectation Markeff Morris will miss several weeks of the regular season. They have depth ahead of McCullough including veterans Jason Smith and Mike Scott at power forward. McCullough will likely see some time in the G-League this year as he hopes to start reaching his vast potential. Keep in mind the Wizards have to decide on McCullough's rookie scale contract option for the 2018-19 season. The deadline is Oct. 16, the day before the NBA regular season begins.

Potential to improve: Rim protection, offensive skillset, consistency

MORE WIZARDS' ROSTER PREVIEWS:

John Wall: Can John Wall take another step after earning All-NBA?

Bradley Beal: Is this the year Bradley Beal becomes an All-Star?

Otto Porter: What is the next step in Otto Porter's development?

Markieff Morris: Markieff Morris can be an X-factor this season

Marcin Gortat: Will Marcin Gortat's role change or be the same this year?

Kelly Oubre: Will Kelly Oubre, Jr. make a big leap this season?

Ian Mahinmi: Can Ian Mahinmi make a bigger impact in his second season?

Tim Frazier: Will Tim Frazier be the solution at backup point guard?

Jodie Meeks: Jodie Meeks could make big impact off bench

Mike Scott: Mike Scott can add toughness to Wizards' bench

Jason Smith: Jason Smith's improvement as a shooter should help Wizards bench

Tomas Satoransky: Will Tomas Satoransky's role expand in his second year?

Sheldon Mac: Will Sheldon Mac be given a bigger opportunity?

Daniel Ochefu: Can Daniel Ochefu earn playing time in a crowded frontcourt?

 

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Wizards 2017-18 roster outlook: Can Daniel Ochefu earn playing time in a crowded frontcourt?

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USA Today Sports

Wizards 2017-18 roster outlook: Can Daniel Ochefu earn playing time in a crowded frontcourt?

As part of CSN's preview for the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we preview Daniel Ochefu's season...

Player: Daniel Ochefu

Position: Center

Age: 23

2016-17 stats: 19 G, 3.9 mpg, 1.3 ppg, 0.2 apg, 1.2 rpg, 0.1 spg, 0.0 bpg, 44.4 FG%, 00.0 3P%, 00.0 FT%, 44.4 eFG%, 91 ORtg, 108 DRtg

2017-18 storyline: Ochefu was no different than the other Wizards' rookies in that he didn't get much playing time at all in 2016-17. Even with Ian Mahinmi missing 51 games, Ochefu rarely saw the floor. Head coach Scott Brooks instead opted for Jason Smith to play extensive minutes in Mahinmi's absence and relied on Marcin Gortat to carry the load.

Injuries or not, that was to be expected for Ochefu, who signed with the Wizards as an undrafted free agent out of Villanova. After holding no picks in the 2016 draft, the Wizards saw enough promise in Ochefu to sign him and stash him on the back of their roster as a prospect.

[RELATED: HOW THE NBA CAN PREVENT TANKING]

The Wizards see potential in Ochefu especially on the defensive end. He was never a big scorer in college, but was essential to Villanova's national championship team as a rebounder and rim protector.

Ochefu will probably have a hard time seeing the floor again this season with the same frontcourt returning. If Mahinmi plays more this year, that even further soldifies Ochefu's role as a third or fourth string guy. And like Sheldon Mac, Ochefu's contract isn't fully guaranteed unless he's still on the roster in January.

Potential to improve: Rim protection, post moves, consistency.

MORE WIZARDS' ROSTER PREVIEWS:

Can John Wall take another step after earning All-NBA?

Is this the year Bradley Beal becomes an All-Star?

What is the next step in Otto Porter's development?

Markieff Morris can be an X-factor this season

Will Marcin Gortat's role change or be the same this year?

Will Kelly Oubre, Jr. make a big leap this season?

Can Ian Mahinmi make a bigger impact in his second season?

Will Tim Frazier be the solution at backup point guard?

Jodie Meeks could make big impact off bench

Mike Scott can add toughness to Wizards' bench

Jason Smith's improvement as a shooter should help Wizards bench

Will Tomas Satoransky's role expand in his second year?

Will Sheldon Mac be given a bigger opportunity?

[RELATED: WHO WILL BE MOST-IMPROVED ON THE WIZARDS THIS YEAR?]

SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE WIZARDS STORIES