Sources have just informed ESPN that a late trade between the Washington Wizards and the Phoenix Suns is underway. The deal sends 6-foot-11 center Marcin Gortat along with guards Shannon Brown, Kendall Marshall, and Malcolm Lee to the Washington Wizards. In exchange, Washington will send the expiring contract of veteran big man Emeka Okafor and a protected 2014 first-round draft pick (to no. 12) to Phoenix.
This deal helps both teams prosper at some level. Gortat's services are solid and useful, and I'd say it's an upgrade from an injury-struck Okafor for the Wizards. He shot 56.6 percent as the roll man and 45.4 percent from the post last season, which was his final contract year with the rebuilding Suns. What Gortat brings in skill and effort on both ends of the floor only helps the Wizards' aspiring playoff contention for this season.
For Phoenix, that now makes four draft picks in next year's deep first round, which could mean Andrew Wiggins sweepstakes bidding, but at the very least the Suns have encouraging building blocks for the future. In fact, they're probably due for a top two pick in next year's coveted draft. Bottom line, both teams got what they wanted, but Wizards owner Ted Leonsis wants his team in the playoffs this year. We'll see if this was the final touch.
- Martin S. @marley_mcfly