Speaking to NBATV during halftime of a game at summer league in Orlando where he lives in his down time, Marcin Gortat gave insight to what led to him quickly re-signing and explained why he's confident about what's ahead for the Wizards in free agency for Week 2.
"I like the city. I like the team. I definitely feel comfortable over there. The team really took me under their wing and they helped me since Day 1. I love the chemistry between me and John Wall," said Gortat, who was traded by the Phoenix Suns to Washington less than a week before last season began and signed a fully guaranteed five-year, $60 million deal to stay put. "I think Bradley Beal is going to be a great player one day. Coach Randy (Wittman) believes in me. I have a great relationship with him.
"The decision was really easy for me. We can be a special team for the next four or five years."
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To surpass what they did last season, 44 wins and second round of the playoffs, the Wizards have more work to do. Trevor Ariza still hasn't committed to return. Nene has to stay healthy, which never is a given. Wittman visited Gortat in Poland to convince him to stay along with senior vice president Tommy Sheppard. Wittman then went to visit Ariza in Los Angeles and made his pitch.
"Trevor is a big part of our success. We'd like to have him back .... We love him. We want him back. I believe (president) Ernie (Grunfeld) and Tommy Sheppard are going to do the right thing," Gortat said. "Nene has to stay healthy. You've got to make sure he's going to take care of his body. We got to make sure we limit his minutes to be consistent, to be good for us, productive. Make sure we're not going to overload the guy.
"We believe we can be a better team next year. We had a lot of guys joining the team in the middle of the season. Me, Drew Gooden, Andre Miller. We believe next year at the same time we're going to be a much better team. ... I'm going to have a better chemistry with the team.
"We believe we're going to have a good free agency player joining us, helping us."