In the end, the Wizards had everything to offer Marcin Gortat and retained the unrestricted free agent Tuesday: The quality point guard he wants to play with in All-Star John Wall, money, and long-term security he coveted with a five-year deal worth $60 million, CSN Washington has confirmed.
Apparently, Wizards coach Randy Wittman, who visited him over the weekend in his native Poland, was able to convince Gortat that he'd help meet his third demand by giving him a more prominent role in the offense. Gortat averaged 13.2 points and 9.5 rebounds in his first season in Washington, but he sometimes complained of being used as a "decoy," including in a playoff series loss to the Indiana Pacers. Gortat also said he was tentative to speak up more because he didn't have a contract beyond 2013-14.
When he was traded to the Wizards before the season by the Phoenix Suns, Gortat was more accustomed to be the No. 1 or 2 option and ran more pick-and-rolls.
Tuesday's deal represents a significant bump over what he made last year at $7.7 million, and the dearth of quality players at his position in free agency helped elevate Gortat's value.
The gamble for the Wizards is that even though Gortat has been healthy for most of his career, he's already 30.
Contracts can be officially signed July 10, when the NBA resets the salary cap after a financial audit. The cap is expected to increase by as much as $5 million to $63 million.
The Wizards' other free agents who still hang in the balance, unrestricted unless stated otherwise:
Trevor Ariza: He's being visited by a team rep and Wittman on Tuesday, and they plan on going after him with an aggressive offer. They won't be asking Ariza to re-sign as a favor or at a discount.
Drew Gooden: He vowed he's not trying to "fix cards" to leverage a better deal elsewhere. Gooden can retain his Early Bird rights by staying with the Wizards and is in the final year of a $13.3 million amnesty payment from the Milwaukee Bucks.
Trevor Booker: He wasn't tendered a $4.6 milion qualifying offer to keep him restricted by Monday. The Wizards will let him test the market and cross their fingers that Booker doesn't get any mid-level offers. If he does, he'll walk because they're unlikely to match.
Andre Miller: There's a $4.6 million option for this season, and his agent told CSN over the weekend that the team will pick it up.
Garrett Temple: There's "mutual interest" on both sides to bring him back after playing on a one-year deal last season. Temple is a utility player, valued for his defense and length at 6-6.
Kevin Seraphin: The backup center was extended a one-year qualifying offer to make him restricted, but he has made it clear he wants to be in a position to play more.
Al Harrington: He told CSN that he has to get left shoulder surgery this summer and has to rehabilitate his troublesome right knee that forced him to miss 47 games in his first season in Washington. There's a chance, according to a person with knowledge of his situation, he might wait until the season starts before finding a roster spot in the NBA. Harrington says if he plays again, he wants it to be with the Wizards.
Glen Rice: The rising second-year player has a partially guaranteed year at less than $1 million that will be picked up. They're hopeful he can play his way into the rotation.
Chris Singleton: Though he appears to be a certainty to leave, there's a way Singleton could be retained to fill out the roster.