It comes as no surprise that the Washington Wizards have traded Marcin Gortat. Once you realize that Doc Rivers no longer runs the Los Angeles Clippers front office, it’s not all that surprising that the team has parted ways with Austin Rivers either.
In a way, a Gortat for Rivers swap works in favor of both teams involved. Gortat had worn out his welcome in Washington. He may or may not have been embroiled in a feud with All-Star point guard John Wall. Fans of the Wizards, including Wall, have been clamoring for a young, athletic big man to slide into the spot previously held by Gortat. For some reason, the organization decided that Robert Williams wasn’t the answer to that problem last week at the draft. However, they seem to have agreed that Gortat was no longer serviceable.
What it means for Los Angeles
For the Clippers, there has always been mumbling that Rivers wasn’t the most popular player in that locker room. Rumors whirled in the 2016-2017 season that the elder Rivers wouldn’t involve his son in a trade for Carmelo Anthony. It’s also been rumored that this incident also led to Chris Paul wanting out of Los Angeles. Rumors aside, this is a decent move for the Clippers. Gortat is not DeAndre Jordan but he’s a competent placeholder should Jordan not return next season.
It’s not a bad move for the Wizards either. Rivers can play valuable minutes as a backup guard behind All-Star Bradley Beal. The Wizards have needed a scoring option off the bench for a while now and Rivers could potentially be the solution. With Gortat now gone, the Wizards will definitely have to make a move for another center. This may be the first move of many to come for the Wizards this offseason.