The Wizards have agreed to re-sign unrestricted free agent center Marcin Gortat to a five-year contract worth $60 million, according to Yahoo Sports and RealGM.com. The agreement does not include any options.
Gortat's return to Washington was first announced by Wizards All-Star point guard John Wall.
Ariza is also an unrestricted free agent this summer.
The 2014 free agency period opened on July 1. Teams and players can reach agreement on new deals, but those contracts cannot be officially signed until after the league's moratorium is lifted on July 10.
Gortat, 30, was acquired by Washington from Phoenix prior to the 2013-14 season following a season-ending neck injury to Emeka Okafor. The Polish center made the most of his new opportunity, averaging 13.2 points and 9.5 rebounds while playing a big role in helping the Wizards advance in the playoffs for the first time since 2005.
"I'm proud to say Washington will be my home," Gortat wrote on Twitter.
A physical low-post presence, Gortat drew headlines last season when he suggested the NBA should allow players to settle on-court disagreements by fighting, like they do in the National Hockey League. Gortat's father was a professional boxer who won a medal in the Olympics.
SI.com ranked Gortat as the No. 1 among traditional centers in this year's free agency class, and he ranked No. 12 overall among all free agents.
Grade: B-. After investing a first-round pick to acquire him and then nearly making a surprise run to the Eastern Conference finals, Washington was highly motivated to keep Gortat. The Wizards put their money where their mouth is with this deal, going all in on a 30-year-old as their center of the present and long-term future. Gortat's contract is comparable in size to similar 5-year, $60 million deals signed by Al Horford and Joakim Noah, and it's in the same ballpark on a per-year basis as those given to Tyson Chandler (4-years, $47 million), DeAndre Jordan (4-years, $43 million), Larry Sanders (4-years, $44 million), and Al Jefferson (3-years, $41 million). Gortat isn't totally out of his class among those names, but he's also not returning on anything remotely resembling a discount.
Aside from a foot injury during the 2012-13 season, Gortat has been a model of durability and dependability. Although not really capable of serving as a lead scoring option, Gortat is a nice fit for the Wizards, who have two ball-dominant guards in Wall and Bradley Beal. Gortat does a nice job of acting as an auxiliary scorer while focusing most of his energy on clearing the glass and protecting the paint defensively. The salary aspect is fair and in line with expectations given the lack of quality low-post players in this summer's class, but the deal's length does appear slightly problematic, especially if his good health luck starts to wane. This is a move for "now" rather than "tomorrow" for the Wizards, who surely don't want to take a step backwards next season after finally generating some positive momentum. A team option, or even a partial guarantee, on the final year would have merited a higher mark. Instead, Wizards fans should react to this deal with a fist pump and crossed fingers.