It’s Playoffs or bust for the Washington Wizards in ’13-14. So when Emeka Okafor suffered a neck injury last month, leaving the team without a center, general manager Ernie Grunfeld was facing some pressure to do something.
And something Grunfeld did on Friday, pulling the trigger on a trade that sends Marcin Gortat from the Phoenix Suns for Okafor’s expiring contract and a top-12 protected 2014 first-round pick. The Wizards also received Shannon Brown, Malcolm Lee and Kendall Marshall, who are expected to be waived immediately.
Per the Washington Post:
“The Washington Wizards announced Friday evening that they have traded center Emeka Okafor and a protected 2014 first-round draft pick to the Phoenix Suns for center Marcin Gortat.
“The Suns will also send guards Shannon Brown, Malcolm Lee and Kendall Marshall to the Wizards. Washington is expected to release Brown, Lee and Marshall, a former standout at Bishop O’Connell in Arlington. The draft pick is protected through the No. 12 selection.
“Okafor has missed training camp and is out indefinitely with a herniated disk in his neck. He averaged 9.7 points and a team-best 8.8 rebounds in 79 games last season and was hailed for bringing a professional, workmanlike attitude to the Wizards. Okafor is in the final year of a deal that will pay him $14.5 million this season.”
The Suns now have four potential first-round picks in next June’s Draft—their own, Washington’s, Minnesota’s and Indiana’s.