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Marcin Gortat: “I would love” to Finish Career with Orlando Magic

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Washington Wizards center and former Magic player Marcin Gortat said Friday he doesn’t expect his NBA career will continue after his current contract expires following the 2018-19 season, and he added he would love to end his career with the Orlando Magic.

“I would love to join the team for maybe two or three months, or maybe half a season at least,” Gortat told the Orlando Sentinel after the Wizards completed their shootaround Friday at Capital One Arena.

“I’m going to be a old guy, so I don’t know if Orlando would be interested or not. But I would love to join the team back again just to wear the uniform, put the white and blue stripes again on me and be able to say I’m a Magic again and just come back home where I belong. That would definitely be a dream come true to do that for me. Whatever the team wants to do — play me, just be in the rotation or just be a bench player — I would definitely be there for the team.”

Gortat will turn 34 years old next month, and he’s in his fifth season with the Wizards. The final year of his contract — the 2018-19 season — will pay him a salary of $13.6 million.

A starter for the Wizards, Gortat entered Friday averaging 9.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 27.3 minutes per game this season.

The Magic acquired Gortat in 2005 in a draft-night trade, and he served as a key cog in the Magic’s run to the 2009 NBA Finals, serving as Dwight Howard’s backup at center. Gortat always has credited former Magic coach Stan Van Gundy and former Magic lead assistant coach Brendan Malone for developing him into a quality player.

Source: Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel

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Sources: Trevor Ariza Seeking $50-60 Million in Free Agency

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Aside from the looming contract talks of Clint Capela and Chris Paul, the free agency of veteran forward Trevor Ariza’s is another issue the Rockets will need to address come July 1.

Throughout his career, Ariza has signed relatively team-friendly deals, never earning more than $8.5 million per season. According to a person with knowledge of Ariza’s thinking, the veteran small forward will seek a larger deal once free agency arrives. Ariza is believed to want a contract in the range of $50-60 million over 4-5 years, more than $30-40 million Houston would likely offer. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak on the record about Ariza or the Rockets’ free agency plans.

Source: Kelly Iko of USA TODAY Sports

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Sources: Kawhi Leonard Prefers Trade to Lakers

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San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard has Los Angeles — preferably the Lakers — at the center of his preferences for a trade destination, league sources tell ESPN.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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Sources: Nuggets, Hawks Contemplating Kenneth Faried Trade

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The Nuggets are aggressively seeking to shed salary by trading forward Kenneth Faried, and the Hawks are willing to accommodate them for the right price, according to a person with knowledge of the NBA trade market.

The Hawks would seek draft picks, young players or both as part of a deal with the Nuggets or any other team that wants to reduce payroll. The Nuggets own the No. 14 overall pick in next week’s draft, and their expendable young players include recent draft picks Malik Beasley and Tyler Lydon.

The Nuggets are looking to reduce their salary commitments for next season. Faried is owed $13.8 million in 2018-19, the final year of his deal, and he fell out of Denver’s rotation this season with a career-low 461 minutes played.

Source: Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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