Gortat stays in D.C.

Andy Lyons

After trading for him prior to the 2013 season, the Wizards were able to hang onto Marcin Gortat by re-signing him on the first day of free agency.

Edited by Joanna Nesgoda

It's official: the Washington Wizards found their big man last season and they are keeping him.

In the first day on free agency, the Wizards re-signed big man Marcin Gortat to a five-year, $60 million dollar deal.

The Wizards first acquired the 30-year-old Gortat prior to the start of the regular season in 2013 when they sent Emeka Okafor and their first round pick in last week's draft to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for the Polish Hammer. With Gortat's help, the Wizards advanced to the second round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs before being eliminated by the Indiana Pacers.

In his first season in the nation's capital, Gortat played in 81 games and averaged 13.2 points and 9.5 rebounds-per-game. Gortat excelled in his role as a rim protector and as a big man that can efficiently run the pick-and-roll with speedy point guard John Wall.

Other teams, like the Miami Heat, were rumored to be after Gortat, but the Wizards got a head start by sending head coach Randy Wittman to Poland to visit the big man before the free agent flood gates opened up.

The Wizards are now returning four of five starters from their 2013-14 playoff run, with only one player hanging in free agent limbo, veteran swingman Trevor Ariza.

For more on Gortat and the Zards visit SB Nation's Bullets Forever.

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