General Manager Ryan McDonough continues to overall the Suns lineup, with a recently announced trade between the Suns and the Washington Wizards. The deal sends Marcin Gortat, Shannon Brown, Kendall Marshall, and Malcolm Lee to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Emeka Okafor and a 2014 first-round draft pick.
This deal works well for both sides. The Wizards are likely to waive Marshall, Lee, and Brown, but Gortat should be able to be a major contributor in that lineup. While the pick is protected up to #12, the Wizards look like a playoff team.
Gortat was, of course, well liked in Phoenix, having come here and shown his worth as a starter after being stuck behind Dwight Howard in Orlando. That said, he is in the last year of his contract, and it was likely he would have left in free agency. The Suns also dump a troublesome contract in Shannon Brown, and have given up to the development of Kendall Marshall.
Emeka Okafor, while certainly an effective player, is out indefinitely with a neck injury, meaning Alex Len will be put to the test right off the bat. The real gold is the 1st-round pick, which the Suns now have four of going into the 2014 draft. One of these picks will likely be a top three pick, and as McDonough has discussed, the others could be valuable trade pieces. In a draft class packed with talent, first round picks give you power, and this move should further the faith that McDonough knows how to rebuild effectively.
Overall, this deal is an immediate upgrade for the Wizards, and another investment of being bad now to be good later for the Suns.