Gortat, Rivers in swap
WASHINGTON — A person familiar with the deal says that the Washington Wizards have agreed to trade center Marcin Gortat to the Los Angeles Clippers for guard Austin Rivers.
The 1-for-1 deal was described to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity on Tuesday because neither team had announced the swap.
Both players are entering the final season of their contracts.
The 34-year-old Gortat is a durable, screen-setting big man who has played 12 years in the NBA, the past five with Washington. He averaged 8.4 points and 7.6 rebounds last season, his lowest numbers since 2009-10, when he was with the Orlando Magic. The Wizards finished eighth in the Eastern Conference and lost in the first round of the playoffs to No. 1 seed Toronto.
Rivers, who turns 26 in August, averaged a career-best 15.1 points and four assists last season while playing for his father, Doc, the Clippers’ coach.
The deal was first reported by ESPN.
Magic sets bar
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Magic Johnson is betting his job on his free-agent recruiting skills for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Johnson declared Monday that he will step down as the Lakers’ president of basketball operations if he can’t persuade an elite free agent to sign with the 16-time NBA champions within the next two summers.
“Next summer, if nobody comes and I’m still sitting here like this, then it’s a failure,” Johnson said after a news conference to introduce draft picks Moe Wagner and Svi Mykhailiuk.
Johnson was put in charge of the Lakers’ front office by owner Jeanie Buss in February 2017, and the former superstar point guard immediately announced his plans to revive the struggling franchise by enticing the game’s best players to join as free agents.
With Paul George and potentially LeBron James headlining the market this summer, Johnson is leading the Lakers’ efforts to land both players this weekend. If they sign elsewhere, Johnson and the Lakers will pursue the large crop of 2019 free agents.
And if he strikes out with every big name, Johnson said he will quit.
“Like I told you when I took the job, it’s going to be a two-summer thing for the Lakers,” Johnson said. “This summer, and next summer, and that’s it. And if I can’t deliver, I’m going to step down myself. She won’t have to fire me. I’ll step away from it. Because then, I can’t do this job. But so far, so good.”