Even during the end of the NBA season, Marcin Gortat leaving the Phoenix Suns seemed like an unavoidable development, but things have changed, and now it seems that the disgruntled Polish center isn’t going anywhere.
Gortat had a weak second season with the Suns, averaging 11.1 points and 8.5 rebounds, not looking as effective attacking the basket as he did during his first season without coming off the bench instead of Dwight Howard, which was his role while playing for the Orlando Magic.
His contract runs out at the end of the season (makes $7.7 million), and with the Suns taking Alex Len with the fifth overall pick, many were quite sure that Gortat will be moved, giving the rookie a chance to become a starter.
However, the Suns don’t think Len is ready to become a starter, needing a little more offensive polishing, a bit more weight on him and improving his defensive and rebounding abilities. Gortat, in their eyes, is a top-15 NBA center, and you don’t usually move around those without having a replacement at hand.
Ryan McDonough, GM: I’m certainly not looking to move Marcin We think he’s a top-15 starting center in the NBA, and those guys are hard to find. We love his ability to rebound, to screen-and-roll, to finish around the basket, he’s a pretty tough guy — he’s strong, he’s athletic. Like I said, those guys are hard to find.
This doesn’t mean that Gortat isn’t going to be moved during the season. His expiring contract, and playing for a team that isn’t going to make the postseason next year almost guarantees that he is going to be shopped around when the February trade deadline approaches. Gortat wasn’t too happy being on the Suns last season, and it’s hard to believe a lot of losing (Suns finished last in the West with a 25-57 record) is going to make him a bit more passionate about another season in Arizona.