What should the Phoenix Suns do with Marcin Gortat?

Posted by on August 30th, 10:37 am

The Phoenix Suns should trade Marcin Gortat at peak value if they don't find value in offering him a hefty extension in two years when he's 30. (AP Photo/Bahram Mark Sobhani)

The Phoenix Suns should trade Marcin Gortat at peak value if they don’t find value in offering him a hefty extension in two years when he’s 30. (AP Photo/Bahram Mark Sobhani)

For the first time in eight seasons, Steve Nash is no longer the face of the Phoenix Suns franchise, nor is he the sun, moon and stars of it either.

For my money, that new face is Marcin Gortat, which is to say the Suns lack a franchise player.

That’s no knock on Marcin. The guy will get you 15-10 with a block or two every night. He’s an agile top-10 center who thrives as a roll man and can hit both a jumper and the boards.

He’s just no franchise center.

It sure seems like a cruel fate for this organization to finally develop a superb five man that could have pushed the team over the hump once the rest of the roster was lacking enough for it to really matter.

Gortat is an excellent player, but he’s no better than the third-best guy on a championship team if not the fourth in this era of Big Threes and Fours. He will be 30 years old entering the summer of 2014 when he will be coming off a deal signed at the full mid-level exception that seemed like an overpay at the time but turned into a supreme bargain.

For the next two seasons the Suns will be getting a steal by paying Gortat only $7.26 million this year and $7.73 mil the following season, but after that Marcin will want to get paid.

Speculating two years into the future is always dicey, but if Gortat maintains his current level of play I could see him getting something around four years and $48 million, at least. If the Suns were contending it would be a no-brainer to pay him what he’s worth, but that’s an awful lot of coin for a 30-year-old center who relies on his athleticism.

Personally I’m not too worried that Gortat was assisted on four out of five baskets because I feel like Goran Dragic will get him open looks as well, but based on his age and where the Suns are in their rebuilding process it’s worth wondering whether they would be better off trading him in the coming years.

The biggest reason to do so is because he would be their most valuable player on the open market. An athletic center on a two-year deal for about $15 mil total who is as skilled as Gortat should possess incredible trade value.

If the Suns were to go into Charlotte mode, moving Gortat would be an obvious move to make, yet because of their resistance to tanking it could be a tough sell. Many people expect the Suns to finish at the bottom of the West anyway, and without Gortat that would be a near certainty.

We can debate the merits of that another day since this team so badly needs the kind of true franchise star that’s often only found at the top of a draft, but with the franchise trying to stay competitive while rebuilding trading Gortat seems to be counter of that goal.

This past summer or around this draft could have been an ideal time to make such a move, especially to a team like Houston that was so desperate for a quality center and possessed so many young assets, but at this point I think this is a move the Suns should consider making next offseason.

Go ahead and play this season out, and if the team is as bad as many people think then they won’t have to “try” to tank to end up at the top of the draft.

If that happens, Gortat on an expiring contract and the veteran Luis Scola should become major trade bait when the Suns embark on their second summer of rebuilding.

Another option would be for the team to make a big splash next offseason by pulling the trigger on another restricted free agent, but this time follow it through by executing a sign-and-trade. The Suns were not interested in doing a Gordon sign-and-trade because they saw it as taking one step forward only by taking one step back, but perhaps at that point they will possess the assets to consummate a deal for a stud that makes sense.

At that point they could go over the cap to re-sign Gortat the following summer with his Bird Rights, so perhaps a future starting lineup of Dragic-Star Free Agent X-Beasley-Morris-Gortat is the way to go.

If you believe in that core, then a slight overpay for an aging Gortat would be palatable, it’s just not as attractive if the Suns wait until 2014 to make their big free agent splash.

The Phoenix Suns know as well as anybody that a quality center is tough to find, and Gortat is certainly a very good one.

With the Polish Hammer still under contract for two more seasons, the Suns have plenty of time to think about this, but now is the time to start determining whether they see him wearing purple and orange at a hefty raise past this contract or whether the franchise would be better off turning him into choice assets or making him the centerpiece of a deal for a stud.

As difficult as it is to trade a legitimate center, the Suns must weigh whether Gortat’s projected production after 30 at a sizable price makes sense in their rebuilding plan when his trade value is presumably so high.

Current, former Suns dot middle range of #NBARank

A pair of key Suns reserves were revealed today on #NBARank, with Shannon Brown checking in at No. 235 and Markieff Morris No. 238.

In recent days we saw a trio of formers Suns reserves in Michael Redd (No. 243), Josh Childress (No. 249) and Hakim Warrick (No. 272).

Rookie Kendall Marshall barely cracked the top 300 with a No. 296 ranking. Don’t worry, he’s not worse than Chilly and Hak, rookies are just always undervalued so he figures to shoot up the ranks next season if he impresses. It is amazing that Childress wound up in the middle of the 500 players yet nobody wanted to take even a minimum amnesty nibble.

Michael Schwartz founded ValleyoftheSuns in October 2008 and is the owner/editor emeritus of the site. He is currently working toward his MBA in sports business at San Diego State University.

Facebook Twitter Google+ YouTube 

Tags: Future · Marcin Gortat · Phoenix Suns · Phoenix Suns Analysis

67 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Grant // Aug 30, 2012 at 10:50 am

    I have a clear opinion on Gortat. He’s a fantastic player but if you can’t get your francise-type player next summer, for instance through free agency (James Harden) or the draft you have to consider a trade. We simply cannot pay Gortat near-max money and screw up our cap space if we don’t have that guy to build around. A Scola+Gortat package (maybe add more pieces) should bring us something good.

  • 2 Forever is2long // Aug 30, 2012 at 11:13 am

    I have been saying trade Gortat since last summer and keep Robin Lopez since the team is going no where fast. We missed a golden opportunity to trade him before the most recent draft in a talent rich draft. Good article. Finally someone has the nerves to suggest this.

  • 3 Tony // Aug 30, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    To echo Foreveris, I too have been advocating for the Suns to trade Gortat since last season ended. It simply made no sense to keep a 28 year old center who is already in his prime, and give up on a 24-year old center in Lopez. Although at ths point Gortat is better than Lopez, Gortat has pretty much reached his potential and is unlikely to get appreciably better. In contrast, because of Lopez’s youth, if he can stay healthy, he has a much higher ceiling than Gortat.

    Moreover, because Gortat relies so heavily on his athleticism to be effective, he’s getting close to the point at which age takes effect on athletic ability. His lack of a consistent post-game and mediocre shooting means that it is unlikely he will seriously improve his game and become a more diverse player.

    Lastly, while Dragic is a pretty good passer, he’s nowhere close to being as good as Nash is. As such, it’s unlikely the Dragic-Gortat two man game will be close to as good as the Nash-Gortat combo was. Thus, because Gortat’s trade value has likely peaked, now is the time to trade him before his value declines playing with Dragic.

  • 4 Sillmarillion // Aug 30, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    I disagree; Gortat got better and better, season after season. And the reason for that wasn’t Nash or any other player, but he himself. I don’t know what other NBA players are doing in the off-season, but Gortat for sure is a hard worker. He spens hours at the gym and the court to improve his play. This summer, obviously, he has done the same. Mainly, he tried to increase the strength of his body in order to be a better man in the post.
    Furthermore, Gortat is very often said to be a “finesse player” which means he is not all about athleticism. And after all, 30 years isn’t that much, especially in Phoenix where the med staff is superb (vide Nash/Hill/Redd and probably O’Neal).
    Thanks for the article, it was a good read!

  • 5 steve // Aug 30, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    “because of Lopez’s youth, if he can stay healthy, he has a much higher ceiling than Gortat.”

    If Lopez ever sniffs a PER of 21.2, I’ll bake you cookies every day for a week. I wasn’t an advocate of getting rid of Lopez, but I don’t think there’s any chance Lopez will ever reach Gortat’s current production level. And I’m not just betting against it happening, I don’t think Lopez is even capable of it. Lopez is a pretty good backup center, and that’s it.

    I see the reasoning presented in the article and other comments for entertaining the thought of trading Gortat, and there are some valid concerns, but a franchise with a quality 5 in his prime does not get better by getting rid of him (unless they get a better 5 in return). Name me one time in history a team with a 5 with a PER over 20 got better by letting him go. If it has happened in NBA history, I would bet you could count the occurrences on one hand.

  • 6 Scott // Aug 30, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Probably Blanks wants to see how some of the rookies from this year perform before dealing Gortat and Scola.

    But I believe we could see a Gortat deal by midseason, and a Scola deal this summer. Not that I want to see either player go – I liked both of them before they came to the Suns – but why torture the vets by keeping them on a young, rebuilding team? Other teams need them more, and hopefully they will be able to give the Suns useful assets in trade.

    As for Gortat faring poorly with Dragic … while we may need to see how it plays out, I can imagine how O’Neal might actually be a better choice to start with Scola, Beasley, and Dragic. Gortat could be a better pairing with Marshall and the 2nd unit. If Marshall is heading up the 2nd unit, they’re going to want to run and score quick buckets, which Gortat is good at doing.

    As for Gortat getting older … I don’t think he has a lot of miles on him just yet. With his style of athleticism and play, he should probably have several productive years ahead of him. And if he learns to nail his midrange jumper, he’ll be even more solid.

  • 7 Ty-Sun // Aug 30, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    If Gortat has a brain in his head he will at least try to learn from Scola this year. They are almost complete opposites. Gortat relies on athleticism and Scola relies partially on size but mostly on just playing smart. If Gortat doesn’t learn any of that then he will be expendable next year.

    I really don’t think that Gortat’s game will drop off this year because Dragic will be running PNRs with him instead of Nash. You don’t need a great passer to run the PNR (although it helps), you just need a good passer and a good finisher. The Suns have both. Plus other teams won’t be able to ignore Scola or Beasley to help defend a Dragic/Gortat PNR play.

    But if the right deal comes along then trading Gortat becomes a no brainer. Since there seem to be so many people here that are high on Harden, what if OKC offered a mid-season trade of Harden and Perkins for Gortat and Dudley? I haven’t looked at the salary numbers so I have no idea whether such a trade would be possible BUT…

    A lot of Suns fans want Harden. OKC is going to be hard pressed to keep Harden without going deep into the luxury tax after his current contract expires. Gortat would be an upgrade for OKC at the 5. Harden would be an upgrade for the Suns at the 2. Dudley would be a good 2 off the bench for OKC even though he’s not as good as Harden. Perkins isn’t as good as Gortat but he’s not a terrible downgrade for the Suns and he’s 3 years younger than Gortat. The ESPN Trade Machine says that this trade would work but to keep Harden the Suns would have to give him a big payday to keep him at the end of the season. Perkins contract runs for 3 more years and is a little more than Gortat’s.

    I’m NOT suggesting that the Suns should try to make this trade, just suggesting it as a possibility to bring i a player that many fan have said they wanted the Suns to go after. And this really seems to be the most likely way that the Suns can get Harden. OKC will NOT wait until the end of the season and just hope that no other team makes Harden a max offer that they will have to match to keep him or let him go for nothing. I know that they want to keep him but they probably aren’t too willing to offer him a max deal after he didn’t perform well in the championship series last year.

    Lol, after saying all that, I must also say that I’m not a big supporter of trying to bring Harden to the Suns. I was just using that as an example of how the Suns might use Gortat in a mid-season trade. And if they are considering trading him, a mid-season trade would probably be the best way to get the most in return for him.

  • 8 Higgins P. Butterworth // Aug 30, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Gortat’s hands are what trouble me most about him. He loses the ball often and also gets blocked, a lot, by players 4-6 inches shorter than him.

  • 9 Keith // Aug 30, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Perkins is only like 27? Holy crap. Seems like that dude’s been around forever. I thought he was like 34. Anyway, keep Gortat for this season, at least, unless a really, really good deal presents itself. See how he does with Dragic. In the offseason, you can see what trading him along with Scola or whatever would fetch. We may need to consider it. But I hope he sticks around and we can build around him. He doesn’t have many NBA miles at all, and he should have another good 4 to 6 years at least. I wouldn’t mind giving him a decent 4-year contract if we can get Harden or Millsap or some other guys around him.

  • 10 Ty-Sun // Aug 30, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    I agree that Gortat doesn’t have great hands but I’d really like to see a list of all the 6-5 players who have blocked his shots, Higgins. I’m sure it’s happened at least a few times but just because EVERY 6-11 player gets careless and gets his shot blocked by a shorter player every now and then. If this was REALLY a problem for Gortat, he would be a second string D-league player at best.

  • 11 Ty-Sun // Aug 30, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    @Keith – I agree about Gortat. It’s not always about the years, it’s about the mileage. Gortat spent many years sitting on the bench behind Howard. He doesn’t have the wear and tear on him that most 30 year old centers have. I’d guess that he could be able to play at the same level he plays at now for at least 4-5 years more because of that. That’s not worth a max contract offer by the Suns or anyone else… but it’s close.

  • 12 Michael Schwartz // Aug 30, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Yeah, it’s funny. Perkins is younger in years but has already played nine seasons since he came out of high school and has soooo much mileage on him.

  • 13 Higgins P. Butterworth // Aug 30, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    @Keith
    Google is your friend on that one, “Blocks on Gortat.”

    There’s a charming one on youtube with Shaun Livingston getting a couple of clean ones on him.
    watch?v=517q5o6VkEg

  • 14 Higgins P. Butterworth // Aug 30, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Excuse me, I was directing that comment to Ty-Sun, my bad.

  • 15 Ty-Sun // Aug 30, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    @ Higgin P. Butterworth – ONE?!? I already gave you more than that “on credit” because EVERY center occasionally gets blocked by a shorter player but all you have to show me is ONE youtube video?

    Thanks for the laughs.

  • 16 jc // Aug 30, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    I’ll just leave this here
    http://www.eurobasket2013.org/en/cid_8Xfg3jZMG1QuJnp6pnUWd3.gameID_8830-E-11-6.compID_qMRZdYCZI6EoANOrUf9le2.season_2013.roundID_8721.teamID_.html

  • 17 Joe // Aug 30, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Rather than trade Gortat for Harden or Tyreke Evans, I’d rather keep the starters together and trade picks/Morris or Marshall. Of course that’s assuming the current team is playing well together by the trade deadline. I just don’t think we’re that far away from contending if Beasley plays well. So why take one step forward and one step back, as Michael mentioned in the article, the Suns didn’t want to do by trading for Gordon?
    If O’Neal outplays Gortat it becomes easier to trade him, but I wouldn’t say that makes him expendable. We’ll need both guys against the Lakers.

  • 18 PennyAnd1 // Aug 30, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    I like Gortat, he’s one of those blue-collar hard worker in the game. I just don’t like him doing too much with the offense though regardless of his FG %.

    @Sillmarillion
    Gortat did not get better in the end of the season, in a matter of fact, he got worst. For some unknown reason he reverted to playing dumb again after all those times playing with Nash (I still think that it’s that part of Gortat’s game that made it easier for Nash to leave).

    @Joe
    I wouldn’t dare trade Marshall or Morris at this point or next year just yet. We haven’t even seen their peak potential. From what I saw in Morris during summer league, he looked like an all-star out there.

    Now Marshall, he’s something i’m looking forward to see this upcoming season. From what I know of Marshall so far? he has a winning track, and by far the best pure PG that the league will have since Jason Kidd. He could become the next Kidd minus the D. Still if summer league showed us a glimpse of Marshall in which he struggled but during the final part of the league he quickly adjusted and started clicking, I say Marshall can become someone special. Marshall is a smart man, and I think he can come close as the next Steve Nash just because of his vision, and if he works on his shooting and hustle more? watch out cause you’ll see stats similar to Nash and the camaredarie that comes with it.

  • 19 Kid B // Aug 30, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    I love The Suns, but I don’t think I’m biased towards them. I think we’ll scrape into the playoffs I honestly do. This talk of us coming lower than Houston, Sac, Min, GSW etc etc is just plain trippin.

    Gortat and Scola are going to play well together with Dragon feeding them. We have a legit 6-8 seed team people, lets concentrate on that before we consider blowing it up.

    Lopez had to go, there is no way I would have traded Gortat over Lopez. How many chances does one guy need? I agree about Gortat having more miles on the clock as well than someone like Perkins.

    I’m really excited for this season, I think we’ll be like buccaneers and battle against the odds and be really exciting.

    I like Gortat as a person as well, I think that he adds a lot to the dressing room. That will be priceless for this team. Theres so many jerks in the NBA, he seems cool.

  • 20 Scott // Aug 30, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Marshall needs some time to develop. So far as I can tell, he’s going to be a good if not great pick for the Suns, and good if not perfect for their traditional style of play.

    Morris is one the Suns could possibly trade, but he’s got a good size and skill set. I’d prefer to keep him.

    The idea is to grow the Suns so that the abilities mature and the salaries grow at the right pace. The Suns might be able to keep Gortat, but it seems more likely that the pace of the Suns’ rebuilding will be such that Gortat will move on and the Suns will have a different center when they return to contention.

    (BTW, is it just me, or is the spell checker on this forum keyed to UK English? I keep getting directed to type “defence” and “centre.”)

  • 21 Higgins P. Butterworth // Aug 30, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    @ Ty-Sun

    Are you serious? Do I really have to explain what I wrote to you in regards to your question about Gortat being blocked multiple times by undersized players? Even though I clearly state that you can find examples on google by searching for them. I even give you an example of his amazing “athleticism” and where you can find it but for whatever reason, you assume that that is the ONLY example available. Surely you jest.

  • 22 Tony // Aug 30, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Steve,

    you miss the whole point about Gortat! Sure he was good these past 1 1/2 seasons with the Suns, but that’s mainly because of Nash spoon-feeding on 80% of his baskets. Now if Dragic is able to pass like Nash and develop the same degree of chemistry as Nash had with Gortat, then your argument has merit. However, I don’t believe for an instant that Gortat and Dragic will develop as lethal a two-man game as Nash and Gortat. As such, Gortat’s value will decline in proportion to his declining statistics which subsequently, will lower his trade value.

    However, I do realize I am speculating as to Gortat’s production without Nash, but when you consider how dependent he was on Nash spoon-feeding him, I don’t expect him to be as good as he’s been with the Suns so far.

    Although I may be underestimating Gortat’s game and ability to be effective without Nash, regardless, it’s silly to rebuild around a soon to be 29-year old center who relies on athletic ability to be effective. This Suns team, as currently constructed, is easily in the bottom 10 teams in the league and it’s not as if Gortat’s presence will turn this Suns team into even a playoff team.

    Furthermore, even though you probably are right that Lopez will never turn into a legitimate starting center, because of his youth, I believe it would have been more prudent to take a risk and keep him and trade Gortat. Although Lopez has rarely been completely healthy, when he has been, he’s been just as good, if not better, than Gortat. I realize his ability to stay healthy is an issue, but again, in my opinion, his health issues were worth the risk because of his youth and potential. Contrasting that with Gortat, who has most likely reached his ceiling.

  • 23 gordon // Aug 30, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    Tony, YOU miss the whole point about Gortat, not Steve. You act like all Gortat does on the court is scoring points. I’d like to remind you that last season he was 6th in the league in total defensive plays (blocks+steals+charges) and 8th in the league in rebounds. I’m pretty sure these numbers have nothing to do with Steve Nash.

  • 24 PennyAnd1 // Aug 31, 2012 at 12:53 am

    @Steve & Tony

    In regards to Gortat, I will agree with Tony in that I’m not comfortable with Gortat. Don’t get me wrong I like the dude. But if we hadn’t stole Scola from Houston, I would be concerned by just relying on Gortat as our main man down post.

    Gortat is a good guy, great defender, hard worker and all BUT the guy gets down on himself too easily. And it’s not just that, he does that one time too many. In other words he’s soft mentally, and it’s that part of his game that I really don’t like about him because he drags it on, even to the next game or two. Gortat is one of those guys who plays the game and plays it well, but doesn’t know the science of the game (low IQ). If Gortat focuses on his strength this season which is Defense & dirty work alongside Scola who I prefer to do most of the shooting, then the Suns will be just fine. Let’s just hope he doesn’t get too greedy.

    @Gordon
    You’re absolutely wrong. Nash had alot to do with Gortat’s success. Sure Gortat did the defensive stat himself, but the offense was horrible and I don’t know if you were one of the many who would hold his breath whenever Gortat had the ball when it came for offense. The dude was just soft around the ring area, and there were many times he missed easy lay-ups that could’ve been dunks.

  • 25 foreveris2long // Aug 31, 2012 at 1:55 am

    Steve (5) In addition to what Tony said to you about Keeping Lopez, you asked if there was a team who traded a center with PER over 20 and got better by letting him go. I am not looking at their Per but New Orleans just let their former allstar center Kaman while in his prime (age 30) walk and then traded for Lopez and I am willing to bet they will be a better team in 2 years. Another such trade was the Lakers trading their very good starting center Divac for the rights to get Kobe and that turned out pretty good. Since it only took me 5 minutes to think of those deals I am certain there are a host of other moves where a team has traded their very good center and gotten better.

    Tony good post my man.

  • 26 gordon // Aug 31, 2012 at 2:06 am

    2012 Kaman? Seriously? NOH getting better has NOTHING to do with replacing Kaman by Lopez.

  • 27 Serek // Aug 31, 2012 at 2:13 am

    Actually, I was just going to mention something jc posted. Poland is currently playing in Euro Championships qualifiers. Gortat is “the man” on that team, so one could see how he copes with that, since he has never been that in NBA. Not talking about the Magic here, even in PHX he was team’s leading scorer, but just a tool to get stats for Steve. No chance to get consistent with post-ups, PnR or bust, since there was virtually no other scoring threat on the floor. And even though the opposition is nowhere near NBA quality, so are his teammates. In particular, nobody is feeding him buckets as Nash did.

    I think that this year, with addtion of Scola down low and Beasley on the wing, the team is going to have more options. I don’t see how they are doomed to lose. If they put an effort and the chemistry is there.

  • 28 foreveris2long // Aug 31, 2012 at 6:13 am

    Hey Gordon, Kaman was an allstar 2 years ago, has Gortat ever been an allstar? We’ll see if New Orleans gets better and if Lopez is a factor in that but it doesn’t really matter as long as New Orleans gets better. Lopez may not ever be an allstar but if he plays better defense than Kaman including blocking shots that alone can make New Orleans better if they have other scoring options. You cannot look at it in a vacuum or with tunnel vision.

  • 29 Serek // Aug 31, 2012 at 7:00 am

    @forever

    Kaman was an All-Star while playing for a bottom-dwelling Clipper team, in a year where 4 players dropped out because of injury (including 3 in his conference). And it was his 7th year in the league.
    At the same time Gortat has been really playing (ie. starting) for only 1,5 years.

    As you said, you cannot look at it in a vacuum.

  • 30 steve // Aug 31, 2012 at 7:16 am

    Not to mention the fact that Kaman is all sorts of average now. Also, as far as the Kobe deal, I think you’re leaving out a HUGE part of Lakers history. Some guy they called “Diesel?” Something like that.

  • 31 Polish basket // Aug 31, 2012 at 7:20 am

    yesterday Eurobasket qualification 2013, Poland- Belgium 87-73, Gortat 29pts 10reb, stats euro qualifaction 18,6pts, 9,8 reb, 34,0 min, fg 54%

  • 32 steve // Aug 31, 2012 at 8:25 am

    And by the way, IF New Orleans does get better (and I think that’s definitely still an “if”), I think you’d be hard-pressed to say it was the result of any sort of Kaman deal (assuming we’re pretending that Kaman was actually a good 5, which he isn’t) and not simply the addition of another presumably good 5 (whether you want to call him a 4 or a 5 at this point, he’s going to get minutes at the 5, so let’s not bicker).

    I know those were just two instances you thought of off the top of your head, but the way you spouted them off so pompously opened you up for a response. Neither one of your situations fits my bill. A 5 with a PER over 20 leaving a team that immediately got better WITHOUT the addition of a better 5. It just doesn’t happen. The 5 is the most important position in basketbally, in my opinion. I can’t think of many championship teams in history that did not have a 5 who was dominant on at least one end of the floor (barring last year and the Jordan years, because Jordan is the GOAT, LeBron is a freak like nothing we’ve seen since Wilt, and James Harden wouldn’t stop shooting).

  • 33 Michael // Aug 31, 2012 at 10:46 am

    i believe the suns should have already traded Gortat!!!! they should have kept RoLo and his contract and hes young…i think the suns screwed up on this one

  • 34 Michael // Aug 31, 2012 at 10:51 am

    does anybody remember Gortat against the jazz game?? he got blocked around the rim like 15 times in a quarter…just embarasing to see him play sometimes, i mean the guy is 7 feet tall

  • 35 Scott // Aug 31, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    As usual, the cognoscenti are divided.

    Gortat has room to develop on the offensive end. He’s still raw, inexperienced. Sure, he’s had 1.5 seasons with the Suns, and was even a primary option, but as noted that was with Nash running the point. He has a very limited ability to create for himself. However, his IQ is not low; it’s average to high. If his IQ is on the higher end, we should see him find ways to create for himself.

    Remember how Dudley would add new aspects to his game each summer? Well, it took time, but he added 3 point shooting, a midrange shot, and then the ability to create a little for himself on the perimeter. Gortat may develop his offense more as well, but you’ve got to give him some time.

    The absence of Nash could even help him in this, as he’ll probably be called upon more to make his own shot.

    Like others here, I think O’Neal and Scola are likely to be positive influences on Gortat. I don’t think Gortat had anything to learn, really, from anyone else on the former team, so it’s great that the Suns acquired these players. Scola should be able to show him a bit more about how to move to get a shot, and to bank it, while O’Neal will probably teach him a thing or two about the inside game. If nothing else, it will help Gortat to spar against them in practice, because it will be a different look from what he’s had playing against Lopez, Frye, Morris, and Siler.

    If the Suns can keep Gortat, I think they should. However, if the rebuild is going to take several years, they’re not going to be able to afford to hang onto Gortat. That’s been my point right along.

    If, however, plans accelerate somehow, like Marshall proves suddenly competent, and they decide to move Dragic to the SG spot, or something weird like that, which puts the Suns deep in the playoffs … then I can see Gortat being retained as one of the tent poles to build around for the immediate future of the team.

  • 36 Scott // Aug 31, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    BTW, I really wanted Kawhi Leonard in the previous draft. He looked to me like he could develop into a top talent. Here’s what Popovich had to say about him in a recent interview.

    Question: What kind of season do you see Kawhi Leonard having next season? Also, where do you see him in five years?

    GP: I think he’s going to be a star. And as time goes on, he’ll be the face of the Spurs I think. At both ends of the court, he is really a special player. And what makes me be so confident about him is that he wants it so badly. He wants to be a good player, I mean a great player. He comes early, he stays late, and he’s coachable, he’s just like a sponge. When you consider he’s only had one year of college and no training camp yet, you can see that he’s going to be something else.

  • 37 steve // Aug 31, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    I wanted Kawhi also. I’m not unhappy with Morris, but with Kawhi on the board at the Suns’ pick, I was screaming at them to take Kawhi. Apparently, they couldn’t hear through my TV screen.

  • 38 JT's Hoops Blog // Aug 31, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    What to do with Marcin gortat? that’s a STUPID question. Yah’ll should just STFU and be thankfull that you have a talented center of his caliber on your team.

  • 39 melon man // Aug 31, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    While the quality of a player is the main thing that makes a player a keeper or not there are surely other business side qualities that may make a player a keeper as well. Gortat being the best Polish player in the league surely influences a lot of people in Poland to become Suns fans thereby opening up an entire country for good Suns marketing. While the NBA surely is the premier league for basketball in the world, a world basketball league is not an unrealistic prospect for the future and guys like Gortat that can bring attention to both the Suns and Phoenix which is a good thing. With a lineup of internationals like the Suns have this year they secure an opportunity to make a global imprint with the Suns brand which they couldn’t do without guys like Gortat and Dragic.

  • 40 Forever is2long // Aug 31, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Let’s see how Gortat looks without Nash. How good have the Suns been with Gortat? let me remind you we have been a lottery team with him and we will likely be a lottery team again this year with him so tell me why are we holding onto him. He will loikely be on the downside of his prime by the time this team becomes relevant.

    Serek it doesn’t matter how Kaman became an allstar, he was an allstar and Gortat has never been an allstar end of story. New Orleans was not married to Kaman and the Suns are married to Gortat despite the fact we are not a good team with him. While he is a good player, we need to develop with a young center. This isn’t nuclear science, figure it out Gang.

  • 41 steve // Aug 31, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Go find a 24 year old all star center then.

  • 42 Red // Aug 31, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Gortat is the best center Phoenix has had since the last good center… I can’t even remember when we had a good center.

  • 43 Alex Shim // Aug 31, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Gortat is going to be a solid contributer, as he is now, into his 30′s. The man started playing basketball at 17. Perkins came to the NBA at 17 Lol. Point is that he’s never really played a full season with starter minutes up until this one. And you see 19-20 year old centers being drafted now and given the opportunity of 24+ minutes a night as a rookie…You see THEM start to turn into bird poop approaching that 30 mark. Gortat always maintains a healthy lifestyle, and he’s probably one of the most fit players in the NBA. No question to me that he’ll be able to bring his athleticism into his 30′s, and hey age is just a number right? You see Grant hill the 40 year old guard 25 year old superstars. With the training and medical staff PHX has, as well as Gortat’s good habits of training hard and keeping fit in the off-season, there should be little to no problem. Bottom line is the guy is FRESH, DURABLE, athletic, and still has room to grow. Goran-Gortat = Euro-powerhouse combo this upcoming season.

  • 44 PennyAnd1 // Aug 31, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Ok now to sum up everyone’s debate. I think this is the conclusion:

    PROS
    Gortat is the best Suns center since the last one, uhmm? Was it Joe Kliene? I don’t know about you guys, but I was extremely happy when he had talented natural PFs playing center like Antonio McDyess, Cliff Robinson, and recently Stoudamire.

    Gortat is a good asset to the team because of his great defense, hustles, and rebounds.

    Suns will be successful with Gortat & Scola in the front court clicking together. I prefer Scola to do more of the creating & Gortat to do the dirty work when it comes to finding their offense. The reason? Scola is more aware of surroundings compared to Gortat down post & has better decision making IQs.

    CONS:
    Gortat is soft mentally.

    Gortat sucks offensive especially when creating for himself. We will lose more games if Gortat continues to shoot fadeaways when there is no defender on him, or when he takes lay-ups instead of dunks.

    Gortat has a low IQ. The only reason why he’s above average as a center is because he has mobility & agility as a big man, hard-nose worker, and plays hard.

    Gortat chokes during crunch time. Gortat needs to be consistent throughout the game and play the game the whole 48 mins. He needs to approach the game like every possession counts. Until Gortat learns how to do that, he will never reach the superstar status.

    In my opinion, I’d ride out Gortat & Scola playing together before any trades happen. I think Gortat & Scola playing together will out-hustle, outwork, and frustrate opposing front courts. I’d put Gortat & Scola in the top 5 FrontCourt out there in the league this season if they click right.

  • 45 Scott // Aug 31, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    I think in most cases mental toughness comes from being put in situations where you are forced to exercise mental toughness. That’s why many young players struggle in their first playoffs run: the mental toughness aspect gets to them.

    But, in time, and with experience, mental toughness usually comes along.

    It’s too early to call out Gortat on both his offense and his mental game. Gortat has not had many occasions in his career to exercise mental toughness. He’s like a 2-year veteran coming into this season.

    Now that his rookie jitters and his sophomore slump are out of the way, and he’s no longer being spoon-fed by one of the all-time greats, we’ll see what he has.

  • 46 Rich Anthony, (KJL) // Aug 31, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    What an entertaining discussion board. All sorts of foolery but entertaining regardless.

    My favorite part of it would be those who suggest that the Suns should have ejected Gortat in favor of keeping ROBIN LOPEZ. Right.

    ROBIN LOPEZ CAREER AVERAGES.
    MIN 14:24 FG% 51.7 RPG 3.3 BPG 0.8 PF 2.0 PPG 5.8

    THORTAT CAREER AVERAGES
    MIN 20:30 FG% 55.5 RPG 6.5 BPG 1.1 PF 2.0 PPG: 8.1

    Robin’s BEST SINGLE SEASON EVER isn’t better than Gortat’s CAREER AVERAGE to date. So, the best Lopez has been thus far isn’t better than an average, bench-riding Gortat while Gortat’s best single season numbers are more than DOUBLE RoLo’s best output at the expense of banishing Lopez to the bench in the process of producing those numbers.

    So explain to me how, in any way, keeping Lopez over Gortat was the right move if it would have happened? Not only is RoLo a sub-par center but he isn’t suddenly going to get NOH 10 boards a game and most importantly, the kind of player Lopez is DOESN’T FIT with what Gentry puts on the floor scheme wise. What are you guys even talking about?

    There is no pressing need to get rid of Gortat now unless he is part of a package that lands us some sort of star – PERIOD.

    The only reason Gortat would have been shopped this off-season was for draft picks or a possible star, (which wasn’t on the free market). Phoenix has 600 draft picks which didn’t come at Gortat’s expense plus Gortat’s contract, (as a 15 / 10 center) is WAL MART cheap! He’s not hurting anybody financially right now.

    Gortat is 30, guys. He isn’t 45. He is in the care of the Warlocks and has been for 2 years now so that brings his age back down to 25.

    His turnover averages in Phoenix: 1.3 a game. In contrast, STAT’s TO averages the last 3 years, (and career), 2.6 / 3.2 / 2.4 (2.6)

    When you are the executioner in an offense designed so that everybody knows you are about to get the ball and where you’re going to get it, you’re going to have turnovers and shot blockers are going to get some of your shots. Once again, the Nash-driven System, y’all [R.I.P.]

    Gortat should be in Phoenix for at least two more seasons and only if the team can draft a young stud-muffin cornerstone at the 5 spot. If he continues to improve on a nice enough scale and the Suns haven’t found a young center, you offer him a decent contract or trade him middle of next season because his value will be at it’s pinnacle, and you only trade him if you feel like he’s going to ask for tons of cash and cap space is a concern by that time.

    Otherwise, Gortat is the man at center in Phoenix.

  • 47 Alex Shim // Aug 31, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    To be honest, I would really like to see this years suns roster to play out before making any drastic trade decisions(Because we all know we don’t have the best front office). But luckily we managed to have an above average off-season considering losing our two best players and veterans.

    Gortat and Scola will be a pain in the ASS defensively and offensively for opponents. They both came into this league and made a name for themselves for there hard-work and nitty skills. Gortat, in my opinion is a top 5 defensive center, you could even argue top 3. He lacks creating his own shot and his post skills are mediocre…Meet Luis Scola, Gortat’s opposite. Scola’s basketball I.Q and footwork in the post will offensively give the Suns the down-low presence they never had.

    So leave Gortat to his pick and roll, and Scola to his post; and I truly think the Phoenix Suns could have a potent Front-Court if Beasley pans out. Talent wise this is how I see this years Phoenix Suns

    PG: Goran Dragic- Has some pretty god damn big shoes to fill. But, playing behind the legend for over a year as well as learning and watching his craft, makes you think that Goran could be the best possible replacement for Steve. Showing flashes of all-star potential in Houston, Dragic will be expected to bring more consistency to the Suns.
    Kendell Marshall- Little do we know about Marshall, he posses above average ball handling skills as well as basketball I.Q. He is an up-tempo point guard with great potential in the play-making category in the NBA. Give him a few years and he could develop into something special.
    Sebastian Telfair- Showed signs of brilliance towards the end of last year, but consistency has always been an issue for the veteran. Best case scenario- Telfair is used as a 3rd string PG helping and developing Marshall.

    SG: Shannon Brown- Who knows who’s going to be the starting shooting guard for the Suns this season. Personally I like Jared because of how he fits in with the starting unit. Anyways, I would view Shannon as the sixth man, spark off the bench, kind of like Harden for OKC (obviously not talent wise) but you get the point. He’s an energetic player and someone you like having in your locker room. Hopefully he read a few books this summer so he doesn’t make as many bone-head mistakes as he did last year.
    Wesley Johnson- Can you say bust? I dont really know this guy to well but from what i’ve seen and read, he’s pretty good defensively but don’t expect much more than a role-player out of Johnson this season.

    SG/SF: Jared Dudley: We all love dudz and knows what he’s going to bring to the table. Hardwork, determination, and he is always going to put a fight. I love this guy.
    SF: Michael Beasley- This guy has the potential to be a 20+ppg player. And who knows, maybe with Gentry’s system and a fresh start, he can do just that.

    PF: Luis Scola- On the decline, Scola the 32 year old Argentinian has proved himself as a starting power forward in the NBA. His play-making and skills in the post will be a happy surprise to the suns, whos never really had such a player. He is a good addition to any team considering how much he’s getting paid a year (3mil).
    Markieff Morris- Another year coming off the bench for Morris sounds good to me. Morris will pan out to be atleast a good NBA player…just not this year. Don’t get me wrong I think Morris will have a nice impact on the Suns this year, but don’t expect to much baggage on his shoulders this season.
    Channing Frye- Paying 5+ million per year for 3 years for a sharpshooter who’s coming off a major shoulder injury…I smell trouble. But hey, Channing Frye is a pretty good 3rd string PF/C in my opinion.

    Center: Marcin Gortat- As I mentioned before, Marcin still has a ceiling to climb, at 28 he still has a lot of potential, and we’ll see if the Goran-Gortat combo will workout.

    Jermaine O’neal- At this point im tired of typing. Good defensive Center, doesn’t really fit the Gentry system in my opinion, but im pretty sure they brought him in for size and defense, and I dont blame them. Not many other options at C still available.

  • 48 foreveris2long // Aug 31, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Hey Rich, what did Gortat average when he was 24? Further if you really knew what you were talking about you would know Gortat is 28 not 30. Finally at the end of the season Lopez was the better defender between the two resulting in Babby saying Lopez was the best rim protector on the team. Do you want a good center and a bad team or a young and promising good team where the core is 25 and younger and they grow together into a championship caliber team? The bottom line is a the GM Demps in New Orleans is probably a lot smarter than both of us and he wanted Lopez as his starting center. I think he is going to do well in New Orleans and if so it will prove my point we should have kept the significantly younger, cheaper and better defender in Lopez. What is the worse that could happen, we spend another year in the lottery. Well we are going to be in the lottery with Gortat so how much of an impact will he really have?

  • 49 Luka // Aug 31, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    There’s no denying that Nash pumped his offensive numbers up. But Gortat more or less picked up the offensive slack for Frye who just refused to attack the rim or expand his game. I’d expect Gortat to get back to defending and rebounding and for his offensive stats to decline a bit. Gortat wasn’t really brought here to score 20 PPG.

    Management finally realized Frye wasn’t cutting it as a starter and Scola will take his place easing Gortat’s role.

    There’s no reason to believe that Gortat won’t continue to be productive at center. The Suns also have the luxury of time to determine whether or not he’s worth a near max contract. Trading Gortat now just makes no sense.

    As far as Lopez is concerned he flat out sucked. Awful rebounder, horrendous shot selection (those dreadful hook shots come to mind). It was time for him to go. He’s just a plodding big in a long line of plodding bigs who gave you a few years of decent production ala Jake Tsakalidis.

  • 50 Luka // Aug 31, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    There’s no denying that Nash pumped his offensive numbers up. But Gortat more or less picked up the offensive slack for Frye who just refused to attack the rim or expand his game. I’d expect Gortat to get back to defending and rebounding and for his offensive stats to decline a bit. Gortat wasn’t really brought here to score 20 PPG.

    Management finally realized Frye wasn’t cutting it as a starter and Scola will take his place easing Gortat’s role.

    There’s no reason to believe that Gortat won’t continue to be productive at center. The Suns also have the luxury of time to determine whether or not he’s worth a near max contract. Trading Gortat now just makes no sense.

    As far as Lopez is concerned he flat out sucked. Awful rebounder, horrendous shot selection (those dreadful hook shots come to mind). It was time for him to go.

  • 51 gordon // Sep 1, 2012 at 12:16 am

    Did I really just read that Robin Lopez is a better defender than Gortat? Oh my…

  • 52 Ounin // Sep 1, 2012 at 12:16 am

    Marcin Gortat vs Belgia (15.08.2012) EUROBASKET

  • 53 Rich Anthony, (KJL) // Sep 1, 2012 at 12:23 am

    foreveris2long wait what?

    I’m going to crush your entire post with one gem from the first few lines of your try-hard insulting rant.

    “Hey Rich, what did Gortat average when he was 24?”

    If I may answer that with a question, it will eradicate the rest of your post responding to me.

    Who was Gortat playing behind as a younger player and who was Lopez playing behind at the same age?

    Right. So while one player was behind Superman flashing enough talent that teams offered him contracts that Orlando matched, the other was beh – wait no.. Actually he could have been the starter because – wait what?

    Lopez had the GREEN LIGHT to be the starting center for the Phoenix Suns and he COULD NOT DO IT. Why? Because ROBIN LOPEZ IS BAD AT BASKETBALL.

    Also, OF COURSE the Phoenix front office will say glowing and promising things about Lopez in the hopes – by the god Elliot Perry – that some team would be STUPID enough to pay him so that the they didn’t have to!

    Bottom line is this.

    If ROBIN LOPEZ were good at basketball, 1) That trade that brought Gortat to the valley would have never brought Gortat to the valley and 2) Lopez would still be on the team.

    He’s absolutely terrible and an utter train wreck in Gentry’s system.

    HOW MANY YEARS DOES IT TAKE FOR A BIG MAN TO LEARN HOW TO PIVOT AND DIVE OFF A PICK AND ROLL SCREEN WHILE PLAYING WITH ONE OF THE, IF NOT THE GREATEST PICK AND ROLL GUARD OF ALL TIME?!?

    to this day Lopez STILL can’t execute a proper pivot-and-dive off a screen! By the time he gets moving towards the basket the window has been shut, boarded, nailed, sanded, and painted over.

    Also the system in New Orleans is different from Phoenix and they can use whoever they want at the 5 because defensively, they’ve got a potential defensive JUGGERNAUT to play beside them.

    All he has to be as a Hornet is a body. That’s it! Set a screen without having to worry about rolling; move the ball from left to right as that offense shifts. THAT’S IT. That’s why Okafor was there for so long and it’s why Kaman wasn’t needed. He can be a flat-footed sloth down there and it’s okay because it’s fine in THAT SYSTEM.

    And right, as I said above if the Suns can find a young stud at the 5 to mature with the youth of the team THEN fine. Make the adjustment.

    ROBIN LOPEZ was NOT that guy. He will NEVER be that guy.

  • 54 Sillmarillion // Sep 1, 2012 at 5:43 am

    Lol, when I’m reading that Lopez is a better player than Gortat it just makes me laugh. Just look at the numbers, look at the way they run and jump and see the difference, look a the impact Gortat had at the team since he joined and compare it to Lopez. There is no universe in which Lopez is better than Lopez. He is far beneath the Polish Hammer.
    Plus, you should always keep in mind that Gortat was freaking 18 years old when he started to play basketball. EIGHTTEEN!! There’s plenty room for him to develop and just think what kind of a player he would be, if he started to play at the age of 10…
    And Gortat will never stop to improve, cause he is a hard worker and always wants to get better. In an interview he once said: “They pay me 34 million dollars; 4 for my talent, 30 for my hard work.” That’s an attitude!

  • 55 Russell // Sep 1, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    @complainers …I like how everyone (you know who you are) is complaining about Gortat being not good for a rebuilding team at age 28! LOL

    Can anyone here name one legit Center the Suns have had the last 20-25 years? Anyone ? Gortat is 5 times better then any center in over two decades, and you guys are saying the Suns should trade him? then what?

    Has anyone looked around the league? The NBA is thin on Centers half the Starting Centers in the NBA should be bench players and the other half the list is so thin in quality….Where are you going to get a Center? Howard? Bynum?

    Stop being silly. Center is not a problem on the Suns lack of a 2 guard, lack of a proven at Small forward, and yet to be determined PG, lack of a reliable bench. Trading Gortat accomplishes nothing, now trading Gortat + 3 first round picks + Dudley+ Morris+ Marshall might accomplish something we may get 2 very good players back (think Tyreke Evans or Harden + Josh Smith) but so what? we are still not a ring contender with those two.

  • 56 Russell // Sep 1, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Also those who think R.Lopez is anything more then a 15 minute- 17 minute bench player is either dreaming or has no idea what they’re talking about. Lopez is not that guy, don’t ask him to be that guy because when you do you’ll act like it’s a surprise even though you were warned way before.

  • 57 Tony // Sep 1, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Talk about ignorant statements, this one takes the cake: “ROBIN LOPEZ IS BAD AT BASKETBALL.” Besides the obvious stupidity of this comment, the fact that its author felt the need to capitalize every letter only exacerbates the lunacy of the author. This guy conveniently ignores the fact that through much of Lopez’s career thus far, he’s been plagued by injuries. But when he’s been healthy, Lopez has been very effective. In fact, let’s not forget in last season how many times Gentry let Lopez finish games instead of going back to Gortat. It’s a fair point to argue that Lopez’s inability to remain consistently healthy is enough on its own to warrant chosing Gortat over him, but to claim that Lopez is a bad basketball player as proof of Gortat’s superiority, is so childish and completely without merit.

    I don’t want to speak for Foreveris, but what I think he is getting at is not that Gortat isn’t a very good center, but rather, because of the Suns current situation of being a lottery team, that giving up on a much younger center in Lopez, in favor of an older and already in his prime center, Gortat, was a mistake. Assuming this is his point, I agree completely. If the Suns had a roster that could compete to even make the 2nd round of the playoffs, then this would be a completely different situation. If that was the case, then obviously Gortat’s importance to the team would be far greater than Lopez. But the Suns won’t make the 2nd round of the playoffs in the next two years, nor are they likely to even make the playoffs at all in that timespan. As such, by the time the Suns can field a very competitive team again, Gortat will likely be passed his prime or will want a much bigger contract when his current one expires in 2 years. Either way Gortat will probably not be in the Suns long term plans. (Either he’ll be passed his prime and unable to remain a legitimate starting center or, if he continues to play well in these next two years, he will likely demand a much higher contract).

    Moreover, it’s not that Gortat is an old player, in fact, because speed and athletic ability are typically not as important for the center position, age is usually less of a factor for centers compared to other positions. However, because Gortat relies so much on his speed and athletic ability, his age should be a much bigger consideration than a typical 28-year old center. On the offensive end, he has proven thus far to be consistently effective only as a roll man on the p&r. Gortat did show some improvement in the beginning of last season with a quick spin move in the post, but as the season progressed, his effectiveness in the post declined. Furthermore, his mid-range jumper was very inconsistent and similar to his post game, as the season progressed, his consistency in making 10-15 ft jumpers also declined.

    In sum, obviously Gortat is currently a much better player than Lopez, but becausee the Suns are unlikely to make the playoffs in the next two years, because of Gortat’s age, and because the Suns had a much younger center with a higher ceiling, it was a mistake for the FO to give up on Lopez in favor of Gortat.

  • 58 foreveris2long // Sep 1, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Russel you are an idiot assessing Robin Lopez without mentioning when Gorat arrived Lopez was coming off a herniated disc in his back that resulted in him losing 8 inches in his vertical.
    Further it doesn’t matter who Gortat was backing up I just suggested you compare their numbers, points, rebounds, block shots, free throws.
    Your contentions are so flawed it is apparent you know nothing about the game except what you read.

    I am not sure who if anyone said Lopez was better than Gortat today because I do not think he is but I think if he stays healthy he could be and New Orleans will give him the opportunity to expand his game. I suspect this time next year more and more fans will be yelling why didn’t the Suns keep the cheaper and better defender, free throw shooter and low post player Lopez and trade Gortat for a top ten lottery pick which Blanks hinted was available to the Suns this summer.

  • 59 foreveris2long // Sep 1, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Tony, That is exactly what I am saying. Under the totality of circumstances with the Suns being a lottery team for the foreseeable future, they should have held onto to the younger center despite the fact today he is not as good as Gortat. You definitely get it. Lopez was really hurt by the herniated disk in his back and only in the 2nd half did he begin to recover. Thanks for the input man.

  • 60 Kevin Zimmerman // Sep 1, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Great discussion.

    Schwartz’s post I believe is based around the fact that Marcin Gortat has a ton of value because we all can acknowledge the guy can put up numbers that are far superior to that of Robin Lopez.

    But here’s an argument I think should be pointed out. In this day of NBA ball, it’s not the big men who are getting double-doubles that make franchise centers. It’s players like Andrew Bynum, Perkins and Tyson Chandler who completely change a team’s interior defense. I think that’s where concerns about Gortat being soft are coming from. The offense is just the cherry on top.

    FWIW, Jermaine O’Neal and his creaky knees averaged more blocks than Gortat and in two-thirds of the minutes (on average) last year when he played.

  • 61 gordon // Sep 1, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    @Kevin Zimmerman: Gortat averaged more blocks than Chandler, Perkins or Noah. Your point is…?

    @Tony: “In fact, let’s not forget in last season how many times Gentry let Lopez finish games instead of going back to Gortat.”

    Erm… maybe 5 times? Don’t forget how many times (before the all-star break) Gortat had to play full 24 minutes in the 2nd half because Lopez was totally useless.

    And Lopez IS a bad basketball player. He rebounds with one hand, brings the ball down in traffic and gets stripped all the time and commits unnecessary fouls (apparently some people think that fouling = good defense). He’s a low BB IQ player.

    BTW guys, please stop acting like the first 50 games of the season never happened and all that matters is the last 16.

  • 62 Russell // Sep 2, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    @Gordon, you get A+ for your post, great observation.

  • 63 Sillmarillion // Sep 2, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    In the EURO qualification Gortat scored 31 points and got 13 rebounds last night. Without Nash.

  • 64 Scott // Sep 2, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Lopez did himself no favors by not putting himself in position to score early and often last season. With Morris on the court at PF, Lopez should have been the option for at-the-basket scoring, with Morris spreading the floor shooting corner 3s.

  • 65 Kevin Zimmerman // Sep 3, 2012 at 12:07 am

    Gordon,

    I’d be really surprise if any NBA coach would put Marcin Gortat on a list of the best 20 interior defenders — power forward or center. He’s not an imposing figure inside, and my argument is that that weighs a lots (fairly or not) when discussing the greatest centers in the game.

    Maybe the blocks stat isn’t the best. But I guarantee you given the choice to put a big man on a roster built for a championship (let’s say, the Heat of last year), Noah, Perkins and Chandler would go before Gortat.

  • 66 Sillmarillion // Sep 3, 2012 at 1:35 am

    You keep forgetting how many charges Gortat is able to ake. Whereas charges don’t look that spectacular like a block imo they are better for the team. The oponent gets a foul, your team gets the ball. After a block the oposing team usually still has the ball and can try to score.

  • 67 Serek // Sep 3, 2012 at 6:32 am

    @Sillmarillion

    The general opinion seems to be that the more burly and brutish the player is, the bigger defensive presence he is. But this can be deceiving. Look no further than RoLo – he has that trait, but is in fact not that good.
    At the same time, taking charges by Gortat was often viewed on this board as a sign of weakness, while in fact it shows finesse, situation awareness, good positioning and crafty use of game rules, which makes up the bball IQ we all love in players.

    The prime example how those skills are underrated in contrast to brute force is how Gortat drew a charge against Griffin last year. Everybody was so over the fact that Griffin “posterized” Gortat, while the reality was that there was no points, he fouled out, got a technical and his team lost, because he was not thinking.
    http://www.nba.com/video/games/clippers/2011/03/20/0021001039_phx_lac_play5.nba/index.html

Leave a Comment