Marcin Gortat had a great season last year and was regarded as one of the league’s top centers. Gortat’s mobility and rebounding makes him a good player at both ends of the floor, with the help of Steve Nash last season Gortat averaged 15.4 points and 10 rebounds and also 1.5 blocks per game. Gortat also posted a solid 56% shooting from the field. Gortat without Nash would still be a double-double guy, his ability to hit the mid-range shot and run the floor should easily get him over 10 points a game and his rebounding as well as his mobility shouldn’t diminish either.
I’m actually surprised Gortat is still on the roster at this point because we all knew Steve Nash was leaving this off-season and I thought the Suns were going to trade Gortat to move up in the draft this past June. Gortat is the most valuable piece the Suns have right now. Talented big guys who can be productive at both ends of the floor are hard to come by and had the Suns been a winning team last season around all-star break both Nash and Gortat would’ve made the all-star team.
There are a several reasons why the Suns should move Gortat right now. Gortat right now is at the peak of his value, he’s coming off a strong season and he still has two years left on his contract for only around 7 million a year which is an absolute bargain for a player of his caliber. The Suns can use Gortat into perhaps making a trade for James Harden if they involve another team.
Gortat can easily reel in a couple more first round picks and a quality young player for Suns and at this point that would be only add to the already loaded assets for the Suns and the reason they should trade him right now is because he’s going be 29 years old by all-star break so his value is at it’s PEAK right now.
Potential trade partners for the Suns could be the Cleveland Cavaliers who could be in the market to find a center to give rookie Tyler Zeller time to get accustomed to the NBA game. Atlanta Hawks could be another possible partner even though they have Al Horford, Horford is a bit undersized for a center and with Josh Smith there Horford pretty much has to play center and with all the turmoil in Atlanta, the Hawks may be looking to unload Smith; should Smith be gone, Atlanta could add Gortat and slide Horford to his natural position.
The most realistic trading partner for the Suns at this point though may be the Cavs. Cleveland improved a lot from the prior year and could’ve finished with a better record had rookie of the year Kyrie Irving not gone down with injury late March. Cleveland would want to be competitive and try to sneak into the playoffs to give their young team some playoff experience but most importantly they have valuable assets to offer the Suns in young players as well as draft picks.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, expect Gortat to be gone by all-star break if the Suns are struggling. It would be foolish to keep him and watch his trade value go down if the Suns aren’t at least competitive. However any team that the Suns deal with would most likely involve a third team to make the deal work.