Boston Celtics Rumors: Will The Phoenix Suns Trade Marcin Gortat To Beantown?By Jason Van Hoven - Posted: 11/20/12 05:57PM EST
Gortat (R) could be a good fit for the Celtics' frontline. (Photo: Reuters)
Is a Boston Celtics trade for Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat on the horizon?
Consider it so if the recently-signed Darko Milicic ends up leaving the team to go back to Europe to tend to his ailing mother. Should that be the case, the Celtics will be without a true center on their roster to backup forward-turned-center Kevin Garnett.
In an interview with the Polish web site Przeglad Sportowy, translated into English by NBA blogger Adam Koscielak at Gothic Ginobili, Gortat expressed his frustration with Suns coach Alvin Gentry and the team as a whole:
"I've been doing the dirty work all my life, and now I have to come back to that," Gortat said. "I will fight for what's mine. I'll try to prove to the coach that I can play an important role in the offense. Unfortunately, I don't think I'm even an option for Gentry. He doesn't even take me into consideration. The situation is critical. We're playing the same thing we've been playing last year, but the truth is we have a completely different set of players. I don't think it really works. I can't get frustrated now though, I have to stay positive."
Przeglad Sportowy also reported that Gortat recently rejected a contract extension from the Suns and that, besides the Celtics, the Orlando Magic, Dallas Mavericks and Chicago Bulls are interested in trading for him.
Since his first game in Phoenix, Gortat has proven that he could be a starter. After the '10-'11 season, he averaged 13.0 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. The season after, he averaged, 15.4 points, 10.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks.
But, this season has been a different story. Since recording 12 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks in the Suns' 107-105 comeback win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Nov. 9, Gortat has been practically been a ghost, specifically against the Miami Heat on Saturday when he played a season-low 23 minutes. Judging by the quotes he gave in the aforementioned interview, he has most likely reached the tipping point in his frustration with Phoenix's system.
The fact that Steve Nash is no longer around to help Gortat flourish may also be a reason in his production decline. Add the fact that Phoenix isn't really a pick-and-roll team with great shooters, and one can see why Gortat might eventually leave.
With the Celtics, Gortat would have the pleasure of playing with the pass-first Rajon Rondo, which would most likely elevate his numbers back to what they were the previous two seasons. This year, Goran Dragic is an above-average passer, but not as skilled as Rondo to run the pick-and-roll. With Dragic, Gortat's scoring has dipped by four points per game and he is not as much of an inside presence on the offensive side of the ball.
Luckily, the Celtics can use both his offense and defense as they rank 17th and 18th in points per game and points allowed per game, respectively. Gortat's inside, offensive ability is proven. He's also blocking a career high three shots per game this season (nearly double what it was last year).
So now, the question is how can the Celtics pull off a trade for Gortat?
It will be hard. The Celtics don't have many players they would want to trade with contracts that match Gortat's $7 million salary. Those players have too large of contracts, are newly-signed or have just been recently acquired.
With that said, getting Gortat would most likely require giving up Jared Sullinger, given the number of big men the Celtics have.
Celtics GM Danny Ainge has always been creative in manufacturing trades, but he will have to work within the confines of the new collective bargaining agreement If he is able to do that on scrap paper beforehand, then look for this trade to happen.