In an interview with Polish newspaper Przeglad Sportowy, Marcin Gortat voiced his displeasure with his role in Alvin Gentry’s offense and talked about missing the chemistry he had with Steve Nash. More importantly, there is some speculation that the Celtics have shown interest in trading for him.
First off, who would the Celtics have to give up? Gortat is making around $7 million per year over the next two years and to make the salaries match, you’re probably looking at some combination of a value vet plus a prospect. That could mean something like Brandon Bass and Avery Bradley or Courtney Lee and Fab Melo (or Jared Sullinger). Either way, he’s not coming cheap.
The argument for making the trade is pretty simple: at age 28, Marcin Gortat is a very accomplished center and could help a team without a true center in their current rotation. Jason Collins and Darko Milicic have yet to find a definitive role on the team and Gortat would fit seamlessly into the offense and defense. Since being traded from Orlando to Phoenix, he’s averaged almost double digit rebounds and is a lethal finisher on the pick-and-roll. If he hasn’t found his groove with Goran Dragic, I’m sure Rajon Rondo could get him going.
But then there’s the issue of what we give up. Phoenix is on the rebuild and they’ll be looking to stock young players. I doubt they’d bite on a package with Fab Melo, but if Sullinger or Bradley were in the mix, they’d have to take that call from Danny. For the Suns, Bradley makes the most sense. He’d thrive in their up tempo system. For Boston, when AB returns, he joins an already crowded back court with five guards that have all shown flashes ten games into the season. I’m playing devil’s advocate here, but even though Bradley adds to our depth, at this point and especially by mid-December, his addition to the rotation could just cloud the already murky waters of what Doc’s rotation will be in March and April. Depth is nice, but effectiveness is better. Gortat would immediately fulfill a need for the C’s (rebounds, REBOUNDS, REBOUNDS!) and keep Doc from using his small lineups with Green, Bass, and Sullinger at the 4 and 5′s.
The question is: would Ainge even pick up the phone? The articles suggest that he already has, but it’s all just speculation at this point. December 15th is the first day that newly signed players can be traded. If the team continues to lose games like last night, expect the blinds in Ainge’s Waltham office to be closed and the speed dial on his cell to be active.