Phoenix Suns: Marcin Gortat Becoming an Integral Part of Suns Present and Future

Karthik TadisinaSenior Writer IJanuary 29, 2012

Marcin Gortat.
Marcin Gortat.Christian Petersen/Getty Images

One NBA big-man player that has been under the radar so far this season has been Phoenix Suns starting center Marcin Gortat. Gortat, or sometimes known as the "Polish Hammer," currently in his fifth NBA season, can only continue to get better as he brings a lot of experience to the table since coming over from Orlando.

Gortat went from playing behind All-Star center Dwight Howard in Orlando to becoming a starter with the Suns. During his time with the Magic, he got the opportunity to play in the regular season and in the playoffs thus becoming an integral part to the Magic’s rotation.

Gortat was important for Orlando as having satisfactory size in the frontcourt is difficult to find in the league currently. The Dallas Mavericks signed Gortat to an offer sheet (five years, $34 million) and surprisingly the Magic matched the offer sheet at the last moment preventing the Polish big man from leaving town.

Although unhappy about being back in Orlando and playing sparingly, Gortat eventually got his chance when the Magic decided to make changes to their roster early in the 2010-11 NBA season. Gortat was acquired from the Orlando Magic in the middle of the 2010-11 NBA season in a blockbuster trade sending Hedu Turkoglu to the Orlando Magic along with guard/forward Jason Richardson.

Averaging 14.9 points and 9.9 rebounds so far this season, Gortat has become a double-double machine playing alongside Steve Nash. Although still developing his game, Gortat has shown the ability to shoot the basketball with confidence, is comfortable passing out of double-teams and is a legit defensive presence.

At the end of the day, the Suns got a future NBA center that is only in his fifth NBA season and can expect to have a long career in Phoenix.