A lot of trade rumors have been swirling around Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat recently, rumors that need to crushed immediately. It all started earlier this week when Gortat reportedly vented to a Polish publication, and that interview was then translated over at Gothic Ginobili.
Since then, many fans across the league are going berserk. It isn't too often that a good defensive-minded center is on the market, and bloggers and fans from teams such as the Thunder, Magic and Celtics are already posting "potential" trades on the internet.
But then again, Gortat isn't really on the trade block, is he? Other than this one little interview there doesn't appear to be any evidence that he is, and unless Gortat channels his inner diva and pulls a Dwight Howard, there is no way the Suns would consider trading him.
And here's why.
First off, we're making way too big a deal out of this one interview. Wednesday night's win over the Blazers can be used as evidence of that. Gentry inserted Markieff Morris into the starting lineup, most likely with the intention creating a similar pairing to the Frye-Gortat frontcourt the team had last year. And it worked. Gortat had 22 points on 11-14 shooting and contributed on both ends of the floor.
But that's only one game, right? Still don't believe he's happy? Well, take the word from the man himself. Here's what Gortat had to say about the starting lineup changes, from Bright Side Of The Sun:
"Markieff can spot up at the 3-point line," he said after the game. "And there's the whole middle open for me and for Goran."
He followed up those remarks by concluding, "I'm just glad the coach gave me the opportunity to help the team offensively and I'll try to use that."
Sounds like Gortat is back to normal for the time being. Alvin Gentry is a good coach, and he knows when to make adjustments. Now if he would only convince Michael Beasley to take fewer shots, maybe the team could really mesh well.
However, let's take this a step further. Say Gortat was still unhappy in Phoenix. Management would make as many adjustments as possible before they would make a trade, because they wouldn't be able to get equal value in return.
Let's face it, Gortat is not even an All-Star, let alone a superstar. He does the dirty work and has some value offensively, but I'm just being honest when I say that no team would be willing to give up their top young talent and another piece to balance the contracts just for Gortat. He isn't that good.
Don't forget, over the past few years we have had a couple other star players emerge in trade rumors. Both Nash and Stoudemire were supposedly on the trade block, but the team never made a move because the prospects being offered weren't very exciting anyway. And those two actually were All-Stars.
We now face a similar situation with Gortat. But unlike Nash when he was on everyone's radar, Gortat is only 28 and in his prime. Why would the Suns want to add a couple B or C-level prospects when they already have a player in his prime? Wouldn't that just prolong the whole rebuilding process? We're not talking about a veteran player here, so we shouldn't treat the situation as such.
Do you believe the Suns could net a good return if they traded Gortat?
Plain and simple, if the Suns were to trade Gortat, they would need a shooting guard and a forward/center to replace him. But keep in mind, those two players would need to have contracts adding up to Gortat's $7.3 million salary at the very least.
Plus, at least one of those players should be young and promising.
Now consider what the experts believe would be a "nice return" for Gortat. Joe Kaiser published an article on ESPN about five possible trade deals for the big man (Insider required). One of the deals Kaiser mentions is Kendrick Perkins, Jeremy Lamb and a 2013 first round pick for Gortat. I would be crying tears of joy if I were a Thunder fan right now, but let me explain why that doesn't make any sense for Phoenix.
Kendrick Perkins alone is an immediate deal breaker. I don't think Perkins is an awful player, but he is one of the worst starting centers in the league and clearly not deserving of his $8.3 million salary this year. Perhaps that wouldn't be so bad if he were an expiring contract, but alas, Perkins is on a three-year deal.
So basically, this trade would most likely leave Phoenix stuck with Perkins' huge contract for the next three seasons, severely hurting their chances of finding the cap space to sign a top-tier free agent.
Also, why is there a draft pick involved? The Suns do NOT need any more draft picks. There is such a thing as having too young players.
Phoenix already has three first round picks and two second round picks in 2013 alone. It isn't a smart idea to enter next season with 5 or 6 rookies who will all be competing for playing time and who are taking roster spots away from veterans that the team could be signing. Enough is enough.
If that is really an ideal trade for Phoenix, then I wouldn't expect the Suns to really pursue this idea any further. If you can name me a team that wants Gortat and can offer the Suns some mixture of good young players and expiring contracts, then I'm listening. But right now, that doesn't really seem feasible. Fans can keep dreaming all they want, but don't be surprised when the deadline passes and Gortat is still a Sun, whether he's ecstatic about his role with the team or not.