"People coming up to me asking me if I'm Hasheem Thabeet. That's probably the worst thing." - Roy Hibbert

 
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4  -  Marcin Gortat - PF/C, 6'11, 240
Washington Wizards - Acquired via trade in October 2013
       Date of birth: 02/17/1984
       Country: Poland
     Drafted (NBA): 57th pick, 2005
     Out of: RheinEnergie Koln (Germany)
  NBA Experience: 7 years
  Hand: Right





From blog:


   The increasing value of 1st-round picks
2013-11-06

[...] The lure of first-round picks is in what they can yield, not what they always do. It is well established, of course, that many first-round picks are failures relative to expectation, and this is truer the lower they are. However, first-rounders can yield star talent, star talent that has no choice but to sign with you. It can yield quality role players for basement prices, and it can yield contributors in any form you choose. Most importantly, however, first-rounders are always young and cheap. Bad teams need this to get good, and good teams need this to stay good when the market forces and punitive luxury taxes designed to break them up necessitate they cut costs. Talent is talent, but cheap, young talent is the best type of talent.

Back at the start of the summer, Utah took on a whopping $25 million in salary that it didn't want in the forms of Andris Biedrins, Richard Jefferson and Brandon Rush, purely to acquire two first-round picks and three second-round picks from the Golden State Warriors. The Jazz did this because it was more beneficial to their long-term rebuilding goal to target first-round picks, and that amount of money is now the cost of acquiring them. Or at least, it should be. First-round picks should be a valued commodity, much more than they were. Now, it seems as though they finally are.

A cursory look at the market indicates this change in philosophy. The last few deals to have included first-round picks include:


- Washington trading a pick (top-12 protected in 2014, top-10 protected through 2019, thereafter unprotected) along with Emeka Okafor in exchange for Marcin Gortat.

- Indiana trading a pick (lottery protected through 2019, thereafter unprotected) along with Miles Plumlee and Gerald Green in exchange for Luis Scola

- Boston acquiring first-rounders in all of 2014, 2016 and 2018 as a part of the Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett deal

- New Orleans acquiring Jrue Holiday and Pierre Jackson in exchange for the rights to Nerlens Noel and a 2014 first-round pick

- Toronto acquiring a 2016 first-round pick from New York -- along with two second-round picks, Steve Novak and Marcus Camby -- in exchange for Andrea Bargnani

In that list, we mostly see first-rounders traded for quality. Hall of Fame players like Pierce and Garnett, fringe All-Stars like Holiday or non-lottery picks for a legitimate starting center in Gortat. The ones where we don't see that -- the deals for Scola and Bargnani -- therefore stand out as bad deals for that reason. The inclusion of the first-round picks in each instance leaves the recipient team drastically overpaying for backup-caliber forwards. And if he's not re-signed or extended, the Gortat deal might join them.

[read full post]

   Everyone wins in Wizards/Suns trade (except Kendall Marshall)
2013-10-31

It's not very often you see a team trade for four players. then waive three of them three days later. Indeed, the most obvious thing to say about the trade of Marcin Gortat to Washington was its novelty.

Phoenix have been fire-selling with some conviction, aggressively trying to get rid of every player over the age of 27. The only players older than this that they now have on their roster are P.J. Tucker (who is nevertheless still very inexperienced) and Channing Frye. At the minimum salary, Tucker is so cheap that he is of great value even to a rebuilding team, whereas Frye, if he proves his health and a return to his usual averageness over the first few months of the season, is an extremely logical candidate for a deadline day trade. (And Tucker could well be used to facilitate this.) Phoenix has plenty of young players meriting development minutes, and the protected first round pick Washington also handed over in the deal further cements their new ideology. There is no better way to get younger than with draft picks.

The sole player Phoenix returned in this trade, Emeka Okafor, is now their oldest. The 31-year-old Okafor never developed offensively, and is now on the downside of his career - this, combined with his high cost and status as being out indefinitely due to a neck injury, had largely killed his market. His age of course rather defies the idea of the Suns getting younger, yet Okafor is in the deal mostly to facilitate it financially - the real lure for Phoenix is the first round pick Washington gave up for what may only be a one season rental of Gortat. But if it is only a one year rental, it is still likely worth it for Washington, such is the quality of Gortat. His finishing ability inside and out, his pick and roll offense, and sufficient shot blocking and rebounding add much to a team defiant and determined in their 2014 playoff push. This deal is of young for old, of the future for the now, two teams in contrary positions and opposite directions with very different shopping lists, helping each other fill them.

This is the NBA's equivalent of the timeless baseball classic, the August time trade of a veteran reliever with a 3.96 ERA in exchange for a 'player to be named later' deal that sees both teams in theory get what they want. Washington gets the best player in the deal. and by quite a margin - all it cost was a non-lottery first round pick, and the eating of $6 million in salary on the waived players. They were eating this money anyway due to Okafor's injury, and the deal even saved them a couple of hundred thousand dollars in the process. Meanwhile, Phoenix gains a future basketball asset for a player who, be it by trade or free agency, was leaving some day soon anyway.

[...] And as for Gortat, he has yet to ever have the greatest exposure in his NBA career. In Orlando, he was stuck behind the then-blindingly bright star of Dwight Howard, and whilst given the opportunity to break through in Phoenix, he did so mostly on bad teams where no one noticed. He now starts at centre for a probable mid to late seed playoff team, one who should win some style points along the way. His time is now.

[read full post]


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Note: Non-US teams that the player has played for are, unless stated otherwise, from the top division in that nation. If a league or division name is expressly stated, it's not the top division. The only exceptions to this are the rare occasions where no one league is said to be above the other, such as with the JBL/BJ League split in Japan.


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