Roster - Phoenix Suns
The prodigal center returns
Phoenix will welcome Marcin Gortat back into the fold this week. Gortat has some history with the Suns and GM Pennywise. One of the 1st trades completed by Penny, he shipped out Derrick Favors and Jason Maxiell for Gortat, and 2 others. The trade ended up being controversial later, as there was a future 1st added in the deal, but at that time, the NLL didn’t allow any picks past the current year to be traded. Then, in a not that unsurprising turn of events, that Portland GM was fired. The new GM, DJ Drew, sent an email to Penny stating that he would honor the deal made by his predecessor. That changed quickly when he got the opportunity to see what his draft pick could net him, so he reneged on his word and left the Suns out in the cold.
Phoenix was quite happy with Gortat’s abilities and he was solid for the Suns. He had 2 of his best 3 years in the NLL under GM Pennywise, but opportunity came knocking and the Suns were given the opportunity to upgrade to Marc Gasol. Gasol played terribly for Phoenix, and it seemed this was not a match made in heaven. Instead, it turned out to be a deal that Penny later regretted making, as Gortat had integrated into the Suns system well. Since then, the Suns have gone through numerous centers, with none of them making a lasting impression. Marc Gasol, Marcus Camby, Larry Sanders, Omer Asik, Kosta Koufos, Jeff Withey and Joakim Noah to name a few. Some were great players, but always seemed to get injured when they were with Phoenix. Others never seemed to live to their ratings/expectations.
So, in an attempt to break the center curse, the Suns have brought back the most effective/efficient center they have had since the 2011-12 season. Gortat should slot in nicely next to Al Horford in the front court. The Polish Hammer will punish teams in the paint, as he hustles for each and every board. He isn’t the best shot blocker in the league, but he is a solid paint and post defender that will alter his fair share of shots. He is a nearly automatic scorer in the paint and is excellent on the defensive glass. The Suns will ask him to play to his strengths, as well as set picks for the Suns guards and wings to free them for open jumpers. He should be a wonderful pick and roller and will be a nice contrast to Horford, who is better with the pick and pop. This should keep opposing defenses on their toes.
So, Marcin, the city of Phoenix welcomes you back with open arms. Help take us to the promised land (NLL Playoffs)!
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07/16 11:32 pm
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