Marcin Gortat started his stint with the Phoenix Suns three years ago after a complicated trade with the Orlando Magic. With the last season of his current deal starting on October 29, fans are asking whether he will be traded to another club, and whether he will use his time to improve his stock and convince NBA managers that he’s still a valuable asset.
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“It’s not only about the contract. ... It’s about what kind of player I am in this league. This is the year and time where I can really prove what I can do,” the Polish center said after a recent pre-season game.
Mr Gortat’s tenure in Phoenix has been a roller-coaster ride. On the one hand he became a starter – something he could have only dreamed of in Orlando while serving as a backup for Dwight Howard. His first season in Arizona was the best of all three so far. Last season was unremarkable, the result of being sidelined with an injury.
At 29 years-old, it’s Mr Gortat’s last chance to nab a big contract before he is considered too old to get paid the big bucks. The fact that it’s the last year of his deal, and that the Suns have three young centers on their roster – Alex Len, Miles Plumlee and Slava Kravtsov – has fueled speculation that he could be sent to another team before the February trade deadline.
Until recently, the most prevalent rumors had linked Mr Gortat with a move to San Antonio, but after their center, Tiago Splitter, signed a new contract, that deal is off the table. But plenty of other teams are either looking for a new starting center or a player with an expiring deal in order to gain some wiggle room on their roster after the season is over.
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