Phoenix Suns Would Be Smart to Trade Marcin Gortat

By Justin Brown
Kelly Cox-USA Today Sports

The Phoenix Suns, fresh from a season which saw them finish with a 25-57 record, are in full-on rebuild mode. Many realized this when Phoenix decided to trade the face of the franchise, Steve Nash, to the Los Angeles Lakers for draft picks last summer, but few predicted their fall would be quite this severe, or quite this fast.

After all, they were in the upper echelon of teams for the better part of the last decade, when Nash, Amar’e Stoudemire, Boris Diaw and others were in Phoenix. Believe it or not, they were two wins from the NBA Finals just three years ago. But all of that is in the past now. The Suns need to focus on the future and do what’s best for the team today, which would start with them trading center Marcin Gortat.

Gortat is a solid player. He is a legit 6-foot-11 with ability on both the offensive and defensive end. He has a nice touch around the rim and can hit the mid-range shot. He is a presence in the paint, defensively, as he has averaged over a block per game the past three seasons (since he has played starters minutes). There’s always a market for size in the NBA, especially size with some skill like Gortat.

And the Suns have no real use for big man. They should not hesitate and trade Gortat because, simply put, he does not fit into their long-term plans. They aren’t going anywhere next season, which is the last year on his contract, and they just drafted the big man of their future in Alex Len. Gortat’s presence in Phoenix will only hinder Len’s development. The Suns would be much better off trading him for whatever assets they can acquire for him, be it young prospects or draft picks.

Then they can proceed to tank this year in hopes of drafting Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins next summer. The Suns would then potentially have a core of newly acquired Eric Bledsoe, Len, Parker or Wiggins, Goran Dragic and whatever assets they received from the Gortat deal. This would put the team in a much better place than they are now, with Gortat on their roster. Let’s hope for their sake that the Suns’ front office realizes this and does what’s best for the team’s long-term plan to return to contention.

Justin Brown covers the San Antonio Spurs and NBA in general for Follow him on Twitter @Real_JBrown, like him on Facebook, add him on Google+

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