The number of top-level big men in the NBA has dwindled to what might be an all-time low in recent years. That list gets significantly shorter when it’s filtered to include only those players who can be realistically considered available on the free agent market this offseason. In fact, the argument could be made that the list only includes two names: Greg Monroe and Marcin Gortat.
In regards to the Dallas Mavericks’ hunt for a new starting center, we discussed Monroe yesterday. It only makes sense to discuss Gortat today.
Monroe will be a restricted free agent and Gortat will be unrestricted, which, on paper, would make it appear that Gortat is the more accessible option. But that thought is complicated by reports that Monroe is much more interested in parting ways with the Detroit Pistons than Gortat is in leaving the Washington Wizards. Gortat is comfortable in Washington and he likes his role playing alongside the one-two punch of John Wall and Bradley Beal. He plays his part (defensive anchor, rebounder, scorer when necessary) perfectly for that group and it appears that it will take a very appealing situation to lure the center away from our country’s capital.
Good news, the Mavericks could be the perfect fit for Gortat outside of the Wizards.
Gortat has stated that he will only consider playing for teams with a pass-first point guard. The top two point guards in Dallas are Jose Calderon – a facilitator with a shooting touch more than good enough to spread the floor effectively – and Devin Harris – a guy that can score when needed, but whose primary role is to get in the paint and create for others. Those two guys could be exactly what Gortat is looking for.
Aside from the play at the point guard position, the fact is that, if Gortat signed with Dallas, the only pressure on him would be to do what he does best, defend. The Mavericks would ask nothing more of Gortat than for him to lay in wait under the rim and gobble up interior shots from opposing guards and wing players. He can defend the post, too. His contributions on the offensive end of the floor would certainly be welcome, but there won’t be any pressure or expectations on Gortat to produce more than what offensive rebounds and dishes to him under the basket allow him to produce. Dallas may have been the best offensive unit in the league this season, and very little of their production came from the center position. That can continue next season with Gortat.
Considering all relevant details, the Dallas decision makers need to put Gortat’s name toward the top of their list of free agents to aggressively pursue, even if he does appear committed to his current squad.
Brian Ogle is a Dallas Mavericks writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @TheOgle.