In a league short on well-rounded centers, the Wizards’ Marcin Gortat is a player any team could find useful.
Gortat rates as a solid finisher, interior defender, roll man, rebounder, screener and even post scorer which at a position short on balance makes him one of the more preferable options out there. Breadth of skill matters; so many teams get into trouble because their defensive bigs can’t convert around the rim or their scoring bigs don’t understand defensive positioning. Living in the middle eliminates the liability from Gortat’s game, making him all the more viable across team contexts. If Gortat has any standout skill, it’s his ability to make himself available. Gortat is a big target who keeps his hands high. Last season, he led the league in paint touches in part because his Wizards teammates knew he would work his way through the obvious openings on the floor and be prepared for any catch. Patience, too, bolsters Gortat’s efficiency. He has great touch on layups and hooks but is careful to keep balanced and avoid lunging toward the rim without a clear plan of attack. It all works. Gortat is often overshadowed as the endpoint of a John Wall assist or merely a component of a defensive stand—even in cases where his presence was instrumental to a play’s success. (Last year: No. 63)
+ A top-20 rebounder by percentage, better than DeMarcus Cousins
+ Well-versed in the timing and angles of the pick-and-roll game
– Can contribute to a strong defense but isn’t quite mobile or instinctive enough to carry one
– Production could take a step back with the arrival of Ian Mahinmi