Though Marcin Gortat has been a solid NBA center for the better part of his career, his numbers are beginning to take a hit as he gets up there in age. Formerly a nightly double-double machine, Gortat has seen his playing time dwindle to 27.3 minutes per game in his 5th year with the Washington Wizards, though he remains a starter.
Though Gortat’s contract with Washington runs through the conclusion of the 2018-19 season, it’s safe to say he sees the writing on the wall. With the Wizards in Orlando set to square off against Gortat’s former club, the Magic, the 33-year old Polish center had some interesting things to say about his future. Following from Orlando Sentinel’s Josh Robbins:
Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat said today he doesn’t expect his NBA career to continue after his current contract expires following the 2018-19 season, and he added he would love to end his career with the Orlando Magic.
“I would love to join the team for maybe two or three months, or maybe half a season at least,” Gortat told the Orlando Sentinel after the Wizards completed their shootaround Friday at Capital One Arena.
“I’m going to be a old guy, so I don’t know if Orlando would be interested or not. But I would love to join the team back again just to wear the uniform, put the white and blue stripes again on me and be able to say I’m a Magic again and just come back home where I belong. That would definitely be a dream come true to do that for me. Whatever the team wants to do — play me, just be in the rotation or just be a bench player — I would definitely be there for the team.”
Gortat’s comments about his desires to join the Magic somewhere down the road qualify as slightly bizarre, especially considering he’s still under contract with the Wizards for 2 more seasons. It’s safe to say Marcin Gortat has a connection with Orlando due to them being the first franchise he was part of after a 2005 draft-night trade but these remarks can still be seen as out of line.
Gortat isn’t the first center to dupe the Wiz with retirement talk, as there was a situation with Nene years back that was just as strange. Gortat remains one of the few tradeable assets the Wizards possess and his name has been brought up in past discussions to pair with a younger piece in a potential deal. It remains to be seen whether his latest comments impact his being shopped with the deadline quickly approaching.
Gortat also took to Twitter himself to discuss his comments regarding Orlando and his perceived disloyalty to the Wizards with a fan.
lol….dude I'm 34 in a month :) relax
— Marcin Gortat?? (@MGortat) January 12, 2018