Marcin “The Polish Hammer” Gortat should go buy himself something special, especially since he and the Washington Wizards agreed to a brand-new five-year contract worth $60 million. Why is this a bad deal for the Wizards? Here is why.
I’m a huge fan of Gortat. I think he does a lot of things well on the court, and he doesn’t get in trouble off the court. But I disagree with the Wizards on this one. Gortat is 30-years-old, and, as good as his numbers are, he is on the downside of his career.
When it comes to positions in the NBA, everyone who follows the NBA knows that there is one glaring position lacking a lot of talent. That position is the center position. I saw it first-hand the Minnesota Timberwolves overpaid Nikola Pekovic last offseason to keep him around. And a few years ago when the Indiana Pacers overpaid Roy Hibbert, severely I might add.
I just can’t fathom the fact that Gortat is a $12 million per-year player. His numbers don’t suggest that. His Player Efficiency Rating was a little above average (17.6) and he averaged mediocre points per game (13.2) and good rebounding numbers (9.5 per game). But there is no way he is one of the best centers in the NBA. He isn’t better than Dwight Howard, Al Jefferson, Joakim Noah, DeMarcus Cousins, Marc Gasol (when healthy), or Andre Drummond. All of those players are either better offensively, defensively, or both than Gortat.
Gortat should be paid in the $8-$10 million range, give or take a couple million of dollars. Gortat provides a nice inside touch (75.3 percent from three feet and in), but has limited range outside the paint (40.5 percent from three-10 feet and 42.5 percent from 10-16 feet). He is one-dimensional on offense, but a rim-protector on defense, something general managers covet today with a lack of big men in the NBA.
Like I said earlier, I’m a huge fan of Gortat, but I’ve said it before and it’s something I believe in: Superstars are the only players who should make between 20 and 30 percent of a team’s salary cap. Gortat, like Kyle Lowry, is at 20.4 percent of the team’s salary cap.
There are only two guys in the league who deserve max contracts and those two players are LeBron James and Kevin Durant.
Maybe Washington knows something that I don’t, and they probably do. But I think Gortat is beginning his decline.
My prediction: The Wizards trade Gortat after the second year of the contract.