During a press conference in which Otis Smith, Stan Van Gundy and the Magic front office were announcing Brandon Bass as the newest member of the Magic, Otis Smith told the media that they would be keeping another player. The Magic have matched a 5 year, $34 million offer sheet that Gortat signed with Dallas, keeping the big man with Orlando.
The Orlando Sentinel has the story here.
Gortat averaged 3.8 PPG, 4.5 RPG and .8 BPG in 63 games for Orlando. He averaged 3.3 PPG and 3.2 RPG in the playoffs. The 6’11 PF is originally from Poland. The 25 year old backup Center would have prefered to go to Dallas where he would start but he said that he’d be happy in either place.
Gortat is a good shot blocker, a solid rebounder and he even has a decent shot. He is a good fit for Orlando, but his price tag is huge. Otis Smith is widely thought to want to trade Gortat at some point. He may want to keep him for year, deal him and grab a stud or a cheaper player next summer. He may trade him during the season and he may not even be on the team come October.
Although he is making a lot of money, this was the best option for the Magic. They couldn’t let Gortat leave for nothing. The Magic now may acquire the backup swing man or PG they need in a trade. He can be a solid contributor if he does indeed stay and should play in more than 63 games and his 12.6 MPG should nearly double. With Brandon Bass joining Gortat and Dwight Howard, the Magic have one of the best frountlines in the NBA.