Chris, Eli, and Teddy discuss the possible results of the Marcin Gortat trade.
Teddy: So last week the Phoenix Suns traded Marcin Gortat, Shannon Brown, Kendall Marshall and Malcom Lee to the Washington Wizards for Emeka Okafor and a top 12 protected first round pick.
Chris: THE POLISH HAMMER!!!
Eli: I always liked Gortat, back before he got all moody and disgruntled on the Suns, when he was carefreely backing up the best center in the game in the NBA Finals.
Chris: Livin’ the dream, really.
Teddy: To me, this trade appears to boost the Suns’ super rebuilding efforts (they now possibly have 4 first-rounders in this year’s draft). We’ll get to that. But the Wizards have improved, and further geared up for their quest for the 8th seed.
Chris: It’s no secret that I’ve never been a John Wall fan or considered him an elite point guard, but this trade definitely catapults the Wiz into the playoffs. Wall’s going to make a ton of plays working off of Gortat in the pick and roll, I’m excited to see it. They become a lot scarier with a true center that can play well on both sides of the court.
Eli: He’s been in a frustrating situation for the last couple years, and hasn’t shied away from saying so. I think he’s going to come out the gate firing, and though they will regress a bit on the defensive end, he’ll make them a real scoring threat. I also like the him and Nene’s (if and when he plays) two-man interior game–two competent passers out of the block!
Teddy: You don’t have to sell me on how productive this trade was in helping the Wizards reach their goal of being eliminated from the playoffs by the Bulls, Pacers, or Heat. But long term, I’m not so sure I see the logic.
Chris: Tell that to the thousands of rejoicing Wizards fans.
Teddy: To me this trade seems too reminiscent of last year’s Kyle Lowry trade, where Bryan Colangelo gave what ended up being the 12th overall pick because he was trying to make the playoffs to avoid getting fired. I see Ernie Grunfield as making this trade for job security reasons as opposed to staying the course and patiently rebuilding. But I suppose if they drafted better–or had high picks in better drafts–they would not be in this position in the first place (I’m looking at you, Jan Vesely).
Eli: I like the move for a lot of reasons, but Teddy, you’re right, I can’t shake this familiar feeling–it’s a feeling Knicks fans know too well, the move that makes a team just relevant enough that you momentarily lose sight of how they’re restricting themselves in the future.
Teddy: Although, I suppose they have Beal and Wall under contract long term so they can figure out the right supporting cast around those two.
Eli: If Otto Porter can show us a little sumthin’, then maybe they’ll be okay going forward, but if he doesn’t produce, they’ll really regret giving up that pick.
Teddy: That seems like it will be a problem for another GM.
Chris: Can we talk about how bad the Suns are going to be?
Teddy: Please. Their best player was a backup point guard last year, and they will be running out the Morris twins, and a fifth overall pick who is coming off ankle surgery. Am I crazy or could this team be worse than the 76ers?
Chris: Look, it’s no secret that the Suns are trying to be as bad as possible. Sure, their attendance in the Polish demographic will drastically fall, but this is a team that clearly has their eyes set on the future.
Eli: They did a beautiful job of still further dismantling their already meagre roster, and got a (protected) fourth first round pick.
Teddy: They’re bad, but they’ll make some plays.
Chris: Yes, Eric Bledsoe is crazy athletic, Dragic will do a couple crazy cool European-y things, and Jeff Horacek will rub everyone’s cheeks while they are taking free throws. But I will be actively trying my best not to watch too much Phoenix this year.
Eli: Bledsoe-Gerald Green ally-oops for days, that’s all I’m saying.