One cannot fully judge the Marcin Gortat trade until the summer, when the Wizards must decide whether to re-sign him, how much is too much for the team's future and when the effects of losing a valuable asset in a first-round pick potentially manifest themselves.
But this year, Gortat has been far better than I and many others anticipated. The Wizards hoped his pick and roll finishing ability -- he was perhaps the most efficient roll man two years ago with Steve Nash and was still among the most efficient finishers even in a down year in 2012-13 -- would help lift John Wall to new heights. Early on, that wasn't happening, and Gortat was honest in his lack of chemistry with his new point guard. These lines, via Truth About It, came after the Wizards' first home game:
"I'm learning to play with John, who's super fast. At some point, when I'm setting a screen, by the time I open up, he's already at the rim, so it looks like he doesn't need me to roll to the basket. So again, I'm just learning. In the fourth quarter, Coach said ‘Go set a screen' and [John] just told me ‘No, no, I don't need screen now,' so he's pretty much good enough to do it on his own. Like I said, it's a learning process for me."
Boy, have things changed. Gortat's soft hands have become a major weapon for Wall and a huge reason why Wall is starting to slow down in half-court situations instead of just zooming to the rim.
Thus, to commemorate the pairing, I've set some Wall/Gortat pick and roll highlights to "Just What I Needed" by The Cars. Enjoy.