Jake Whitacre: I've been thinking a lot about Marcin Gortat lately. He's durable, dependable, but also leads the team in being mentioned in trade ideas by fans. He has become this generation's Antawn Jamison: A great complementary big man for the franchise point guard, but not quite good enough to be a franchise cornerstone. He's talented, but expendable.
So my question is, ten years from now when we look back at Marcin Gortat's legacy in Washington, are we going to say that we overappreciated his time here or underappreciated it? Personally, I feel like I go back and forth on my answer on a day-to-day basis.
Albert Lee: I think Gortat will be underappreciated in Washington. He's a likable guy and held the fort as well as anyone could have hoped since he arrived. The difference between Gortat and Jamison is this: Gortat wasn't the "voice of wisdom" that Jamison was. Wall by all accounts has been a composed player in the locker room. Arenas, however, was more of a goofball.
Marcus Atkinson Sr.: I'm torn on this but I would mostly say that he is underappreciated. I think there are some elements to his game that can be overappreciated and I also think that there are some that are unappreciated. I think one thing that has hurt his reputation somewhat is the defensive schemes that have been used in his time here. I feel as though with the changing of the NBA, it is difficult to ask a player like him to rotate over on guards and expect him to slow them down. For what it's worth, he certainly tries his best, but I feel as though the team could have done better with his defensive skill set.
The thing that I think that will be most unappreciated is how much he has helped Wall become the player that he is. We can talk about how great a passer Wall is and how he makes teammates better, but I will never forget two years ago when I went early to a game, and I saw both Wall and Gortat working on pick and roll plays an hour before the game. Being a big who can set good screens and has the ability to read a defense, knowing when to roll and when to trail the play is not a popular skill but it is one that has made Wall more effective. I think when we look at Wall's legacy it will be hard not to think about how much Gortat has contributed to his development.
Jeff Newman: Well said.
He's underappreciated, but constantly mentioned as trade bait because one of the few assets outside the three "stars" that the Wizards could actually get anything for.
Jake Weingarten: Marcin is a great guy on and off the court. He is a double-double machine, and he truly shows what it means to be a big man in the NBA. Although he has a great guard by his side, he still is great in the paint.
Nick Bilka: I think people underrate the things Marcin does because he is not particularly graceful and the things that he does on the court go unnoticed or underappreciated by the casual fan. To hear some Wizards fans talk, you would think Marcin was created by John Wall, even though he has been an effective backup and starter on two teams prior to coming to Washington. Or, they think that what he does in the pick and roll is so easy that any big man in the league could do it catch passes from Wall and score at the rim. But just as Gortat's career didn't start with Wall, Wall's career preceded Gortat's arrival in Washington, and the Wizards didn't get particularly competent center play during that time (save for Emeka Okafor's fine effort on the defensive end). If doing what Gortat does is easy, Kevin Seraphin would be sitting on an $80 million dollar contract rather than on the end of the Pacers’ bench.
Sam Rinde: I think he is underappreciated. He is everything a pass first point guard wants on offense, the pick and roll primary action opens up so many different lanes, from the generally easy roll man pass to the cross court pass, the drive, etc. Just like I believe Otto and Wall are a perfect fit, I think Gortat and Wall are a perfect fit, at least offensively. The screens are what really set him apart, in my mind.
On defense, I think he leaves things to be desired. He puts effort in, which is great, but his slow feet and inability to really stick with guards hinders his ability to be in the upper echelon of defensive centers.
Additionally, Gortat is personable and pretty funny. Ten years from now, we will look fondly on Gortat s ability to tweet out stuff like "bad game from me, but we got the win!" and "your mom sucks" in response to the haters. His contract is great, IMO, which is why I think a lot of fans include him in trade rumors and why he tends to be overlooked.
Jake Whitacre: Not to jinx it, but is Marcin Gortat the healthiest player in Wizards’ history? He's only missed 8 games since he was traded to Washington, and that includes three to be with his sick mother in Poland, one was because they sat him for the final game of last season after the Wizards were eliminated.
Albert Lee: He’s the Polish Machine for a reason.
Alan Jenkins: He’s underrated and underappreciated as he continues to stay productive while other centers in the league are becoming extinct. He's having one of the best seasons of his career and is doing it even though he's the fourth or fifth option on offense and has next to no plays run for him outside of the pick and roll. He's averaging a double-double and his having the best rebounding season of his career. And as Jake mentioned, he's always healthy.
Sam Rinde: Don’t forget he had that monster 31 point, 16 rebound game against the Pacers in the 2014 playoffs. Dude was on fire. Despite MANY poor moves by Ernie, getting Gortat on a five year, 60 million contract was not one of them. We'll see how the last two years are, but so far it's a great contract.
Alan Jenkins: Call me crazy, but I think Gortat might be the best player John Wall has played with in his career. Yes, Beal is having a career year but outside of this year, he's either been inconsistent or injured for a bulk of time. With Porter, the team was waiting for him to fully develop which also looks like it has happened this year. But all in all considering consistency, ability to stay on the court, ability to produce, etc. I think Gortat is the best player Wall has played alongside.