Veteran big Marcin Gortat plans to retire soon, hopes to finish career with Magic
Gortat, 33, knows his NBA career is nearing its end but he has a retirement plan in mind
Marcin Gortat has had a very long and successful career as an NBA starting center. He's been a key part to the Wizards' success the last few seasons, thanks to his defense and screen-setting ability. He won't be going to the Hall of Fame, but he found a role that worked for him and made a career out of it.
At 33 years old, Gortat knows his career doesn't have much time left. He signed a 5-year contract with Washington in 2014 and it appears this is going to be the last deal of his career. Gortat told the Orlando Sentinel's Josh Robbins, while he sees his career ending soon, he does have a final destination in mind.
Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat said today he doesn't expect his NBA career to continue after his current contract expires following the 2018-19 season, and he added he would love to end his career with the Orlando Magic.
"I would love to join the team for maybe two or three months, or maybe half a season at least," Gortat told the Orlando Sentinel after the Wizards completed their shootaround Friday at Capital One Arena.
Gortat in Orlando would be interesting. The Magic are undergoing what appears to be another rebuild after the previous regime's plan failed. During these rebuilds, veterans like Gortat are useful for providing a voice in the locker room and providing stability to young improving rosters. It also allows long-time players a chance to leave the NBA on their own terms and players across the league notice that.
"I'm going to be a old guy, so I don't know if Orlando would be interested or not. But I would love to join the team back again just to wear the uniform, put the white and blue stripes again on me and be able to say I'm a Magic again and just come back home where I belong. That would definitely be a dream come true to do that for me. Whatever the team wants to do — play me, just be in the rotation or just be a bench player — I would definitely be there for the team."
Gortat began his career with the Magic as a backup center for Dwight Howard. He excelled, but he was too good to be a reserve forever and eventually moved on to a bigger role with the Suns following a trade. With the Wizards he became one of the NBA's best screen setters and pick and roll containment big men in the NBA. If he really wants to finish his career in Orlando, and the Magic have a reasonable means of acquiring him, then this is something that should get done. It sounds like a positive for everybody involved considering the knowledge he can bring to a young locker room.
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