The departure of Nash has already raised the issue of Gortat's long-term status with the Suns. Those two developed an amazing PnR game that, for all its predictability, produced wins last year. Gortat's numbers may fall with Nash out in LA, but Dragic should be able to find ways to keep Marcin involved. So why look to trade Gortat now? He's a top-10 center, albeit not a centerpiece star or superstar. When his current deal ends, he can expect to get $9-12M/yr, depending on how he plays in the seasons ahead. He'll be in his early 30s by 2014, but he'll have far fewer games played than many others at that age. If the Suns best-case scenario is one or two years of lousy play before becoming a playoff team once more, Gortat will be moving out of his prime years by then. That's a compelling reason to trade him sooner rather than later. Here's one idea: Gortat for Luc Mbah a Moute (25) and Larry Sanders (23).
Why this deal with this team? Many fans know Gortat is underrated and on a bargain contract, unfortunately few teams looking to upgrade at center can send back adequate young talent. Some possibilities...
Minnesota: They're unwilling to part with Derrick Williams.
Houston: They've expressed interest in Gortat. But what do they have to send back?
Portland: Let's not make a deal centered on Wes Matthews.
They recently acquired Samuel Dalembert on an expiring contract and play Larry Sanders, a 3rd-year backup. There's also a serious glut at PF--Ilyasova, Gooden, now Henson and also Udoh, a PF/C. Marcin can defend about as well as Dalembert and, most importantly, adds another offensive weapon to a Bucks team over reliant on Ellis and Jennings for scoring. Those two guards had a combined usage rate just under 51% last year.
The Suns bring back a defensive specialist in Mbah a Moute, a player athletic and strong enough to guard 1-4. This BrewHoop article offers a fair assessment of his play last year. Take away: he remained a very good defender on a bad knee. So imagine if he had full health and our training staff.
More: Synergy Stats
As for the raw young center (he first played seriously at age 16), look at Sanders' SBN profile:
Strengths: rare mix of mobility and length; 7 ft. 6 in. wingspan --> blocks, rebounds, steals and easy buckets; effective mid-range jumper; runs like a SF
Flaws: Foul-prone; poor passer; needs to add muscle
More: 2012 Summer League participation
Sanders fits this system quite nicely. And while 2nd unit stats do not always translate, his per 36 from 2011-12 is very promising:
He's a paint protector who can create second-chance points on offense. Here's one way we could head into 2013-14
Dragic, 7.5/Marshall, 2
Dudley, 4/Mbah a Moute, 4.5
Beasley, 6/Morris, 2
Sanders, 3/Frye, 6.5
+ 2013 Phx and LAL 1st rd picks
Take the $16M or so and go after Harden, Iggy, Ginobili, Josh Smith, Ibaka and/or Millsap.