Since the end of last season, we've been having fan asking for a Gortat trade. Many have made several suggestions, ranging from salary dumping (i wonder why) to trading him for a first rounder and a few others have their gaze(s) higher, with names like Josh Smith, Kevin Love and Dwight Howard. I'm not for or against trading him, as i believe we can be very good with or without him, depending on what cards we play.
One thing we can all agree on is that the Suns aren't gonna impact the NBA this season, hence, there is no sense in rushing to trade him. We've had a few name and teams float in rumors, but they barely are good enough or too good to be true.
Due to these reasons, I'll look at Marcin Gortat under 3 lights;
a) Trade now
b) Trade later
c) Don't trade him
This option appears to be the one most fan (here and on other Suns fan Blog) are calling for. Mosst have called for him to be traded for young talent(s) and/or pick(s). Names that have flown around here include Boston's Avery Bradley and Jared Sullinger and Orlando's Nicola Vucevic. As for first round picks, i haven't really heard much, unless we count the Gortat for Charlotte's first rounder (dreams).
I don't expect that Boston will hand us Bradley and a pick plus Courtney Lee to balance salaries, as that makes them weak at the 2, and not forgetting about how important Bradley seems to the Franchise. For these reasons, a Boston offer (if any) will likely be Lee plus Sullinger (maybe a madly protected pick) for Gortat. This trade would not only be a waste of Gortat's trade value, it will also net us a bad contract in the form of Lee, just for Sullinger. IMO, pass.
Just like in the Boston case, due to the rookie contract which the main piece (Vucevic) is on, we will be required to swallow a bad contract to match. We probably won't be able to get a pick from them as well, making this a "No Show". Of course, there is a chance they offer Vucevic and Reddick. We get a shooter and a young talent, but Reddick's contract expires and he might not be back, hence, we'd only get Vucevic at the end. Is that a good return? I don't really think so. May be I'm over-valuing Gortat, or I'll be under-rating him to settle for either of the above.
This involves waiting till the offseason to trade Gortat. I personally feel this is a better option than trading him before-at the trade deadline. Some lottery teams will go into free agency believing they are 1 or 2 pieces away from being in the playoffs, while playoffs teams will believe they just need that 1 guy to be a deep playoffs team. Knowing just how important the 5 spot is in the NBA, especially one who can post 14-15pts, 9-11reb and 1.5-2blk per game, there will be a lot of teams calling for him, and they will be offering more.
Also, the Suns are on their way to having a top 5 (probably top 3) pick in this year's draft. There is also the Lakers' pick which i believe will end up being a lottery (10-14) pick, unless they (we) somehow win in the lottery and end with a top 3 pick, which makes it even better for Phoenix. We'll get the chance to pick up 1 or 2 pieces (Shabbaz and whoever). There will also be options in FA, and these could very well put the team in a position where they can be in the playoffs, and the missing link is achievable using Gortat in a trade.
There's also a chance that we get the pieces needed to end the rebuilding process and get on with Conbuilding, which leads to option 3.
The offseason is a weird time, and the stars sometimes just align for teams, and this might be the time for the Suns. Who is to say we don't end up with 2 top 5 pick, thereby getting Shabbaz and Zeller/Narleans? What about Gordon stirring up things again with the "My Heart is in Phoenix" talk, thereby prompting a trade. There is also the case of using our cap space to land someone like Andre Iguodala.
Beasley might actually play well after we trade O'Neal to a contender by the deadline thereby creating minutes for him at the 4. Same goes for Marshall/Garrett with the exit of Telfair. These guys could actually improve their worth making them pieces that could be packaged for the right guy.
We could very well come out of the offseason with Gordon, Shabbaz and Iggy/Smith thereby making hanging on to Gortat a good/great idea. Tell me a lineup of Dragic - Gordon - Iggy - Frye - Gortat (Shabbaz, Dudley, Tucker, Morris, lottery pick) can't make the playoffs.
PS: I hope to make a post on the Rudy Gay issue as well (or not)