After swinging midseason moves for Marc Gasol and Jeremy Lin, the 46-17 Toronto Raptors may not be done upgrading just yet.
TSN Sports’ Josh Lewenberg reported Saturday that the Raptors share mutual interest with free agent big Marcin Gortat for their vacant 14th roster spot.
The Raptors could use their vacant 14th roster spot to add some frontcourt depth/insurance. One player to keep an eye on is former Wizards C Marcin Gortat. Have heard there's mutual interest.
— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) March 2, 2019
Gortat just turned 35 and averaged 5.0 points and 5.6 rebounds per game in 43 starts for the LA Clippers this season before being waived in February.
The Raptors already have a deep frontcourt with Gasol coming off the bench behind Serge Ibaka and Most Improved Player candidate Pascal Siakam. But they traded another big man in Jonas Valanciunas in order to acquire Gasol and dumped Greg Monroe at the deadline in a separate deal, meaning that there is still plenty of room for Gortat. Toronto’s primary competition in the East also just landed an impact big, so the interest here makes sense.
Despite being an LA Clipper for less than a week, center Marcin Gortat is already hopping right onto the recruiting trail.
Gortat, who was just acquired from the Washington Wizards in exchange for guard Austin Rivers on Tuesday, posted a funny tweet on Sunday recruiting San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard to the Clippers. In the tweet, Gortat offered to personally drive Leonard to and from practice.
— Marcin Gortat (@MGortat) July 2, 2018
While it’s hard to say no to a seven-foot chauffeur, Gortat’s odds here are likely slim to none. With LeBron James joining the Lakers, Leonard’s resolve to don the purple and gold has reportedly strengthened and some executives even believe that he could sit out the entire season if he doesn’t get his way.
Furthermore, the Clippers probably lack the assets at this juncture to put together the most competitive offer for Leonard, so it may be “thanks, but no thanks” kind of situation here.
The Washington Wizards were said to be shopping Marcin Gortat in trades, and it looks like they found a taker.
Gortat has been traded to the Los Angeles Clippers for Austin Rivers, as first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Los Angeles Clippers are trading guard Austin Rivers to the Washington Wizards for center Marcin Gortat, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 26, 2018
Rivers said last week that he was exercising his $12.65 million player option with the Clippers. He averaged 15.1 points and four assists per game last season.
Gortat is in the final season of his contract and making just over $13.5 million. The center averaged 8.4 points and 7.6 rebounds while playing in every game last season for Washington. He endured a beef with John Wall last season, which may have contributed to the Wizards’ desire to trade him.
It turns out that John Wall is not the only one stirring the pot in Washington.
Speaking during his exit interview on Sunday after the Washington Wizards’ six-game loss to the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the playoffs, center Marcin Gortat called out a pair of his teammates over their lack of bulk.
“You’ve got to lock him in the weight room for a good four months,” he said of starting forward Otto Porter Jr, per Candace Buckner of the Washington Post. “He’s got to gain at least 10, 15 pounds. And I think he’s going to be at least twice better player.
“Skillset-wise, he’s unbelievable. He’s got everything. He can rebound. He can shoot the ball. He can post up. He can pass. He can definitely defend, if he’s healthy,” Gortat added. “As I told him and told Kelly [Oubre Jr.], they’ve both got to improve in the weight room. They’ve got to get into the weight room.”
The 34-year-old Gortat then hinted that he did not have much improving to do himself over the summer and indicated that he would not be working to add a three-point shot to his arsenal.
“This summer, I’m going to work on my tan,” he continued. “I’m going to work on my six-pack. Get my bicep definition a bit better. You can’t improve three-point shooting. You can’t improve your shot, specifically for me.’
Gortat’s advice may very well benefit Porter and Oubre, who are each listed at 205 pounds. But he is hardly in a position to preach after a subpar year where he averaged 8.4 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, his lowest numbers since becoming a full-time NBA starter. When you couple that with the comments that Wall made during his own exit interview on Sunday, it is obvious that team chemistry is not a particularly strong suit for the Wizards right now.
Scott Brooks might not be on anybody’s Coach of the Year list this season, but it turns out that hardly any coach can compete with him in terms of savagery.
After his team pulled out a 116-106 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday, the Washington Wizards head coach dropped this one-liner that managed to zing both his former player Kevin Durant and his current player Marcin Gortat. Here is what he said, per Ben Standig of the Sports Capitol.
Scott Brooks: "I'm going to to tweet in my burner account that it was a good team win."
— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) March 28, 2018
Of course, Durant was caught this summer using burner accounts on social media to defend himself against trolls, even going so far as to mention his and Brooks’ former team, the Oklahoma City Thunder. Meanwhile, Gortat got into a beef with Wizards teammate John Wall last month after he sent a tweet about a “great ‘team’ victory'” that appeared to shade the injured Wall.
Granted, Wall and Gortat appear to be cool now, and Brooks was not even the Thunder coach that Durant was shading in his burner account tweets. But it’s incredibly rare to see a perfectly-executed double posterization like that, so Brooks definitely deserves a lot of credit here.
John Wall is at odds with teammate Marcin Gortat over a tweet sent last week.
After the Wizards pulled off a big win last week over the Toronto Raptors, Gortat tweeted about the team’s “unbelievable” win. But what was truly interesting is that he made sure to specifically say it was a great “team” win. He actually put quotes around “team” as if to emphasize that point.
Wall responded by putting an “LOL” in front of Gortat’s tweet, which is an acronym for “laughing out loud.”
This is fine.
(tweet from Wall was deleted) pic.twitter.com/7dFvG1y0Rl
— Danny (@recordsANDradio) February 2, 2018
Wall took issue with Gortat’s tweet because he felt slighted by it. He is out with a knee injury, and there is some chatter that the Wizards move the ball better and play better “team” ball without Wall in the lineup.
Wall did a few interviews on Tuesday in which these topics came up. With NBC Sports, Wall said it was a joke to think the team is better without him.
John Wall's heard what people are saying about him pic.twitter.com/2cRmOKZmw2
— NBC Sports Wizards (@NBCSWizards) February 6, 2018
He said something similar in an interview with ESPN as well:
John Wall on ESPN just said “funny hearing Gortat talking when he gets the most spoon-fed easiest baskets cause of him” pic.twitter.com/U3zOdCCu2x
— Sigh (@Groovy_Ky) February 6, 2018
Gortat was asked after the Wizards’ loss to the 76ers on Thursday about the issues with Wall. He tried to deflect the matter and said that his tweet had nothing to do with Wall and that he had already told Wall that.
Earlier tonight, John Wall told NBC Sports Washington that Marcin Gortat’s recent tweet about a “team” win was “funny to me.”
Also, Wall said on SportsCenter: It’s “shocking hearing it from [Gortat]” bc “he gets the most spoon-fed baskets ever.”
After the game, Gortat responded: pic.twitter.com/tTz5YjoJTN
— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) February 7, 2018
Clearly Gortat’s words did not change Wall’s mind. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that a report on Tuesday said the Wizards were engaged in trade talks involving Gortat.
The Washington Wizards’ 5-5 start to the season isn’t exactly sitting well with veteran center Marcin Gortat.
Speaking before the Wizards played the LA Lakers on Thursday, Gortat said that the team was in a ‘s—hole’ right now and apologized to fans for their recent effort, per Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington.
Marcin Gortat says the Wizards are in a ‘s***hole’ right now. He apologized to the fans for the Wizards’ effort in recent games.
— Chase Hughes (@ChaseHughesNBCS) November 9, 2017
The Wizards lost by 14 points on Tuesday to the lowly Dallas Mavericks, marking their third defeat in the last four games and fifth in the last seven. They have been talking a lot of junk to start the season but obviously haven’t quite been backing it up. Washington’s next five games are against all sub-.500 opponents however, so maybe that helps get them back on track.