Getting paid $34 million to back up Dwight Howard on the Orlando Magic for the next five years might sound like a good gig.
It's just that Marcin Gortat was looking forward to having the chance to start for the Dallas Mavericks.
The Magic surprised -- and disappointed -- Gortat and the Mavericks on Monday, matching an offer sheet to keep the Polish big man.
Gortat's agent, Guy Zucker, said the center "was definitely very disappointed today." He said Gortat was back in his native Poland, where he'd already been telling everyone he was headed to the Mavericks.
Gortat was hoping to play alongside Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitzki and, most of all, compete with Erick Dampier for the starting job. Dampier is going into the final year of his contract.
In Orlando, Gortat will likely see spotty playing time behind Howard.
"It was definitely about the opportunity to find out how good he can really be," Zucker said. "We had requested that Orlando not match the offer. We stated the fact that he sincerely wanted the chance to carve his own path, be his own man, so to speak, which is not going to be realistically possible in Orlando."
Gortat averaged 3.8 points and 4.5 rebounds in about 12 minutes per game last season. Gortat's return solidifies the Magic frontcourt for next season, with the team signing former Mavericks power forward Brandon Bass last week.
"Having quality big men is an absolute must in our league, and Marcin has worked very hard to fit into that category," Magic general manager Otis Smith said in a statement. "He provides tremendous depth to our frontcourt and we're happy to bring him back."
Fresh off their second trip to the NBA finals, the Magic have showed this offseason they are willing to spend. Gortat's re-signing coupled with the acquisition for Vince Carter from New Jersey will force Orlando to dip into the luxury tax for the first time in franchise history.
The move is also another sign that Orlando believes its time to win is now.
Gortat, the 6-foot-11, 240-pound center, made about $700,000 last season, his first full year in the NBA. But Gortat earned the big pay raise in large part because of a few stellar playoff moments.
Gortat filled in for Howard in the Game 6 clincher against Philadelphia in the opening round after Orlando's All-Star was suspended, adding a few powerful dunks that earned him the nickname the "Polish Hammer" from teammates. He also had a pair of blocks on Cleveland's LeBron James in the conference finals, and he saw his minutes increase in the finals because of the size of the Los Angeles Lakers.
The chance to compete for a title with the Magic offers little consolation.
"But on the other hand, the Mavericks are in a position to challenge for the finals as well," Zucker said. "We thought Dallas represented a perfect situation for him."
He wouldve done basically what Dampier and Diop did. All three of them are too bad offensively to push Dallas over the top. If the Mavs wouldve got him, they wouldve still been weak at the 5.
Orlando knew that Gortat wanted to leave. Why pay big money for a backup that doesn't even want to play for your team? Stupid. Even though this does make the Magic a better team.
was dumb. but at the sametime i think otis match that deal . to trade him later on and get more value out of him. but like yall said and what everyone down here in orlando are saying that was dumb.
gatorheels check you Rumors post....there is a reason they brought him back
If I remember correctly he is getting paid about 5.8 million this year to play about 12 minutes a game. That's almost $500,000 dollars a minute. Dwight Howard would need to make about $18 million a year to be at the same pay rate. I know I am throwing a lot of numbers out, but I am trying to wrap my mind around the whole thing. On top of everything, Orlando will have to pay the luxury cap for this signing meaning that Gortat will actually cost them over $11 million this year if they keep him. Dwight Howard makes a little under $14 million this year. Otis Smith is a moron when you get down to it. Like I said in another post, if you were going to spend all of this money why not just bring back Hedo and just have this super lineup of shooters and Dwight. To me that would have been an obvious upgrade.
Besides, Boston is still better than Orlando, but I think that Orlando is still better than Cleveland. I'm not sure anyone in the East has really moved positions except maybe the Raptors should be a playoff team and Detroit should miss it.
Lol so stupid to match the offer by the Mavs. So your going to pay him some good money to barely play? Lol even if he is a good backup, you dont pay him 34 million for 5 years. And he doesnt seem all that great in what ive seen him do. Like somebody said earlier, let him go to Dallas, he wont be much better then Dampier or Diop anyways.
Boston will beat them still with sheed going to boston they got scared and brought back gortat to help but with rondo coming in his own boston might sweep them or 4-1
I do not understand the moves that Orlando makes. The only way this makes sense if later on they trade Gortat for another big and some draft picks next year where there will be a lot of quality bigs.
What Boston has 0% chance of sweeping Orlando.
PG- Nelson vs. Rondo
SG- Carter vs. Allen
SF- Lewis vs. Pierce
PF- Bass vs. Garnett
C- Howard vs. Wallace
Bench for Orlando- Ryan Anderson, Pietrus, Gortat, Anthony Johnson
Bench for Boston- Pruitt, Giddens, Allen, House, Walker, Perkins
That looks pretty close to me. I think the Magic would win the series in 7 games.
i think garnett would easily outdo bass. i think rondo has the upper hand on nelson, although i think nelson is fantastic.
where orlando wins is the bench...and that's what would carry them over boston. orlando also wins at the 2,3,5 positions.