Would you make a play for Marcin Gortat?

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Should Boston trade for Gortat? Multiple answers allowed

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Total Votes : 22

Re: Would you make a play for Marcin Gortat?

Post by sam on Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:02 pm

Bob and Outside,

First, I don't agree with "winning the trade" as a criterion of a general manager. His main criterion has to be whether the net result of the trade, from his team's standpoint, is to make his team more competitive than it was before the trade. If it also helps the other team equally or to be even more competitive than before the trade, who cares? That's what trades are intended to do, and there were many teams who were reluctant or opposed to dealing with Auerbach because it didn't happen in enough cases.

Any player, or combination of players, who might be traded for Gortat must leave the Celtics in better position than before. It's never about individual vs. individual. It's always about meeting team needs better than before the trade.

Let's take a trade of Bass and Sullinger for Gortat. The Celtics would improve their situation by getting a real center who I believe can be a real weapon. That's very nice.

But who's going to start at center? Let's say it's Gortat. What will KG's role be? To start at PF? Okay, now we're got Wilcox backing up Gortat and Mr. X backing up KG. Who's Mr. X? Wilcox? Nope, he's backing up Gortat. Green? Okay, then who's backing up Pierce? Lee's too short and may be needed to guard taller SGs. If they thought Joesph were ready, he'd be on the active roster.

I could elaborate on the potential ripple effects that trading two PFs would cause. I could talk about how a team that's already struggling to get in synch with one another now would embark on an extended struggle with so many of their roles revamped. All of a sudden, one of the presumed strengths of the team (versatility and depth) is now seriously compromised by basically wiping out the incumbents of an entire position who can easily play 48 minutes at that position) and having to make all sorts of adjustments (with a foundation of only a part-timer in the position) to try to accommodate the situation. The team's still guard-heavy and even thinner at the "big" positions.

Trading away Lee and Bradley would present much the same scenario, except there would be no player to switch over from another position to fill in the guard gap. It would be Rondo, Terry and Barbosa, which might be a pretty good backcourt but could get pretty tired over time and very vulnerable to foul trouble.

I believe a "best player" axiom may work for fans but not for a general manager. I'd be delighted if they could trade Lee and either Collins or Melo for Gortat, which would give the Suns something at each of two positions (although I expect the Suns could do better with another trade partner). But, most of all, I believe the Celtics can ill afford the backslide in chemistry development that could eventuate from trading away two rotation players fron the same position.

Sam


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Re: Would you make a play for Marcin Gortat?

Post by Outside on Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:44 pm

Sam,

I agree that what's important about a trade is whether it makes the team better, and I don't see how anyone could disagree with that. The only reason I brought up the "best player" concept was to say that I disagree with it as an absolute.

As for trading Bass and Sullinger for Gortat, I don't think it's as potentially harmful as you fear, for several reasons:

• First off, Bass and Sullinger currently play a total of 35.8 minutes per game, and Gortat currently plays 33.2, so the amount of post player minutes being traded would be fairly equal.

• In the current state of the NBA, traditional definitions of player positions aren't as meaningful as they once were. Once Bradley gets back, I can see the Celtics going with guard-heavy lineups like this for stretches:

Rondo
Bradley
Lee/Terry
Pierce/Green/KG
Gortat/KG

This is a versatile concept that go small with Pierce/Green with Gortat/KG or big with KG and Gortat. I'm really intrigued by that second option, both defensively with KG and Gortat sealing the middle and three quick guys harassing the perimeter, and offensively with KG in the more comfortable forward role and Gortat benefiting from Rondo screen/rolls and passes.

• Then there's the likely roster spot opening with Darko's departure, which the Celtics could fill with a power forward instead of a center.

You rightly point out the potential impact to team chemistry, but that disregards the opportunity to trade for a player who could be a key piece in keeping the Celtics competitive as KG and Pierce fade into the sunset. In this case, the GM would have to weigh the long-term benefits as well. Good centers are hard to come by, and Gortat is only 28 and entering the prime of his career. Whether to make the trade shouldn't be judged solely on the impact to this year's team.

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Re: Would you make a play for Marcin Gortat?

Post by sam on Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:07 am

Outside,

Bass currently plays 28.0 minutes per game, while Sullinger currently plays 17.8 minutes per game. That totals 45.8 minutes per game—not 35.8—or virtually the entire game (combined). If one were injured, the other could probably play more minutes than he has been (although obviously nothing close to a full game). I doubt that Gortat will be playing 46 minutes per game, since he's never averaged more than 33 and has played at least 30 MPG during only three seasons; and, if he's injured, he can't replace himself.

In the current state of the NBA, positions don't mean as much as in years ago partly because they've been supplanted by versatility. As Doc's using them, Bass and Sully present him with some versatility in that he's using Sully partially as a backup center, Bass partially as a participant in the transition game; and both of them are among the few offensive rebounders they've got—one of the major weaknesses of this team.

Gortat's got good skills, and I'd love to see him become a Celtic. But not at the expense of two players who play the same position at a high level of competence and who contribute far more minutes per game (combined), greater versatility (combined), more offensive rebounds (combined) and more of a hedge against injury (combined) than Gortat would.

Sorry, but I disagree about the importance of chemistry on this year's team (or any Celtics team, for that matter). It's extremely important because I believe they have a legitimate championship shot, and one of the mandates for this year's hopes involves improving chemistry over time. For the past two seasons, when the team has sputtered during the first half of the season, I've talked almost non-stop about the importance of improving chemistry and have urged people to, "See me in April." That stance has worked out pretty well, because chemistry can and has overcome a lot of ills.

As far as the future is concerned, anything can happen. Danny has proven at least twice (2007 and this season) that he can retool with practically a minimum of assets. For example, who knows what he might be able to accomplish by using KG's and/or Pierce's expiring contracts when the time comes? I'd rather focus on chemistry now rather than to allow preparations for the future to dilute some pretty good chances to compete for a championship this season.

Do you actually expect Doc to be playing Lee and Terry at SF and KG (with his five-five limitations) at both C and PF positions for considerable periods? It might add up mathematically but not logically.

If the Celtics had to trade two players at the same position, I'd prefer two quards, because they'd still have a pretty good three-guard rotation with Pierce also able to contribute at that position. But I'm basically opposed to trading two quality players at a single position.

Sam

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Re: Would you make a play for Marcin Gortat?

Post by Outside on Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:46 am

Welllll, I guess I can't add 28 plus 17. That may not prove that you're a statistical whiz, but it pretty much seals the deal that I'm not.

I accept that the trade would present chemistry issues to overcome for this year's team, but I don't think it's a foregone conclusion that it would be a death blow to this year's team, and as a GM, I'd be willing to accept that risk given the benefit to the team in future years. You prefer to enhance this year's team at the potential expense of the team in future years. We'd just take a different approach on this one.

Sam wrote:Do you actually expect Doc to be playing Lee and Terry at SF and KG (with his five-five limitations) at both C and PF positions for considerable periods? It might add up mathematically but not logically.
I didn't list specific time periods, but I was thinking along the lines of 5-8 minutes a game for that particular lineup, with another 5-10 with Gortat, Pierce or Green, and three of the guards. I'm a firm believer in change of pace disrupting an opponent's defense, and given the Celtics' frontcourt/backcourt imbalance, my intention was turn a potential negative (lack of bigs) into an advantage, especially once Bradley returns. No, I'm not saying that's the primary lineup they should use, but using a three-guard lineup for 12-15 minutes a game alleviates the need for minutes from the bigs and avoids overworking KG in particular. Given lemons, I merely proposed making lemonade that could be a defensive force and get out on the break.

You're also discounting the wild card regarding the roster spot that Darko leaving opens up. There are guys like Kenyon Martin and Craig Smith currently available who could fill the PF position for up to 20 minutes per game. Other guys may get waived closer to the trading deadline. I haven't been a Kenyon Martin fan, but I thought he did a nice job with the Clippers last year, and I've always liked Craig Smith. I think either guy would fit in nicely.

To clarify, I'm not suggesting that trading Bass and Sully for Gortat would be plan A. I too think that including a package like Lee and Sullinger would be preferable to Bass and Sullinger. I really like Bass and would be reluctant to see him go. But I do think that if Bass and Sullinger were the only available trade option, I would pull the trigger. I'm not expecting everyone to agree, but I do think there are valid arguments for it.

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Re: Would you make a play for Marcin Gortat?

Post by cowens/oldschool on Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:47 am

Sam

I would trade Sully and Bass in a heartbeat for Gortat, having KG and Gortat closing down the middle and Rondo and Bradley attacking the perimeter would give us potentially better defense than 08....that would be a sight to behold and as you just showed, we can still throw a changeup with a smallball lineup. KG is not gonna be here forever, Gortat would be a great piece in solving our rebounding woes.

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Re: Would you make a play for Marcin Gortat?

Post by 112288 on Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:18 pm

We have not had a legitimate center since Danny traded Perkins. The Celtics and Danny have been playing cheap ball thinking they can bring in a marginal center at a cheap price and still win. It has not happened! You get what you pay for.

Proof of concept was last year, the Celtics were playing mediocre ball until they switched KG to center. KG is a uniquely gifted athlete who pulled off the job of playing center , but he is taking a beating down low at the 5 position by physically bigger centers......often getting pushed off the ball. At this pace, Kg is going to be beat up come playoff time.

I say, time to act before the rest of the NBA begins scrambling for good talent.

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Re: Would you make a play for Marcin Gortat?

Post by cowens/oldschool on Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:47 pm

Too bad Suns have Scola and Morris at PF, is there enough upgrade with Bass and Sully to entice Suns? Danny would have to get creative.... wonder how Melo does at D-League.

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Re: Would you make a play for Marcin Gortat?

Post by beat on Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:48 pm

Have not chimed in yet. I'd like to get him as soon as rules allow.

I'd hang on to Sully. Id give um Bass and a guard (Lee and a pick if needed) and if the Suns would go along, throw in Melo too.

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Re: Would you make a play for Marcin Gortat?

Post by sam on Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:02 pm

Outside,

In my opinion, Lee and Sullinger would vastly preferable to Bass and Sullinger, and it does work salary-wise. It would be the equivalent of giving Phoenix a "big" lottery pick plus a proven commodity in the backcourt. I'd prefer not to lose Sully, because I believe he's got a lot of upside, but I believe you have to give something to get something. I still maintain that it could be disastrous to trade away two players at the same position—especially two "bigs."

As I said earlier, I don't subscribe to the "potential expense of the future" theory. Heck, trading away two relatively young PFs with potentially solid futures could prove costly in the future too. Trading away two future Hall-of-Famers for a skinny rookie center who couldn't shoot could have compromised the future in 1956. It's up to the GM to use what he's got to plug holes, whether now or in the future, and Danny has twice done just that without having a financial asset of $27,000,000 to spend over a two-year period.

I do think that having a real, talented center would be a major benefit for the Celtics, and I'd be especially interested in seeing Gortat and KG play together. But they're not going to play together for more than five minutes at a time, and they're going to need some serious big man depth to fill in when they're not out there and also to be prepared in case of injuries. I think that depending primarily on Wilcox and Collins to provide that depth (especially given Collins' injury history) would be ill-advised. And, the more Green had to stretch his time over two positions, the more the team's depth would be eroded.

All of this is probably moot because I find it hard to believe the Celtics would get lucky enough to wind up with Gortat. I would love to be wrong on that score.

Cow,

"Having Gortat and KG close down the middle" sounds great, but (short of a visit to the fountain of youth by KG) that would happen for only five minutes at a time; and KG would not be available to spell Gortat. Who, on the Celtics, would you trust to sub for Gortat regularly during the 16-or-so minutes he's out of there? A lot of opponent damage can be done in 16-or-so minutes. The one guy who's been subbing for KG is one you'd "trade away in a heartbeat." If Darko were to stick around, it might be different, but he sounds pretty serious about going home.

If they were to trade two-for-one for Gortat, which probably can't happen until either Dec. 15 or Jan. 15 (depending on the trade rules), and if Darko leaves, that will open up two holes in the roster. Maybe the Celts could bring in someone like Kenyon Martin and possibly someone not named Melo from the Red Claws, depending on whether Darko still counts against the cap. I'll defer to gyso on that one.

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Re: Would you make a play for Marcin Gortat?

Post by bobheckler on Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:40 pm

Perhaps complicating any "Sully +" trade for Gortat might be this. An article in USA Today, about Sully's close relationship with KG. KG's a pro, and would accept the trade, like he did with the Perk trade, but there might be a hit on chemistry.


Jared Sullinger, under Kevin Garnett's wing, blooms for Celtics



Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY SportsShare
1 Comments

Playing for his dad in high school was not always easy, but Boston
Celtics rookie Jared Sullinger still worried about getting yelled at by
Celtics vet Kevin Garnett. Turns out, the two have bonded.



(Photo: Tim Fuller, US Presswire)
7:17PM EST November 20. 2012 -
Boston Celtics rookie forward Jared Sullinger had a preconceived
notion of what playing with veteran big man Kevin Garnett might be like.

He braced for the worst – Garnett yelling at him, Garnett embarrassing him, Garnett cussing him out like only Garnett can.
"I was just mentally being prepared to not cry on the bench," Sullinger said.



Turns out, Sullinger hasn't cried (at least that he has admitted publicly),
and the experience has been rewarding for him after his two years at
Ohio State.


"I learned early it's not how loud he says it, it's
what he's saying. Thanks, Pops," said Sullinger, whose work with Garnett
is helped through the lessons learned from his dad, Satch, who coached
him in high school. "I was blessed to have an angry coach."


Garnett mentors Sullinger, and they have bonded – the old man and the rook.


"His basketball IQ is very high," Garnett said. "He gets it. He understands
what we're doing here. He's bought into what we preach here."


Wise for a rookie, Sullinger relishes the unique opportunity to work with
and learn from Garnett, and in the process, the 6-9, 260-pound
20-year-old has worked his way into a part-time starting role in coach
Doc Rivers' revolving lineup.


"He's still got a lot of work but he does a lot of good things," Rivers said. "He has a veteran mind. He
does not play like a young guy, except he makes rookie fouls. He's just a
good spirit, and it's good to have him in the locker room."


Sullinger is strong near the basket with good footwork and finishing ability and
is active on the offensive glass. His mid-range jumper is average, but
it is sound and should improve. On defense, Sullinger understands
concepts and what the other team wants to do. But he is not used to the
speed and precision just yet.


"When you've got Kevin Garnett in your ear, I'm learning every day," Sullinger said. "It's like that every
day. Kevin is constantly moving his hands, talking, and you just listen
and you're learning everything he sees. As you see what he sees, the
game slows down tremendously."


He is a coach's son, no doubt about it.


With modest statistics (5 points, 4.2 rebounds a game), Sullinger recorded
his first double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds in Boston's
107-89 victory Saturday against the Toronto Raptors. He scored a
career-high 16 points in Boston's 103-83 loss Sunday to the Detroit
Pistons.


After poor rebounding position on defense led to a
Sullinger foul in a loss against the Brooklyn Nets last Thursday, Rivers
benched him for the final 29 minutes. Then, he came back with his two
best games, against Toronto and Detroit.


Whether the message is delivered in kind or in anger, accountability is the bottom line for
elder Sullinger, who once benched his son in an important playoff game
because a homework assignment had not been completed.


Satch Sullinger lives in results-based reality and passed that philosophy to his son.


"You can't get lost in how people say things, otherwise you're going to be
soft mentally," Sullinger's dad said. "Don't pay attention to how it's
said, just pay attention to what is said. The bottom line is, we're in a
world where either you did or you didn't. It's kind of harsh. Bud, did
you clean up your room? Did you get the rebound? Did you take out the
trash? Did you shut the baseline down?"


Satch Sullinger appreciates the job Garnett is doing with the rookie and thanked him before the Celtics played the Pistons.


In August, when Sullinger moved to Boston and began working out with players, Garnett spotted his desire to learn and improve.


"You have to know your role. You've got to know what you're doing," Garnett
said of the Celtics' ethos. "There's no days off when we work. He has a
no-nonsense attitude when it comes to that. He's gullible. He's a kid.
But he works really hard, and he wants to be better. That's what it is.
Me and Sully have a really good relationship."


Said Sullinger: "You always want somebody like that who's been there, who's won a
championship, to be on your tail, telling you what you're doing wrong
and what you're doing right."




bob




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Re: Would you make a play for Marcin Gortat?

Post by NYCelt on Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:26 pm

I voted No...

...but would be very tempted to do it if we could give them Lee and Sullinger.

Several reasons for the no vote, primarily the fact that this team has some problems on both ends of the court that we have yet to clearly diagnose. Although Gortat is a strong defender, and that's obviously among our issues, I think it's still early enough to see if we can right the ship with what we have. Gortat is good player by any standard, but not great, and the signing would be a fairly costly commitment. I think there will be other opportunities later this season and into next.

I do agree with something Cow seems to be hitting on; we need to find a power forward (Cow; sorry if I'm mis-interpreting you). You can make an argument that a center is equally important but I'm looking at it that despite the ugly picture so far, we may be able to contend this year. If you look at it with our roster right now, Garnett can do what we need at center (not power forward) and Wilcox is looking like he may be rounding back into form and should be able to give us good minutes behind KG at center (but not Wilcox at power forward either). Bass and Sullinger, however, are not up to the task at what has become the dominant front-court position. I think Bass has shown that he can provide good depth when we go small. Without picking it apart with reems of numbers, I think the biggest weakness is power forward.

As I said earlier, there are clearly several problems to resolve with this team. I don't buy the "chemistry" bit with this team because we're returning four starters and have added experienced veterans. I'll also point out that a few years ago we threw a nearly 100% new lineup together and led from the start without looking back in winning a championship, so I'm not going down Chemistry Road.

So if we throw out chemistry issues and look at the "ifs"; if Bradley comes back somewhere close to what he was, if KG can play at this rate and possibly even contribute a few more minutes per game, if some combination of Terry and eventually Bradley can provide suficient depth at point, if Pierce is just starting slow and Green is just slowley coming back from surgery and a year off...

...we need a power forward.

It's early. There may be other Gortats. Pass.

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Re: Would you make a play for Marcin Gortat?

Post by sinus007 on Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:10 pm

Hi,
One of the reasons, I think, Gortat could be a great addition to the Celtics front line is because Doc could interchange 4 and 5. For instance, start - KG-4, MG-5, then CW goes in for KG and then Sully goes in as 4 and shifts CW to 5; plus JC can pick a few minutes here and there.

I wouldn't trade Sully: he's just 20 yo, has a lot of skills and he's very, very smart player. IMHO, he needs a year or 2 to reach Bass' level and then go beyond it.

AK

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Re: Would you make a play for Marcin Gortat?

Post by 112288 on Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:34 pm

The whole dynamics of the Celtics changes with this potential trade. It creates a dynamic defense especially in our front court, improves our rebounding, creates bigger size and matches other big teams, and this will lead to more offense.

Danny...if it's there...go for it!!!! I said in one of my posts last year and the year before that Danny should have gone after this guy.

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Re: Would you make a play for Marcin Gortat?

Post by 112288 on Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:13 pm

I'll throw another possibility in the ring. If we are required to give up a guard in the deal.......How about Delonte West coming back at a cheap price.

He brings high energy....and works well with Doc. He loves Boston and has always given a honest days work while on the court and then some! Great defense and he has a nice shot!

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Re: Would you make a play for Marcin Gortat?

Post by cowens/oldschool on Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:10 am

The problem is that as good as Sully is hes gonna take time to cash in on that upside, remember how long it took Kevin Love to get to his level, 4 years? We don't have 4 years to wait for him to develop, so if you want to win now with KG, Pierce and Jet, it probably won't happen with Sully whos getting a rookie education and Bass who has overachieved playing with 3 all stars, but before this was a career back up and constantly gets abused defensively, just too small. I agree with NYCelt that overall PF has been a big weakness this season. Bass is not a championship caliber PF and Sully is gonna go through the high and lows of being a rookie.

Could this same personnel get sparked by that attacking greyhound, Avery Bradley? maybe, but our weaknesses inside defense/rebounding will still be there with Bass being undersized and Sully being a non athletic rookie. If you want to win now with KG and Pierce, you need more size or talent. KG can still defend, but he can't do enough inside as a 5 with Bass or Sully right now to cover up for them. We'll still beat the non playoff teams, but the elite? well look at our record. If you want to win now we need an upgrade whether its KG staying at 5 or moving back to 4 if we can upgrade and find another Perk type with length.....seeing so many times tonight Bass getting abused on defense, he hustles, just too small.

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Re: Would you make a play for Marcin Gortat?

Post by 112288 on Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:59 am

Cowen, that was a good observation and comment.

We got KG for 3 years to win now. If we play mediocre ball with this line up we might as well blow up the team and build from scratch. Look at Kg...he does not seem happy.....is body expression says....what am I doing out here I should have retired.

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Re: Would you make a play for Marcin Gortat?

Post by cowens/oldschool on Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:57 pm

112288

I'm gonna give this team another 10-15 games or so to see what we have and what we can do....actually I'll still follow them the rest of season, right now it doesn't look good. I understand what Danny was trying to do, get deeper, put less pressure on KG and Pierce, keep them fresher for the long haul, but right now is a bad stretch of hoops. Until proven otherwise the Perk deal may have cost us a championship that year, as right now Jeff Green can do more than Quis and Sasha, but the impact is not near the dividend we all expected/hoped for either.If Doc can't figure out a way to get this guy 25 minutes a game avg 12-14 points, then this whole thing is a big failure. These 6-7 point efforts are no where near enough, call plays for him over and over to get him going. We may have a deeper team on paper, but big holes/flaws on the floor that the added depth cannot come near overcoming at this point.

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Re: Would you make a play for Marcin Gortat?

Post by tardust on Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:58 pm

I know we need to improve. I would be very reluctant to trade Sully. I just believe he will be a very good player, sooner rather than later. His intelligence will make the difference. Bird was not athletic, he was smart. He learned how to get his shot. Not that Sully is Bird but you get the point. Doc needs to decide if he wants to go small or try and go big. If we go small we have to swarm , double team, and push push push the ball. We have the players for that. Rondo has to do a better job on other PG's. His defense is not good at all. Gortat will get in foul trouble if the PG penetrates at will. This is just a minor thing on Rondo's part. He is the first line of defense and it is costing us against teams every game. His offense if great, but we flat out don't get stops. I agree wit 112288, we need to make a decision now. I haven't given up and we have a long time to go. As Sam points out we will improve. I think even more minutes by Wilcox would help.

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Re: Would you make a play for Marcin Gortat?

Post by tardust on Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:01 pm

Guards and Bass should be our trade bait. Lee, whom I like and can be effective is the one that probably has to go. With Bass and Lee's salary we can get something from them hopefully. We can't give give up two bigs. Barbosa may not be as good as Lee on defense, but I love his speed and we already know he can score in bunches.

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Re: Would you make a play for Marcin Gortat?

Post by bobheckler on Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:27 pm

tardust wrote:Guards and Bass should be our trade bait. Lee, whom I like and can be effective is the one that probably has to go. With Bass and Lee's salary we can get something from them hopefully. We can't give give up two bigs. Barbosa may not be as good as Lee on defense, but I love his speed and we already know he can score in bunches.


tardust,

I agree. Giving up 2 bigs to get 1 big, after already losing another big (Darko), will not solve our Big problem.


bob


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