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Marcin Gortat NBA Draft Scouting Report
by:
June 26, 2005
Strengths
Marcin Gortatís main value rests in the fact that heís one of the most athletic and physically mature big men out of Europe. The Polish is a legit seven footer who enjoys excellent mobility. For a guy his size, itís remarkable how he runs the floor. He has a nice vertical, with decent timing, and shows good reactivity and quickness in his movements. Perhaps the most uncommon thing about him, considering where heís coming from, is that heís a pretty strong guy. He isnít huge, but he has quite a good frame and a nice body.

Therefore, he has the tools to become a really interesting defender. His mobility translates quite well into lateral defensive quickness, clearly with above average results among centers. Heís strong enough to be capable of holding on his position in the low post, while he has the athleticism and length to intimidate around the basket, as well as grab a good amount of rebounds.

On the offensive end, heís usually searching for open looks to finish near the basket. He can also score on fast breaks plays and off of offensive rebounds. In the low post, with enough space and time, he can try some unorthodox back-to-the-basket movement, with mixed results.

Gortat seems to have a good attitude, displaying nice activity in his game, which is a pleasant characteristic in a big guy like him.

Weaknesses
Gortatís offensive game screams raw at any level you look at it. He doesnít display any single consistent scoring weapon. He has no jumper to speak of and heís not a factor in the low post, lacking the footwork and skills to get the job done on a regular basis. He has no baby hook to help himself in the paint having opposition, and he barely uses his left hand. While he is quite an athletic player, he really has no way to show that on the offensive end beyond catching the ball in the post (if he can find his way to the right spot) and leaving his feet quickly to dunk it.

Watching him, itís pretty obvious that the game doesnít come easy to him. Thatís why itís rather difficult to picture him developing his offensive game to a good enough degree to become something more than a garbage man.

On defense, he has yet to fill his potential. He needs to improve his man to man defense, which is not just a matter of following oneís matchup, but also about being aggressive on him not letting him operate comfortably. Heís sometimes pushed around because of this certain lack of aggressiveness. His positioning on team defense could use some work too. He can also be very foul prone, being tricked easily into leaving his feet and being over eager to help his team out and leaving his man wide open for a rebound, easy basket or both.

His basketball IQ doesnít look particularly good. Itís not that he looks lost on the court, but neither he seems too bright playing the game. His passing game is rather poor.

Competition
Gortat is a player with a shorter experience than usual for a guy of his age. He has only enjoyed regular playing time at decent level this season, averaging 5.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 0.9 blocks for RheinEnergie Koln in the German League. In the ULEB Cup he improved to 8.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks.


Outlook
Gortat has declared for this draft and not withdrawn. He has no chance of hitting the first round, but he could have a shot at the second. He was in Chicago Pre-Draft Camp, but he failed to impress there. Considering his unpolished game and the limited intrigue that he brings on the table, it wonít be easy for him to make it in such a deep draft as this yearís. There is no doubt that another year in Europe would have really helped him and his draft stock before keeping his name in the draft, but itís a little late to be talking about that now.

Comments
Gortat is the classic guy that only draws attention because of physical profile. The problem is that heís really not a good basketball player at this moment, not at least to the point of being a serious NBA prospect at this point. Even if heís in his twenties, heís still young, has little experience and will have time to improve. But itís just that he doesnít look like one of those guys on the verge of a significant development. Nevertheless, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and some NBA team could think otherwise.

 


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