Marcin Gortat

Drafted #57 in the 2005 NBA Draft by the Magic
Height: 7'0" (213 cm)
Weight: 225 lbs (102 kg)
Position: C
Hometown: Lodz, Poland
Current Team: Clippers
Win - Loss: 53 - 35


NBA Scouting Reports: Filling in the Blanks- the Centers

Matt Williams
Matt Williams
Aug 20, 2009, 08:00 pm
Overview: Quietly emerged from Dwight Howard’s shadow during Orlando’s 2009 playoff run. Has a rather impressive physical profile. Complements his 7-0 size (in shoes) with a 7-3.5 wingspan and a sturdy 255 pound frame. Shows excellent straight line speed for a player his height, and is a very quick leaper as well. Has the strength to establish position on the block against many matchups. Not the most coordinated, agile, or graceful player, but is quite a physical specimen. Will bobble some passes, but doesn’t have bad hands. Originally drafted by the Phoenix Suns in 2005, but traded for cash on draft night. Developed considerably during his time with RheinEnergie Cologne of the German Bundesliga after learning the game in his native Poland. Saw little playing time in his first season in Orlando, and spent some time in the NBADL. Improved year after year, largely thanks to his outstanding work ethic. Played only 12.6 minutes per game this season, but offered great energy on defense and showed some major improvements, especially in his offensive arsenal. Ranked among the league-leaders in rebounds per-minute, and in the top-20 for blocked shots per-minute and field goal percentage. Signed an offer sheet for five years at the MLE with the Mavericks in July 2009, which the Magic subsequently matched. Locked in as Dwight Howard’s backup for the foreseeable future, which will limit his playing time, but hasn’t stunted his growth as a player thus far.

Offense: Not the most productive player in the world, but displays a predictable repertoire that lets him exploit some matchups with his athleticism and offer nice efficiency. Uses his foot speed and size well. Gets a lot of touches by being active without the ball and working hard, but also gets some touches one-on-one in the post. Creates very few of his offensive looks on his own. Can really give players fits with his dedication to getting up the floor after the ball is secured. Runs hard from baseline to baseline and looks to establish position immediately. Is rewarded for his effort occasionally, though he doesn’t show ideal coordination finishing on the run. Proves to be a capable finisher around the basket, and makes an effort to dunk the ball when he has space. Offers a big target when rolling to the rim or ducking in down low, but is especially good at establishing a low base and utilizing leverage to seal his man on the block. Has four moves that he likes to use on the block that aren’t very smooth, but are clearly the result of endless hours in the gym. Can operate over either shoulder, but prefers his right. Uses a show and go move to get off some baby-hooks with his left hand that he makes with good consistency. Will make a quick spin and attack the basket for a runner or a reverse-layup if his man falls asleep. Displays an aggressive drop step when working over his left shoulder in an attempt to create space for a running scoop. Is able to counter that move with his hook, though sometimes forces his way too deep in the lane to do so. Has also developed a very quick release on his face up jumper and can make running hooks with either hand. Appears extremely mechanical when he makes a move or looks to shoot. Can hit a spot up jumper from time to time, but is inconsistent with his shooting motion, leading to erratic percentages. Doesn’t often find success when he goes away from the reliable moves in his repertoire, nor does he get to the line at a high rate since most of his moves allow him to get his shots off over defenders. Does not shoot a good percentage from the free throw line. Terrific offensive rebounder, who offers little as a passer, but helps his teammates score by setting solid screens out on the perimeter. Will get called for quite a few moving screens though.

Defense: Uses his mobility effectively on the defensive end as well. Never lets his man beat him down the floor. Has developed solid fundamentals. Makes an effort to get in a stance and stay with his man regardless of the situation. Is prone to playing behind his man in the post, but always looks to avoid giving up position. Gets extremely low when trying not to get backed down, making it tough for him to contest turnaround jumpers at times. Tends to stay at home on the pick and roll rather than hedging in an effort to protect the rim. Gets a bit antsy when closing players out on the perimeter, though he gets a hand up and attempts to contest every shot the same way he does in the paint. Very competent shot blocker who remains a bit foul prone because of the aggressiveness in which he plays with. Gets quite a few blocks right at the rim by quickly jumping into position and getting his hands up. Gets called for some cheap fouls since he doesn’t always go straight up. That doesn’t present a major issue due to his limited playing time, but is something he needs to work on. Does a nice job rotating over from the weakside, but doesn’t block as many shots that way. Cleans the glass well and offers a consistently high energy level.

Marcin Gortat NBA Draft Scouting Report

Jun 26, 2005, 04:05 am
Marcin Gortat’s main value rests in the fact that he’s 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, it’s 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 he’s coming from, is that he’s a pretty strong guy. He isn’t 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. He’s 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, he’s 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.

Gortat’s offensive game screams raw at any level you look at it. He doesn’t display any single consistent scoring weapon. He has no jumper to speak of and he’s 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, it’s pretty obvious that the game doesn’t come easy to him. That’s why it’s 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 one’s matchup, but also about being aggressive on him not letting him operate comfortably. He’s 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 doesn’t look particularly good. It’s not that he looks lost on the court, but neither he seems too bright playing the game. His passing game is rather poor.

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.

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 won’t be easy for him to make it in such a deep draft as this year’s. 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 it’s a little late to be talking about that now.

Gortat is the classic guy that only draws attention because of physical profile. The problem is that he’s 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 he’s in his twenties, he’s still young, has little experience and will have time to improve. But it’s just that he doesn’t 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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