Marcin Gortat returns to United States to have foot looked at


The Polish Hammer Marcin Gortat was in Poland (appropriately enough) preparing with his national team for the upcoming EuroBasket tournament.

Except now he’s back in the United States getting a foot problem looked at, according the FIBA’s EuroBasket Web site.

Remember that Gortat sprained his foot last March and missed the end of the regular season because of it. The obvious concern for the Suns is to make sure that fully heals and does not linger into the season.

Marcin Gortat has taken permission to leave the training camp of the Polish national team for three weeks but, in principle, his participation at EuroBasket 2013 is not under question.

The Polish center flew to the USA on Thursday to undergo medical tests, after completing the first stage of preparations for the EuroBasket together with the rest of the team, in Gdansk.

“Physically, I feel better and better, the rehabilitation is going well, but I still feel the pain of the foot, even during training,” the 29-year-old big man said. “I have to make sure that I will be healthy for the whole season.”

This sounds like something that should be fine, it just needs rest. And EuroBasket gets in the way of that.

Gortat is an underrated, solid NBA big man who averaged 11.5 points and 8.5 rebounds a game last season while shooting 52 percent.

The Suns rookie big man Alex Len is also dealing with an injury, having had surgery on both ankles in the past several months.

Greg Smith fails physical, will not join Pelicans

Greg Smith
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With both starter Omer Asik and backup Alexis Ajinca out injured for the rest of the preseason (and maybe a little longer), the Pelicans are looking for a center to put next to Anthony Davis for a stretch. That could include a handful of regular season games.

Greg Smith was going to be that man, but the 24-year-old failed his physical, reports the Times-Picayune.

The New Orleans Pelicans were set to sign power forward Greg Smith, but sources said Friday night that he failed his physical examination and will not be joining the team.

And so the search goes on.

The problem is, there are not quality big men still out there on the market, there is a limited supply and just about anyone worth having is spoken for. A few with non-guaranteed contracts may be waived as we get closer to the end of training camps, but that is likely a couple of weeks away.

With both Asik and Ajinca expected back in a few weeks, it’s not worth making a trade or some big move to bring in a center, the Pelicans are just going to have to live with what is out there.

Kevin Durant with huge dunk on visiting Fenerbahce Ulker

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Welcome to America, Fenerbahce Ulker.

The Turkish powerhouse was in America playing some exhibition games this preseason, and they got a first-hand reminder that Kevin Durant is back. KD had 13 points in the Thunder’s easy 111-81 win.

Not to be outdone, Russell Westbrook got in on the act.