There’s no disputing that the Suns are in the beginning stages of a full-fledged rebuild as they enter the upcoming season, and given the changes in the front office and on the bench, everyone in Phoenix seems to be just fine with that.
This includes Marcin Gortat, a six-year NBA veteran who finds himself in the final year of a contract which makes him the team’s highest-paid player.
Gortat is perhaps the most honest and straightforward person in the game today, and often speaks unfiltered about what’s going on with his team. It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that Gortat is self-aware, and recognizes that his time in Phoenix may come to an end before the season is finished.
Gortat endorsed the summer makeover, swore to not relinquish his job and predicted that the Suns would be “a good running team.” But without prompting, the Suns’ highest-paid player at $7.7million made a thinly veiled reference to his contract status and a scenario that likely will linger until the February trade deadline.
“This is a business,” Gortat said. “We all know where I am right now, and we all know what’s going to happen probably. It’s business. I totally understand that. I totally understand the situation. I totally understand the management and front-office people. There are no hard feelings. At the end of the day, I’m a pro. I’m going to try to do everything that’s necessary to win the basketball game.”
Suns GM Ryan McDonough has said more than once that he hopes Gortat can mentor the team’s first round draft choice, Alex Len, throughout the season, so it’s not necessarily certain that Gortat will be dealt if he’s producing on the court while helping along the team’s rookie big man at the same time.
But the reality is that the Suns are starting over, and Gortat is a piece that could help contending teams immediately. If the offer is right, Gortat could easily be gone before the midseason trade deadline passes in February. And he’s the first one to recognize that.