Marcin Gortat NBA Draft Scouting Report

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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