With the NBA releasing the schedule for the upcoming season, LA Clippers fans can begin to look forward to what should be a promising year at Staples Center.
When fans see the new-look Clippers, one fresh face will come in the form of Marcin Gortat. The franchise acquired Gortat, a burly center, in an offseason trade with the Washington Wizards for guard Austin Rivers.
DeAndre Jordan’s departure to the Dallas Mavericks necessitated a move at center. Even though the Clippers brought back restricted free agent Montrezl Harrell, they needed depth on the interior.
Gortat provides the Clippers with a solid center, who can rebound in bulk and has a feathery touch around the rim. He’s also known as one of the NBA’s best screeners. In all likelihood, Gortat will start at center while Harrell will continue to come off the bench. His minutes will largely depend on what kind of lineup is utilized by the opponent. In smaller lineups, Harrell and even forward Danilo Gallinari could slide over to the five. Gortat will be used largely against lineups with traditional centers.
Given the Clippers’ wealth of guards, Gortat’s screening abilities will come in handy running the pick-and-roll. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Milos Teodosic will benefit playing off of Gortat. However, he won’t have the speed or leaping ability of Jordan.
Gortat is entering the final year of his contract, so he will help the Clippers on the floor in the short-term while providing financial flexibility next summer.
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