FanHouse’s Tim Povtak with the latest logic-defying rumor from Magic land:
…Marcin Gortat has been hanging around the Orlando Pro Summer League this week, rubbing shoulders with various NBA people. And he doesn’t like what he’s been hearing. Gortat, a restricted free agent, was ecstatic earlier this week after signing an offer sheet worth $33 million over five years with the Dallas Mavericks, believing it was his ticket to both riches and a starting position in the NBA. Now he hears otherwise…”I have a feeling now they (Magic) are going to match it…That’s what I’m hearing, they will match. We’ll have to see, but I’m kind of down right now. Either way, I’ll end up on a pretty good team.” Although Gortat also could see time at power forward in Orlando — the Magic experimented last season with Gortat and Howard playing together — the signing of free agent power forward Brandon Bass on Friday would further limit his role. “I want to develop my game and become a better player,” he said. “I just don’t know if I’d be getting the same minutes to play here as in Dallas.” …Although Gortat’s contract would seem excessive for a backup, the Magic still view him as an asset, and there are plenty of teams looking for centers. They would have to wait at least 90 days before they could trade him. “I’ve said all along, I think the number (his contract) is a little high,” Smith said. “But that doesn’t change how we think. One thing (signing Bass) doesn’t have anything to do with the other (matching Gortat). I’m still working on a few other things, and until those transpire, it’s kind of premature to say what we’re going to do.”
Losing Gortat would be a huge blow to the Mavs’ busy off-season, and seems nonsensical from Orlando’s perspective. This isn’t the biggest of markets, and investing $34 million in a back-up center after just signing another frontcourt player is ill-advised at best. It could be a smokescreen, though I’m not really sure what the benefit would be. That said, if Otis Smith is convinced he can get something in a trade for Gortat, he may end up having the last laugh at Dallas’ expense.