According to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel, Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat reportedly will consider retiring from the NBA after the 2018-2019 season, after his current contract with the Wizards expires. While Gortat, a 12-year veteran of the NBA, said that he will make a final decision closer to that time, he explained that “NBA politics” will be one of the factors in his decision on retiring when talking with the Sentinel after shoot-around before Friday night’s game at the Magic. He also made mention that if it were his choice, Gortat would prefer to return to the Magic to finish his career, the team he began with back in 2007.
Gortat, who was born and raised in Poland, began playing basketball professionally in Europe at the age of 18 in 2002 before being drafted 57th overall in the 2005 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns. The rights to Gortat’s pick would be traded to the Orlando Magic, and Gortat would begin his NBA career with them in 2007. He served as a solid backup to Dwight Howard before being traded during the season in 2010 back to the Suns. Gortat would be able to take over the starting job in Phoenix and would post his best career-high in both points and rebounds with 15 points and 10 rebounds per game. He would stay with the Suns until 2013, where he was then traded to the Washington Wizards, the team he has been with since then. Gortat was again named a starter in Washington and has been a key role player on offense and a defensive anchor for the Wizards as they began to build around John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Otto Porter Jr. His solid play at each end of the court earned him a five-year deal worth $60 million during the 2014 offseason.
While most of Gortat’s success was found with the Phoenix Suns and the Washington Wizards, he says that he gives credit to most of his development as a player to his former coach in Orlando, Stan Van Gundy. Gortat, who will turn 34 next month, said that he knows his time as a valuable NBA player is coming to an end, but he would love to be given an opportunity by the Magic front office to end his career where it began more than 10 years ago.
“I’m going to be a old guy, so I don’t know if Orlando would be interested or not. But I would love to join the team back again just to wear the uniform, put the white and blue stripes again on me and be able to say I’m a Magic again and just come back home where I belong,” said Gortat. “That would definitely be a dream come true to do that for me. Whatever the team wants to do, play me, just be in the rotation or just be a bench player, I would definitely be there for the team.”