The Toronto Raptors were a team that made a huge swing in the 2018 offseason. They traded for superstar forward Kawhi Leonard.
Toronto struck a deal as they sent DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a first-round pick to the San Antonio Spurs.
Some questioned the move and if it would pan out for the Raptors. Especially with a rookie head coach at the time in Nick Nurse. The move worked out brilliantly for Toronto as it panned out to the franchise’s first-ever NBA Championship.
One of the strong suits of that team was the center position. Toronto had the likes of Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka.
However, Toronto could’ve added another center in Marcin Gortat, who was waived by the L.A. Clippers that season. However, he went to sign with the Golden State Warriors, who did not need his services and missed a championship as a result, via Cryo Asseo de Choch:
“I wish that after I was waived by the Clippers, I had gone to the Toronto Raptors. They called me six times, and I didn’t go. I could have been an NBA champion today. Instead, I decided to go to Golden State, and they lied to me. They said, ‘No, no, no, we don’t need a big. We’re gonna take this small guy. You gotta take an additional guard.’ And two or three weeks later, they signed Andrew Bogut from the Australian league. That hurt.”
It is an unfortunate set of circumstances for Gortat, as he worked the reputation as a solid big man, who could score, rebound and defend the rim.
While his role may have been limited, adding Gortat as insurance would not have been a bad idea.
Ultimately, Gortat’s final season would be the 2018-19 and sadly he missed a chance to close out his career with a championship.
Marcin Gortat’s career averages
In 13 seasons in the league, Gortat played for the Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Washington Wizards and Clippers.
He played a total of 806 games, starting in 587. He averaged 9.9 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 25.7 minutes.
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