The player movement merry-go-round is squealing to a reluctant stop for the summer, and it's almost time for players to hit training camp. In other words, our too-long wait for NBA basketball is nearly over.
However, even though the league's "cold stove" season is about done, all 30 teams are already scheming for their next wave of transactions leading up to what should be raucous player movement scene over the next year.
On Thursday, ESPN's Kevin Pelton noted a few players who could be changing uniforms sometime between now and next season. Where might some of those players land if they are moved? That's hard to say, but using a blend of advanced metrics and scouting, Bradford Doolittle and Amin Elhassan have some ideas on where they might fit best. We're not addressing how these players might get to these teams, just which teams' systems or schemes best match up with the skills and past production.
Marcin Gortat | C
Doolittle: After a big 2011-12 season, Gortat really dropped off last season without Steve Nash around to free him up on the pick-and-roll. Gortat, like many of today's big men, is much better moving toward the hoop than as a post-up candidate. However, he defends the post well and is a top rebounder and solid help defender. He would be a perfect fit with the Clippers. On offense, Chris Paul would boost his game the same way Nash did. Gortat would help L.A. on the defensive boards, where it projects to finish 28th this season. He would be capable of a usage rate about 4-5 percentage points higher than DeAndre Jordan, has a rate 3 percentage points better on the defensive glass, protects the ball much better and allows about 25 percent fewer points per possession against post-ups.
Elhassan: I wrote about Gortat's pros and cons in my 2014 Free Agent Big Board, highlighting how he is the quintessential example of a good role player whose flaws become magnified by playing for a bad team, as he's asked to do things (and tries to do things) that his talent level is unequipped to handle. Going to Oklahoma City would benefit Gortat by allowing him to focus on his strengths -- screening, rebounding, finishing out of pick-and-rolls. Additionally, the strong leadership voices of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook and established hierarchy of the locker room would keep Gortat grounded and suppress his delusions of grandeur.