On Friday, Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat posted a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds in 27 minutes against the Orlando Magic.
After averaging 6.8 points and 7.8 rebounds in 23.7 minutes over 16 December games, it seemed as though the Polish big man’s best days were behind him. At 33 years old and in his 11th NBA season, wear and tear could certainly be playing a role in his decreased production.
However, in five January contests, he has turned things around, averaging 13.2 points and 7.8 boards over 28.6 minutes.
Despite his recently-rejuvenated play, Gortat revealed that he doesn’t think he will play beyond the 2018-2019 season, which would mark the end of his current contract.
“The way NBA politics goes right now, I’m afraid that next year might be my last year,” he told Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. “This is how I feel right now. Obviously, we’re going to have a summer, then another year of basketball and then I’m going to think about it. But the way I feel right now, it’s like next year might be my last year of my career.”
When asked to explain why, he said, “I’m not saying 100 percent. I would say ‘probably.’ The way everything goes, the way the NBA goes right now and everything that’s going on, I just don’t feel like I’m going to stay in this league for much longer.”
Although that was a bit of a vague answer, Gortat left no doubt about where he wanted to finish his career: in Orlando, where his journey began. He spent his first four seasons there.
“I would love to join the team for maybe two or three months, or maybe half a season at least,” Gortat told Robbins.
“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. 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," Gortat noted.
Therefore, it certainly seems that Gortat isn’t enjoying his time alongside John Wall and Bradley Beal on the Wizards, who he is under contract with through the end of next season. It remains to be seen if Washington will grant him his wish before he retires. If he does get moved, he'd be joining a rebuilding squad in Orlando.