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News » Playing vs. Mavs, instead of with, still a 'surprise' for Gortat

Playing vs. Mavs, instead of with, still a 'surprise' for Gortat

Playing vs. Mavs, instead of with, still a 'surprise' for Gortat Marcin Gortat expected to be on the floor Monday night in the exhibition opener, just not as a backup for the Orlando Magic.

He thought he'd be a starter for the Mavericks .

"It's a surprise, I won't lie,'' Gortat said. "And it was a surprise for many people. It's not normal for people to match the offer of such big money for a guy who plays 10 minutes a game - and is staying a backup.''

Gortat was the Mavericks' primary free-agent target in July. They signed him to an offer sheet worth $34million, thinking he would be their long-term starting center.

Already with Dwight Howard, the league's best center, the Magic took a major financial risk by matching the Mavs' offer. It's hard to see Gortat producing much more than last year's 3.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 12.6 minutes with Howard ahead of him.

Even if NBA teams typically overpay centers, there's always a limit, right? Or maybe not (see: Mavericks sign Erick Dampier in '04 for $60-odd million).

"It was really crazy,'' Gortat said of the summer. "There was a lot of stuff going on. Obviously, it was a huge opportunity for me. Three months ago, I thought I'd end up playing here.''

So did everybody else - except Magic management. General manager Otis Smith is one of the best in the business. And he may yet get the final giggle on this.

But it's difficult to see right now.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 7, 2009


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