Washington Wizards: Marcin Gortat’s second-half collapse is alarming

Dec 12, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat (13) looks on during the second half against Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. The Heat won 112-101. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 12, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat (13) looks on during the second half against Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. The Heat won 112-101. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

The latest Washington Wizards news includes the latest from center Marcin Gortat, who reportedly will talk with his agent this offseason to see if his role with the Wizards is a ‘right fit.’

The Washington Wizards and Boston Celtics concluded the most intriguing series of the 2017 NBA playoffs thus far and came just a game away from reaching the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 1979.

With the offseason officially underway, the Washington Wizards now begin the process of finding ways to improve their roster, including bolstering their appalling bench. However, one major issue has already surfaced following the Wizards Game 7 loss in Wizards starting center Marcin Gortat.

According to Candance Buckner of The Washington Post, Gortat plans to speak with his agent to determine if the Wizards are the right fit for him moving forward.

Gortat, who has two years left of his current five-year, worth $60 million guaranteed, averaged a double-double with 10.8 points and 10.4 rebounds this season. Although Gortat averaged just his second double-double of his career this season, his 10.8 points per game were not only his lowest since joining the Wizards and his worst points average since the 2010-11 season.

Marcin Gortat’s Per Game Table

Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table

Since joining the Wizards in 2013, Gortat has played in 320 of the possible 328 games, missing just eight games in a four-year span. His tenure with the Wizards also includes playing in all 82 regular season games in 2014 and this past season. Gortat elaborated on the situation during exit interviews Tuesday:

"I had 103 games this year; I haven’t missed even one game. I had 103 games; I didn’t miss even one practice or shoot-around. On top of that, I’m the oldest guy on the team, the most experienced guy on the team. So I think this is a huge achievement for me, personally. To be available for every game is a huge thing in the NBA."

However, Gortat suffered a dismal ending to his 2016-17 season, averaging 8.4 points and 8.2 rebounds post All-Star break after averaging 11.9 points with 11.4 rebounds in the first 55 games this season. Furthermore, in those 27 games to end the regular season, Gortat endured a 13-game stretch where he averaged only 6.7 points, 7.4 rebounds, 0.5 blocks and one free throw attempt.

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Another glaring disparity is Gortat’s reduced production in the final quarter of games. According to NBA.com/stats, Gortat is most effective in the opening quarter averaging 3.9 points and 3.3 rebounds. By the fourth quarter though, Gortat is almost a non-factor, scoring 1.7 points per game with 2.1 rebounds in 7.1 minutes per fourth quarter.

Similar to the way Gortat ended the regular season, The Polish Hammer scored 5.8 points per game in the last four games against the Boston Celtics in the East semifinals. Despite the fall off in production in the last months of the season, Gortat seems more concerned about his fellow teammate Ian Mahinmi, who missed a total of 47 games this year.

Mahinmi, 30, signed a four-year deal worth $64 million this past offseason on July 7. Gortat understands the business side of things when it comes to the NBA.

"I know how this business works,” Gortat said. “I’m the oldest guy on the team, they signed Ian, also, he’s younger than me, he got a longer contract. I just know how the business works, so I’m prepared for everything, just in case."

The official start of the new season begins July 1. Will Gortat be on the roster when the Washington Wizards look to make another playoff run in the 2017-18 NBA season?