Friday, July 3, 2009

Gortat heading to Dallas?

Restricted free-agent center Marcin Gortat was scheduled to fly to Dallas on Thursday after giving the Mavericks a verbal commitment to sign an offer sheet with them next week, according to NBA front-office sources.

Sources told that the Mavericks are bringing Gortat to town to tour the area and the team's facilities after extending him an offer believed to be worth Dallas' full mid-level exception -- which could translate to a five-year deal starting at roughly $5.6 million -- in hopes of dissuading the Orlando Magic from matching the offer.

Gortat averaged just 3.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game last season and 3.3 points and 3.2 rebounds during the Magic's run to the NBA Finals, but his opportunities in Orlando were limited behind All-Star center Dwight Howard.

Since free agency commenced at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, Gortat has received strong interest from the other two Texas teams (Houston and San Antonio) as well as Atlanta, Cleveland, Indiana and Oklahoma City, sources said. Orlando will have seven days to match any offer sheet Gortat signs next Wednesday, which is the first day free agents are allowed to sign new contracts. The Magic have stressed their intent to match offers for the 6-foot-11 native of Poland but doing so would almost certainly send them well into luxury-tax territory.

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