Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic reports:

Suns move Gortat, Dudley into starting lineup

The Suns won’t say they are giving up on the now, but they made changes Sunday that looked just as much about the future.

Suns coach Alvin Gentry inserted center Marcin Gortat and swingman Jared Dudley into the starting lineup, putting Gortat into the spot of Robin Lopez, who had been groomed as a future franchise center, and Dudley in place of guard Vince Carter, who likely won’t be with the Suns next season.

Gortat, 27, has received minutes and produced the numbers as if he were a starter and embraces the idea of a bigger role in the future. Sunday was his first start as a Suns center after receiving one previous start at power forward alongside Lopez.

“There’s a lot of room for me to improve,” said Gortat, who returned after having a broken nose reset Saturday. “I believe that watching our situation right now with the team, it sounds crazy ,but maybe one day I could be the leader of this team and be one of the main leaders of this team and be the guy who’s going to be the big boost in this team.

“I ain’t scared of doing it. I’m pretty confident. I know I’m going to work hard in the summer to improve my game, especially post game with my back to the basket. I’m going to be ready.”