NBA Rumor: Marc Gasol Free Agency

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Brother Pau Gasol recently spoke with Spanish newspaper Marca, and the topic of Marc’s future came up. “Marc has earned the freedom and flexibility to make his own decision and he will do so when he decides. I know he has a lot of enthusiasm for Basquet Girona, a club in which I am also involved as vice president. He is in a different situation, because he is five years younger than me. We will see what he decides to do this season and later, I am also waiting.“

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Lakers legend Pau Gasol, Marc’s older brother, recently sat down with Spanish newspaper Marca as he discussed the future of his sibling. Pau’s response was cryptic, but it is clear that he is hoping that Marc returns to Spain: “Marc has earned the freedom and flexibility to make his own decision and he will do so when he decides,” Pau said (h/t Sam Yip of Fan Nation). “I know he has a lot of enthusiasm for Basquet Girona, a club in which I am also involved as vice president. He is in a different situation, because he is five years younger than me. We will see what he decides to do this season and later, I am also waiting.”

The word in Spanish basketball circles, as reiterated to me Friday, is that Marc Gasol is most likely to play for Girona if he decides to play on, even though the LEB Oro is one level below Spain’s top tier. I’m told he has been working out with new Cavaliers guard Ricky Rubio to stay sharp even after negotiating his release earlier this week from Memphis following the Grizzlies’ recent trade with the Lakers to take on the final year of Gasol’s last NBA contract.

Marc Gasol an option for Warriors?

Marc Gasol is a name to watch. He just wiggled his way away from the Lakers and, according to an ESPN report, plans to remain in Spain while sorting out the next (and perhaps last) phase of his playing career. Gasol nearly signed with the Warriors last summer — and might have done so had Thompson not ruptured his Achilles before free agency. It may never materialize, but he has the exact passing acumen and center skill set that has traditionally fit Kerr’s offense best, similar to David West and Andrew Bogut.

The Memphis Grizzlies today announced the team waived center Marc Gasol. Gasol was acquired by the Grizzlies from the Los Angeles Lakers with a 2024 second round draft pick for the draft rights to center Wang Zhelin (57th overall in 2016) on Sept. 10. Gasol (7-1, 255) holds regular season career averages of 14.0 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 32.2 minutes in 891 games (866 starts) over 13 seasons with the Grizzlies, Raptors and Lakers.

Marc Gasol not a lock to return to Lakers

One more Lakers roster note: I’m hearing that Marc Gasol is not a lock to return to the Lakers, even after Gasol said following Spain’s quarterfinal loss to the United States in the Olympics that he intends to play out the final year of the two-year deal he signed with Los Angeles. It’s not yet clear if that means Gasol is poised to be set free to play elsewhere in the NBA or if he would ultimately opt to finish his career in his home country like brother Pau.

In Gasol, L.A. brings in a former All-Star to fill the void in the middle created by the departures of McGee and Dwight Howard, who signed with the Philadelphia 76ers as a free agent. Even though Davis is more than capable at center and played the position plenty during the Lakers’ postseason run, sources told ESPN that it remains a priority for L.A.’s front office to fill the roster with other reliable centers so that Davis doesn’t have to bear the brunt of the position during the arduous regular season.

If not traded, do you think Marc opts in after this season, and if he opts out, does he leave or sign elsewhere? Chris Herrington: I hinted around this in my Gasol piece, but I’ll say it plainly here: My bet is that Gasol is not traded before the deadline but does end up leaving in the summer. I think he opts out and either leaves in free agency or via a sign-and-trade. I am not hugely confident in that assessment. I’d put it at about 60 percent right now. If Gasol’s game is going to transition into a lesser role, I think he’d prefer to do so on a team with a clearer path to contention than the Grizzlies will have in the near-term. And I’m not convinced the Grizzlies really want to offer a multi-year extension, even at a far-reduced salary, for what I think they must now see needs to be a rebuild. But I know at least a couple of people whose guesses are as educated as mine who tilt the other way, who think Gasol is more likely to be back. That maybe he cares about his connection to the franchise and city too much. That maybe he doesn’t want to disrupt his life — off the floor as much as on it — that much.

Marc Gasol, Grizzlies nearing five-year deal

The Memphis Grizzlies and star center Marc Gasol continue to progress toward agreement on a five-year max contract that will cross the $100 million threshold, according to league sources. Sources told ESPN.com that the exact timetable for a verbal agreement between Gasol and the Grizzlies remains unknown, but team officials — including owner Robert Pera — were in Spain this week to greet Gasol in his hometown of Barcelona shortly after free agency commenced at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.
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September 27, 2021 | 10:23 am EDT Update