As for veterans Kyle Lowry, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka – who are all on expiring deals – the Raptors have no intention of moving them, at least not before the season, according to sources. Like he did with previous Raptors teams, Ujiri will give this group an opportunity to sink or swim before choosing a path and deciding what comes next.
More Rumors in this Storyline
The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday they have acquired centre Marc Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for centre Jonas Valanciunas, guard Delon Wright, forward C.J. Miles and a 2024 second-round draft pick.
“Marc brings significant playoff experience to our team, which along with his savviness and leadership skills really helps position us for our ultimate post-season goal,” Raptors president Masai Ujiri said. “We look forward to welcoming Marc to our city and team.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: Toronto is nearing an agreement to land Marc Gasol, league sources tell ESPN.
Marc Gasol: Meanwhile at the house like...
Adrian Wojnarowski: There are still gaps needing to be bridged in Marc Gasol discussions between Memphis and Charlotte, league sources tell ESPN. Talks continued this morning.
Marc Stein: The Hornets were not able to acquire Harrison Barnes but continue to engage with Grizzlies on a Marc Gasol deal, I’m told. JaMychal Green is also attracting interest on what could well be a busy day in Memphis
Sean Deveney: The Hornets, independent of any potential Marc Gasol deals, are still looking for a landing spot for Frank Kaminsky, a source tells SN. Kaminsky has been patient through the process, but has played only 41 minutes in Charlotte’s last 23 games.
Rick Bonnell: A source close to Marc Gasol says he anticipates ending up with the Hornets. The player obviously doesn’t make that final call, but it’s indicative, at least, that this is still running in the direction of a deal before Thursday’s 3 p.m. deadline.
Jake Fischer: In Memphis-Charlotte talks, sources say Tuesday night’s Marc Gasol deal was indeed at finish line, short of agreeing on the contracts to match salary. Some involved believe when Memphis prematurely sat Gasol—whereas Charlotte’s roster remained active—the Grizz forfeited leverage.
Marc Stein: The Grizzlies, meanwhile, continue to press in their efforts to move Marc Gasol (Charlotte in the lead) and Mike Conley (Detroit and Utah are deeply interested but are yet to meet Memphis’ asking price)
The Grizzlies are in talks to send Marc Gasol to the Hornets for Bismack Biyombo, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and a protected first-round pick, according to league sources. The holdup at this point is the protection on the pick, per a source; it might be enough of an issue to derail the trade entirely.
It would be a disappointing return for Memphis, but interest has been minimal. The Kings and Pistons inquired about Gasol, as reported last month on The Ringer, but there’s no traction on a deal. The Pistons offered a package involving Andre Drummond, who is is owed $55.8 million over the next two seasons, but Memphis didn’t have interest, according to league sources. Memphis wanted Bogdan Bogdanovic from the Kings for Gasol, league sources say, but he isn’t being made available for an aging, expensive center whose individual style doesn’t mesh with the team’s as a whole.
Omari Sanfoka: Mike Conley on Marc Gasol potentially being traded tonight: “Knowing what’s possible after tonight, it’s going to be hard for a lot of us, especially myself with all the years we’ve played together.” Says he talked to Marc Gasol earlier and he’s in good spirits.
Lowry, a Philadelphia native and former Villanova star, had 17 points in the first half and finished with 20. He seemed unfazed by a report from Sports Illustrated that Toronto had offered him to Memphis as part of a trade package for Mike Conley and Marc Gasol. “I personally want to be in Toronto,” Lowry said. “I’ve never asked for a trade. My goal is to try to win a championship here, and that’s what I want to do.”
Perhaps of greatest intrigue, the Toronto Raptors have called Memphis offering Jonas Valanciunas and Kyle Lowry for both of Conley and Gasol, league sources told Sports Illustrated. Memphis, sources said, would prefer to receive younger players such as OG Anunoby or draft assets in any exchange with Toronto that would send Conley north. The Grizzlies of course rejected Toronto’s initial offer. Lowry has been made aware of Toronto’s negotiations involving him, according to once source close to the All-Star point guard.
On Tuesday night, reports of a potential deal that would send Grizzlies center Marc Gasol to the Hornets heated up, with some combination of wings Malik Monk and/or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as the chief return piece for Memphis. But league sources told Sporting News that the Hornets and Grizzlies do not have an agreement in place, and that there is increasing skepticism on both sides that a trade can be brought to bear ahead of Thursday’s NBA trade deadline. The Hornets have had interest in Gasol for some time, but a deal has not progressed.
Rod Boone: Source: #Hornets are definitely looking to shake things up and it appears something will go down. Package for Marc Gasol could include either Bismack Biyombo or Cody Zeller and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. #Hornets apparently still working to hash it all out.
Peter Edmiston: Have been told by a couple of folks Marc Gasol left the arena shortly after halftime. A very emotional evening for him.
Chris Herrington: Per source, there is no trade between Charlotte and Memphis that has been agreed to yet.
David Cobb: Marc Gasol just came and sat on the bench. FedExForum has erupted and is on its feet. Really cool moment.
Clay Bailey: Marc Gasol still in the Grizzlies pregame video. So you have that going for you
Omari Sanfoka II: Mike Conley on Marc Gasol potentially being traded tonight: “Knowing what’s possible after tonight, it’s going to be hard for a lot of us, especially myself with all the years we’ve played together.” Says he talked to Marc Gasol earlier and he’s in good spirits.
David Cobb: Mike Conley talked to Marc Gasol this afternoon. Said he’s in good spirits. Mike’s not sure if Marc will sit on the bench tonight or not.
Shams Charania: Memphis will sit Marc Gasol out tonight. The Grizzlies and Hornets are still discussing framework of deal, including matching the salary necessary to meet Gasol’s $24.1M contract, sources said.
Mark Giannotto: Marc Gasol will not play tonight. JB Bickerstaff would not specify why. Draw your own conclusions.
Rick Bonnell: I can confirm report by @Shams Charania that Grizzlies and Hornets are engaged on a possible Marc Gasol trade.
Michael Grange: Memphis is/has talked to at least six teams regarding Gasol/Conley… Toronto among them, according to more than one source. From my understanding Conley would look positively on Toronto as an option.
Shams Charania: Memphis is in strong talks to move franchise star Marc Gasol to Charlotte, league sources tell @TheAthletic @WatchStadium.
According to a league source, Detroit and Memphis had a conversation about Gasol a month ago but nothing manifested from those early engagements. So, now that the process of elimination has killed any suspense, Conley is very much on Detroit’s radar. According to a league source, as it stands now, the Pistons and the Jazz are the two frontrunners in the Conley Sweepstakes.
In order to potentially tip Memphis away from the Jazz’s offer, which will likely involve Ricky Rubio, a 2019 first-round pick and an assortment of contracts to make the finances match up, Detroit will have to go one step further in the asset department. Jackson and a first-round pick won’t get it done. Rubio’s contract comes off the book next year, so in order for the Grizzlies to be enticed to hold onto Jackson for another year, the Pistons will likely have to add in second-year guard Luke Kennard, who is of interest to Memphis, according to a league source, and the only tangible asset on the roster.
There are a couple of teams to watch specific to Gasol, the top being the Portland Trail Blazers. Sources close to the situation labeled the Blazers as the more likely team to land Gasol if the Grizzlies do a deal, but there was not a sense that anything was close enough to call. Gasol himself has talked about the San Antonio Spurs, and there seems to be some interest on the Spurs’ part in making a deal. But it’s unclear what the Spurs could or would offer to consummate a deal. Gasol has a player option for next season worth $25.5 million.
Jason Anderson: League sources tell me, as of now, Marc Gasol of the @Memphis Grizzlies is not in the @Sacramento Kings plans. #kings #grizzlies #nba
NBC Sports California has confirmed through league sources that the Gasol rumors are incorrect when it comes to Sacramento. The Kings do not have interest in the three-time All-Star center at this time.
More Marc Gasol on the potential for a trade: “(The Grizzlies management) has to do what they have to do and what they think is best for the franchise going forward. If that’s without me, and they can get great assets, that’s great, and I’m all for it. And if it’s with me, I’m for it too. Either way, they’re going to do what they think is best, and you have to respect that and live with it.”
James Edwards III: According to an NBA source, there are no conversations going on between Memphis and Detroit regarding Marc Gasol. I gather that the #Pistons did their due diligence a few weeks back but nothing came of it.
So far, Gasol is generating more chatter on the market than Conley. The Kings and Pistons have expressed interest, according to multiple league sources. The Grizzlies are trying to make a deal including Chandler Parsons, who signed a four-year, $94.4 million contract with Memphis in 2016 and has managed to play only 73 games due to injuries. Gasol has a player option for next season worth $25.6 million, so including Parsons’s albatross contract will be complicated financially.
It’s been a tumultuous week for Conley and Gasol. Grizzlies owner Robert Pera called them on Tuesday with news that the Grizzlies had decided to put them on the trade block. Afterward, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski made the trade news public on Twitter. Conley appreciates that he heard the news from Pera rather than Twitter, but it hasn’t made this week easier to navigate. He and Gasol have had to answer questions about a trade situation they didn’t ask for and has no clear timeframe or resolution. They’ve been tasked with eulogizing an era that has yet to come to a close. “During the game you’re not so much caught up into that, until you finish and you look up like, ‘what if that was it,” Conley said after Wednesday’s loss to the Hornets. “It’s tough to look back and think of all the memories we’ve had. It’s been a long ride, and a successful one at that.”
Then, the questions turned to Gasol’s love for Memphis and how these trade talks might be hard for the 33-year-old Spaniard who went to high school here and has spent his entire NBA career here. Gasol’s demeanor shifted. “That won’t change. It won’t change to me,” he said. “My relationship with the Grizzlies might change, but my relationship with Memphis won’t. What I feel inside and how I feel about Memphis and its people, it has nothing to do with the franchise or a temporary thing.” Then, his voice broke as he finished his answer. “That’s not going to change.”
Now, the Grizzlies are shopping their cornerstones. “Does it feel like it’s up to me right now?” Gasol said when asked about the possibility of playing his whole career in Memphis. “No. So why even think about it. It’s irrelevant. You go out there and do your job. That’s plain and simple. I don’t want anyone to use this as an excuse not to do so.”
Then, Gasol expressed surprise over the fact that Conley’s name is part of trade discussions. “I don’t understand why Mike is in those talks either,” Gasol said. “Mike is one heck of a player, and we’re going to need good players moving forward. I don’t understand why Mike is in this.”
The Memphis Grizzlies may be ready to start rebuilding, listening to trade offers for the NBA’s longest-tenured teammates. Guard Mike Conley said Grizzlies owner Robert Pera had told both he and center Marc Gasol on Tuesday that they will be mentioned in potential trade talks. Pera “called me just to make me aware that they were going to go about doing this,” Conley said after Wednesday’s shoot-around before their game against the Charlotte Hornets. “Outside of that, I haven’t really thought about it or heard much about it.”
Grizzlies coach J.B. Bickerstaff says he has received no directives from the front office on playing limitations or how to use Conley and Gasol in the weeks before the trade deadline. “It’s obviously a distraction. It’s obviously on people’s minds,” Bickerstaff said. “But the only way we can handle it is by paying attention to what’s important now. We have no control over tomorrow. We don’t have any control over what happened yesterday. .We can’t waste energy on the what ifs, the possibilities.”
Marc Gasol and Mike Conley are available. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported tonight that the Grizzlies would explore the trade market for each player ahead of the Feb. 7 NBA trade deadline, and this was subsequently confirmed to The Daily Memphian by a source with knowledge of the team’s thinking. It doesn’t mean that a trade for either (much less both) will happen in the next couple of weeks, but what was almost certainly already a possibility now becoming so transparently public probably makes it more likely.
Do you want to be traded? Marc Gasol: I’ve said it before, that’s just not the way I operate. The way I’m wired, that’s not what I would expect of somebody who’s trying to win games with me. If I had another teammate next to me telling me ‘I want out!’, I don’t know. I think in moments like this, MLK Day, where your true character shows what you stand for, and I stand for the guys next to me. So I don’t know. Maybe (the organization is) waiting for that to happen. Maybe they don’t want to do it, maybe they say, ‘We’re not going to do it, maybe you should ask for it.’ I honestly don’t know. I have no clue what it is. But I’m not wired that way, I’m not a quitter. I can’t, in the heat of the battle, just say, ‘All right, take care.’ That’s just —
Marc Gasol: I don’t know. I don’t know what might happen. What needs to happen, I don’t know. Obviously, I have people asking me, ‘Is it going to be you?’ Maybe. Shit, if it needs to be, it needs to be. There’s not going to be any hard feelings. It’s not going to change how I feel about this city, for God’s sakes, it wouldn’t change that for a second. It can’t take anything away. I wouldn’t have done it any other way. I feel like the luckiest man in the world because I was put in this position to lead this franchise as one of the main guys for so many years. I’ll forever be thankful for that. That’s not going to change regardless of what happens.
For the first time, the Memphis Grizzlies will begin listening to trade offers on center Marc Gasol and guard Mike Conley, league sources tell ESPN.
The Grizzlies could decide to keep one or both players if no deals meet their threshold, but they’re motivated to begin reshaping the roster around 2018 first-round pick, forward Jaren Jackson, league sources said.
Adrian Wojnarowski: For first time, Memphis will begin listening to trade offers on franchise stars Marc Gasol and Mike Conley, league sources tell ESPN. Memphis has reached a crossroads and is preparing to weigh deals involving one or both of its cornerstone veterans. Story soon on ESPN.
Marc Stein: My sense is that the Grizzlies, since that Jan. 14 tweet, have indeed been quietly gauging the Gasol landscape and assessing their options — even though their preference surely remains not trading him.
If (when?) the Grizzlies reach the point that they are truly prepared to break up their star duo of Gasol and Mike Conley, one potential trade scenario I’ve heard would involve Memphis insisting to any interested team that Chandler Parsons must be involved in the same trade.
As the Memphis Grizzlies approach a crossroads ahead of the Feb. 7 NBA trade deadline, franchise stars Marc Gasol and Mike Conley Jr. met with owner Robert Pera this week over the state of the team, league sources told The Athletic.
Several NBA teams have monitored Gasol’s situation — and possible availability — in Memphis, but the Grizzlies so far this season have stated their desire to compete for a postseason berth with a team built around the three-time All-Star center and Conley. Gasol, who will turn 34 later this month, has averaged 15.4 points and 8.4 rebounds this season, but the Grizzlies have sputtered since a 12-5 start.
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.
“I don’t think we know exactly where the future is headed right now,” Gasol told The Commercial Appeal. “Obviously, you’re a player, so you need to play and you need to win games. You cannot get caught up in what’s the future of the franchise. What are they going to do? What’s this guy going to do? You can’t do that because then you forget about what’s the most important thing to do and even though no player likes to be in that situation, you have to deal with it. It’s the way it goes. It’s just the nature of the beast. There’s nothing you can do.”
Marc Stein: One whisper making the rounds: Marc Gasol can become a free agent at season’s and, amid a growing belief around the league that he will indeed exercise that option, Memphis could be moved to explore trading Gasol now rather than face the threat of losing him without compensation
Memphis believes in Gasol, his talent, and experience. According to the 33-year old defensive stopper, he is fortunate: “I’m lucky to have a very good relationship with the owner. We are honest with each other, very sincere. We speak the same language, in that regard. We know each other very well, and we have a close relationship.”
While there’s been speculation that Memphis would go into this offseason looking to start a rebuild of the franchise, the team has given indications that it intends to keep its core together — guard Mike Conley and center Marc Gasol — and attempt to return to the postseason under new coach J.B. Bickerstaff. That would mean losing the 2019 first-rounder to the Celtics.
Marc Gasol said he will have questions about the direction of the team after the offseason. How will you reassure him that Memphis remains the best fit for him at this stage of his career? Chris Wallace: Marc is having a terrific career here, both individually – being a multiple All-Star, being defensive player of the year, the All-NBA recognition. And he’s had tremendous team success. So, I don’t think one off year from the team success side tarnishes what he’s achieved or necessarily is going to be the norm going forward for the Grizzlies. This happens to all sorts of teams, where you have not as good a year as where you expect to be. But that doesn’t mean you can’t jump right back in and be successful again next year and that’s what our goal is. And he’s a big part of that.
The Grizzlies insist they won’t trade Marc, who continues to vow that he won’t ask out of Memphis. Conventional wisdom suggests that Marc, 33, is losing value on the trade market as he ages. Pau demanded a trade from the Grizzlies in 2007 but isn’t trying to persuade Marc to force a move.
“It got to a point where I felt like I needed to be somewhere else to have a chance to win and be in a franchise that provided me with more consistency, and a shot at winning a championship,” said Pau Gasol, a two-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers. “That’s what I wanted at the time. I was 27 years old. Marc Gasol is at a different stage. Marc has enjoyed the best years of the franchise. They had very good teams. They’ve consistently been a competitive team. Right now, they’re going through a lot of changing with maybe some questionable decisions upstairs. … It’s been a hard year. No question. Marc is a great professional. He gets upset, but he knows he has to just go out and play.”
This is how Gasol’s prime years could end. The Grizzlies have shown no interest in trading him, and Gasol has no leverage until 2019, when he can opt out of the final year of his contract — and leave $25.6 million on the table. Will he? Gasol sounded plenty frustrated on Tuesday, when local reporters got a crack at him. Asked to describe his frustration level, Gasol said, “It’s pretty high.” Later, Gasol added that “winning is what this is about. It’s not about somebody playing well or getting your reps or developing players. We have a league [the G League] for that. We have a team here in Memphis to develop guys. This is the NBA, not the [G] League.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: Teams reaching out to Memphis on Marc Gasol have been consistently shut down, league sources tell ESPN. Grizzlies refuse to discuss trades on the franchise center.
Ronald Tillery: This Marc Gasol trade stuff makes me laugh. Owner Robert Pera has made it known that he won’t trade the center as long as he owns the team. So persistent commentary that Griz aren’t entertaining Gasol deals is coming from ownership/management to keep him on board for this rebuild
Marc Gasol makes a ton of sense as a Nets pick target, but the Grizzlies appear happy to stand pat; the two teams have had no dialogue about any Gasol-centric deal, per league sources.
Clay Bailey: Gasol on the atmosphere w/ the trade deadline upcoming: “It’s hard to be honest because obviously, everybody has their own situation and what not. The (players’)names that have been out there, they’re doing a great job.”
Though teams are checking in on Grizzlies center Marc Gasol, as reported before, it’s highly unlikely he gets moved. Memphis could think about it in the future, but for now, the team is riding it out.
Teams are curious to study Memphis’ plans with center Marc Gasol, but so far, they say they’re planning to keep him.
Ronald Tillery: Postgame – Griz center Marc Gasol after loss to Wizards: “We’ve got over half the season left to turn things around. That’s the way I look at it.”
There was considerable talk that the Grizzlies might be open to trading All-Star center Marc Gasol. While that’s always a possibility when a team underachieves as the Grizzlies have, sources close to the situation say that unless Gasol asks to be traded, it’s not a real consideration for Memphis.
But if the situation changes not because the team decides it wants to change its goal, but because the goal is changed for them, because of the record, does that change your attitude about wanting to be here? Marc Gasol: My approach to the game will not change. Q: Your approach to your status on the team going forward? Marc Gasol: Correct. That won’t change. But, obviously, if they decide to go a different direction…I’ve said it before, I’ll do anything. I’ll make everybody look good. I’ll say to you guys whatever I need to say if I need to go anywhere else and they need to [pursue] a goal where I’m not the guy.
Everybody who was in the room for Gasol’s holding of court will take different points of emphasis from it. (Side note: The frequent suggestions that Gasol characterized letting Zach Randolph and Tony Allen walk as a mistake is not quite accurate in my interpretation.) But here’s a quote that struck me that I haven’t seen highlighted elsewhere, another peek into how Gasol experiences the game and conceives his commitment to the city: Marc Gasol: I was lucky enough to be a fan before I was a player, and be a fan of the Memphis Grizzlies. People see themselves through players. My job is to show the new guys how important that is.
Michael Lee on Marc Gasol potentially being available: “I think he could resurface [in trade rumors]. I’ve seen situations before where teams have fired their coach thinking that was the issue and that’s what was holding the team back, but then they quickly realize that there are other issues that need to be addressed, and I think you’re seeing that now with the Grizzlies. [David] Fizdale wasn’t the problem, there are a lot of other problems with that squad. As they continue to lose, Marc Gasol isn’t going to be happy. As long the team is taking their lumps every night, he’s going to be miserable. As the deadline gets closer, he may go ahead and tell the organization to go ahead and get something for him. He’s 33 and the team isn’t going anywhere with him, so you might as well see what you can get and move forward without him… If you’re the Memphis Grizzlies, I think you really have to look at your future and realize that if you want to go anywhere, moving Gasol is probably the best way to get started. They have to do what’s best for the organization and I think Marc Gasol would be very open to go to a situation where he can win, especially if things have already dried up in Memphis.”
The center insists he wants to stay with the Grizzlies and can’t imagine himself with another team. He also said he will do whatever is best for the franchise. “Obviously, if it comes to a point that the situation might improve, and I’m the issue to get better … I’m all for it,” Gasol said.
What are the chances that Memphis will opt for the mega blow-up and move Mike Conley along with Gasol. As a Nuggets fan, he is my dream point guard, to pair with Jokic and Milsap. Is Jamal Murray, a first, and anyone not named Jokic, Milsap, or Harris enough to get Conley? David Aldridge: Well, you can’t ask a team for its best player and give them your third or fourth-best player, Phil. Memphis is going to ride Conley and Gasol for the foreseeable future, but if the Grizzlies were to talk trade with Denver, it would almost certainly have to include Harris or Jokic as part of a package for Conley — and the Nuggets, almost certainly, would pass.
Cleveland has been linked to the Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan and Memphis’ Marc Gasol, but one source said any such deal is still a way off. The primary bait the Cavaliers could offer would be center Tristan Thompson, who has been dealing with a calf injury and has lost his spot as a starter.
There’s a lot of chatter about trades – whether you ask for one or the Grizzlies trade you. What are your thoughts about trade scenarios? Marc Gasol: It doesn’t help me today. It doesn’t help me with my responsibility to the team. If I’m thinking about my situation, then I’m not focused on finding ways to be more effective and more efficient on the floor. I want to improve my communication with the guys and show that I’m there for them. That’s all I can worry about. The talk outside – even when it’s good – I don’t worry about. My reality and my day-to-day is never about the outside chatter. It won’t affect my job.
Q: Would you ever ask for a trade? Marc Gasol: No. I said to a colleague of yours last week. It’s up to them. I don’t have a no-trade clause. But if they want to do something to help this team and that doesn’t include me then I’m for the team. Whatever that means. My commitment hasn’t changed.
Are you on board with rebuilding? Marc Gasol: I’m on board with doing my job every day until that’s not my job anymore. Nobody has told me we’re rebuilding. Nobody has said that to me. We’re trying to get better. Obviously, It’s not the easiest or most comfortable situation for us. We’re not where we want to be as a team. That’s the result of a lot things that’s happened. But those things can’t be changed. All you can do is change what you today. All of the other stuff… I can’t control what you think. I can’t control what you say. I can’t control your vision. I can only do what I need to do.
Has your brother, Pau, advised you in this situation? Marc Gasol: Every situation is different. Everybody is different. At the time, (Pau asking for a trade) was the right thing to do for him when things were bad. We’re different players. We came up with the same rules in the household but we view certain things differently. I’m 10 years in, and he respects and values my opinion. He just wants me to be happy. He knows why I re-signed with the Grizzlies and why I’m here. There’s advice that you can give at some point but I haven’t asked for that.
If the team came to him with a trade, Gasol would accept it. “If they think it is best, I would do anything for this franchise,” Gasol says. Wallace and other higher-ups are adamant that is unlikely, even as the losses mount. That seems stubborn, and there is almost certainly a scenario — perhaps Conley getting reinjured, or taking longer than expected to return — where Memphis tests the market. But even in that doomsday sequence, the Grizzlies may even prefer to hold their stars out here and there in some selective tankery, nab a high draft pick, and reload for another run at 45-plus wins.
It is not bad enough for Gasol to ask out. It may never be. “I have a responsibility to this city,” Gasol says. “I’m not gonna quit, no matter what.” What if Memphis fell 30 games under .500? Gasol shakes his head. “I would want to see how we got there — what the process is,” Gasol says. “But as long as [owner] Robert [Pera] wants me here, my teammates want me here, they think I’m part of the solution — and not part of the problem — that’s all I need.” (Gasol still denies he asked for Fizdale to be fired, though the tension between them was real, sources say.)
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August 22, 2019 | 7:53 am EDT Update
After eight seasons in the NBA, Isaiah Canaan will move to China. The guard has signed a deal with Shandong. Canaan spent last season with between Suns, Timberwolves and Bucks.
Burton’s star shined bright; he was named the league’s MVP after averaging 23.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.7 steals per game. The performance piqued the interest of the Thunder, who have scouts all over the globe mining for gems like Burton. In addition to NBA interest, the year abroad also reinforced his need for a true connection in the locker room, like the one he created among his teammates back in high school. “When I play basketball, the team I’m on becomes my family,” he said firmly. “If I don’t feel it’s a family, I can’t play there. “That’s the main reason I came to OKC, because everybody was welcoming and family-oriented.”
Burton has survived a gnashing, tempestuous sea of instability as a player over the last six years, not to mention the emotional battle he waged in losing his mother. It’s a testament to the 25-year-old’s gentle heart and soul that he’s managed to navigate through it all and still maintain humility, grace and composure as a human being. “I honor my mom daily just by how I act,” he said. “I feel that she would be proud of me daily by how I interact with people.”
CM: And then we don’t talk anymore about his injury history, either. I mean, right before you took the job that was a significant concern, like would his legs be able to hold up. It doesn’t seem to be a variable with him anymore. Scott Brooks: When I took the job, you hear all the rumblings. ‘Brad’s not tough enough. He’s had injuries, you’re going to have him for 50 to 60 games. John and Brad don’t get along.’ Those things that you hear about all the time. One of the things that I saw with Brad from the day one, he practices every day and he basically played every game for the last three years. I think he missed two games since my first year.
And yet, with an MVP trophy and a signature sneaker, Antetokounmpo won’t stop working. “I’m really, really happy about everything, but at the end of the day I can’t stay in the moment that much because I try to stay as humble as I can and hungry, and usually when you stick around the moment, that makes you feel comfortable and I don’t want to be comfortable,” he says. “Feeling uncomfortable is a good thing. When you’re out of your comfort zone, then you get better. You improve, you learn.
Their father, Charles, passed away unexpectedly in 2017 at his home in Milwaukee. He suffered a heart attack, out of the blue, at the age of 54. Now the family carries his name with them at every turn. “Every day that I step on the floor, I think about my dad,” Giannis said through tears during his MVP speech. “That motivates me and it pushes me to play harder and move forward.”