After a brief one-year stint with the Los Angeles Lakers, it appears Marc Gasol could be done with the NBA. He was recently traded to the Memphis Grizzlies but they let him go, per his request. Instead of finishing his career where he started it in Memphis, he decided to stay in Spain.
However, that doesn’t mean that his playing career is totally over. It’s clear that he’s lost a step since his days as an All-Star but is only 36-years-old. His brother Pau is 41 and still going strong in the EuroLeague. It appears that Marc will be joining him soon.
According to L’Esportiu de Catalunya, Gasol is signing with Girona, a team that he actually has an ownership stake in. Barcelona was also an option as that’s the team his brother plays for and it was the first professional team he played for. The fact that he is an owner for Girona likely played a big role in why he’s going back to the EuroLeague.
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Lakers Weren’t Convinced Gasol Wanted to Play This Year
It was a bit confusing why the Lakers were so quick to swap Gasol for the recently signed DeAndre Jordan. With the team trading for Russell Westbrook this offseason, they need as much floor spacing as possible. Though Gasol has lost a step, he’s a legitimate shooter who could provide ample spacing from the center position. Jordan is quite the opposite as he can’t shoot and is only effective on offense when he can dunk the ball.
Despite the decision to trade Gasol, it’s looking like the Lakers wanted to keep him. According to Kyle Goon of the OC Register, the team wanted to know that he was invested for the season and never received such assurance.
If Gasol wasn’t motivated to play with Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis on a possible championship run, then it was wise to move on from him. His family lives in Spain and with the pandemic ongoing, it would be difficult for him to see them during the season. Now that he’s headed back to Spain, he’ll be able to spend plenty of time with his family.
Lakers Don’t Need Much From Centers
With Gasol getting traded, that likely means the Lakers plan to play Davis at center quite a bit. He’s the only big man they have that can provide good spacing. Dwight Howard and Jordan can still throw down dunks with the best of them but they are massive clogs in the lane for LeBron and Westbrook. It’s possible that Howard and Jordan don’t even play in a number of games depending on who they’re playing.
The team runs through LeBron, Westbrook and Davis. Whatever works for those three is how the offense is going to run. The Lakers’ best lineups will almost always feature Davis playing center. He’s had issues with playing the position in the past so time will tell if he’s willing to fully commit this time around.