Memphis center Marc Gasol might be on the move. First reported by Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Grizzlies may be looking to trade the veteran big man, as he has a player option available after this season. The growing feeling is that Gasol will forgo the option, and become a free agent.
After playing five years in Spain, Gasol was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2007. His draft rights were soon traded to Memphis in the deal that sent Marc’s older brother, Pau Gasol, to the Lakers. In 10 seasons with the Grizzlies, Gasol has been the leader of the team and given them their tough, defensive identity.
Gasol, 33, does a little bit of everything for the Grizzlies. His career averages are about 15 points, 8 rebounds, three assists, and one and a half blocks per game.
Gasol, along with point guard Mike Conley, have taken Memphis to the playoffs six times since 2011. While the team finished with the second worst record in the league last year, Gasol was still a solid performer.
With indication that Gasol may want out, Memphis will be looking to get the most value they can for the former Defensive Player of the Year. Here are some theoretical trades that may be good for both teams. Add draft picks if need be.
Los Angeles Lakers
Gasol could potentially follow the footsteps of his older brother if the Lakers wanted to fast track building a more complete team around LeBron. The Lakers could give up Brandon Ingram, Michael Beasley and the contract of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in exchange for Gasol. The Grizzlies would be taking on some expiring contracts, as well as a promising young player in Ingram.
Adding Gasol would give LeBron another stretch big man to work with. Similar to Kevin Love in Cleveland, Gasol is a seven-footer who can make shots from the perimeter, but is a better defender. If Gasol picked up the player option, it could make Los Angeles a more attractive option for free agents. Another established great player, along with the promising Kyle Kuzma, could be enough to sway Kemba Walker, Jimmy Butler or even Klay Thompson into joining the team.
The Nets have surprised many this year, as they are currently trying to maintain their hold on one of the final playoff spots in the east. Adding Gasol could give them some veteran leadership needed to make a push in the post-season.
The Nets could give up the contract of Allen Crabbe, as well as young players D’Angelo Russell and Jarrett Allen. While Russell is the team’s leading scorer, the Nets also have guards Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie putting up good scoring numbers. Allen is averaging nearly a double-double on the season. These two players, in particular, could be enticing enough for the Grizzlies to give up Gasol for. This trade would make the Eastern Conference even more wide open.
The Dallas Mavericks are another team looking to inch their way into the playoffs. The Mavs could acquire Gasol to play with DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, and the Rookie of the Year frontrunner Luka Doncic. With Dennis Smith Jr. reportedly on the trading block, the Mavs could send him to Memphis along with Harrison Barnes and Dwight Powell.
Barnes and Smith Jr. are both nice players, who could be liquidated in other trades should Memphis chose to totally rebuild. The Mavericks, while taking on the contract of JaMychal Green, would have a more athletic big man to play alongside Jordan in the paint. This deal could propel Dallas back into the postseason.