The Los Angeles Lakers have been signing a number of veteran stars to their roster ahead of the 2021-22 season. But one veteran – center Marc Gasol – is suddenly out of the picture following a trade.
According to ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers are trading Gasol to the Memphis Grizzlies. Gasol is being moved, along with a 2024 second-round pick and cash in exchange for the draft rights to Wang Zhelin of China’s Fujian Sturgeons.
Woj noted that the deal will save the Lakers about $10 million this coming year. Given that they recently signed Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan, Gasol was far less likely to get any playing time.
But Gasol won’t be spending much of any time in Memphis with the team he once dominated with. The two sides will reportedly work together on a waiver and release that will allow him to remain in his native Spain for the coming year.
The Lakers signed two former All-Star centers this offseason — Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan — for franchise’s frontcourt. Gasol has a one-year, $2.7M that multiplies with Lakers luxury tax. Gasol, 36, is three-time All-Star, an NBA Defensive Player of Year and NBA champion.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 10, 2021
In his first stint with the Memphis Grizzlies, Marc Gasol emerged as one of the NBA’s elite centers. In 11 years he averaged 15.2 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game over 769 games. Gasol also made three All-Star appearances between 2012 and 2017 and was named Defensive Player of the Year in 2013.
During the 2018-19 season, Gasol was traded to the Toronto Raptors and promptly won his first NBA title. He spent one more season in Toronto before joining the Lakers in 2020.
But last season was Gasol’s least productive season to date. He averaged career lows in almost all categories despite starting 42 of 52 games.
Will we ever see Marc Gasol on an NBA court again?