The Memphis Grizzlies seem set for a roster overhaul, and Marc Gasol could be made available.
In any pro sports league, one of the worst places to be is a perennial playoff team with no real chance to win a title. That’s where the Memphis Grizzlies have been for quite a while now in the NBA, with only an occasional playoff upset to justify keeping their core group together.
But key parts of the Grizzlies “Grit ‘N’ Grind” era are starting to break up. Zach Randolph has agreed to a two-year deal with the Sacramento Kings, and long-time defensive stalwart Tony Allen may be gone too. Even potential future building block JaMychal Green could be on his way out, if he gets an offer sheet the Grizzlies don’t want to match.
According to Chris Mannix of The Vertical, as part of a broader piece about the implications of the Boston Celtics signing Gordon Hayward, the Grizzlies may consider trading center Marc Gasol. This side of Randolph, no player has been more synonymous with the Grizzlies than the 32-year old Spaniard.
Gasol signed a five-year, $113.2 million deal with Memphis in 2015. There are two more fully guaranteed years worth $46.7 million left on that deal, with a player option of nearly $25.6 million for the 2019-20 season. Mannix suggests the Celtics as a team with possible interest in Gasol, as they obviously have the player and draft pick assets to appeal to Memphis if they fully move into rebuild mode.
Prior to 2016-17, Gasol had never attempted more than 17 3-pointers in a season. He added that element to his game last season though, going 104-for-268 from beyond the arc (38.8 percent) to evolve into a modern, floor-stretching big man. But that did not mean Gasol sacrificed his typical presence around the basket, as he still averaged 6.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocked shots per game over 74 regular season games.
Before too long, the Celtics have to turn their pile of future assets into something more tangible for the here and now. Gasol and Al Horford look like an odd fit together in Boston, but both big men have added some perimeter shooting to their repertoire without sacrificing presence down low.