Lakers trade Marc Gasol for Grizzlies, ending ‘chaotic’ year-long run – Orange County Register

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Marc Gasol’s tenure in the NBA began when the Lakers traded his draft rights to Memphis 13 years ago. The stage is set for his career to end with the same movement.

The Lakers traded the 36-year-old center to Memphis on Friday, ending a tumultuous year-long campaign that saw Gasol swing between starter and bench warmer and didn’t end like either. of the parties would have liked it. Gasol averaged just 5 points and 4.1 rebounds last season – sometimes showing signs of his All-Star past, but at times unhappy with his changing role.

ESPN was the first to report the transaction, which was confirmed to Southern California News Group by someone with knowledge of the transaction.

Ultimately, the Lakers softened the deal for Memphis with a 2024 draft pick and money to pull out of a contract that would have cost them around $ 10 million with the additional luxury tax. The Lakers have received draft rights from Wang Zhelin, a Chinese 7-foot center. The Lakers have added two more centers this offseason, Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan, effectively removing Gasol from a role.

While Gasol told reporters during his run to the Tokyo Olympics with the Spanish national team that he plans to return for a second season, a person with knowledge of the relations between the parties told SCNG that the Lakers feared in private that Gasol wasn’t invested in making another run with LA The Lakers had a role ready for him as a big spacing (he shot 41% from a 3-point range last season) in a rotation with Anthony Davis and Howard, but the decision to acquire Jordan last week spelled the end of Gasol’s Lakers tenure approaching.

Gasol himself called his first season with the Lakers “chaotic,” after injury and chemistry issues led the team to a first-round playoff loss. He saw much of his playing time evaporate mid-season when the Lakers signed Andre Drummond, which marred the reunion with the franchise who drafted him and won two championships with his brother, Pau Gasol in training.

Gasol admitted after the season that he could have pushed for a Lakers buyout had it happened earlier in his career.

“Maybe if I hadn’t had a family and was 10 years younger, I would have chosen differently,” he said in June. “But the reality is, I wanted to stay here, I wanted to contribute, I wanted to help guys.”

The trade should be a good note for the end of Gasol’s career: he spent 11 seasons at Memphis, one of the mainstays of the Grit-n-Grind Grizzlies who reached the Western Conference Finals in their prime. ESPN reported that the Grizzlies plan to negotiate a buyout with Gasol to allow him to stay with his family in Spain, where his brother now plays professionally.

If this is the end for Gasol, he leaves behind a considerable NBA legacy that includes three all-star appearances, the 2013 Defensive Player of the Year award and the 2019 NBA Championship with the Toronto Raptors.

Zhelin, 27, is a member of the Fujian Sturgeon Basketball Association of China. Since being drafted in the second round by Memphis in 2016, he has never played an NBA game.

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