Marc Gasol has played 643 games in his NBA career, all with the Memphis Grizzlies. Ever since he was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2007 and traded to Memphis, he has been the cornerstone of the franchise. Other players have risen for the team, what with Tony Allen’s grit and grind and Mike Conley becoming a star, but it has always been Gasol as the face of the team. He has steadily improved every year that passes. But recently, the center has stated that he “may have to rethink things” if the Grizzlies do not improve.
— Sporting News NBA (@sn_nba) August 18, 2017
Gasol has had a great career with the Grizzlies, averaging 15 points a game and tacking a Defensive Player of the Year trophy onto his resume in 2012-13. However, he has always been a winning-first kind of guy, and yet has never even made it to the NBA Finals. As Gasol enters the decline stage of his career in his 12th professional season (he additionally played four seasons overseas before he was drafted) the rush to become part of a contender, which he has never been in a tough Western Conference, becomes even more hurried.
The 32-year-old has the option to opt out of his contract after the 2018-19 season, which is two seasons from now. As previously mentioned, he is entering the decline of his career, which makes two seasons seem a lot scarier than a younger player would think. Injuries could happen and ruin his chances at being picked up by another team. After all, he is 32 and seven-feet tall, increasing his injury risk. So a trade would seem like the better solution.
There are only two destinations that would be prime for Gasol: the Boston Celtics or the San Antonio Spurs. The Celtics have become a legitimate contender in the East, and Gasol would only reinforce that. He and Al Horford could play a duo big man lineup and be feared both in the post and outside, as Horford and Gasol have strong jump shots. The best destination out of the two teams aforementioned would be Boston.
Marc Gasol hints at an exit from Memphis, Celtics interested to make trade offer. Full details: https://t.co/7PbDJbH7CT
— LegionHoops.com (@LegionWebsite) August 18, 2017
An ideal trade would probably be:
Celtics receive: Marc Gasol, Picks
Grizzlies Receive: Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier, Picks
The Spurs would be a good destination because Gasol could play alongside his brother Pau Gasol, which would mean good chemistry. He could also play under Gregg Popovich, who is widely regarded as the best coach in basketball history and would make Marc better. The Spurs are also the only legitimate threat to the powerhouse Golden State Warriors and the only other real contender in the West. One trade idea could be:
Spurs Receive: Marc Gasol, Picks
Grizzlies Receive: Rudy Gay, Picks
Marc Gasol will likely be successful wherever he goes, but he needs to do something fast.