Marc Gasol has reportedly narrowed his free agency options down to two teams.
His first option — stay with the Raptors where he won a championship in 2019. His second — join the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers.
Gasol has eliminated all other options, including the Mavericks who reportedly showed interest in the center. NBA insider for The Athletic and Stadium Shams Charania broke the news on Twitter Sunday afternoon.
Marc Gasol is narrowing his focus to the Lakers and Raptors, and L.A. is working market place to find way to improve offer, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. Mavericks are not expected to be destination.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 22, 2020
The Lakers have already made some big offseason moves in free agency. On Saturday night, Los Angeles added the NBA’s reigning sixth man of the year to their roster, signing Montrezl Harrell to a two-year, $19 million deal. With Dwight Howard reportedly signing a deal with Philadelphia, Gasol would be a solid addition to the Lakers’ front court depth chart.
After 11 years with the Memphis Grizzlies, Gasol was traded to Toronto midway through the 2018-19 season. The three-time All-Star helped lead the Raptors on their championship run in his first season with the team.
Through his year and a half with the Raptors, Gasol’s production has certainly declined compared to his days in Memphis. The former NBA defensive player of the year averaged 15.2 points and 7.7 rebounds per game with the Grizzlies. With the Raptors, those numbers have fallen to 8.1 ppg and 6.4 rpg.
Though Gasol is seemingly on the tail end of his career, he would provide another valuable veteran presence and fill an empty role as a traditional big man. Right now, the Lakers’ only true center is JaVale McGee, who opted into his contract for 2020-21.
Even if Gasol decides to resign with the Raptors, the Lakers are the winners of free agency so far. In addition to Harrell, LA also signed point guard Dennis Schroder and perimeter shooter Wesley Matthews.
These additions plus the Lakers’ returning talent pool is a recipe for another championship run.