Tag: Marc Gasol

Memphis Grizzlies v Portland Trail Blazers - Game Three

Blazers GM denies report LaMarcus Aldridge told team he would leave in free agency


Of all the marquee free agents out there — a group that technically includes LeBron James, Kevin Love and Marc Gasol — LaMarcus Aldridge is the one most have their eyes on as a guy who could potentially change teams.

A recent report claimed that Aldridge has already informed the Blazers that he won’t be back, but Portland’s GM strongly denied it, while claiming that a decision on Aldridge’s future has yet to be made.

From Mike Tokito of the Oregonian:

After all the recent reports that LaMarcus Aldridge was not going to return to the Trail Blazers, general manager Neil Olshey – in one of his regular telephone conversations with the All-Star power forward – asked Aldridge about it.

“I actually asked him how would you like me to address it,” Olshey said. “He said, ‘Just say it’s not true. You and I know where we’re at right now.'” …

“It was misreported, it’s not true,” Olshey said. “I can tell you he has not informed anybody in this organization his intention not to return to this team.” …

“We’ve always known that LaMarcus is going to have a robust free agent market,” he said. “It was a market we were going to compete in. It’s a market we’re still planning to compete in. But in no way has he given us any indication that he’s not returning to the Trail Blazers.”

This report, coming directly from Olshey, is easier to believe than the one that claimed Aldridge was already gone.

Until the Blazers sit down with Aldridge to discuss contract options, and until Aldridge meets with suitors that are expected to include the Lakers and the Spurs, it’s impossible to determine which way he’ll lean in terms of making a decision about his free agent future.

There aren’t any reasons for Aldridge to declare he’s hell bent on leaving Portland, at least on the surface. It may eventually play out that way, but for now, it appears as though the Blazers still have at least a puncher’s chance at retaining his services.

Kristaps Porzingis and the power of patience


NEW YORK – As Adam Silver walked to the podium to announce the fourth overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, everyone in the media area who saw Adrian Wojnarowski’s tweet regarding the Knicks’ selection knew what was in store for Kristaps Porzingis when his name came out of the commissioner’s mouth.

On cue the Knicks faithful showered the 7’ 1” 19-year old from Latvia with a downpour of boos as he made his way up to shake Silver’s hand. It was quite the response for the franchise’s highest draft pick since Patrick Ewing in 1985 and it’s something that Porzingis is determined to erase during his time in New York.

“I have to do everything that’s in my hands to turn those booing fans into clapping fans,” Porzingis said after holding up his freshly printed number 15 Knicks jersey. It’s a task that’s not going to be easy, but the seven footer has the type of game that could quickly turn New York’s perception of him.

Porzingis possesses an offensive skill set that has the chance to be otherworldly. His silky smooth shooting stroke will be on display right out of the box. He can spot up from beyond the arc and pull up off of the dribble. He can post up and score inside thanks to his extremely long frame. It’s easy to fall in love with his potential as a big in the Triangle Offense.

Beyond his offensive abilities, Porzingis’ extremely long frame (his wingspan has been rumored to be anywhere between 7’ 3” and 7’ 6”) allows him to cover quite a bit of ground on defense. If a guard gets around him, he has the length to alter their shot at the rim. If he traps on a pick-and-roll, he has the agility to recover and get back in front of his man.

Besides the obvious question marks about coming over from Europe, Porzingis’ body has been knocked during the draft process (Someone who is reading this just thought to themselves, well Darko was soft!), but the discussion about his body type has been blown out of proportion. Yes his body is a bit awkward and does resemble a baby giraffe, but so many people have been shouting that he needs to put on weight. Newsflash, he’s going to put on weight. Every player who enters the league is put on a weight training program in order to maximize their body.

There is film of Porzingis being knocked around by guys in the paint who are four to five inches smaller than him,

but over the next couple of years his body will evolve as he transforms from a 19-year old kid into a man, which will give him the ability to handle contact under the basket.

There’s just so much to like about Porzingis, but it’s hard to sell his potential that to a fanbase who is desperate to see a quick turnaround even though there doesn’t appear to be one in sight. Carmelo Anthony is an aging superstar who is coming off of knee surgery and is in desperate need of a stable foundation around him because right now the Knicks’ roster beyond Melo looks like this:


Phil Jackson could pull off a couple of miracles in free agency due to the abundance of cap space New York has, but the Knicks haven’t been linked to any of the top free agents, unless you count pipe-dreams of Marc Gasol. The Knicks may have to go about this rebuilding process a different way, by developing their high draft picks into stars and that all begins with Porzingis.

“It’s crazy, you know for me, just playing in New York. Phil Jackson is a known hero,” Porzingis said. “First I’ll make sure I do my work, and he’ll make sure he puts me in a position where I can succeed.”

Now it’s Porzingis’ job to become the next known hero in New York.

Twitter – @ScottDargis

PBT Podcast: Why can’t we all… er, Blatt and LeBron just get along?

David Blatt, LeBron James

In the wake of the Cavaliers loss in the NBA Finals came another big story about how LeBron James completely disrespects coach David Blatt?

What does this mean for the future of Blatt in Cleveland (not much short term, probably)? It’s LeBron’s call, would he get the blood on his hands to can Blatt and bring in his guy Tyronn Lue? If Blatt is disrespecting his head coach, what do you think the rest of the team is doing?

We cover all of it in this latest PBT Podcast, we’ve got PBT’s Kurt Helin and Brett Pollakoff, plus NBCSports’ Dominic Ridgard breaking down the Cavaliers coaching situation, and where they go from here — including taking Kevin Love’s future.

Then we get into some talk about the top of the draft, and where Marc Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge might land as free agents.

Listen to the podcast below or you can listen and subscribe via iTunes.

Report: Marc Gasol ‘expected’ to stay with Grizzlies

Memphis Grizzlies v Los Angeles Clippers

LeBron James tops the list of players who can become unrestricted free agents this summer, but who will almost certainly remain with their current teams.

Kevin Love may very well be a close second.

After that, you look at guys whose contracts are already up, and where no opt-out is required in order to test the free agent market.

Right after LeBron and Love, we have Marc Gasol.

From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Gasol is expected to stay with the Grizzlies, but no final decision has been made, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Gasol could command a four-year max contract essentially wherever he wants. And, he’s been open about the fact that he intends to listen to what other teams have to offer.

But Memphis has the ability to provide him with a fifth year on a max deal that no other team can, and when you combine that with Gasol’s longtime affinity for the city of Memphis and the fact that the Grizzlies are expected to remain competitive for years to come, it’s difficult to envision him ultimately choosing to play anywhere else.

Report: Jeff Green opting in with Grizzlies for $9.2 million

Jeff Green, Stephen Curry

When the Grizzlies traded for Jeff Green in January, there was concern Memphis would get only a half-season rental.

Green had a $9.2 million player option for next season, and it seemed reasonably likely he’d opt out. After all, the Celtics dealt him because they didn’t want to risk losing him for nothing.

But Green underwhelmed – especially in the playoffs, where he shot 33% from the field and 22% from beyond the arc and produced a PER of 7.9. Why did Memphis buck my prediction model and beat the Trail Blazers in the first round? The biggest reason was Dave Joerger pulling Green from the starting lineup.

As Green’s stock fell, the equation turned. The Grizzlies shouldn’t have feared losing Green after the season. They should have wanted him to opt out.

Alas, Green could see the same math.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

If Green opted out, the Grizzlies could have had about $8.5 million in cap room in addition to re-signing Marc Gasol to a max contract.

As it stands, the only way they’ll have cap room now is if Gasol leaves or they trade other players. They’ll still have the $5,464,000 mid-level exception, but so will many other teams. That cap room would have provided an edge.

On the bright side, hope is far from lost with Green. He’s still talented, and at 29 this summer, he shouldn’t be in rapid decline. The Grizzlies might still emerge from this with a decent-enough starting small forward, though they certainly shouldn’t count on having one.

For Green, he misses a good chance to hit free agency while he’s still generally accepted to be in his prime. But after last season, he had no real choice. At least he’ll be trying again when the salary cap spikes.