He’s one of the two biggest names on the free agent market this summer.
Marc Gasol’s free agency doesn’t officially begin until July 1. Unofficially, the speculation was bound to start to ramp up the second the Grizzlies were eliminated from the playoffs Friday night.
Few around the league think Gasol is leaving Memphis — this is the city where he went to high school (he and his parents moved there when his brother Pau Gasol went there), he’s on a borderline contender that fits his style, and the Grizzlies can offer more money than any other team.
That’s the feeling in Memphis. Well, sort of, reports Sam Amick of the USA Today.
The Spurs are the wild card that should make fans in Memphis and Portland nervous. There are a lot of things that would need to fall in line — basically Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili have to retire — but if they do they are going to be a very attractive offer.
Think of it this way: Your Duncan/Aldridge and on July 1 your phone rings, you pick it up and hear “This is Gregg Popovich, how would you like to come play for me, next to Kawhi Leonard, in our system on a max deal, and you can contend for a title for the next four years.”
Tempting. It’s the only real temptation people around the league think can sway Gasol, who is not going to consider the Knicks or Lakers in a serious way, or any other rebuilding project.
But most likely Gasol is suiting up next season next to Zach Randolph, playing the grit and grind, forcing a league that increasingly wants to go small to pay the price against a powerful front line.