This had all the drama of the US Women in the World Cup Finals after the 16th minute. The outcome was never in doubt.
Marc Gasol has agreed to the five-year, $110 million max contract to stay with the Memphis Grizzlies, something first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
The deal includes an early-termination option after the fourth year in 2018-19, league sources said.
Gasol met with Grizzlies owner Robert Pera in Spain last Wednesday, and progressed toward a final agreement over the next several days, sources said.
The deal took place on Spanish time — with plenty of Sangria and tapas mixed into a leisurely, methodical pace — but there was never a doubt he was staying with the Grizzlies. When he first moved to the USA from Spain, he landed in Memphis (because his older brother Pau was playing for the Grizzlies), and he went to high school in that city. He has a comfort level there, plus this is a team that has made the playoffs the last five years and the conference Finals once with Gasol. Add some more shooting on the perimeter and they could be a threat to any team in the West.
Gasol was drafted by the Lakers and stashed in Spain, then traded to Memphis as part of the Pau Gasol deal.
Gasol is the best center in the game right now. He was first-team All-NBA this season and is a former defensive player of the year, plus he averaged 17.4 points and 7.8 rebounds a game for Memphis last season. He is a fantastic passer, and the Grizzlies can run their offense through him for long stretches.
He is the anchor to Memphis’ grit and grind, and he’s locked down for five more years.