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Rumor: Grizzlies’ Marc Gasol unlikely to get multi-year extension, could leave in summer for playoff contender

Marc Gasol, Grizzlies

The Memphis Grizzlies have rapidly faded after an encouraging start to the season, clearly showing that the current roster just doesn’t have what it takes to contend in this loaded Western Conference. Marc Gasol, the oldest player on the roster who now nears his 34th birthday, is unlikely to get a multi-year extension when he’s eligible. While it’s hard to envision the Grizzlies trading him, he could leave as a free agent as soon as this summer, according to Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian.

“My bet is that Gasol is not traded before the deadline but does end up leaving in the summer,” wrote Herrington in a mail bag piece. “I think he opts out and either leaves in free agency or via a sign-and-trade. I am not hugely confident in that assessment. I’d put it at about 60 percent right now.

“If Gasol’s game is going to transition into a lesser role, I think he’d prefer to do so on a team with a clearer path to contention than the Grizzlies will have in the near-term. And I’m not convinced the Grizzlies really want to offer a multi-year extension, even at a far-reduced salary, for what I think they must now see needs to be a rebuild.”

Herrington’s assessment makes sense. There isn’t much of a feel that Grizzlies ownership has realized this team, under its current construction, has tapped the most possible from the talent at hand.

Memphis recently traded for Justin Holiday to give them a boost in 3-point shooting, a move most teams trying to rebuild wouldn’t have made.

Gasol badly wants to remain in Memphis, but the cards simply aren’t there if the organization is to make a switch and look to the future instead of being stuck in a Grit ‘n’ Grind culture that died long ago.