We are just a couple of weeks away from the NBA trade deadline as well as the All-Star game. Teams will be frantically calling other teams in hopes to strengthen their rosters for a playoff push or will trade players to gather more assets.
Before the deadline, there have been plenty of players rumored to be moved this season. One of those guys is long-time Memphis Grizzlies center, Marc Gasol. Gasol has a player option after this season that would allow him to test free agency if he chose to use it.
Many teams could use a big man as versatile as Gasol on their roster. One team that comes to mind is the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs currently utilize Marc’s brother, Pau Gasol, and Jakob Poeltl at center. Pau is past his prime, while Poeltl still needs a ton of time to develop his game.
Pau and Marc have been traded for each other before as we all know when Pau was on the Grizzlies and Marc was on the Los Angeles Lakers. Could it happen again? Possibly, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Poeltl would be involved in the trade rather than Pau. It would be appealing to see the Gasol brothers play together to end their careers.
Through 47 games this season, the Spurs currently sit at 27-20, good enough for the sixth seed in the Western Conference. Of course, for a team like the Spurs, it’s a championship-or-bust mentality every season. As long as Gregg Popovich is on the sideline, it will remain that way.
Although the Spurs traded Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, they’re still in the hunt in the Western Conference. Guys like DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge are leading the way. A player as experienced as Marc Gasol could help in a major way.
Gasol is a gifted passer at the center position and can stretch the floor. Surprisingly enough, the Spurs lead the NBA in three-point shooting percentage so far this season (40.4%). For a team that looked outdated just a couple of years ago in a three-point shooting league, the Spurs have adapted to the league phenomenally.
Acquiring someone like Gasol could give the Spurs a lineup that allows all five of their starters to shoot threes. So far this year, Gasol shoots 35.5 percent from the three-point line. Gasol is sixth among centers who have shot 100 or more threes this season.
Popovich has always liked having big men he can run the offense through. He loved having guys like Tim Duncan and David Robinson to run the offense through. Someone like Gasol could do just that for the Spurs.
This season, Gasol averages 4.7 assists per game (second among centers this season). A duo of Aldridge and Gasol could be lethal in the front-court. A reunion of Rudy Gay and Gasol would be fun to see as well.
San Antonio’s weakest spot on their roster is undoubtedly their center position. Gasol at 33 years old is still one of the best centers the NBA has to offer. The Grizzlies are also in a spot where they aren’t good enough to reach the postseason—making getting assets the priority going forward.
It’s unknown if the Grizzlies are willing to part ways with the beloved Gasol, but they’d be wise to listen to all offers. Mike Conley also is in the same boat. There’s no reason for Memphis to stay complacent especially given the spot they’re in.
For any team that wants to inquire about Gasol, the only worry is whether or not he will want to re-sign this offseason. It would be hard-pressed to believe that he would leave an organization as well-rounded as San Antonio if he was traded there.
Due to his ability to pass the ball, stretch the floor, and bring veteran leadership, the Spurs would be a perfect fit for Marc Gasol. It would be remiss for the Spurs to not try to strengthen their center position at the trade deadline.
With a conference that holds the Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets, and the Oklahoma City Thunder, it would be wise to try to bulk up their roster before the playoffs. A player as talented as Gasol could help tip the scales in the Spurs’ favor.