The New Orleans Pelicans may not be done with their busy offseason overhaul.
According to Fletcher Mackel of WDSU, the Pelicans have discussed pursuing center Marc Gasol if he becomes a free agent. The big catch is that Gasol would have to opt out of his contract with the Toronto Raptors, which may be unlikely.
One day to pay attention to this week. Thursday, June 27th.
That’s when Marc Gasol has to opt into or out of the final year of his contract. Most expect him to opt in, but if he becomes free agent, NBA source tells me: “Pelicans have had conversations about landing him.” pic.twitter.com/wEVNOXL3wz
Gasol could be a productive player, plus a veteran mentor to the likes of Zion Williamson on what will be a young squad. If nothing else, it’s a sign that the Pelicans aren’t quite done despite a very busy and successful offseason whether Gasol becomes available or not.
DeMarcus Cousins is questionable for Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night and seems like a good bet to play at some point in the series, but that should not intimidate the Toronto Raptors. After all, they did begin preparing to face him nearly four months ago.
The Raptors made a major move to bolster their frontcourt when they acquired Marc Gasol at the trade deadline back in February, and Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated reports that they made that deal with a potential finals matchup against the Warriors in mind. More specifically, they believed Gasol would help them contain Cousins.
Gasol, the 2013 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, is averaging 8.6 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game in the playoffs so far. He averaged 13.6 points and 7.9 rebounds per game during the regular season, so he clearly makes a significant impact. Cousins probably will not be his usual self as he continues to recover from a torn quad muscle, but the Raptors have a much better chance of limiting his impact now that they have Gasol.
From the Warriors’ perspective, getting Cousins back would basically be a bonus. They have already shown that they can dominate without him, and they have overcome one of the most significant injuries of the year to get to the point that they are at now. Even if Gasol goes toe-to-toe with Cousins, we all know Golden State can beat you a number of different ways.
It’s easy to forget now, but Marc Gasol was very briefly a member of the Los Angeles Lakers at the start of his NBA career. They selected him in the second round of the 2007 NBA Draft, and ultimately traded his draft rights to the Memphis Grizzlies in 2008 in a trade that brought his brother Pau to Los Angeles.
What does Gasol remember about that time? Not a lot, except for some oversized sweaters.
Marc Gasol on being a Laker, briefly: "Yeah for a few, couple of months I was, I guess. They sent me oversized sweaters and stuff. You could say I was a Laker (laughs). I was not on the payroll though." Said he visited Pau at Finals to soak it all in once back in the day.
Gasol has come a long way since then. Ultimately, it’s a case where there are probably no regrets for either side, as Pau forged an impressive legacy with the Lakers while Marc carved out an excellent career in Memphis and now Toronto. Plus, he got an amusing memory out of that time.
Marc Gasol has a reputation for being a good passing big man, but he did not showcase that skill during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday.
The Toronto Raptors big man took a pass down the lane in transition during the third quarter and was going to the hoop. He decided to attempt a pass as he went up and then ended up throwing the ball away in a discus-like move:
Toronto Raptors center Marc Gasol took responsibility for his team’s slow start in Game 2 that ultimately left them in a 2-0 hole in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Milwaukee Bucks scored the first nine points of Game 2 and ultimately jumped out to a 35-18 lead. Toronto’s comebacks fell short, as Milwaukee dug the hole too deep early on — which Gasol blamed himself for after missing three shots in the first three minutes.
“The beginning [of the game] set us in a really bad spot,” Gasol said, via Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN. “We couldn’t get a grip of the game early on, and I take full responsibility for that.
“I played really bad, and that set the tone.”
Gasol owning up is respectable, but it was certainly a team effort. It’s fair to wonder if the circumstances in which they lost Game 1 lingered on their minds — as they seemed to for one player — in the slow start.
Marc Gasol made his Toronto Raptors debut on Saturday night after spending his entire career with the Memphis Grizzlies. One thing that stood out to him immediately was the fan support he had on the road.
Gasol’s Raptors beat the New York Knicks 104-99 at Madison Square Garden. He was asked after the game about what surprised him and said the fan support they had in an opponent’s building.
“How many fans for the Raptors were in the stands,” Gasol said. “Memphis fans — we get some fans in the stands — but not as many as you guys, or ‘us’ now. The amount of energy that you feel around the city is great.”
Gasol came off the bench and had 7 points and 6 rebounds in 19 minutes. He was averaging 15.7 points and 8.6 rebounds per game with Memphis and will make the 41-16 Raptors that much tougher. Having the extra fan support may help him elevate his play this season, too.
Marc Gasol was a somewhat surprising addition to the Toronto Raptors at the NBA trade deadline, but the big man is excited to get started.
Gasol credited Raptors president Masai Ujiri and some of his new teammates for raising his excitement level about playing in Toronto with the possibility of a championship on offer.
Marc Gasol, who just spoke to the media in NYC: "Once Masai called and I talked to some of the guys in (the locker room), everybody said the same thing about making a run to the title, and that gets your juices going and makes you real excited."
Gasol ultimately had expected to be traded somewhere else, so the move to Toronto came as something of a late surprise. He’s moved from a 22-34 team in Memphis to a 40-win Raptors team that sits second in the East, so it’s pretty easy for him to find such a trade revitalizing and exciting.
The 2019 NBA trade deadline was an exceptionally active one with multiple big names changing teams, even if the biggest name on the market ended up staying put. That doesn’t change the fact that the action, especially in the Eastern Conference, was fast and furious, and that isn’t even factoring in the Kristaps Porzingis deal.
Here are ten big takeaways from all the moves that took place prior to Thursday’s deadline.
1. The Anthony Davis saga will drag on into the summer, and the Lakers look worse for it
It didn’t seem like the New Orleans Pelicans ever had any real intention of negotiating with the Los Angeles Lakers in good faith on an Anthony Davis trade. The Pelicans have every incentive to wait until summer to deal Davis, when they should have a wider range of interested teams. The Lakers will be disappointed, as they don’t look great publicly, seem to have muddled the minds of their young players, and may now find themselves in a situation where they can be outbid. LeBron James probably won’t be happy, either.
The 34-year-old Gasol had been linked to and had drawn interest from several other Eastern Conference teams, but north of the boarder appears to be his immediate destination as the two teams took a trade call with the league in effort to finish the deal.
Gasol is averaging 15.7 points, 8.6 rebounds and a career-high 4.7 assists this season, which is second in the league for centers behind only Denver’s Nikola Jokic (7.7).
While Gasol has spent his entire career in Memphis, the team is in a rebuilding mode and felt both sides would be better off with a fresh start. He will now get to play for a team that is a legitimate NBA title contender.
The Memphis Grizzlies continue to indicate through their actions that trade talks surrounding center Marc Gasol are very serious.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Gasol has not made the trip to Oklahoma City with his teammates, as his team is still engaged in talks with the Charlotte Hornets about a deal in which he would be the centerpiece.
Sources: As active discussions continue between Grizzlies and Hornets, Marc Gasol did not travel with Memphis on their trip to Oklahoma City.
Memphis doesn’t play again until Thursday, at which point the trade deadline will have passed. The fact that he’s not making the trip is a pretty clear indicator that the Grizzlies believe there’s a good chance that he gets moved, and Gasol himself thinks he’ll have a new home by the end of the day.