The Memphis Grizzlies have gone from a gritty defensive-minded team in the Western Conference as a perennial playoff squad to a franchise that may be on the verge of an extensive rebuilding process. Although the team recently re-signed Mike Conley and Marc Gasol to lucrative long-term deals, the team’s core pieces around these two stars have either left the team or are potentially on their way out this summer.
Unexpectedly, Gasol’s name surfaced in a trade rumor on Wednesday following the July 4th holiday in which free agent Gordon Hayward made his decision to sign with the Boston Celtics.
At 32, it’s possible Gasol has become a trade target for Danny Ainge and company, according to Chris Mannix of The Vertical:
One player worth keeping an eye on, two league executives told The Vertical: Memphis’ Marc Gasol. The Grizzlies lost Zach Randolph, Tony Allen could be next out the door, and if you were filling out your Western Conference playoff bracket today, Memphis probably wouldn’t be in it. Would the Grizz move the 32-year-old Gasol for a ready-made rebuilding package of players and picks? Would Boston – which has to be wary of putting together a team that would beat Cleveland but still get pulverized by Golden State – be interested? Again, worth watching.
With the writing on the wall in Memphis regarding the rebuilding process seemingly being underway, Gasol’s future with the Grizzlies could in doubt as the team looks to move him for young assets now rather than later. The ever loyal younger Gasol brother never seemed to have any intention of leaving the Grizzlies, but now may not have a choice as Memphis could easily decide to go in another direction if Boston is offering a trade package that could jumpstart their efforts to rebuild.
Gasol is coming off a season in which he averaged career-highs in points and assists. The veteran center put 19.5 points and 4.6 assists per game while shooting 45.9 percent from the floor and 38.8 percent from three-point range.
Almost two years ago to the day, Gasol signed a five-year, $110 million contract with Memphis. Next season Gasol will be paid $22.6 million followed by $24.1 million for the 2018-19 NBA campaign. The fifth and final year of his deal is a player option for $25.5 million.