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NBA Free Agency: Warriors, Raptors and Lakers show interest in Marc Gasol

Marc Gasol

A  number of playoff teams are reportedly interested in recruiting Marc Gasol, who played for the Toronto Raptors last year. Gasol was named the Defensive Player of the Year for the 2012-13 NBA season.

Through the course of his 12 year career, Gasol has consistently been one of the best big men in the game. He led the Memphis Grizzlies back to playoff relevance. Alongside Zach Randolph, Mike Conley and Tony Allen, the Grizzlies became one of the best defensive units in the league.

The ‘Grit n Grind’ era of basketball is long gone, and Gasol has adapted to the new reality of modern basketball. From being a predominantly post player on offense, Gasol has grown into one of the best big man passers in the game. He also shoots 3-pointers with relative ease, averaging north of 37% over the last 4 seasons.

The following are 4 teams that are interested in Gasol, and may find it of interest to add him to their rosters:

#1 Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers are on the verge of re-signing Anthony Davis to a max contract this offseason. The deal would be in the neighborhood of over $35 million through its duration. While Davis is a big man, he often does not like to play in the center role, only occupying it when absolutely necessary.

Marc Gasol, with his shooting range and defensive awareness, would fill this need admirably. He would be their closing center of choice against teams with elite big men, and he provides them what McGee and Harrell can’t – reliable production.

#2 Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors used their no. 2 draft pick to bring James Wiseman on board. But they will be needing somebody to immediately fill into the starting berth as an NBA-ready player in order to keep their playoff hopes alive. That is where Marc Gasol would fit the bill.

The Warriors were among the worst defenses in the league even with Draymond Green last season, mainly due to their lack of perimeter defense. The Oubre signing has mitigated that issue to some extent. But they still need frontcourt depth. Gasol is unlikely to sign here, however, given his chances of getting a better contract elsewhere.

#3 Toronto Raptors

The Raptors have lost their major free agent big man target, Serge Ibaka, to the Clippers. They will now be fully focused on keeping Gasol within the roster, given his excellent production over the past season-and-a-half.

The perks of staying with the Raptors are obvious. Gasol would now be the undisputed starter, and will likely also be closing games out. The Raptors are one of the few teams that can pay him what he’s worth without worrying about their cap room, since they own his Bird rights.

#4 Brooklyn Nets

The Brooklyn Nets are apparently in the market for another center despite already having DeAndre Jordan and Jarrett Allen on the roster. One can only presume that they’re looking for a sign-and-trade, since bringing him in would handicap all their cap room, possibly taking them into luxury tax territory.

Having Gasol on the roster, however, brings them the big man versatility that they’re missing. Allen and Jordan are similar players on offense. While Allen is now a better defender, he is a weak rebounder for his size. Gasol’s presence on the roster would make up for this shortcoming.

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