Marc Gasol is committed to playing out the final year of his contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, but it looks like the Purple and Gold don’t share the same feelings.
After initial reports that Gasol’s future with the Lakers is in doubt, NBA insider Marc Stein followed up on those reports and revealed that L.A. is actually exploring other options for the center position, a move which signifies they might be leaning toward parting with the veteran center.
When he formally re-signs with the Los Angeles Lakers after negotiating a buyout with Memphis, Rajon Rondo (35) will become the ninth Laker in his 30s on a roster expected to feature 14 players (and two more on two-way contracts). He’ll join Carmelo Anthony (37), LeBron James (36), Marc Gasol (36), Trevor Ariza (36), Dwight Howard (35), Wayne Ellington (33), Russell Westbrook (32) and Kent Bazemore (32). It’s a number, though, that could still be adjusted if the Lakers and Gasol ultimately part ways. As discussed in a recent This Week In Basketball column, league sources say that L.A. has explored the pursuit of other centers even though Gasol has one year left on his original two-year deal.
Marc Gasol averaged 5.0 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.1 blocks per game for the Lakers in 2020-21. While he is no longer the same dominant big he used to be when he was with the Memphis Grizzlies or the equation-changing presence he was with the Toronto Raptors, he remains a reliable center who has championship experience.
The Lakers have Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard as centers, so they clearly need a third body to add depth to that position. Nonetheless, if they do decide to cut ties with Gasol, it’s unknown if they can get a player of the same caliber. After all, they do not have many assets to do a trade, and the free agent market doesn’t have a lot of solid centers who can serve as a backup to Davis or Howard.
It remains to be seen what the Lakers will do. Of course they can still keep the Spaniard, but all signs are pointing to Gasol’s time in Tinseltown coming to an end.