If Marc Gasol is actually considering playing for someone other than the Memphis Grizzlies, it’ll be with the San Antonio Spurs, although everything indicates that the Spanish center isn’t too eager to leave a place and team he feels very comfortable with.
The Los Angeles Lakers, despite their interest, aren’t in the picture. Gasol isn’t feeling too much of a pull towards the bright lights of L.A., and the experience of his brother, or at least the final two or three years for Pau Gasol with the Lakers are enough to convince Marc Gasol that signing there isn’t something he’ll be very comfortable with.
The Grizzlies aren’t just the team he plays for. He played high school basketball in Memphis when his family moved with Pau to the United States. He returned to Spain after finishing his time at Lausanne Collegiate School but he’s pretty much a Memphis guy, or has been in the second half of his life apart for the few years he played for Barcelona and Girona.
The Grizzlies are all about keeping Gasol and pretty much keeping the team in the same direction it has been for the last five years. It’s hard to say if it’s good enough to win an NBA championship, but they always seem one or two small pieces away from taking that extra step. Keeping Gasol, obviously, is at the heart of those championship plans.
The Spurs are the only thing that might change those plans and that ideal relationship. A division rival with a very interesting offseason ahead of them. The Spurs are gunning for LaMarcus Aldridge while bringing back Tim Duncan at a reduced price, maybe Manu Ginobili, re-signing Kawhi Leonard on a max deal and probably losing Danny Green. All this while leaving enough cap space for that one major signing the Spurs aren’t known for.
But times are changing, and this team needs an upgrade. Will it be Aldridge? He’s the free agent it seems everyone with cap space is after. The Spurs have a good shot, especially with Aldridge keen on joining them, possibly putting them on top of his list. But Gasol? He fits in a different way but still something the Spurs will welcome. Financially it doesn’t matter who joins. Both would make the Spurs very scary. It’s all a matter of priorities now, for both Gasol and the Spurs, but it’s undoubtedly a very interesting option to consider.