NBA trade rumors surrounding Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol are at it again as the latest one mentioned that the three-time All-Star could be sent to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for fellow big man Jusuf Nurkic, two other players, and two future draft picks.
Gasol has been the subject of recent trade rumors after his reported fall out with former Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale early in the season.
Fizdale has since been fired by the Grizzlies as the management appeared to side with their franchise player rather than the mentor. With Fizdale out, it was expected that Gasol and the team will get back to their winning ways.
However, it has not been the case in Memphis, as the squad is currently in the cellar of the Western Conference with an 8-20 slate. They have lost five games in a row and had won only once in their last 16 assignments.
Losing streaks like that are said to be always a cause of alarm for any franchise, including the Grizzlies.
Bleacher Report suggested a trade sending Gasol and forward James Ennis to the Blazers for fellow starting center Nurkic, starting small forward Maurice Harkless, efficient substitute Meyers Leonard, Portland’s 2018 protected first-round selection, and the Blazers’ 2019 second-rounder (via the Timberwolves or Lakers).
Memphis’ most valuable trade assets right now are only either Gasol or Mike Conley. If the club wanted to shake things up enough to go on a different trend, they may have to force themselves to let go either one of the two.
Right now, it would be Gasol, who will turn 33 next month and is in the third year of his five-year, $113.2 million deal with the Grizzlies.
Conley is only in the second year of his five-year, $152.6 million contract and at 30-years-old is said to be deemed to have the higher upside. Also, Conley’s recent injury struggles would make him much harder to trade than Gasol as teams might become hesitant to spend so much on a player that could not stay long on the court.
The report noted that the suggested deal would benefit both squads as the Grizzlies will get much younger assets that will “help them into 2018-19 and beyond.”
Meanwhile, the Blazers are more of in a “win-now” mode with their dynamic duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. Adding Gasol to the mix would give Portland the Big Three that they needed to go much deeper into the playoffs and possibly contend with the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, and Houston Rockets.
Amidst all the rumors, it should also be noted that Gasol recently said he would be “open” to a trade if the Grizzlies think it is “best” to move him, as per ESPN.
With that declaration, expect the rumor mill to mention Gasol’s name even more in the coming days.