In the lead-up to the NBA's February 7 trade deadline, the Sacramento Kings have drawn a lot of attention due to their surprisingly decent 25-25 win-loss record and the expectation that they could free up even more salary cap space through expiring contracts. And as previously reported by the Inquisitr, the Detroit Pistons (21-27, ninth in Eastern Conference) have also been rumored to be planning some changes as they continue to struggle after a strong start. According to a new report, these two teams could be in the running for veteran Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol, who has been the subject of several trade rumors in recent weeks.
In a report published by the Ringer on Monday, Kevin O'Connor focused on the Grizzlies' current situation, which has seen them lose 26 of their last 34 games and reportedly consider moving Gasol and point guard Mike Conley, both of whom have been franchise mainstays for over a decade. According to O'Connor, Gasol has generated more interest on the trade market than Conley has, with league sources noting that the Kings and the Pistons had recently "expressed interest" in the big man, who turns 34 on Tuesday.
Although Marc Gasol is earning a lucrative $24.1 million in the 2018-19 season, with a player option worth $25.6 million for the coming season, per Basketball-Reference, trading him could potentially be "complicated," O'Connor added. He wrote that the Grizzlies are also considering including injury-prone small forward Chandler Parsons, who has played just 73 games since signing a four-year, $94.4 million contract in the summer of 2016, in potential trade talks ahead of the deadline.While Gasol could give the Sacramento Kings a more experienced and defensively sound center than their current starter, Willie Cauley-Stein, NBC Sports opined that trading for him would be a risky move, given his age and the possibility he could choose to enter free agency in the 2019 offseason. The outlet added that the prospect of taking on Parsons' "albatross" of a contract should be a "non-starter" for the Kings due to his lack of productivity and durability.
Despite the risks involved, NBC Sports also pointed out that Marc Gasol is still putting up strong all-around numbers for the Grizzlies, as he is currently averaging 15.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1.2 blocks. The veteran big man's connection with Kings head coach Dave Joerger, who had previously coached him in Memphis, was also brought up by the publication as a reason why Sacramento might want to acquire him.
Meanwhile, the Detroit Free Press also brought up a few potential downsides that the Pistons have to deal with if they acquire Gasol via trade, primarily the strong chance that they may have to give up star center Andre Drummond, who currently leads the NBA in rebounds but doesn't have Gasol's offensive tools.