Being traded to the Toronto Raptors before the February NBA trade deadline is undeniably a blessing in disguise for veteran center Marc Gasol. As much as he enjoyed being the face of the franchise in Memphis, Gasol definitely wants to spend his remaining years in the NBA playing for a team that has a legitimate chance of contending for the NBA championship.
Three months since the blockbuster deal between the Grizzlies and the Raptors, Gasol is feeling very comfortable in Toronto and with his new team. In an interview with Yaron Weitzman of Bleacher Report, Gasol described the Raptors a "well-run" organization where everything, from the facility to the medical and coaching staff, is "first class." Gasol is not the only one who's loving his new environment but also his daughter and his wife, whom he called as his "advanced scout."
The way he speaks about the Raptors make some people think that Marc Gasol is already considering finishing his NBA career in Toronto. According to Spotrac, the 34-year-old center has a player option on his contract that will enable him to become an unrestricted free agent this July. However, when asked about his impending free agency, Gasol said that he is yet to decide whether he will exercise his $25.6 million player option for the 2019-20 NBA season or not.
"We'll see when we get there," Gasol said. "It would be pointless for me to say anything now. Not because I'm hiding anything, but I would be lying, it's just impossible to know. We'll have to see what makes sense for everyone. You can't weigh things on a scale before you have everything to weigh. I much rather focus on the present and make the most of it."Though he still can't give a definite answer, Marc Gasol is also not closing his doors on the possibility of staying with the Raptors next summer. If he opts out of the final year of his contract, Gasol and Raptors may consider negotiating a new deal that will keep him in Toronto for the next couple of years. Giving Gasol a long-term deal is something that the Raptors will surely consider in the 2019 NBA free agency period, especially with coach Nick Nurse admitting how the veteran center's arrival impacted the team.
As of now, Marc Gasol is focused on helping the Raptors fully dominate the Eastern Conference and win the 2019 NBA championship title. After a 125-89 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night, Gasol and the Raptors are only one win away from advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals.