After the successful acquisition of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George last summer, the Los Angeles Clippers entered the 2019-20 NBA season as the heavy favorites to fully dominate the Western Conference and win the NBA championship title. However, despite having one of the most talented rosters in the league, the Clippers still have some areas that they need to improve on their team, including their center rotation. To address their frontcourt problem, Dan Favale of Bleacher Report suggested that the Clippers could target Marc Gasol of the Toronto Raptors in the 2020 NBA free agency.
As of now, it remains a big question mark what Gasol’s top priorities would be in choosing his next free agency destination. But if he’s aiming to win his second NBA championship title, the Clippers would be an ideal landing spot for Gasol. Favale believes that the Clippers could acquire Gasol by offering him the mid-level exception in the 2020 NBA free agency.
With the presence of Leonard in Los Angeles, the Clippers would have an advantage in recruiting Gasol this summer as Gasol and Leonard were teammates in Toronto when the Raptors won their first NBA championship title last season. Though they already have Ivica Zubac and Montrez Harrell playing at the center position, signing Gasol still makes a lot of sense for the Clippers.
Favale thinks that having Gasol on their roster would enable the Clippers to have a better matchup against powerhouse teams with dominant big men like the Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers, and the Milwaukee Bucks.
“Checking in on Marc Gasol wouldn’t be an insult to Ivica Zubac. He’s a stout rim protector and lighter on his feet than his build suggests. But he’s not nearly matchup-proof. Ditto for Harrell. Ultra-small lineups could play them off the court, and neither is fit to tussle with Anthony Davis- or Joel Embiid-types. Gasol doesn’t much address the downsized dilemma, but the Clippers have Morris- or JaMychal Green-at-the-5 combinations to do that. He more so offers a mix of defensive girth, passing and floor spacing they don’t get from any of their incumbent bigs.”
Aside from having a big man who could guard the likes of Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid, and Giannis Antetokounmpo, Gasol would also give the Clippers a reliable scoring option and incredible rebounder, facilitator, rim protector, and floor-spacer. This season, the 35-year-old Spanish center is averaging 7.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 3.4 assists while shooting 41.9 percent from the field and 40.2 percent from beyond the arc. Gasol would still need time to familiarize himself with Coach Doc Rivers’ system, but after spending time with two ball-dominant superstars in Toronto, he isn’t expected to have a hard time building chemistry with Leonard and George in Los Angeles.