NBA Rumors: Toronto Raptors’ Marc Gasol Could Return To Europe Next Season
Multi-time All-Star Marc Gasol — who helped the Toronto Raptors win the 2019 NBA championship after joining the club through a mid-season trade — may look to continue his career in Europe. As relayed by Eurohoops, Xavi Saiso Garcia of Radio SER Catalunya is reporting that the 35-year-old Spaniard is contemplating a move back to the region where his professional basketball career began.
Per Saiso Garcia, Gasol’s potential European return could come to fruition for family reasons. He further likened the situation to that of Nikola Mirotic, who signed a three-year deal with La Liga ACB’s Barcelona last summer. Mirotic did so in spite of the fact that he had multiple teams willing to offer him lucrative, long-term deals to remain in the association, per The Athletic‘s Shams Charania, via Bleacher Report.
Gasol is fresh off an injury-hampered 2019-20 campaign in which he was limited to 44 games for the Raptors. Still, the 6-foot-11 center averaged 7.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and just over three assists per contest this season, per NBA Stats. He also helped the defending champion Raptors advance to the second round of postseason play in the Eastern Conference, where it took the Boston Celtics seven games to dispatch them.
Although his skills as a scorer have noticeably diminished as compared to his prime years with the Memphis Grizzlies, Gasol continued to make a considerable impact as a facilitator, rebounder and inside defender in Toronto. Raptors opponents scored just 105.3 points per 100 possessions when Gasol was on the court in ’19-20.
Before making the move to Canada, Gasol had been a cornerstone piece for the Grizzlies franchise for a decade, earning three All-Star selections and a Defensive Player of the Year trophy in 2013. That same year, he led Memphis to the Western Conference Finals, where his team ultimately fell to Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and the San Antonio Spurs.
In 769 games with Memphis from 2008 to 2019, he averaged 15.2 points and just under eight rebounds per contest.
Whether or not Gasol is truly considering taking his game overseas, the timing involved with weighing potential European offers against proposals from NBA clubs is problematic, as seasons in domestic and continental leagues around Europe will be well underway when free agency in his current league begins in October.
The association’s calendar for the upcoming season is slated to begin much later than usual due to this year’s pandemic-induced suspension of play.
In any case, Gasol will have a number of options as he decides where to continue his career. As relayed earlier this week by The Inquisitr, Bleacher Report has suggested that the Los Angeles Clippers should make a move to acquire him.