The Los Angeles Lakers won their first NBA Championship since 2010 but have already lost key role players to free agency. Center Dwight Howard signed with the Philadelphia 76ers, while Avery Bradley is headed to the defending Eastern Conference champions Miami Heat.
It appears the Lakers may be filling the void left by Howard. Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) of ESPN reported Marc Gasol is finalizing a deal to sign with the Lakers. Interestingly enough, Gasol was originally drafted by the Lakers, before his rights were traded to the Grizzlies for Marc’s brother Pau Gasol. Finally, at the age of 35, Marc Gasol has a chance to play for the Lakers and perhaps help them to back-to-back titles.
Word is that Marc Gasol will sign for two seasons for $2.7 million. Clearly not as productive as his prime days when he was a 15 to 19 points per game scorer, Gasol still was a key part of the 2019 championship run by the Toronto Raptors. The Lakers also added top sixth-man Montrezl Harrell, who will combine with the dominant duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Gasol will back up Harrell and can also spell Davis at power forward. Marc Gasol probably will see even less court time next season but winning another title before he retires is likely more important at this stage of his career than any personal achievements.
The Lakers are getting less in terms of rebounding from Gasol than from Howard, but Gasol has some outside shooting range and is more versatile on that end of the court. In addition, Marc Gasol is an excellent passer for a big man, averaging over three assists per game in limited time.
Top franchises make the smart decisions. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the Lakers won the title last year and free agents are chomping at the bit to potentially be a part of that success. For Marc Gasol, his time is finally here to be a part of what he couldn’t be 13 years prior.