Even though the Grizzlies are saying they have no intention of trading Marc Gasol, the veteran center could be a perfect fit in Portland if that changes before the February deadline, writes Tim Brown of The Oregonian. Neither Jusuf Nurkic or Zach Collins has been the answer in the middle for the Trail Blazers so far this season, and the addition of addition of Gasol could vault them several spaces in the Western Conference playoff race, Brown contends.
Gasol, 32, is averaging 19.0 points, 8.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 27 games. He is signed for a little more than $24MM next season and has a player option worth nearly $25.6MM for 2019/20. However, Portland doesn’t have a significant expiring contract this season or next season to offer Memphis any cap relief, and Brown admits that Damian Lillard or C.J. McCollum might have to be included in a deal to get the Grizzlies to part with Gasol.
There’s more news from the Northwest Division:
- Collins, the 10th pick in this year’s draft, is making his first career start tonight in Miami, tweets Jason Quick of NBC Northwest. Collins has appeared in just 10 games for the Blazers and is playing about eight minutes per night.
- The Jazz welcome back shooting guard Rodney Hood tonight after he missed the past seven games with an ankle problem, tweets Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune. Hood was averaging a career-best 17.7 points through 18 games before the injury, which team doctors are calling tendon soreness (Twitter link). Coach Quin Snyder also offered encouraging news about veteran swingman Joe Johnson, who has been sidelined with a right wrist injury. Snyder said Johnson is close to returning, although he won’t be available tonight (Twitter link). He appeared in just seven games before suffering the injury in late October.
- Nuggets forward Paul Millsap, out for three months after surgery on his left wrist in late November, explained why he didn’t have the procedure done right away, tweets T.J. McBride of Mile High Sports. In an interview with Altitude TV, Millsap said the delay involved finding the right surgeon and staff to perform the operation. Denver’s top free agent addition over the summer, Millsap has played 16 games and is averaging 15.3 points and 6.2 rebounds.