The Grizzlies are trying to dump Chandler Parsons‘ contract in the deal. That complicates any potential transaction involving Gasol, since he has a player option for next season worth $25.6MM, O’Connor notes.
Gasol and Parsons are making a combined $48.2MM this season, so packaging them together and making the salaries match up with a trade partner would obviously be a challenging task. Parsons has another guaranteed $25MM remaining in the final year of his contract next season.
Memphis’ willingness to deal its two big-name veterans, Gasol and point guard Mike Conley, became public last week. The Grizzlies have fallen out of the playoff picture, putting them in a seller’s mode.
The motivation for the two suitors mentioned is unclear.
The Kings have been linked to Dallas forward Harrison Barnes as well as Atlanta guard Jeremy Lin in recent weeks. They also showed interest in Knicks center Enes Kanter before talks broke down. So the Kings are seemingly itching to make a move before the February 7th deadline.
How Gasol would fit into their immediate plans is a question mark, since Sacramento has a number of young bigs. It began Monday three games out of the final Western Conference playoff spot. Sacramento’s highest-paid players, Zach Randolph ($11.1MM) and Iman Shumpert ($11.0MM) have expiring contracts, as does Kosta Koufos ($8.74MM).
The Pistons’ interest in Gasol would be centered around dumping salary, so they’d probably have to sweeten the pot with a future first-rounder and a young player. Reggie Jackson, Jon Leuer and Langston Galloway fit the category of bad contracts that run through next season. Detroit is two games out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference despite a prolonged slide.
Alternatively, Detroit could go into full rebuild mode and put Andre Drummond in a deal involving Gasol in order to free up much-needed cap space. If the Pistons were to acquire Gasol without including Drummond in the trade, Gasol would have to come off the bench behind Drummond and Blake Griffin.