The trade discussions involving Marc Gasol between the Hornets and Grizzlies aren’t completely dead yet, sources tell Jake Fischer of SI.com (Twitter link). We heard on Tuesday night that Charlotte and Memphis were becoming skeptical that they’d get something done, but according to Fischer, the two teams remain hopeful of completing a deal.
While Gasol doesn’t really have a say in his destination, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer hears from a source close to the veteran center that he expects to ultimately end up with the Hornets (Twitter link).
With talks between the two teams apparently heating up on Tuesday, the Grizzlies held Gasol out of their game against Minnesota. According to Fischer (via Twitter), some people involved in the process believe Memphis may have forfeited some leverage by prematurely sitting Gasol while the Hornets played all their veterans.
There are a number of different player combinations the Hornets could use to match Gasol’s $24MM+ salary, but Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reported today that the Charlotte’s offer would likely include Bismack Biyombo, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and a protected first-round pick.
According to O’Connor, a difference in opinion over the protections on that first-rounder was the main hold-up, though Fischer suggests that the two sides may also not have agreed on the contracts required for salary-matching purposes. Memphis’ proximity to the luxury tax line could also be an issue — assuming the Grizzlies take on Biyombo and Kidd-Gilchrist, they’d likely want to attach at least one more player to Gasol to avoid going into tax territory.
The Grizzlies have less than 24 hours to determine whether they’ll move Gasol and/or Mike Conley before this season’s trade deadline. What Memphis does with those two players could have a ripple effect on the rest of the roster, with veterans like JaMychal Green, Garrett Temple, and Justin Holiday also believed to be on the trade block.