NOVEMBER 24: Gasol has signed his contract, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that it’s a straight two-year, minimum-salary deal, with no player or team option on year two.
Gasol will earn about $2.56MM in 2020/21 and $2.69MM in ’21/22.
NOVEMBER 22: The Lakers have reached an agreement to sign free agent center Marc Gasol, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe of ESPN, who first reported that the two sides were finalizing a deal, say it’ll be a two-year pact (Twitter links).
A former Defensive Player of the Year and three-time All-Star, Gasol has seen his numbers fall off significantly during the last year-and-a-half in Toronto. He averaged just 7.5 PPG and 6.3 RPG in 44 games (26.4 MPG) in 2019/20.
However, while he’s no longer as prolific a scorer as he was during his days with the Grizzlies, Gasol can still knock down three-pointers (38.5% in ’19/20) and facilitate an offense from the top of the key. He also remains a very effective defender, which will be important in Los Angeles. Montrezl Harrell, the Lakers’ other big frontcourt free agent addition, is far more effective on offense than on defense.
It appears likely that Gasol will get a minimum-salary deal from the Lakers, who are up against a hard cap. The team agreed to trade JaVale McGee to the Cavaliers, but will have to take back some salary in that deal. Plus, giving Gasol more than the minimum would require the Raptors to accommodate a sign-and-trade agreement.
Because the Lakers are offering a two-year contract, the first-year cap hit will be about $2.56MM instead of $1.62MM. The NBA partially reimburses teams for one-year minimum-salary veteran contracts, but not for two-year deals.
After completing this series of roster moves and filling out their roster with minimum-salary signings, the Lakers project to be about $1.3MM below the hard cap, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN.
Gasol was drafted by L.A. way back in 2007 but was traded to Memphis in a package for his brother Pau Gasol and never appeared in a game for the Lakers. Thirteen years later, he’ll finally suit up for the franchise.
Meanwhile, the Raptors – having lost both Gasol and Serge Ibaka in free agency – have pivoted by securing a commitment from free agent center Aron Baynes. The team is also re-signing RFA big man Chris Boucher.
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