The trade that sent Gasol from Los Angeles to Memphis was a salary-dump deal that saw the Grizzlies acquire a future second-round pick and cash. Despite Gasol’s history with the franchise, the plan was never for the Grizzlies to keep him — Memphis has too many players on guaranteed contracts, and the 36-year-old big man wanted to remain in Spain with his family rather than playing in the NBA this season.
A report over the weekend indicated that Gasol intends to sign with Girona, the Spanish team he owns. His NBA release today frees him up to officially complete that move.
A three-time All-Star and the NBA’s 2013 Defensive Player of the Year, Gasol spent the 2020/21 season with the Lakers, but his relationship with the team soured after L.A. signed Andre Drummond as its new starting center in the second half. The Lakers didn’t re-sign Drummond this offseason, but added centers Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan, paving the way for Gasol’s exit.
The Grizzlies’ release of Gasol briefly reduced their roster count to 19 players, allowing the team to complete its one-for-two trade with the Celtics. After that deal, Memphis is back to the 20-man offseason roster limit.