Marc Gasol

California Notes: Bogdanovic, Clippers, Gasol, McNair

The Kings may have been savvy to let shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic walk in restricted free agency, Jason Jones of The Athletic posits. The addition of promising rookie shooting guard Tyrese Haliburton via the 2020 draft made Bogdanovic superfluous to Sacramento’s long-term team-building plans.

The replacement of former Kings GM Vlade Divac with Monte McNair this summer also yielded a different assessment of Bogdanovic’s value with the still-developing club, Jones writes. Bogdanovic’s four-year, $72MM contract extension also would have put Sacramento, a team that has not made the NBA playoffs since 2006, well above the salary cap.

There’s more out of California:

  • Jovan Buha of The Athletic assesses the current roster depth of the Clippers and speculates about how Los Angeles could still upgrade its club, most likely through trading point guards Lou Williams or Patrick Beverley for a ball-handler upgrade.
  • New Lakers center Marc Gasol discussed his fit with his new club, especially with regard to how he intends to contribute on the defensive end of the floor, according to Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times. “I know we’re going to have great communication,” Gasol said. He also discussed his expected on-court meshing with Finals MVP LeBron James“I’m a first pass kinda guy. But somebody — he’s gonna score too at his will whenever he decides to score, he’s gonna be able to score.”
  • Jason Jones of The Athletic takes stock of Kings GM Monte McNair‘s patient approach to his first offseason in Sacramento. Jones suggests that McNair’s reticence to make a big splash on the free agent or trade market indicates a confidence in the development of the club’s young core.

Atlantic Notes: Turner, Rivers/Howard, Gasol, Knicks

The Celtics had an opportunity to add Pacers big man Myles Turner in a sign-and-trade package deal for departing forward Gordon Hayward. Zach Lowe of ESPN believes that Turner “would probably be a Celtic” if the club really wanted to add him.

The Celtics wound up adding former Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson in free agency instead of making the trade for Turner. Turner is set to earn $18MM/year for the next three seasons, while Thompson inked a two-year deal worth $9.5MM annually.

There’s more from around the Atlantic Division:

  • During his first video conference call with his new squad, Sixers center Dwight Howard discussed his recruitment by head coach Doc Rivers soon after free agency began last Friday, and recruit him, according to Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “He was the first one to call me and he said we want you,” Howard said. “I’m super happy that Doc called me, that he gave me the opportunity, and I told him yes.”
  • Marc Gasol, who signed a two-year contract with the Lakers as a free agent, said it was a “tough” decision to leave the Raptors and that his run in Toronto “could not get better,” as Dave McMenamin of ESPN writes. “I’m going to miss Toronto,” Gasol said. “Toronto has been a great place, my family was very settled there, very comfortable, they really enjoyed their time.” Gasol added that the rumors of his potential return to Spain were overblown and that he never spoke to FC Barcelona (Twitter link via Josh Lewenberg of
  • Steve Popper of Newsday indicates that the Knicks might still be in the market for talent this offseason. The team remains $8MM below the salary cap floor. Given the club’s cap space, New York might be in the mix to take back money in a trade. Popper notes that the contracts of Nicolas Batum, Victor Oladipo, and DeMar DeRozan could still be traded into cap space.
  • New Knicks coaching hire Aaron Brooks will be the first “two-way liaison” in the NBA, as Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. We passed along word of Brooks’ hiring earlier today.

Warriors Notes: Curry, Thompson, M. Gasol, Smailagić

Warriors guard Stephen Curry was devastated after learning that his backcourt partner, Klay Thompson, will miss another full season after suffering a torn Achilles last week, writes Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. Golden State had hoped to return to title contention after an injury-plagued year, but the loss of Thompson is a major setback.

“To get that call was a gut punch for sure. A lot of tears,” Curry said. “You don’t really know what to say because a guy like that is having to go through two pretty serious rehabs now. But at the end of the day, we have to have his back. We hope that he is around and a part of what we do through his rehab and staying connected with us. He can come back strong. He’s a guy that loves the game so much. He is going to do whatever it takes to get back out there on the floor and be himself. That’s what we hope and the confidence that we have. Two-and-a-half years of rehab is tough for anybody. We’re hoping for the best.”

Curry was limited to just five games last season after breaking his left hand in October. He will return to a roster that’s much different than the one that dominated the league for five years, with additions such as Kelly Oubre, who was acquired in a trade, and James Wiseman, the No. 2 pick in last week’s draft.

“Not seeing (Thompson) on the court, at first, is going to be weird,” Curry said. “But I think we’ve done a really good job in the offseason with James and our draft picks and in the free agency pool to put together a really solid roster. We’re going to have to learn a lot really quickly, and we will need a full commitment from everybody.”

There’s more Warriors news this morning:

  • Thompson’s injury may have cost Golden State a chance to sign free agent center Marc Gasol, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic. At age 35, Gasol was looking to join a contender and ended up with the defending champion Lakers. The Warriors are still in the market for veteran help and expect to receive a $9.3MM disabled player exception in the wake of Thompson’s injury.
  • Management doesn’t believe Alen Smailagić is ready for regular playing time, but he’s likely to be kept on the roster with a $1.5MM guaranteed contract, Slater adds in the same piece. However, Smailagić could be waived later in the season if there’s an opportunity to sign someone. Second-round pick Nico Mannion is expected to be a two-way player and will see a lot of time in the G League, if there is a G League season.
  • Oubre, who will be a free agent next summer, is hoping for a long-term stay with Golden State, tweets Nick Friedell of ESPN.
  • In case you missed it, the team’s deal with free agent guard Brad Wanamaker is now official. It was completed using a portion of Golden State’s taxpayer mid-level exception.

Lakers Sign Marc Gasol To Two-Year Deal

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lakers Trade McGee, Future Second-Rounder To Cavs

NOVEMBER 23: The deal is official, according to a press release from the Cavs. Cleveland acquires McGee and the Lakers’ second-round pick in exchange for McKinnie and Bell, as expected.

NOVEMBER 22: The Lakers are set to send center JaVale McGee and a future second-round draft pick to the Cavaliers, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (via Twitter). This will create flexibility below the hard cap to allow the Lakers to sign veteran center Marc Gasol.

Chris Fedor of tweets that the second-round pick will be from the 2026 NBA draft. Fedor reports in a separate tweet that small forward Alfonzo McKinnie and big man Jordan Bell will be headed to Los Angeles in the deal.

McGee has a $4.2MM cap charge for 2020/21, which the Cavaliers have no way to absorb without sending out some salary themselves. McKinnie ($1.76MM) and Bell ($1.76MM) are currently on non-guaranteed deals, but their salaries will have to be at least partially guaranteed to make the deal work. The Cavs have to send out about $2.34MM and non-guaranteed money doesn’t count for salary-matching purposes.

Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets that the likely outcome will see McKinnie being fully guaranteed, while Bell gets about a $600K guarantee. The Lakers could then waive and stretch Bell to create a little extra flexibility.

McGee started at center for most of the Lakers’ 2019/20 championship season, but was supplanted in the starting lineup during the last two rounds of the playoffs by the more mobile Markieff Morris or Dwight Howard most of the time, with Anthony Davis shifting from power forward to center to close out the Heat in Game 6 of the Finals. McGee is a three-time champion thanks to tenures with the Warriors and Lakers.

It doesn’t sound as if the Cavaliers view McGee as a mere salary dump. The team wanted a veteran big man with experience coming off the bench behind Andre Drummond, according to Fedor, so McGee will replace Tristan Thompson on the roster. Cleveland continues to explore possible free agent deals involving the mid-level, with a focus on backup point guard, per Fedor.

Luke Adams contributed to this story. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Marc Gasol Narrowing Focus To Lakers, Raptors

Free agent center Marc Gasol is narrowing his focus to the Lakers and Raptors, according to Shams Charnia of The Athletic (Twitter link).

The Warriors were among the teams also expressing interest in Gasol, but it sounds as if they’re no longer in the mix. The Mavericks also aren’t considered a probable destination anymore, Charania adds, noting that Dallas had been in the running up until now (Twitter link).

The Raptors hold Gasol’s Bird rights and are well positioned to offer him a lucrative one-year deal for 2020/21. Toronto should be especially motivated to bring back its starting center, having lost Serge Ibaka to the Clippers. If both Gasol and Ibaka depart, 2019 second-rounder Dewan Hernandez would be the only center under contract for the Raptors, since their other big man – Chris Boucher – is a restricted free agent.

While the Raptors can offer Gasol more money for next season, the Lakers are working the marketplace to try to find a way to improve their offer, per Charania. For the time being, they’d be limited to the veteran’s minimum, since they’ve already signed Wesley Matthews using the bi-annual exception and intend to use the full mid-level exception to Montrezl Harrell.

If the Lakers can shed some salary – and if the Raptors or Clippers are willing to cooperate – a sign-and-trade deal for either Gasol or Harrell could help keep the MLE open for the other. Los Angeles is exploring trading away JaVale McGee and his $4.2MM cap hit, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times.

Should the Lakers snatch Gasol away from Toronto, the Raptors may shift their attention to a Lakers free agent, according to Stein, who reports (via Twitter) that Toronto has “strong interest” in forward Markieff Morris.

Marc Gasol Receiving Interest From Lakers, Raptors, Warriors

NOVEMBER 22, 11:11am: The Lakers have emerged as a “serious” suitor for Gasol, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

As Charania explains, the opportunity to play in Los Angeles and chase another title appeal to Gasol, though he’d likely have to accept a minimum-salary deal. Marc Stein of The New York Times reported the Lakers’ interest in Gasol on Friday.

NOVEMBER 21, 11:37pm: In the wake of Serge Ibaka‘s contract agreement with the Clippers, the Raptors are working to convince their other center – Marc Gasol – to sign a new deal with the club, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). However, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link), Gasol is receiving interest from other teams, including the Warriors.

The Raptors hold Gasol’s Bird rights and are well positioned to offer him a lucrative one-year deal for 2020/21, especially now that Ibaka is no longer in play. Toronto’s reluctance to offer multiple years and eat into its 2021 cap room may have hindered the team’s ability to re-sign Ibaka, but it seems unlikely to be a major handicap in the Gasol sweepstakes, since the 35-year-old probably won’t receive many multiyear offers.

Whether or not they re-sign Gasol, the Raptors will have the full $9.3MM mid-level exception available to seek additional frontcourt help.

Golden State’s resources to offer Gasol a contract are somewhat limited, especially if the team is dedicating part of its $5.7MM mid-level exception to Brad Wanamaker, as has been rumored. Following Klay Thompson‘s Achilles tear, the Warriors have sought a $9.3MM disabled player exception that would allow the club to sign a free agent to a one-year contract, but it’s not clear how long it might take for the NBA to approve that request.

Even if the Warriors get that DPE soon, making a $9MM offer to a free agent would increase the club’s already-massive projected tax bill exponentially, and it’s not clear just how much team ownership is willing to pay for this season’s roster — especially with Thompson’s injury compromising Golden State’s championship chances.

While the Warriors are in the market for a center like Gasol, they’re not limiting their free agent search to traditional bigs, according to Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area, who says (via Twitter) that wing-type players are also being considered.

Serge Ibaka Signs With Clippers

NOVEMBER 25: The Clippers have officially signed Ibaka, the team announced in a press release.

NOVEMBER 21: The Clippers will sign free agent big man Serge Ibaka, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports (via Twitter) that Ibaka will receive $19MM over two years on his new deal, signaling that Los Angeles will use its full mid-level exception to complete the signing. Charania adds (via Twitter) that the contract will feature a second-year player option.

The agreement represents a major coup for the Clippers, who lost center Montrezl Harrell to the rival Lakers early in free agency and saw power forward JaMychal Green leave for a deal in Denver. Ibaka, who can play either the four or five, will help replenish the team’s frontcourt depth, giving L.A. a big man who can knock down outside shots on offense and protect the rim on defense.

After starting his career in Oklahoma City and spending a brief stint in Orlando during the 2016/17 season, Ibaka has been in Toronto for the last three-and-half seasons, winning a title with the Raptors (with Kawhi Leonard) in 2019. This past season, he averaged 15.4 PPG, 8.2 RPG, and 1.4 APG with an impressive .512/.385/.718 shooting line in 55 games (27.0 MPG).

By committing their full mid-level exception to Ibaka, the Clippers will hard-cap themselves for the 2020/21 league year and they don’t have a whole lot of wiggle room below the $138.93MM apron. However, as ESPN’s Bobby Marks observes (via Twitter), the club can create a little extra breathing room by waiving non-guaranteed contracts for Joakim Noah and Justin Patton. Bringing back Noah on a new one-year, minimum-salary deal would cost the team about $1MM less than his current deal.

The Clippers remain in the market for a play-making guard and another big man, tweets Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. However, the team will likely be limited to minimum-salary offers or perhaps a portion of the bi-annual exception.

The Raptors, one of the many teams that made an effort to sign Ibaka, were believed to be averse to offering multiyear money, since it would compromise their projected cap room for the summer of 2021. They reportedly offered the big man a one-year, $12MM deal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Clippers Pursuing Serge Ibaka, Marc Gasol

The Clippers are in the running to sign Serge Ibaka or Marc Gasol away from the Raptors, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times. Sources tell Stein that adding Gasol is considered more realistic because of the intense competition to land Ibaka, led by Toronto and the Nets.

The Lakers would also like to add another big man, Stein notes, but they’re financially limited after signing Montrezl Harrell and re-signing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. It appears the Lakers would be limited to a veteran’s minimum offer.

The Clippers need reinforcements in the front court after losing Harrell and JaMychal Green on the first night of free agency. L.A. kept midseason pick-up Marcus Morris, giving him $64MM over four seasons.

The Raptors should have an edge in the competition for Ibaka, tweets Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports. The Nets are limited to the taxpayer mid-level exception of $5.7MM, and although the Clippers have the full MLE of $9.3MM, Toronto is expected to make a larger offer, although only for one year to preserve cap room for next summer’s free agent market.

Ibaka, 31, averaged 15.4 points and 8.2 rebounds in 55 games last season. Gasol, 35, averaged 7.5 PPG and 6.3 RPG in 44 games.

Free Agent Rumors: Lakers, Gasol, KCP, Hawks, More

Having lost Dwight Howard in free agency, the Lakers may be eyeing another former Defensive Player of the Year. Marc Stein of The New York Times reports (via Twitter) that Marc Gasol has emerged as a free agent target for the Lakers. 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.

As we wait to see if the two sides attempt to work toward a deal, let’s round up a few more free agency rumors…