Marc Gasol

And-Ones: Pinson Rule, Deadline Sellers, M. Gasol, Sampson, Faried

The NBA has instituted a rule change this season that will penalize teams whose bench players and coaches are crowding the sidelines and standing for long periods of time, according to Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel (all Twitter links). Teams will initially be warned, then get a delay-of-game warning, then be assessed a technical foul.

Winderman clarifies that the rule won’t apply at the end of games, when everyone is often standing, and won’t affect head coaches as long as they’re not interfering with play. The goal is to reduce instances of players and coaches on the bench attempting to blatantly distract players on the court.

The new rule will likely become informally known as the Theo Pinson Rule — Pinson was viewed as the unofficial ring leader of the Mavericks’ bench mob that earned the team $175K in fines during the playoffs due to its “bench decorum” violations. However, Pinson is unfazed by the change, joking to reporters on Monday that he intends to “find a loophole,” as Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News writes.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • In a recent episode of The Hoop Collective podcast, Brian Windhorst of ESPN wondered if the surplus of competitive teams in 2022/23 might result in a few unexpected sellers at February’s trade deadline. “What I suspect will happen this year: there are too many good teams,” Windhorst said, per RealGM. “Too many teams are invested in winning. The lottery is very good. My suspicion is that some team, one to three teams, are going to get into January and realize, ‘It ain’t happening for us and we have to retrofit.'”
  • A rule change in Liga ACB, Spain’s top basketball league, will allow veteran center Marc Gasol to suit up for Girona this season despite also owning the team, according to a Eurohoops report. Girona earned a promotion to the ACB after Gasol helped lead the club to a top-two finish in Liga LEB Oro, Spain’s second division, last season.
  • In other international basketball news, veteran forward JaKarr Sampson has signed with China’s Liaoning Flying Leopards, per his agency Prostep Sports (Twitter link), while big man Kenneth Faried has joined Mexican club Soles de Mexicali, according to HoopsHype.
  • The Athletic’s team of NBA writers pose the biggest question facing each NBA club entering training camp, while ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider-only link) provides an in-depth, team-by-team training camp guide.

And-Ones: Paschall, Baynes, Summer League, Gasol

Though Greek club Panathinaikos attempted to sign free agent reserve forward Eric Paschall this summer, the team was ultimately unable to successfully recruit him overseas, per BasketNews.

Utah opted not to tender a qualifying offer to Paschall in June, allowing the 25-year-old to become an unrestricted free agent. After spending his first two seasons with the Warriors, Paschall was traded to the Jazz in the 2021 offseason.

During his first season in Utah, the 6’6″ vet out of Villanova averaged 5.8 PPG and 1.8 RPG across 12.7 MPG for the playoff-bound Jazz as a bench option, playing 12.8 MPG in 58 contests.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Former NBA champion center Aron Baynes, who has been working his way back from a spinal cord injury suffered while playing for Team Australia in the 2021 Summer Olympics, has received interest from the Brisbane Bullets of Australia’s NBL, per Ennio Terrasi Borghesan of Sportando. The 35-year-old big man last played for the Raptors during the 2020/21 NBA season. In 53 games with Toronto, including 31 starts, he averaged 6.1 PPG and 5.2 RPG. Earlier this month, Baynes put on a workout to showcase himself for interested teams in Las Vegas.
  • After a Summer League that saw No. 1 pick Paolo Banchero play just two games before being shut down by the Magic and Hawks swingman AJ Griffin, considered one of the best shooters in the 2022 draft, not play at all due to a mild foot injury, Nekias Duncan of Basketball News wonders just how much NBA teams value Summer League as an opportunity to assess young prospects. Duncan notes that the teams’ limited practice time and rosters comprising young prospects plus fringe-NBA-caliber hopefuls make for inconsistent on-court products. “I think we consult with our coaching staff, our front office and our training staff and try to figure out what the best decision is for each guy,” Cavaliers Summer League head coach Mike Gerrity told Duncan about how Cleveland doles out playing time to its various prospects.
  • As has previously been reported, former All-NBA center Marc Gasol plans to return to Spanish ACB club Basquet Girona as a player for the 2022/23 season. Thanks to its performance last season with Gasol, the team was promoted from its prior league, LEB Oro, to the upper-tier Liga ACB. As a result of this promotion, however, Gasol is now confronted with some bureaucratic red tape. Per ACB league rules, players are not allowed to both play for and work in the front office of their teams, according to Johnny Askounis of Askounis speculates that the team may decide to temporarily relieve the 37-year-old of his front office duties so that he may suit up for the season. Last year, Gasol averaged 14.5 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.1 SPG, and 0.7 BPG for Basquet Girona. The 6’11” big man, a former three-time All-Star and Defensive Player of the Year while with the Grizzlies, last played in the NBA during a disappointing 2020/21 season with the Lakers.

And-Ones: Gasol, Trade Cash, 2023 Draft, Ignite, Zizic

It doesn’t appear that veteran center Marc Gasol will be making an NBA comeback this fall. As Johnny Askounis of relays, multiple reports out of Spain have indicated that Gasol intends to remain a member of Girona, the Spanish team he owns and plays for.

Girona competed this past season in Spain’s second-division Liga Española de Baloncesto, but has received a promotion to the top Spanish league, Liga Endesa, for the 2022/23 season. Having helped his team earn that promotion by averaging 14.5 PPG and 8.2 RPG this season, Gasol’s goal is now to actually play for Girona in Liga Endesa competition, according to Askounis.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report (all Twitter links) has the details on the cash that changed hands in a few draft-night trades, reporting that the Magic received $2.15MM from the Lakers as part of the deal for the No. 35 pick; the Grizzlies sent $1MM to the Spurs as part of the swap for Kennedy Chandler‘s draft rights; and the Pacers got $1MM from the Bucks for selling the final pick in the draft (No. 58 pick Hugo Besson). That $2.15MM was the most Orlando could have acquired in a deal, as our cash tracker shows.
  • With the 2022 draft in the books, Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Insider link) has already turned his attention to 2023, publishing an initial mock draft for next year. As Givony and Sam Vecenie of The Athletic write, the 2023 NBA draft looks like it’ll be the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes.
  • The NBA G League announced in a press release that Washington State center Efe Abogidi has officially signed with the G League Ignite, as expected. Meanwhile, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, five-star recruit Matas Buzelis, one of the top prospects in the class of 2023, has committed to the Ignite for the 2023/24 season.
  • Former NBA first-round pick Ante Zizic has officially signed with Turkish team Anadolu Efes following his departure from Maccabi Tel Aviv. Zizc, who received a two-year deal with a third-year option, appeared in 113 NBA games for Boston and Cleveland from 2017-20.

Lowe’s Latest: Gasol, Bucks, Suns, Pacers, Kings, Sixers, More

With Brook Lopez sidelined indefinitely, the Bucks and center Marc Gasol, who is currently playing for Girona in Spain, had discussed the possibility of a possible late-season deal, according to Zach Lowe of ESPN (Insider link). However, Lowe suggests that a union “does not appear to be in the cards” now that Milwaukee has acquired Serge Ibaka.

It’s worth noting that the Bucks have three open spots on their 15-man roster following the trade deadline, so there still could be room for Gasol down the road, and it’s not like he and Ibaka haven’t had success teaming up in the past — the two vets played key roles for the 2019 champion Raptors. Still, Milwaukee may be looking to address other positions with those open roster spots, and there’s no guarantee Gasol will look to return to the NBA when his season is over in Spain.

Here are a few more highlights from Lowe’s post-deadline roundup:

  • Sources confirmed to Lowe that the Suns and Pacers had brief discussions about Deandre Ayton and Domantas Sabonis, which was first reported by Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. Fischer suggested the two teams might be exploring the idea of an offseason sign-and-trade involving Ayton, and Lowe agrees that the talks seem to have been just exploratory and informal, possibly aimed at the future rather than present. Indiana subsequently traded Sabonis to Sacramento, which could eliminate the possibility of any future deal with Phoenix for Ayton, but Lowe points out that the Suns’ willingness to consider shaking up their roster – even in the offseason – is noteworthy.
  • Before acquiring Sabonis, the Kings approached the Hawks about John Collins, but they didn’t discuss Tyrese Haliburton or De’Aaron Fox in that context, says Lowe.
  • Lowe expects the Sixers to explore the buyout market for a backup center, since there’s no guarantee that Paul Millsap will bounce back in Philadelphia and Charles Bassey is unproven.
  • The Spurs explored ways to move up in last year’s draft, according to Lowe, who notes that San Antonio has since gained more draft ammo to potentially revisit that idea going forward.
  • Lowe contends that Kristaps Porzingis should take his trade to the Wizards “as a huge slap in the face,” given the modest return the Mavericks received. As Lowe writes, Dallas appeared to be trying to gain more flexibility for future moves by taking back two (relatively) smaller contracts for Porzingis’ max deal, which could pay off down the road. But it “seems to be selling unthinkably low” on Porzingis, Lowe says.

Northwest Notes: Forbes, Towns, Wolves, Gasol

The Nuggetsfirst attempt to trade Bol Bol didn’t work out, but they’re happy with the return they got on the second try, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post. Denver officially completed a three-team deal today that sends out Bol and PJ Dozier in exchange for Bryn Forbes, a dangerous outside shooter who will have a clearly defined role on the team.

“Really for me, it comes down to Bryn Forbes is a career 42% three-point shooter,” coach Michael Malone said. “You go back to last year in their run in winning a world championship in Milwaukee, that first-round series they swept Miami, and Bryn Forbes averaged 15 points a game.”

Currently ranked 18th in three-point shooting percentage, the Nuggets have a need for Forbes, who is expected to make his debut either Friday or Sunday. Malone was disappointed to part with Dozier, who will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Malone offered to give Dozier a role on his staff if he ever goes into coaching.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns has been working on personal growth to set a better example for his teammates, per Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Part of that process included making peace with Tom Thibodeau after their uneasy relationship when they were together in Minnesota. “I remember after we played the Knicks (last season) pulling Thibs to the side,” Towns said. “I said, ‘I just want to let you know I forgive you.’ There’s not bad blood. One day let’s just go get dinner. Let’s just chill. We don’t have to worry about the business side, let’s just work on our relationship.”
  • Timberwolves head of basketball operations Sachin Gupta will work closely with coach Chris Finch heading into the trade deadline, according to Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. They have a working relationship that dates back to their days with the Rockets, and their goal is to make moves that will benefit the team over the next five years.
  • Jazz guard Mike Conley recently reached out to Marc Gasol, his long-time teammate with Grizzlies, tweets Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune. Gasol is playing in Spain this season, but has indicated that he may have interest in returning to the NBA. “I texted him when we had no bigs. I said, ‘If you wanna come back, now’s the time,’” Conley said. “… He’s happy. I don’t know if he’ll return. But I told him the invitation is out there.”

Marc Gasol: “Door Is Not Closed” On An NBA Comeback

Marc Gasol is currently playing in Spain, but his NBA career may not be over. Gasol, who will turn 37 this month, is both an owner and player with Basquet Girona. In an interview with the Spanish publication Cadenaser, he indicated that he still has options to return to the NBA, relays Dario Skerletic of Sportando.

“In the NBA they know I haven’t closed the door,” he said. “Now I wanted to do this thing (play at Girona) and they understood it, perhaps more than many people here in Spain. The door is not closed, I am not saying that I will return or that I am evaluating it, but I know that there is interest on their part … at the moment I am focused on Girona.”

A three-time All-Star and former Defensive Player of the Year, Gasol played 13 NBA seasons before deciding to return to his native country. He was the Lakers’ starting center for most of last season, averaging 5.0 points and 4.1 rebounds in 52 games.

However, Gasol didn’t see much playing time after Los Angeles signed Andre Drummond midway through the season. In September, he was traded to the Grizzlies, who released him five days later.

Gasol indicated that he’s not in a hurry to make a decision about his future. The Spanish League schedule runs through mid-May, and with Gasol determined to honor his commitment to Girona, it’s unlikely that he’ll be back in the NBA this season.

“The most precious thing we have is time,” he said. “We have little time and each of us decides how to invest it. to live unique experiences, I wanted to give this time to a city that supported me in difficult moments in sport, when I started my career at the age of 21.”

Marc Gasol To Play For Girona

As expected, veteran center Marc Gasol has announced that he’ll resume his playing career with Girona, a team based in Catalonia, Spain (video link). Gasol is also the owner and president of the franchise, which plays in the LEB Oro, Spain’s second league.

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 during the offseason, but added centers Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan, paving the way for Gasol’s exit. He was traded to the Grizzlies in a salary-dump deal and Memphis subsequently waived him.

Gasol’s desire to return home to Spain was a factor in his split with the Lakers. Reports all the way back in mid-September indicated that he would likely end up joining Girona, but it took him a little while to finalize that decision. FC Barcelona was among the other teams in Europe that attempted to recruit Gasol as he weighed his options.

Gasol, who will turn 37 in January, would likely have NBA suitors if he decided to return stateside. Although he’s not the perennial All-NBA candidate he once was, the veteran big man remains a savvy defender and a strong passer who can stretch the floor on offense.

However, it’s unclear whether or not Gasol intends to attempt an NBA comeback either in 2022 or further down the road. He said today that he’ll weigh his future after playing out the season with Girona.

Gironia is off to a 2-7 start in LEB Oro play so far this season, so Gasol will be looking to reverse the team’s fortunes and push for a playoff spot.

And-Ones: M. Gasol, I. Thomas, 2022 Draft, Sharpe

After reuniting with Pau Gasol last season, FC Barcelona is attempting to recruit his brother Marc Gasol, team manager Juan Carlos Navarro confirmed this week (link via Mundo Deportivo; hat tip to Sportando).

Navarro classified the team’s discussions with Gasol as “conversations” rather than “negotiations,” but suggested that the Spanish center hasn’t ruled out the possibility. Gasol, who was traded from the Lakers to the Grizzlies and then was waived during the offseason, decided to return home to Spain rather than continue his career in the NBA. It remains to be seen if he’ll play on either side of the Atlantic in 2021/22.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • In a documentary-style YouTube video called ‘For The Love of The Game,’ free agent guard Isaiah Thomas says he nearly signed with an NBA team during the summer. “This offseason I worked out for three teams and got very positive feedback from every organization,” Thomas said, per Marcus Kwesi O’Mard of “There was one team that I was basically very close to signing (with), then it didn’t happen.” The 32-year-old is attempting to make an NBA comeback after spending just 10 days on a roster last season.
  • In the first draft of his big board for the 2022 NBA draft, Sam Vecenie of The Athletic contends that Duke forward Paolo Banchero and Gonzaga big man Chet Holmgren are in their own tier at the top of the ’22 class. According to Vecenie, there are a lot of question marks beyond the top two at this point.
  • Shaedon Sharpe, the No. 1 prospect in ESPN’s ranking of the 2022 recruiting class, announced on Tuesday (via Twitter) that he’ll be enrolling at Kentucky in January. Sharpe won’t be eligible for the 2022 draft because he didn’t graduate high school before the NBA’s 2021/22 season began, notes ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Twitter link).

And-Ones: M. Gasol, Leunen, B. Ferry, Overtime Elite

After big man Ekpe Udoh suffered a serious knee injury last month, Virtus Bologna head coach Sergio Scariolo reached out to Marc Gasol to gauge his interest in joining the Italian club, Scariolo confirmed this week on Italian Twitch channel Area 52 (video link). As Marc Stein of Substack relays (via Twitter), Scariolo said Gasol turned him down in an “elegant way.”

Scariolo coached Gasol on the Spanish national team and as an assistant in Toronto, so he has an existing relationship with the veteran center. However, Gasol – who was traded to Memphis and then waived in September – appears content to spend time with his family in Spain rather than joining another NBA or EuroLeague team anytime soon. There were rumors last month that Gasol would be playing for Girona, the Spanish club he owns, but that hasn’t come to fruition yet.

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Former Oregon forward Maarty Leunen, who spent the last 13 seasons playing overseas in various European leagues, has announced his retirement, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando relays. Leunen was the 54th overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft and has had his rights traded four times since then – most recently to the Pacers in 2019 – but never signed an NBA contract.
  • Former Washington Bullets general manager Bob Ferry, who ran the front office from 1973 to 1990, died at age 84 on Wednesday, per ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. The father of Danny Ferry, Bob Ferry won two Executive of the Year awards and helped Washington win the only title in franchise history in 1978.
  • Jeremy Woo of shares his impressions of the Overtime Elite’s Pro Day, including his thoughts on the program’s three most notable 2022 draft-eligible players: guard Jean Montero, wing Kok Yat, and forward Dominick Barlow.

And-Ones: Fournier, France, Udoh, Gasol

Knicks guard Evan Fournier has expressed confidence in the future of France’s national team, discussing his vision for the program in an interview with L’Equipe (hat tip to Sportando).

Fournier, 28, was part of the French team that nearly defeated Team USA in the Gold Medal Olympic game last month. While his team narrowly missed out on a gold medal, it did beat Team USA in an exhibition contest two weeks earlier. Fournier led all scorers with 28 points during that outing.

“We have to promote our sport culture, stop being afraid of being ambitious,” Fournier explained. “I want this to change and our team can do it. We are not afraid of anyone. My vision is to become as dominant as Spain has been in the last fifteen years. Tokyo is just our first final … I want to win Eurobasket 2022.  This is not the time to stop. We have the opportunity to build a dynasty.

“This team must grow every summer, relive the same emotions, reactivate what has made possible our success in Tokyo: putting aside the ego, fighting for each other, having this winning mentality. And starting over every year. It is an opportunity for our sport, but also something that can go beyond basketball, help sport in France. We can set an example for an entire generation.”

Here are some other odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Former NBA center Ekpe Udoh has suffered a complete tear of his left knee patellar tendon, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando tweets. The 34-year-old will undergo surgery for the injury and no timetable has been issued. As we previously relayed, it’s believed that Udoh slipped due to an on-court sticker during the Italian SuperCup quarterfinals on Saturday.
  • Veteran NBA big man Pau Gasol briefly discussed the ongoing free agency of his brother, Marc Gasol, acknowledging that Marc has plenty of enthusiasm for Spanish club Basquet Girona. Marc and the club have been linked since he was waived by the Grizzlies last week. “Marc has earned the freedom and flexibility to make his own decision and he will do so when he decides,” Pau said, according to Spanish newspaper Marca (hat tip Sports Illustrated). “I know he has a lot of enthusiasm for Basquet Girona, a club in which I am also involved as vice president. He is in a different situation, because he is five years younger than me. We will see what he decides to do this season and later, I am also waiting.“