Marc Gasol

And-Ones: Porter, Gasol, Hall Of Fame, Carter, Cooper

Kevin Porter Jr. made his European debut on Saturday, scoring 14 points in his first game with PAOK in Greece. Porter had just one point before halftime, according to a Eurohoops report, but he began driving to the basket more frequently in the second half.

It was good, honestly,” Porter said. “I didn’t play up to my level, of course. I had a slow start, but playing with this group of guys, they made sure that I stayed positive. The chemistry on this team is beautiful. It wasn’t down. It was always joyful out there. I haven’t been on the court like that and played regulation in a long time. So it’s good to have a group of guys like that to lift me up when I started off slow. It was dope.”

The former Rockets guard is hoping to revive his career, which was derailed by an assault case involving his former girlfriend, ex-WNBA player Kysre Gondrezick. Porter said there are a lot of adjustments in Europe, such as a smaller court and a different style of play, but he already likes his new surroundings.

I’ve only been here five days and feel at home,” Porter added. “It’s how the team welcomed me and the fans who were at the airport, and I met them every day. I don’t know exactly what I will do in the future, but I will return here again.

There’s more news from around the basketball world:

  • Many of Marc Gasol‘s former teammates were on hand Saturday in Memphis for his jersey retirement ceremony, per John Hollinger of The Athletic. The event represented a throwback to the Grizzlies‘ “Grit N Grind Era” as the “Core Four” of Gasol, Zach Randolph, Mike Conley and Tony Allen were together on the court for the first time since 2017. “I had a very unique perspective because I came as 16-year-old (to watch his older brother, Pau),” Gasol said. “I had the perspective of a fan, of what is expected from the team in Memphis, and then followed the team in Spain. When I came back as a Grizzlies player, I carried that with me, and I carried that kind of pride. And I hope everyone enjoyed what they saw for so many years.”
  • In a separate story, Hollinger calls for changes to the selection process for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He argues that the voting shouldn’t be kept secret and contends the Hall contains too many “outliers” and “contributors” instead of just recognizing historically great players.
  • Vince Carter learned about his Hall of Fame selection on April Fool’s Day, so his first thought was that it might be a prank, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Once Carter realized the call was legitimate, he was overwhelmed by the honor. “You think about the people that are in there. … It’s mind blowing for me,” he said at his press conference. “And I enjoy playing the game of basketball every day, and I’m just overjoyed now that my career is over, like somebody said, the cherry on top: This is it.”
  • Magic Johnson is thrilled to see longtime teammate Michael Cooper receive Hall of Fame recognition, telling Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times, “My boy made it! My boy made it! My boy Coop made the Hall of Fame! Damn! I was hollering, man, when I heard it. I couldn’t believe it. I was so excited for him, man.”

Grizzlies Notes: Adams, Bane, V. Williams, Gasol, Rose

Addressing the trade of veteran center Steven Adams, who was sent to Houston for Victor Oladipo and three second-round picks, Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins cited “flexibility” as a key reason for making the deal, writes Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Big-time thanks to (Adams),” Jenkins said. “Opportunities come throughout the league. We got to make some decisions. Obviously we’re excited about the flexibility it creates for us. … The impact (Adams) made was a big one for us. Obviously we’re going to miss him. Hopefully he gets healthy. He’s been working really hard in his rehab. He had a huge impact not just on the floor, but also in the locker room.”

As Jenkins alluded to, Adams is out for the season after undergoing knee surgery, though he’s expected to make a full recovery prior to 2024/25.

It will be difficult to find a long-term replacement for Adams’ unique skill set (bruising screener, elite offensive rebounder, solid passer). According to Cole, Jenkins said playing Jaren Jackson Jr. more at center is one option for Memphis going forward, but the team will look at “different avenues” as well.

Here’s more on the Grizzlies:

  • Fourth-year guard Desmond Bane has been out about three weeks with a severe left ankle sprain and is expected to miss at least three more. On Thursday, Jenkins said Bane has been doing individual on-court work and movement shooting. “He’s hungry to get back and beat the timeline,” Jenkins said, per Cole (Twitter link).
  • While the Grizzlies have had a “wild, wayward” season thus far, one bright spot has been the play of second-year wing Vince Williams, according to Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian (subscriber link). A 2022 second-round pick (47th overall) who was on a two-way deal with Memphis before being promoted to a standard contract, Williams has been an “unlikely revelation” in 2023/24, Herrington writes. The 23-year-old only played 105 minutes in 15 games last season, but has been thrust into a major role due to the team’s lengthy injury list. In 12 January games (32.7 MPG), he played exceptionally well, averaging 14.8 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 3.3 APG and 1.3 SPG on .509/.469/.780 shooting.
  • Memphis announced in a press release that it will retire Marc Gasol‘s No. 33 jersey on April 6, following a game vs. Philadelphia. Gasol, a three-time All-Star for the Grizzlies and the 2012/13 Defensive Player of the Year, recently retired as a player. He spent more than 10 seasons with Memphis and holds numerous team records. Gasol’s former teammate, Zach Randolph, is the only other player to have his jersey retired by the Grizzlies.
  • Veteran point guard Derrick Rose returned to action on Friday after missing the past month with a left hamstring strain, Cole tweets. Rose finished with 12 points and four assists in 16 minutes in Friday’s loss to Golden State.

Raptors Notes: Young, Poeltl, Quickley, Barrett, Gasol

Filling in at small-ball center with Jakob Poeltl sidelined with a sprained ankle, Raptors forward Thaddeus Young had perhaps his best game of the 2023/24 season in Tuesday’s victory over his former team, the Bulls, writes K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.

At 35 years old and in his 17th NBA season, Young finished with 16 points (on 8-of-13 shooting), six rebounds and six assists in 32 minutes while battling traditional centers in Nikola Vucevic and Andre Drummond. Young had only made seven cameo appearances this season prior to Poeltl’s injury, but has appeared in 11 straight games since.

They’re two big guys who know how to rebound, very physical,” Young said of Vucevic and Drummond. “Takes a toll on you. But one thing I’m willing to do is fight with them and do the job that’s needed to be done. For me, it’s always about the battle. I enjoy the competition level. So for me, I’m willing to take whatever challenge there is, whether it’s me guarding guards, guarding my position or playing center.

I don’t pay too much attention to that. Yeah, I’m 35 years old. But that’s young in regular life. When you play over 1,000 basketball games, that’s old to everybody else. But I just continue to play and show that I can play at a high level. As long as I’m able to do that, I’ll continue to play.”

Here’s more on the Raptors:

  • Young has drawn praise from his head coach and teammates for his leadership, professionalism, diligent work ethic, and ability to produce when called upon, according to Eric Koreen of The Athletic. The longtime veteran says his family has pushed him to play for a few more years, but he plans to discuss his future with them again when the time comes. Young is playing on expiring $8MM contract and will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. “As the years go by, (TJ, Young’s oldest son) gets older (13), and I definitely want to start putting a lot of time and work into him, making sure that I give him the same opportunities I had,” Young said, per Koreen. “This is something I have to sit down with my family and talk about. They’ve been saying, ‘Go to Year 20. You can do it.’ Physically, yeah, I’m fine. Nothing’s wrong. I’m healthy, I can continue to go. But at that point, it’s just a matter of how much longer I want to play.”
  • Poeltl has missed the past 11 games with the ankle sprain, but Michael Grange of says the Austrian big man’s return is “likely imminent,” noting that the former No. 9 overall pick has been full speed in workouts for nearly a week. Poeltl has shown his value to Toronto in part because the team has struggled mightily without him — as Grange observes, the Raptors are just 2-9 without Poeltl this season.
  • In another story for The Athletic, Koreen writes that Poeltl’s injury has made it difficult for the new-look roster to jell. The Raptors want Immanuel Quickley, who has missed the past three games with a quad injury, to develop chemistry with Poeltl, but they’ve only played four games together thus far. Another new addition, RJ Barrett (knee swelling), has also missed the past two games. Poeltl and Quickley were full practice participants on Thursday, but Barrett did not do contact work (Twitter link via Koreen). The Raptors’ next game is Friday in Houston, and all three players are currently considered questionable, tweets Blake Murphy of
  • Marc Gasol officially retired on Wednesday, prompting Raptors vice chairman and president Masai Ujiri to release a statement regarding the longtime veteran center, who started for Toronto when the team won the championship in 2019. “Marc has a special place in the hearts and memories of Toronto and of Canada,” Ujiri said. “He’s a champion on the court, where his unbelievable vision and masterful defense were key parts of our run to the 2019 title. He’s a champion in life too, with important contributions to communities around the world through the Gasol Foundation. He’s a three-time All-Star, first team All-NBA, Defensive Player of the Year, two-time Olympic silver medalist and, I believe, undisputed winner of best performance in the history of championship parades. Marc, the Raptors honor your grit and grind and we send you and your family our thanks and our best, warmest wishes for a happy retirement.”

Marc Gasol Announces Retirement

Longtime NBA center Marc Gasol officially announced his retirement as a player on Wednesday, as relayed by Spanish outlet Diario Sport. Gasol has posted a formal five-minute video announcement on his Twitter account.

The 48th overall pick in the 2007 draft, Gasol didn’t enter the NBA with significant fanfare as a draft-and-stash prospect in 2008 after his rights were traded from the Lakers to the Grizzlies in a package for his brother Pau Gasol. However, he quickly emerged as a reliable starter in the middle and became a key member of the “Grit and Grind” Grizzlies, spending more than 10 seasons with the franchise.

An All-Star in 2012, 2015, and 2017 and the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2013, Gasol was eventually traded from Memphis to Toronto at the 2019 deadline and was the starting center for the Raptors team that won a championship that season. After one more year in Toronto, he spent the 2020/21 season with the Lakers.

In an echo of the start of his NBA career, Gasol was once again traded in September of 2021 from the Lakers to the Grizzlies, who subsequently waived him. That was the last time he was on an NBA roster. The 39-year-old spent the next two seasons with Basquet Girona, the team he owns and runs in Spain.

While Gasol indicated about two years ago that he hadn’t ruled out the possibility of an NBA return, he’s closing that door today with his official retirement announcement.

Gasol averaged 14.0 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1.4 blocks in 891 career regular season NBA games (32.2 MPG), posting a shooting line of .481/.360/.776. He also appeared in 99 playoff contests with the Grizzlies, Raptors, and Lakers and earned a pair of All-NBA nods, including a spot in the First Team in 2015.

In addition to returning to his home country of Spain to conclude his playing career, Gasol also represented the Spanish national team in many international competitions, winning World Cup championships in 2006 and 2019 and taking home Olympic silver medals from Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012.

Grizzlies owner Robert Pera said at the time of Gasol’s trade to the Raptors that the franchise would one day retire his jersey (No. 33). The team could move forward on those plans now that the big man has formally retired.

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.”