The Lakers have reached an agreement to sign Marc Gasol for the next two seasons.
The NBA champions, led by LeBron James, needed a center after Dwight Howard left for the Sixers.
They had JaVale McGee in that position, but they have preferred to transfer him to Cleveland, to give viability to their bet on Marc Gasol, who was in a free agent situation after having competed the last season and a half with the Toronto Raptors.
The arrival of Marc, 35, closed the circle opened in 2008 when the Lakers, who had chosen him at number 48 in the draft , gave Memphis their rights, in addition to Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton and Aaron McKie, in order to incorporate Pau Gasol.
The operation was crucial for the Lakers. With Pau as the main support of Kobe Bryant they managed to reach three finals and win two, in 2009 and 2010.
Marc, after closing his career at Akasvayu Girona, joined the Memphis Grizzlies in the summer of 2008. He played for ten and a half seasons with the Tennessee team and ended up triumphing before being transferred to the Toronto Raptors, with whom he won the title in 2019.
Last season, Nick Nurse counted less on Marc. Sant Boi’s center finished with the worst numbers of his career in the NBA, with an average of 7.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 26 minutes.
Now, in the final stretch of his career, his main objective is to win a second NBA title and thus equal the two that his brother Pau achieved. The Lakers hope to sign Anthony Davis’ contract extension, and have also signed German guard Dennis Schröder (Oklahoma City), power forward Montrezl Harrell (Clippers) and forward Wesley Matthews (Milwaukee).
Marc Gasol was upset in his day by the treatment received by the Lakers. When they chose him in 48th place in the draft, they only offered him a sweatshirt to participate in training sessions with some young people.
“At first, nobody loved me. They never told me about going there and being part of the team, “he said.
LeBron James, when he played with the Miami Heat in 2013, criticized the NBA because it was not chosen the Best Defender of the Year, a distinction that Marc Gasol achieved that season.
“It sucks, it sucks. I don’t know if there has been a player in the history of the NBA who has been able to defend the five positions on the field, ”he argued.
This year, already with the Lakers and as a result of Giannis Antetokounmpowas again named the best player of the regular season, LeBron again showed his dissatisfaction with the awards that the NBA awards. “The results seem strange to me sometimes,” he said. “Let’s go to 2013, for example. That year Marc received the Best Defender award, but he was in the second Defensive Quintet. It does not make any sense”. Despite this criticism, Marc and LeBron have a good personal relationship.