Could struggles in Memphis benefit the Celtics this season?
An expected downward direction of the Grizzlies could benefit the Celtics, if and when their star player finally decides enough is enough and has his say.
Speaking with a radio station in Spain, Memphis center Marc Gasol was honest about what’s going on with a Grizzlies team whose offseason has been headlined by the losses of Zach Randolph and Tony Allen — shifting the franchise away from the ‘grinding game’ they were known for — and their move to get younger, and how he feels about it.
“I’m very ambitious and I’ve wanted Memphis to be a great franchise,” the 32-year-old Gasol said (translated by HoopsHype). “We’ve grown a lot the last six-seven years, but we have to keep growing. If this is not lined up, maybe we may have to revisit things.”
Revisiting things, of course, is just another way of saying that Gasol could and would request a trade out of Memphis to make his way to a championship contender while he’s still a legitimate star player.
But with another two years (and major money, with Gasol making over $22 million this season and $24 million next season) left on his contract his player option for 2019-20 kicks in, it’s worth mentioning that Gasol would not be requesting a trade from a strong leverage standpoint. At the same time, however, it wouldn’t make sense to keep him around if the Grizzlies do indeed continue their slow shift towards a rebuild, and it wouldn’t be fair to put Gasol through that given what he’s meant to that organization since breaking into the NBA with the team in 2008.
If Grizzlies do shop Gasol, too, it’s believed that the Celtics would do their part to make a deal happen, at least according to an report released just over a month ago.
“One player worth keeping an eye on, two league executives told The Vertical: Memphis’ Marc Gasol,” The Vertical’s Chris Mannix wrote in July. “Would the Grizz move the 32-year-old Gasol for a ready-made rebuilding package of players and picks? Would Boston – which has to be wary of putting together a team that would beat Cleveland but still get pulverized by Golden State – be interested? Again, worth watching.”
It would take a lot to make a Gasol-to-Boston trade work, obviously, especially with Gordon Hayward now added to the C’s mix on a four-year, max contract.
It would also need to begin with Gasol officially saying that he would like to be moved, which to this point has not happened, and seems unlikely to happen before he sees the product the Grizzlies put on the floor this season. Then again, it’s hard to find an available star that the Celtics haven’t been linked to over the last two seasons, and the summer plan for Celtics president Danny Ainge always did seem to center around adding two stars to the franchise’s long-term plans.
Gasol averaged a career-best 19.5 points and 4.6 assists per game last season.
Full article @ Could struggles in Memphis benefit the Celtics this season?
Source: GreenStreet Blog