Could Memphis Grizzlies trade Marc Gasol to Cleveland for Brooklyn pick?


Marc Gasol has been in trade rumors for most of the summer. With his recent comments, could the Memphis Grizzlies move him to the Cleveland Cavaliers?

Marc Gasol has been the subject of trade rumors basically since the summer began. With the uncertainty around the Grizzlies as a playoff contender, it was only natural that contenders would want to attain one of the last true elite centers in the league.

For the most part, Memphis fans have been quick to dismiss such rumors for what they are — rumors. There’s no way that the Grizzlies would trade away the man who’s arguably the greatest player in franchise history, right? After all, why would you mess up a really good thing that has been going strong for seven years?

However, Marc Gasol has’t quite appeared to be so positive about the status quo. In a Spanish interview, Gasol said:

"I’m very ambitious and I’ve wanted Memphis to be a great franchise. We’ve grown a lot the last 6-7 years, but we have to keep growing. If this is not lined up, maybe we may have to revisit things."

In a separate interview, Gasol would later compare the Spanish Team to the Grizzlies. He stated:

"“We’re a family, it’s a reality. We overcome the bad moments, we have mentors and leaders, such as Pau (Gasol) and (Juan Carlos) Navarro who are also there to give pause and tranquility. The atmosphere is very different from Memphis. I hope we can win a ring, we have to be very consistent and disciplined.”"

The atmosphere is very different from Memphis. Yikes.

Though Gasol is likely still very committed to Memphis, he does appear to be growing more and more open to a trade.

The Cleveland Deal?

Several reports have indicated that the Grizzlies have labeled both Mike Conley and Marc Gasol as “untouchable” in trade talks. When you consider that these two players have been franchise cornerstones for the last seven years, this is unsurprising. It also  means nothing–Kyrie Irving was “untouchable” only three months ago. Situations are always changing.

As of right now, the Grizzlies shouldn’t trade Marc Gasol. With Gasol and Conley, Grizzlies are a good team that’ll likely make the playoffs for the eighth straight season. As Matt Moore pointed out in his article from earlier, the Grizzlies, as a small market team, likely won’t have another big man of his caliber for decades.

However, as I said earlier, situations change. If the Grizzlies fall out of the playoff race or if Gasol continues to become disillusioned with the team, the Grizzlies have to become open to the option of trading him.

The best– and perhaps, most realistic–option in that situation would be to trade Gasol to the Cleveland Cavaliers. After receiving the coveted Brooklyn pick in the Irving trade, Cleveland has tied itself to DeMarcus Cousins trade rumors. Although Cousins is one of the best players in the league, Gasol would be a better fit for the Cavs in contending against Golden State. With a team that already has two ball-dominant players in Thomas and LeBron, Marc Gasol would be a better option off the ball. He would also help upgrade a poor Cleveland defense.

This trade would also be the best possible option for Memphis in the long run. The Brooklyn pick, likely to be in the top three, would be the crown jewel asset that the Grizzlies would receive. In order to make the salaries match, the Grizzlies would have to take both of the contracts of Tristan Thompson and Iman Shumpert. Shump (the best bad player in the league) only has one year left on his contract, and Thompson is a quality, starting-caliber center.

In this trade, the Grizzlies can potentially select a new face of the franchise with the Brooklyn pick (certainly no way that they will screw that up). With a core of Lebron-Thomas-Gasol, Cleveland maximizes its chances of winning a title next year.

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There is Still No Place Like Home

Marc Gasol and Memphis are forever linked. In Memphis, Gasol grew from a pudgy kid into a basketball legend of Beale Street Blue. He’s as much from Memphis as he is from Barcelona.

When next season is over, Marc Gasol will likely still be in a Grizzlies uniform. He’ll have most likely had another All-Star caliber season and will have led the Grizzlies to their eighth straight playoff appearance. He’ll likely continue to be a model of excellence.

There’s no reason for the Grizzlies to trade Gasol at this time. However, if next season doesn’t go according to plan, Memphis must — as Gasol himself put it — “revisit things”. And if the Grizzlies do decide to “revisit things”, a trade to the Cleveland Cavaliers may be the best for their long-term future.