Possibility Exists for Marc Gasol’s Last Training Camp with Memphis Grizzlies

Memphis Grizzlies Marc Gasol (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
Memphis Grizzlies Marc Gasol (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The ball is in Marc Gasol’s court. He could decide to move on from the Memphis Grizzlies at the end of the 2018-19 NBA season.

For the entire time the NBA’s Grizzlies have been located in Memphis, Tennessee, there has been a Gasol on the team’s roster. Since relocating from Vancouver following the 2000-01 season, “Memphis” and “Gasol” have gone hand in hand.

That is going on 18 years of the Memphis-Gasol combination. It is almost impossible to think of a Memphis Grizzlies squad minus a Gasol brother. In almost every statistical category in Grizz record books, you will find Pau Gasol and Marc Gasol within the top-five if not higher.

What will life in Grizz Nation be like once Marc moves on? This is definitely a tough question to answer. Rather than “what,” today, it is more of a question of “when” and “how.”

Marc Gasol, entering his 11th season all spent with the Memphis Grizzlies, is now in the fourth year of his $113 million max contract. In the summer of 2019, a Player Option will arise for Big Spain.

If he locks in with the Grizzlies for the fifth and final year of his max deal, Memphis’ center position will be in great hands through the 2019-20 season.

However, nothing is a guarantee. Remember, this is the NBA and there always seems to be plenty of ups and downs throughout the course of the season. Will Big Spain want to stay that long?

Ultimately, Marc Gasol has made it clear that he wants to win. His frustration showed majorly in the dismal 2017-18 season where the team finished 22-60. While it looked as if the team was purposely tanking at times, Gasol was trying his hardest to win games in addition to mentoring the team’s youth.

Today, one day from Media Day and two days from the start of training camp, Marc Gasol probably does not know what he will decide on his contract’s Player Option. Based on his reactions from the past season, it is not difficult to see what will make him stay — or alternatively, what will force his hand to leave Memphis.


Marc has made max money. In the new decade, if he wants to return to the Memphis Grizzlies, he could probably receive another max deal. Other teams would likely offer the same. Money is not as much of an object to Gasol now as it was when he last hit the NBA Free-Agency market in 2015.

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In the summer of 2019, Marc Gasol could become one of the top centers on the open market. He would join DeAndre Jordan, DeMarcus Cousins, Dwight Howard, and Myles Turner to name a few. Gasol would arguably be the best of the bunch. He would be a hot commodity for teams needing help at center.

Because money will not be of most importance to No. 33, another threat is a contending team — such as the Golden State Warriors or Los Angeles Lakers — signing the three-time All-Star on a bargain deal, a la DeMarcus Cousins this offseason.

Memphis does not lure star players. They have to develop talent, which oftentimes has not been the Grizzlies’ strong suit. Though Gasol is not the biggest star in the game, he is one of the top centers in the league. There is no denying that.

As he approaches age 34 this season, you must begin to question how long his All-Star-caliber production will continue. Perhaps he will not be max-level worthy in two years. Plus, as he searches for an NBA World Championship ring prior to retirement, winning will become more and more important to Marc as he nears 40.

If the Memphis Grizzlies earn a trip to the postseason in 2018-19, there would probably be decent odds of Marc opting into the final year of his deal. However, if it resembles 2017-18, there should not be much hope of him continuing his career in Memphis any further.

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It is simple. Winning is what Marc Gasol cares about. He needs an NBA World Championship ring to place next to his Olympic, World Cup, and EuroBasket medals. The pressure is on the Memphis Grizzlies to produce the wins.

Go Grizz!