And for a while, this worked out for both sides. The Grizzlies were able to acquire the assets required to start a rebuild, while Gasol was sent to an instant contender in the Toronto Raptors. He’d win the NBA Finals with Toronto, becoming the second Gasol brother to win a title after his playing days with the Grizzlies.
After this, he would become a free agent and sign with the Los Angeles Lakers, a team that was destined for a playoff run with LeBron James in charge. It looked entirely possible that they would Gasol would go back-to-back.
After a decent start to the season, he would miss time due to COVID-19 protocol. When he returned, things were entirely different for the Spanish center. After the Lakers acquired Andre Drummond, Gasol was essentially booted out of the lineup for a younger, better player.
The Memphis Grizzlies could pick up Marc Gasol to finish out his career
A large part of the reason why Marc Gasol left Memphis was due to the fact that it was becoming clear that the Grizzlies would not win a title with Gasol and Conley. They wanted to start a rebuild but also wanted to send Gasol to a contender. They succeeded with that.
He got his title with Toronto. And at the age of 36, he is already exiting his NBA prime, so there’s a decision to be made here. Does he want to try and find another contender to force his way into the roster on, or would he prefer to ride things out with the Memphis Grizzlies, a franchise that he is already comfortable being a part of?
This is largely dependant on whether or not Gasol is open to the idea, but if you’re Zach Kleiman, Memphis Grizzlies’ GM, you have to be tempted by the idea of a Grizzlies legend on the roster as a mentor.
With Jaren Jackson Jr. still out, he would find immediate playing time and could provide a crucial veteran presence on the youngest team in the NBA as they head toward the playoffs.
Unfortunately, the odds of this happening seem low, as Taylor Jenkins has frequently opted to give younger players minutes over older players. We saw this with Gorgui Dieng, a 31-year old center, who was recently bought out after struggling to find his way onto the court.