Tag:Marc Gasol
Posted on: January 11, 2011 10:38 am
Edited on: January 11, 2011 6:47 pm
 

Report: Knicks to chase Marc Gasol this summer?

The New York Knicks reportedly covet Memphis Grizzlies big man Marc Gasol. Posted by Ben Golliver. marc-gasol

The New Jersey Nets continue to dominate the Carmelo Anthony trade discussions, leaving the New York Knicks on the periphery, and one can help but wonder what New York's backup plans are, should the Nets finally succeed in landing Anthony. 

The Knicks will have plenty of cap room this summer, with less than $42 million in committed salary for 2011-2012. Given the desirability of the New York market, the team's success this season, coach Mike D'Antoni's up-tempo style and a solid, improving core surrounding 2010 free agent acquisition Amar'e Stoudemire, the Knicks are shaping up to be this year's standout free agent destination.

So, who are the Knicks eying, assuming Anthony isn't available?  
The New York Post reports it could be a big man to play alongside Stoudemire, rather than an elite scorer.
If the Nets pull off the blockbuster multi-team trade and Anthony accepts a contract extension, the Knicks are expected to change the focus of this offseason to restricted free agent 7-foot-1 center Marc Gasol. The younger brother of the Lakers' Pau, Gasol is the type of burly big man the roster lacks and team president Donnie Walsh covets.
The Knicks currently have a makeshift post group, with Ronny Turiaf and Timofey Mozgov getting burn in the middle, when they aren't opting to play small ball. Gasol is a dream target for the Knicks, not only because of his skillset but also because of his fit alongside Stoudemire, as he's shown the ability to be productive alongside a premier scoring power forward in Zach Randolph.

Gasol, a restricted free agent following this season, is averaging 11.4 points and 7.2 rebounds this season, down slightly from his career highs of 14.6 points and 9.3 rebounds last year. At 26, he's just entering the prime of his career, he's an efficient shooter and a solid rebounder, and he doesn't need an exorbitant number of touches to contribute on offense. Defensively, he's big, active and long, and much quicker than he was a few years ago, thanks to a sizable loss of weight. Even better, Gasol is a talented passer, able to make plays for his teammates from the block or further from the hoop. 

The question here is obviously one of availability. The Grizzlies have shown hesitancy in offering a contract extension to Randolph, and should he be traded or sign elsewhere the Grizzlies will have plenty of salary cap room and dollars to funnel to Gasol. The Grizzlies can't afford to see both Randolph and Gasol walk, as their only true remaining big man would be project center Hasheem Thabeet. In other words, Memphis will be extremely motivated to keep Gasol.

Gasol, however, has yet to make the playoffs and has watched his brother, Paul Gasol of the Los Angeles Lakers, make multiple runs at a title. Forcing his way out of Memphis for a bigger market and a better team would surely appeal to a player in his situation, but he's yet to show any indication that he'll take that approach. 

Whatever Gasol decides between now and this summer, one thing is for sure: he is set to get paid in a big-time way. 
Posted on: December 13, 2010 6:14 pm
 

Report: Grizzlies looking to trade Thabeet

Posted by Royce Young

Remember that one time Hasheem Thabeet was drafted No. 2 overall? Yeah, that actually happened.

Well in his two years in the NBA, Thabeet hasn't made much of an impact. He's only appeared in just 86 games, has averaged just 12.0 minutes a game when he's played, has career averages of 1.2 points and 1.3 rebounds a game and even was assigned to the D-League last season, making him the highest pick ever sent down. While Thabeet's shown some signs of being a good interior defensive presence and rim protector, really, his NBA career has been entirely disappointing so far.

And according to David Aldridge of NBA.com, Memphis may be ready to move on from the Thabeet experience.

Likely to no one's surprise, Aldridge says no significant offers have been made. Teams are calling, but nothing serious yet. But the Grizzlies want Thabeet moved so they can entirely move on to the future of Marc Gasol at center.

Draft night when Thabeet was taken, no one really understood why so high. Everyone had him there, but really, why? No signs of an offensive game, was soft in the post and really his only talent was blocking shots. And even there he hasn't done that well with that without fouling. Plus, the Grizzlies already had Gasol at the time but tried to convince everyone that Gasol was really a power forward.

Nobody was really sold on the twin tower combo of Thabeet and Gasol, except evidently Chris Wallace and Michael Heisley. In the end, Thabeet has been a fairly massive failure in Memphis. Some took to calling Thabeet "Thabust" before the draft and so far, the name fits.

The Grizzlies likely shouldn't have too much trouble moving Thabeet because a lot of teams out there would love the shot to try and develop a 7'3 big man like him. Roy Hibbert wasn't exactly NBA ready when he was taken a few years back but through hard work and develop, he's a force. So someone will most definitely be intrigued at the opportunity to have Thabeet.

But the Grizzlies won't be getting any kind of return on investment. Thabeet was a something pretty much destined to fail there. Memphis is making the right call though to just swallow their its medicine and try and move on.

Posted on: November 29, 2010 10:53 am
Edited on: November 29, 2010 12:25 pm
 

Shootaround 11.29.10: In and Out

Positional struggles, Heat bar losing dough, Westphal losing a lot, and the Lakers should have lost by more, all in today's Shootaround. Posted by Matt Moore
  • Two things about this interview with Sam Bowie about Greg Oden: 1. the point about Bowie being happier with his life than Jordan is something Oden really should focus on and 2. unfortunately Oden can't afford to do what Bowie suggests and give himself extra time. There's just too much pressure, especially with his contract situation.
  • The Miami bar that offered to pay a $25 bar tab if the Heat lost? Yeah, they've lost $30,000 so far . And while the publicity is great, you have to wonder if they're going to have to cut that out soon.
  • Is DeJuan Blair a bad fit for the Spurs as currently concocted? The idea is that he's a 5 and Duncan's a 5 and because his skills don't compliment Duncan, that limits him. I think he could probably survive with Duncan if his weakside rotations were better. Hard to imagine Greg Popovich is really concerned about his "clean-up" center shooting. Players who have played well in that role include Fabricio Oberto and Kurt Thomas.
  • Marc Gasol is not healthy, and it's showing . I watched Memphis-Golden State over the holiday and Andris Biedrins absolutely destroyed Gasol. It wasn't even shiftiness or the system. He just shot over Gasol. For a normally terrific defender, it's bizarre to see him lacking in straigt-up man defense like this.
Posted on: November 9, 2010 5:52 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:37 pm
 

Zach Randolph on the move? His agent says no

Zach Randolph was linked to the Detroit Pistons in a trade rumor, but his agent denies it. Posted by Ben Golliverzach-randolph In its Nov. 8 issue, Sports Illustrated reported that Memphis Grizzlies power forward, who put up an amazing 23-point, 20-rebound line last night, is seeking a ride out of town.
His six-year, $84 million contract expires after this season, and a league source says he's not happy that the Grizzlies didn't offer him an extension. Randolph, 29, has put up 20 and 10 in each of the past two seasons and last year shrugged off the loser label by powering Memphis to a 16-win improvement, earning his first All-Star berth. If the Grizzlies, who committed $82 million to Rudy Gay this summer and will have to spend big to retain free agents Marc Gasol and Mike Conley, are looking to deal, multiple sources say Randolph's preferred destination is Detroit, where he would fill the gaping hole in the Pistons' frontcourt.
In response, the Memphis Commercial-Appeal quotes Randolph's agent, Raymond Brothers, shooting down the rumor.
"There's no truth to that rumor," Brothers said. "All Zach needs is a basketball and a court to play on to be happy. Zach's happy. He loves Memphis. That's nonsense."
The Grizzlies can come to terms on a contract with Randolph any time this season. If no deal is reached, then Randolph will become an unrestricted free agent. And surely, there will be a market for a 20-10 All Star. 
If I'm Memphis, having just committed massive dollars to both wing Rudy Gay and point guard Mike Conley, with guard O.J. Mayo and big man Marc Gasol due for extensions soon, moving Zach Randolph and his expiring contract at the deadline for a piece and/or draft picks makes a lot of sense. But a serious playoff run would be huge a morale boost for a franchise that needs it as badly as any in the league. In other words, Z-Bo trade talk should wait until at least January. If the Grizzlies are out of contention at that point, ship his reliable post production down the road, or up the river to Detroit if that's who is interested. The Pistons could do a lot worse than a Greg Monroe / Zach Randolph frontcourt of the (near) future.
Posted on: October 25, 2010 12:33 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:03 pm
 

Memphis owner: fans shouldn't worry about future

Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley tells fans they shouldn't worry about the team's future in Memphis. Posted by Ben Golliveroj-mayo The word of the week in the NBA has been contraction. Once Ken Berger broke the news that reducing the number of teams in the NBA from 30 was an option that will be considered during upcoming rounds of Collective Bargaining between owners and players, the spotlight started shining on the league's struggling franchises, with an apparent gap developing between rich and poor.  Small-market Sacramento Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof came out quickly to state unequivocally that the Kings wouldn't be contracted or sold, while big-market former Los Angeles Lakers co-owner Magic Johnson came out in favor of contraction. Over the weekend, another small-market owner, Michael Heisley of the Memphis Grizzlies, was interviewed by Geoff Calkins of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal about the future of the Grizzlies, who are celebrating their 10th anniversary season in Memphis but are struggling to fill their stadium. Calkins asks Heisley whether the Grizzles can survive another 10 years.
"I don't know if I'll make it to a 20th year!" he says.
Heisley laughs. Even at 4 a.m., the man has a point. Who knows what will happen over the course of the next decade? Who knows if the Grizzlies will still be here in 2020? Who knows if Heisley -- now 77 -- will even be around to own the team? "I don't think it's something for people to worry about," Heisley says.
Making promises you can't keep is a cardinal sin for a professional sports team owner, so Heisley plays this one correctly, re-assuring the team's fans without committing to something he can't certainly deliver.  Calkins goes on to paint a morbid picture -- a half-empty FedEx Forum, talk of relocation at the team's 10th birthday party -- but he also points out that the team's arena deal and the depressed national economic state work against a Grizzlies relocation plan. The Grizzlies almost always make the short list for teams that might be contracted, given their attendance, struggles to make the post-season, and the fact that the team is in Memphis after relocating from Vancouver, in probably the best case of an expansion going wrong for the NBA.  One thing's for sure: no team that has been included in the contraction discussion has more talent than the Grizzlies. Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol, OJ Mayo, Mike Conley and Hasheem Thabeet would make for one heck of a dispersal draft.  Thanks to Heisley, however, that fantasy doesn't sound like it's in play any time soon.
Posted on: September 23, 2010 6:03 pm
 

Preseason Primer: Memphis Grizzlies

Posted by Matt Moore
 
Out of nowhere, the Grizzlies rose to relevance last year, nearly making the playoffs in the hyper-competitive Western Conference. Over the summer they bucked up and paid the bill to keep Rudy Gay and became embroiled in a bizarre holdout with their rookies. The team again has low expectations and is flying under the radar. The question most people have is if they can possibly succeed like they did last season, and is that nearly enough? We take a look at where the Grizzlies are as we continue our Preseason Primers...




Training camp site: Memphis Grizzlies

Training camp starts: September 28th

Key additions: Tony Allen (free agency), Acie Law (free agency), Xavier Henry (draft)

Key subtractions: Ronnie Brewer (free agency)

Likely starting lineup:
Mike Conley (PG), O.J. Mayo (SG), Rudy Gay (SF), Zach Randolph (PF), Marc Gasol (C)

Player to watch:
Xavier Henry. Why? Because we haven't seen him since Kansas finished getting eliminated by a massive underdog in the NCAA tournament. Henry was absent from Summer League due to the holdout stemming from Michael Heisley's bizarre insistance that the rookie earn his bonus by doing something extra as far as performance. Like, some sort of bonus performance. Silly man. Eyes will be on Henry, whose play could have multiple impacts on the Grizz. If he solidifies the backcourt rotation, the Grizzlies will finally gain some depth after being one of the shallowest rotations in the league last season. Furthermore, if he can work with O.J. Mayo as a pair of combo guards, it could mean less time for Mike Conley. With Conley coming up on a possible extension, these are relevant questions not just for this season, but going forward.


Chemistry quiz:
How can the frontcourt stay chipper? Marc Gasol, whose overall play may have been better than All-Star Zach Randolph last season, continues to face the fact that the Grizzlies drafted Hasheem Thabeet with the second overall pick. Hamed Haddadi occasionally looks like a player worthy of minutes. DeMarre Carroll needs to compete and compete hard in training camp if he wants to find minutes this year. The Grizzlies aren't deep in the frontcourt, but given the bizarre makeup of the players involved, its a wonder they got along so well last year. But they did. Shockingly, after Allen Iverson departed for the basketball ether, the team became very close, constantly rushing to each other in confrontations and celebrating. The team genuinely likes each other. They're like a peacful commune... that probably smells really bad at times.


Camp battles:
Backup point guard should be a good one, with Acie Law, Greivis Vasquez, and other camp invites vying for the backup slot. Okay, maybe "good one" is a bit much, but it should be competitive, especially given there's not that much of a gap between those players and Mike Conley in the point guard department.

Injury issues:
The Grizzlies are primarily healthy. Marc Gasol looked completely healthy in the FIBA tournament, though the wear and tear may have some impacts. All in all, they're a young team that's pretty healthy.

Biggest strength:
Up and down. The Grizzlies can get up and down the floor and have an efficient offense. They crash the offensive glass especially well with Randolph and Gasol. They hustle and very rarely get caught without an option to create a shot.

Glaring weakness:
Yet again, the answer is defense. The Grizzlies aren't individually terrible on defense, they're just bad within the system. Part of that function is built around their inability to get rest. The starters always play, and they get worn down. Plus, they're young. Put simply, if the team defense doesn't improve considerably, the odds of their record improving the ten games they need to make the playoffs are slim.
Posted on: August 22, 2010 5:26 pm
Edited on: August 22, 2010 5:35 pm
 

USA defeats Spain 86-85 in an exhibition classic

Posted by Royce Young

With about 90 seconds left in Team USA's game against Spain Sunday, I had to stop and remind myself, "Wait, this is an exhibition. It doesn't even count." But it felt like it did. And both teams played as if it did.

In a rematch of the 2008 gold medal game and what might have been a preview of this year's title game in Turkey, Team USA defeated Spain 86-85 in front of a rowdy sold out crowd in Madrid.

The game came down to a final possession as Kevin Durant bothered Ricky Rubio into an airball then won it for the U.S. with a block on Rudy Fernandez as time expired. Derrick Rose came up big for Team USA in crunch time on the other end hitting two free throws with 16 seconds remaining to put the U.S. up one.

Early on, it looked like the Americans would cruise to an easy victory. The States jumped out to a 16-3 lead hitting seven of their first 10 shots while Spain was ice cold, starting just 1-10. But the Spaniards were pesky. Despite the sluggish start, Spain stayed close and used a big third quarter run to cut the U.S. to two, eventually tying the score at 80-80 with about three minutes left in the fourth.

The game against Lithuania was an excellent learning experience for the young group of Americans because Team USA had to overcome some adversity and poor offense to eventually pull away from a gritty group. Today's game against Spain is an equally important test but in a different way. Team USA was pushed and had to figure out what it would do in difficult times. Where does the ball go in crunch time? Who's handling the ball in a close game? Who's defending their playmakers? All these questions finally got a first answer put to them.

Durant finally found his offense, scoring 25 points in his usual effortless manner. He was 9-16 from the floor and in key moments late, the offense centered around him. After Spain took its first lead of the game 82-80 with about two minutes remaining, the U.S. immediately went to Durant who hit a tough baseline runner to knot the score again. It may have been only an exhibition, but these were some defining moments for Team USA, as this young group begins to find some identity and understand roles.

Another potentially interesting thing to mention was Coach K's rotations at the end of the game. Lamar Odom saw time at center over Tyson Chandler who didn't play well. Also, Russell Westbrook subbed in on defense for Chauncey Billups meaning that Westbrook likely will make the final 12-man if anything for at least a defensive stopper.

Both Danny Granger and Rajon Rondo sat today, but the feeling there is that it was for no other reason than to get some rest and give some extended looks to guys competing for that final spot. Kevin Love also didn't play because of a hard fall Saturday against Lithuania, but is fine and will be ready for the next game.

Obviously, with this being a friendly, it's safe to assume both teams held a little something back. Both squads surely expect to each one another again at some point in the tournament and didn't want to show too many cards. But at the same time, both groups wanted to win. Spain's guards were tough for the U.S. to handle and Marc Gasol chewed up Team USA on the inside. On the flip side, the Team USA's athleticism was too much for Spain to keep up with and in big moments the U.S. had proven playmakers while Spain didn't have somewhere to go.

If we really learned anything certain to take away from this exhibition it's that if these two teams meet again, it should be a whole heck of a lot of fun.

Posted on: August 3, 2010 11:30 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2010 11:31 pm
 

NBA's 2011 MLK day is stellar as usual

Posted by Matt Moore

Along with the Christmas and opening day schedules released tonight by the NBA, the MLK Jr. Day schedule was also revealed. And just as in years past, the slate's pretty solid. If only we had a trusty NBA blog to run down the games that day.

Wait, we do have a blog like that! It's this one!

Okay, I'll stop. Here's the rundown.

1PM EST, Bulls at Grizzlies:

The Grizzlies had a huge win last year on MLK day over the Suns, a team much better than them in 2009-2010. And they'll find themselves in a similar situation this year. Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver, and Ronnie Brewer make the Bulls a much better team than they were last year on paper. The Grizzlies, meanwhile, have only added a shooting guard they can't come to terms with despite the existence of a rookie pay scale. So they've got that going for them.

But still, this should be a good matchup, if the Grizzlies aren't on a back-to-back. Marc Gasol and Joakim Noah are very different but nearly equal players in terms of production and skill. Zach Randolph is the flip side of Carlos Boozer. More consistent, less injury prone, and continuosly hammered for his locker room cancerous behavior. Not that Boozer is a saint, he's just somehow been excused regularly despite his contract situation being a distraction for Utah the last two years. But their production is similar so that's nearly a wash as well. Rudy Gay is a better but younger version of Luol Deng, and O.J. Mayo's scoring punch and perimeter defensive speed counters Kyle Korver/Ronnie Brewer's specific but limited skill-sets. Unfortunately, that Derrick Rose guy exists. Advantage: Bulls.

Let's not even talk about the bench diffferential, which is considerable. Like I said, back-to-back for the Grizz would be a bad, bad thing here.

4PM EST, Kings at Hawks:

The Hawks got ran last MLK by an up and coming Western Conference team in the Thunder. So naturally the league scheduled them against a similar, and only slightly worse in the Kings. Joe Johnson versus Tyreke Evans should make for a good theater, and Al Horford versus DeMarcus Cousins could be one of the most bizarre conflicts of style and personality among players under 25 all season. And hey, what says Martin Luther King Jr. Day more than Omri Casspi and Zaza Pachulia?

8EST, Magic at Celtics:

You don't really expect me to provide you with a preview for the estimated 22nd meeting of these two teams in three years, do you? Because if you do, you expect way too much out of me.

Oh, hey, something-something, Shaquille O'Neal versus Dwight Howard. Boom.

10:30PM EST, Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Lakers:

This is likely going to be a back-to-back for the Thunder. That's generally how these things work. But in what could well end up being an MVP season for Kevin Durant, it still should be incredibly fun. As we saw in the playoffs, these two teams are extremely well matched, and even with the Lakers' upgrades off the bench, OKC's continued development should make for a strong foil to their heavily favored position.

Plus, Cole Aldrich versus Pau Gasol could be high comedy.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com