The Los Angeles Lakers have traded Marc Gasol to the Memphis Grizzlies, ending the questions about his return to the team.
The deal has L.A. sending Gasol, a 2024 second-round pick and cash to Memphis for draft rights to Wang Zhelin.
Gasol’s return status was in question ever since the 2020 Tokyo Olympics commenced, but after Spain was eliminated from the competition, Gasol confirmed he’d return to conclude the final year of his initial two-year contract.
However, a few weeks after that, NBA insider Marc Stein reported the Spaniard wasn’t a lock to return and was mulling a return to Spain, where he could play for FC Barcelona, the same team Pau Gasol, his brother, recently represented.
Gasol gets to return to Memphis, who will buy him out and allow him to return to Spain, via Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Gasol spent about a decade with the Grizzlies during the start of his career, and he’ll now get to end it with them.
The trade also grants the Lakers a $2.7 million trade exception, according to Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype:
The Lakers have been preparing for Gasol’s departure with the recent acquisition of DeAndre Jordan, but now there is another open roster spot for L.A. to work with. James Ennis has come up often in rumors.
Zhelin, who L.A. has the draft rights to now, is a 27-year-old, 7-foot center from China. Memphis had drafted him with the No. 57 pick in the 2016 draft.