The Los Angeles Lakers announced that they have officially traded Marc Gasol and a 2024 second-round pick to the Memphis Grizzlies for the draft rights to Wang Zhelin.
Zhelin plays in China and reports indicate he doesn’t plan on coming over to the NBA, so this trade was essentially a way for the Lakers to unload Gasol’s salary and save around $10 million in luxury taxes for the upcoming season.
The writing was on the wall that Gasol’s departure was looming when the team went out and signed DeAndre Jordan after he was traded by the Brooklyn Nets and then waived.
As things currently stand, the Lakers will go into the season with a center rotation of Jordan and Dwight Howard with Anthony Davis also likely to see time at the position.
Gasol, who has been part of the Lakers family for many years because of his brother Pau, is expected to head back to Spain to finish out his career close to his family. The Lakers took to social media to wish him well after the trade was complete:
OFFICIAL: The Lakers have traded Marc Gasol and a second round pick for the draft rights to Wang Zhelin.
Thank you, Marc, for making LA part of your journey. pic.twitter.com/S5EQ899CJU
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) September 10, 2021
Gasol’s lone season with the Lakers drew mixed reviews as he averaged 5.0 points and 4.1 rebounds in 52 games. He fell out of the starting lineup after the team acquired Andre Drummond at the deadline, and that could’ve ultimately led to the two sides not wanting to run it back in 2021-22.
The Spaniard will likely be headed to the Hall of Fame when his career is over though as there is no doubting how much success he had both in the NBA and abroad.
Howard welcomes Jordan to L.A.
As far as the centers that are still with the Lakers, Howard recently took to social media to welcome Jordan back to L.A.
It remains to be seen which of the two will start, but they both fill the same roles so likely will see a similar amount of playing time regardless.
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