Marc Gasol brings with him a particular set of skills that will be very useful for the Los Angeles Lakers in the quest for another championship.
The circle is complete for Marc, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Gasol family.
Marc Gasol was drafted by the Lakers in 2007 and his rights traded to the Memphis Grizzlies in 2008 in order to obtain his brother Pau. In the late stage of his career, he is coming back to play for the team that drafted him and where his brother has won championships and become a legend.
In the last hours, Rob Pelinka managed to pull out another miracle and land center Marc Gasol for his re-tooled defending champions Los Angeles Lakers.
In order to obtain him, he had to engine a trade to offload JaVale McGee and free the necessary cap space to make a sizable offer to the Spanish center. And he delivered.
After majorly upgrading the Lakers’ bench Pelinka put the final touches to the starting lineup with this outstanding sign.
Finally, the Lakers have the one thing they completely lacked last season. The 3-point shooting center, he who can spread the floor around Anthony Davis. And this is but one reason why Gasol is a great pickup.
When the Lakers lost Dwight Howard in the process of signing Montrezl Harrell, they suddenly found themselves without that physical post defender that is needed in case of facing centers like Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic.
Howard was instrumental in defending the later in the past playoffs. Adding Harrell, who had major troubles in the same playoffs guarding the Joker, at the expense of Howard, LA could have run into problems in a possible 2021 rematch.
As much as an active player he is, Trez is not a great post defender, in part due to his size. McGee, an effective shot-blocker, is not a good post defender too. The Lakers needed someone to take the burden and they did not sign any player.
They got former Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol. Of course, he is on the downside of his career at 35 years old. But he is not requested to produce a lot. He will need to be the defensive presence and anchor for the LA’s defense. Something he is still very good at.
The Lakers lost something in renouncing to McGee and Howard, but gained much more in replacing them with Gasol and Harrell.
These two might not be as good shot blocker as the other two are (although they can hold their own), but together they combine all the skills required from the modern center, providing head coach Frank Vogel flexibility and every option for all the different kind of rotations he will need to implement.
Marc brings the presence n the middle to anchor the defense and the ability to guard other big men in the post. His 3-point shooting allows him to play the coveted stretch-five role and be the perfect backcourt mate of AD. Plus, his passing skills add a new dimension to Lakers’ offense.
Harrell is an energetic guy who does not need many touches to be a productive player. He is very good as a roller and at making himself found around the rim. He is active on the offensive board and adds toughness to the lineup. Furthermore, an elite charge-drawer.
As said, both are good shot blockers and are able to switch on the pick and roll, containing guards with moderate effectiveness.
With the arrival of Marc, the Lakers have therefore become a more dangerous, but also even more complete team, with new threats in their game. Now we will see how Vogel exploits them and combine Gasol’s skills with his gameplan. The fun has yet to begin.