Marc Gasol is important in more ways than one for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Over the offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers used one of their last roster spots to sign veteran center Marc Gasol. Gasol is a former Defensive Player of the Year, NBA Champion and versatile big who can space the floor. Along with this, Gasol is already bringing more to the Lakers than they may have expected.
It has been reported that Gasol has taken generational talent and second star player on the Lakers, Anthony Davis under his wing and is teaching him everything he knows. In terms of all-time rankings, Davis may have already eclipsed Gasol, however, there are still countless things that Gasol has already begun to teach Davis.
The first being on the defensive side of the ball. Although Davis is already one of the best defenders in the league he has never brought home a defensive player of the year award. This is something that Gasol has achieved.
Along with this, Gasol has been forced to learn how to defend guards when he is switched onto them in pick and rolls despite never being the most athletic player on the floor.
Davis is by far more gifted than Gasol in terms of athleticism. As a result of this, using what Gasol has learned, he will be able to keep up with and defend guards with ease in the pick and roll and even off of the dribble.
Another thing that Gasol is teaching Davis is the importance of spacing the floor and having a great three-point shot. This is another thing that Davis has already begun working on. When he was traded to the Lakers he said that he spent his entire offseason working on his outside shot so he can mesh better when he is on the floor with LeBron James.
The final thing that Marc Gasol will help Anthony Davis improve on is his passing. Gasol made a couple of highlight plays over the past week with flashy no-look passes. While these are great for Sportscenter or Bleacher Report, Gasol brings much more in terms of playmaking than just highlight passes.
During his prime, Gasol was averaging nearly five assists a game which is almost unheard of from a center that is not named Nikola Jokic. If Davis is able to learn to be the equivalent or even superior playmaker to Gasol he could be one of the most dominant players of the new era.
It will be interesting to see how Davis continues to progress and what all he will be able to absorb from Marc Gasol. If he is able to pick up some of the strengths that Gasol possesses, he could wind up being the best player in the entire NBA. He also may be able to progress to be one of the best all-around big men that the league has ever seen.