NBA Rumors: Pau Gasol Would Make Grizzlies Contenders in West

Josh SchochAnalyst IIIJune 25, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 3:  Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers hand checks his brother Marc Gasol #33 of the Memphis Grizzlies at Staples Center March 3, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  The Lakers won 99-89.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Pau Gasol could be heading back to where his career started, as the Los Angeles Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies are trying to work out a deal to send him back to Memphis, helping make Memphis a contender in the process.

According to Matt Moore of CBS Sports, the elder Gasol could be headed east, and potentially play alongside his younger brother, Marc.

The two will be playing on the same team for Spain during the 2012 Olympics, which could be a precursor to the 2012-13 NBA season.

Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley has said that Rudy Gay isn't on the trade block (per Sporting News), which helps to make the Grizzlies a contender in the Western Conference.

If Gay isn't going, it's unclear who is.

Trading Marc for Pau wouldn't make sense, but neither would trading leader Zach Randolph, who helped this team reach relevancy.

However, without trading either of them it is unlikely that a deal gets done. I'd have to expect Randolph would go, as he is older and does not do as much of what Memphis needs as Marc Gasol does.

What we could be looking at here is a sign-and-trade of O.J. Mayo, coupled with Randolph and a potential draft pick or two for Gasol.

While the details of the trade are pure speculation, there is a solid source for this rumor. Gasol could very well be headed to Memphis, which would help the Grizzlies contend in the West.

Having the Gasol brothers down low would make a formidable frontcourt. The two combined for 32.0 points, 19.3 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per game last season. That doesn't even take into consideration how much their chemistry as brothers would benefit both of them and the team.

These two are key in Memphis' hopes in the Western Conference.

Along with those two, Gay would still be on the wing and providing the star power and athleticism for the Grizz.

These three guys would be the core of the team, but the backcourt would be key as well.

Mike Conley is a good point guard, and I have faith in the 24-year-old. He averaged an impressive 6.5 assists per game to go along with his 12.7 points, and you can expect him to rack up even more with both Gasols in the paint.

While the team lacks a star at shooting guard, signing Tony Allen would be a good move. He is solid enough to keep them in contention without a true star in the backcourt.

The Grizz would likely be losing their No. 25 pick in order to gain Pau Gasol, so they can't rely on drafting a star. However, with a young team that is rapidly improving, this team should be able to do even better than last season.

We could conceivably see this team in the Western Conference Finals next season if they add Pau Gasol.