Marc Gasol Trade Rumors: Hornets in 'Strong Talks' with Grizzlies to Acquire C

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 5, 2019

Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol shoots against the Charlotte Hornets in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Feb. 1, 2019. Charlotte won 100-92. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)
Nell Redmond/Associated Press

The Memphis Grizzlies are reportedly in "strong talks" to trade Marc Gasol to the Charlotte Hornets, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

The center will sit Tuesday in anticipation of a trade, although the two sides are still discussing the framework of the deal, per Charania.

Gasol has spent the past 10-plus seasons with the Grizzlies, but he will become an unrestricted free agent this summer if he declines his $25.6 million player option for 2019-20.

Zach Lowe of ESPN noted Friday that the Hornets were an "obvious fit" for the 34-year-old center, although he noted teams were waiting on the Grizzlies' asking price to drop.

Gasol is currently averaging 15.7 points, 8.6 rebounds and a career-high 4.7 assists per game this season. His scoring is down from when he earned three All-Star selections, but he has improved his passing while becoming a threat from beyond the arc.

He is also a quality rim protector who was named the league's Defensive Player of the Year in 2012-13.

Gasol would be a valuable addition for Charlotte, which should be desperate for frontcourt help. Starting center Cody Zeller is averaging only 9.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, and he has been in and out of the lineup while dealing with injuries.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Gasol would be a significant upgrade at center, and he would give the Hornets another threat beyond Kemba Walker.

Adding Gasol could be enough for the 26-26 Hornets to climb the Eastern Conference standings and attempt to win their first playoff series since 2002.