Marc Gasol, Akasvayu Girona’s massive center, will announce today in a press conference that he will accept a three-year offer from the Memphis Grizzlies and join the NBA this autumn.
In an offseason in which the more frequent trend has been to leave the NBA to return to Europe (Navarro, Garbajosa, Delfino, Brezec, etc.), the younger brother of NBA Finalist Pau Gasol is going the other way and will join the US league despite big offers from European teams such as FC Barcelona, Real Madrid or Unicaja Malaga.
Together with Rudy Fernandez, who is joining the Portland Trailblazers, the NBA will see a second Spaniard moving aboard to fulfill his dream of playing against the best players in the world. As he was only picked at no. 48 overall in the 2007 NBA Draft, Gasol has a lot of liberty when it comes to his salary expectations and the Grizzlies have most likely offered him an interesting package.
Memphis now really seems the most favored destinations of Spanish NBA players, having already featured Pau Gasol, played this last season with Juan Carlos Navarro, and boasts Marc Gasol from this fall on. However, Memphis was unable to win a single playoff game with any of their Spanish guys so it will be interesting to see if Marc can help improve on this. At least, he should be enough to make a bigger impact than current Grizzlies centers Kwame Brown and Darko Milicic.
Grizzlies fans, be prepared to see a MVP joining your team and a possible candidate for the Rookie of the Year trophy!