As expected, veteran center Marc Gasol has announced that he’ll resume his playing career with Girona, a team based in Catalonia, Spain (video link). Gasol is also the owner and president of the franchise, which plays in the LEB Oro, Spain’s second league.
A three-time All-Star and the NBA’s 2013 Defensive Player of the Year, Gasol spent the 2020-21 season with the Lakers, but his relationship with the team soured after L.A. signed Andre Drummond as its new starting center in the second half. The Lakers didn’t re-sign Drummond during the offseason, but added centers Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan, paving the way for Gasol’s exit. He was traded to the Grizzlies in a salary-dump deal and Memphis subsequently waived him.
Gasol’s desire to return home to Spain was a factor in his split with the Lakers. Reports all the way back in mid-September indicated that he would likely end up joining Girona, but it took him a little while to finalize that decision. FC Barcelona was among the other teams in Europe that attempted to recruit Gasol as he weighed his options.
Gasol, who will turn 37 in January, would likely have NBA suitors if he decided to return stateside. Although he’s not the perennial All-NBA candidate he once was, the veteran big man remains a savvy defender and a strong passer who can stretch the floor on offense. However, it’s unclear whether or not he intends to attempt an NBA comeback either later this season or further down the road.
Gironia is off to a 2-7 start in LEB Oro play so far this season, so Gasol will be looking to reverse the team’s fortunes and push for a playoff spot.