Toronto Raptors C Marc Gasol is coming off a disappointing 2019-20 season. Heading into free agency at the age of 35, there are rumors that Gasol will head back to Spain to play hoops, leaving the NBA. For now it’s just a rumor as nobody in the U.S. is reporting the news. Sergi Carmona in Barcelona is saying that Gasol is heading to play for FCB next season. Raptors radio play-by-play guy Eric Smith mentioned the rumor on his Twitter feed as well.
Reports swirling that Marc Gasol is going home...he'll play in Spain next season.— Eric Smith (@Eric__Smith) September 30, 2020
What a run he had in the @nba w/ his incredible years w/ the @memgrizz & the experience/savvy/skill/professionalism he brought to the @Raptors - especially in their 2019 championship run - as well. pic.twitter.com/xm6uuW7LXs
Gasol’s contract will be up with the Raptors once the calendar for this season flips. Instead of trying to get a deal with a contender at likely the veteran’s minimum, Gasol will leave the turmoil in the United State and go back to Barcelona. Seems like a pretty great move if you ask me. Gasol likely wasn’t re-signing with Toronto coming off a poor year averaging 7.5 points and 6.3 rebounds in 44 games.
This doesn’t impact the Raptors and free agency all that much. Toronto sheds $25.5 million in salary from Gasol and has one less decision to make this offseason. The Raptors will need to focus on re-upping both Fred VanVleet and Serge Ibaka. I’ve mentioned before that the right thing to do seems like locking up FVV to replace Kyle Lowry at PG after next season and trying to get Ibaka to stay on a team-friendly deal. Both seem likely. It would keep Toronto competitive in the East and the Raps would still have plenty of cap flexibility to add another piece.