Grizzlies sign Marc Gasol, finishing off Pau-to-Lakers trade
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Memphis Grizzlies signed Spanish center Marc Gasol on Wednesday, finishing off the last piece of a trade that sent his older brother, All-Star Pau, to the Los Angeles Lakers in February.
Marc Gasol was signed to a three-year, $9.72 million deal.
"Marc is a very skilled center in terms of his shooting and passing, possesses outstanding toughness, and is a winning, team-oriented player," general manager Chris Wallace said. "He has done a remarkable job transforming his body. Marc is one of the premier players in Europe."
The Grizzlies obtained the draft rights to the younger Gasol in the trade that also gave them guard Javaris Crittenton, forward Kwame Brown, guard Aaron McKie, cash and two first-round draft picks. Memphis used the No. 28 pick last month in a deal that landed Darrell Arthur.
The Lakers had drafted the 7-foot-1 Gasol with the 48th pick overall in 2007. Gasol played two seasons of high school basketball in Memphis while his older brother, Pau, became the Grizzlies' career leading scorer. Marc spent the past five seasons in the Spanish ACB League and was the MVP last season.
Marc said his brother didn't tell him anything negative about the Grizzlies. He also understands he will be following in his brother's footsteps for a rebuilding franchise.
"It's nothing new ... That's something that motivates me a lot. Motivation to prove to everybody I can play, but I know I can play," Gasol said at a news conference.
The 23-year-old Gasol helped Spain win gold at the 2006 FIBA World Championships and the silver medal at the 2007 FIBA European Basketball Championships. He also will play for Spain in the Olympics in Beijing.
Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni said he likes having older rookies on the team and thinks Gasol has had a chance to mature. He intends to use Gasol in the post.
"He'll have to do all the things we count on in the NBA for centers. Battle and rebound, and we also think he can be a great quarterback inside. As Chris mentioned, he's a very good passer and he can score. I think that's something every NBA team would like to have. We're going to be very patient with his progress," Iavaroni said.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.