Rumors came down the wire on Wednesday indicating that Toronto Raptors big man Marc Gasol had interest in returning home to join FC Barcelona for a second stint. Though the headline made the rounds on all forms of social media, it sounds like it may have been misguided.
A spokesperson from FC Barcelona issued a statement on Thursday morning, denying that Gasol was signing with the team:
An FC Barcelona spokesperson told me this morning that the club hasn’t called Marc Gasol, and he hasn’t contacted the club. “There’s nothing, nothing,” to (the rumour) Gasol is headed there, he said.
— Lori Ewing (@Ewingsports) October 1, 2020
This echoed Barcelona head coach Sarunas Jasikevicius’ sentiments of denial from Wednesday:
“We have not talked to Marc Gasol,” Jasikevicius said. “The important thing now is not to rush. If we have a real chance, we will go for it.”
Marc Gasol has spent the last season-plus with the Raptors, where he became a key piece of their 2019 championship run. A hamstring ailment limited his playing time during the regular season, which led to him making just 44 appearances. The 35-year-old center racked up averages of 7.5 points on 42.7 percent shooting from the field (38.5 percent from beyond the arc), 6.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists.
The Raptors may very well want to re-sign Gasol this offseason as a free agent, but it could still wind up not being up to them. After losing to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, he noted that he wanted to return home to his family in Spain before making a contractual decision:
“After everything, every ounce of energy is put into this game and given the circumstances that we’ve been on for the past few months, all you think about right now is trying to get to your family,” Marc Gasol said. “Whenever that process starts, as far as thinking goes, we’ll start making those decisions when the time comes. But right now, honestly, every ounce of energy I had and mind, was into just the next day.”
For now, it seems we’ll have to wait a bit longer to learn where Marc Gasol will be playing next season.