Though he was actually drafted by the Lakers in 2007, Marc Gasol never got a chance to suit up for the Lakers, as he was quickly traded to Memphis.
Now, 13 years later, Gasol is finally headed to Los Angeles for real.
Gasol signed a two-year, $5.3 million deal with the Lakers this offseason, following his two-year stint with the Toronto Raptors.
“It was tough. It was very hard,” Gasol said Wednesday, via ESPN. “The first couple days [of free agency] were a little tough for me, but once you kind of decide, ‘OK, what [do] you want to do next? Where? How [do] you want to go about your next challenge?’ I thought the right thing to do was go with Lakers.”
Gasol averaged 7.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game last season with the Raptors, one season after he helped lead them to the franchise’s first ever NBA title.
While he could have stayed in Toronto and been a major key in their rotation, the 35-year-old opted instead to team up with LeBron James and Anthony Davis in Southern California.
“Having a chance at being a part of a great team and seeing how the coach [Frank Vogel] and the GM [Rob Pelinka] and everyone felt that I could contribute to that, that to me said a lot,” Gasol said, via ESPN. “A team that just won a championship pitching those ideas to you, and that to me was awesome.
Pau doesn’t have any Lakers advice
While Gasol has plenty of experience under his belt — he’s preparing to start his 13th season in the league — he has the added benefit of having a brother who spent most of his career with the Lakers.
Pau Gasol played for the Lakers from 2007-2014 and won two titles there in 2009 and 2010.
Though one would think Gasol’s older brother would have some advice to give him before his jump to Los Angeles, he said the two haven’t talked about it.
“He hasn’t given me any advice,” Marc Gasol said of Pau, via ESPN. “It’s a completely different team than it is now. I don’t think there’s any players left from back then, and a completely different coaching staff, so it’s up to me to make it work more than anything.”
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