Warriors’ potential MLE target Marc Gasol to not return to NBA

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It seems like the Golden State Warriors perfect mid-level exception target, Marc Gasol, will not be returning to the NBA but instead heading to play in Spain.

The Golden State Warriors have their mid-level exception to use this offseason.

We’ve outlined their top targets, and Marc Gasol checks almost every box. He’d be the quintessential addition for them. He’s tall, can block shots, can shoot, and can switch onto guards with relative ease.

Sadly, the Toronto Raptors’ center may not be coming back to the NBA. Reports from Spanish journalist Sergi Carmona are that he may be leaving for FC Barcelona, but it’s yet to be confirmed by the organization.

Here’s what Complex’s Yalex Nino Gheciu said on the report.

“NBA Twitter has been abuzz with speculation that centre Marc Gasol will be going home to Spain and signing with FCB Barcelona next season, according to a report by Spanish journalist Sergi Carmona. If the rumour is true, it would mark the end of his tenure as a Toronto Raptor, as well as his illustrious NBA career.

“This report, however, has been contradicted by Barcelona coach Sarunas Jasikevicius, who apparently told a journalist that the club has not spoken with Gasol, according to Sportnado’s Emiliano Carchia. “We have not talked to Marc Gasol,” he’s quoted as saying. “The important thing now is not to rush. If we have a real chance, we will go for it.’” Nino Gheciu wrote.

It seems like Gasol may be going back home, and it’d make sense given that he’s clearly not the player that won Defensive Player of the Year back in the early 00s. Gasol is still a capable backup center and a player the Warriors would love to have on their roster.

A big-time piece of the Raptors championship-winning roster from a season ago, Gasol helped defeat the Warriors in six games during the 2019 NBA Finals. Both Gasol and Serge Ibaka along with Pascal Siakam and Kawhi Leonard combined to make a dynamic frontcourt for the Warriors.

The 6-foot-11 veteran has 12 years of NBA experience. Gasol has played in the Spanish league before, so these reports don’t seem like anything too out of the blue.

And, with Gasol finishing his worst season in the NBA, averaging under eight points per game, there’s no denying the thought of going against easier competition in Europe hasn’t crossed his mind.

It’s sad to see him go, but if the reports come to fruition, Gasol had one impressive career in the NBA. With a DPOY, three All-Star appearances, and a championship to his name, Gasol has done just about everything at the highest level.

Next: Top 30 Golden State Warriors players in franchise history

He’d be a great addition to the Warriors, but sadly, it doesn’t seem like it’d happen.