According to the latest reports by The Athletic's Bill Oram, the LA Lakers signing Andre Drummond not only demoted Marc Gasol to third-string center, it also soured the relationship beyond repair between the Spanish veteran and the front office.
Before Rob Pelinka decided to bring Drummond over to bolster their paint, Marc Gasol started every game as the center. But with Montrezl Harrell and Andre Drummond taking care of business post-trade, Gasol's minutes and significance plummeted dramatically.
The LA Lakers eventually realized that they had messed this one up. Drummond claerly did not provide the floor-spacing, passing and three-point shooting that Marc Gasol brought to the floor.
Marc Gasol's evolving relationship with the LA Lakers
Before injuries gulped the LA Lakers' season whole, Marc Gasol was the perfect pairing alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The superstars covered for his lack of athleticism and the Spaniard encouraged electric ball movement via fastbreak full-court passes and played his defensive role methodically.
To make matters worse, Drummond could only contribute as high as 12 points per game, an anomaly that got magnified when the stars went down with injuries. Coach Frank Vogel had to fall back on Marc Gasol on several occasions to provide that streaky offensive spark off the bench.
The LA Lakers could've really leveraged Marc Gasol's abilities into another title ring, but the front office got greedy.
As the fallout from the past season ensues, the current status quo has seen Marc Gasol (along with a second-round pick in the 2024 NBA draft and cash considerations) being traded to the Memphis Grizzlies for the draft rights to 2016 second-round selection Wang Zhelin in return.
In the 52 appearances that he made for the LA Lakers last season, the Barcelona native averaged 5.0 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.1 blocks. As far as Marc Gasol's pro career is concerned, he will most likely work on a contract buyout with the Grizzlies and stay in Spain, with an eventual return to the NBA still fairly unclear.