A Wheeler's Opinion: Will it Work?
The Memphis Grizzlies have been in a free-fall after a promising start to the 2017-2018 season. Their latest setback? A 98-88 defeat at the hands of the Brooklyn Nets in a game where Marc Gasol was benched in the 4th quarter. That latest loss was their 8th consecutive loss for Memphis which is missing Mike Conley due to injury. And Marc Gasol didn't hide his frustration over the coaching staff's decision to bench him, saying that he was angrier than he was showing.
Could this mean that there is a friction between Gasol and the Memphis coaching staff?
According to Coach David Fizdale, his decision to bench his starting center was due to the fact that the reserves of Memphis had been playing well in the 4th quarter and the Grizzlies actually managed to cut down the Nets' lead to 5 points. While a 19-point lead was probably too much for the Grizzlies to overcome, the Grizzlies would have inched closer had Gasol was called back and was able to contribute down the stretch.
Unfortunately for Memphis, Brooklyn held on for the win, leaving Memphis fans questioning: What is happening to the Grizzlies?
Marc Gasol has been playing one of his best seasons for the Grizzlies as he is leading his team in 4 of the 5 major departments in basketball, including 4 assists per game- a talent we all see from his brother, Pau. However, some pundits are now saying that if the Grizzlies still want to save what's left of their season and hopefully still make the playoffs, the front office might want to consider trading Marc Gasol.
Considering the latest incident between him and David Fizdale, Marc Gasol has grown unhappy. He will continue to play as long as the coach wants him to but that doesn't take away the fact that he felt disrespected by that decision of Fizdale.
The Grizzlies have a choice: Rebuild and trade Gasol
Due to his height and abilities, Marc Gasol remains among of the most sought-after big men in the league. He was almost dealt with the Toronto Raptors last December along with Vince Carter but that deal never materialized. And last September, rumors popped out the Cleveland Cavaliers were interested in acquiring Gasol in a trade. That stayed a rumor though.
Will it work?
Probably. The Cavs are in dire need of a more consistent center because Kevin Love cannot play the center position efficiently and, Tristan Thompson is still out. The Grizzlies, on the other hand, need younger guys plus a notable role player who can score anytime. The Cavs can consider offering Tritan Thompson, Iman Shumpert and the draft pick that they are holding from the Nets in exchange for Gasol.
The Grizzlies' troubles won't end as Chandler Parsons sat out the rest of the game against the Nets- adding to the injury problem. Trading Marc Gasol may be a big step for the Grizzlies but if they want to start fresh without all of those tensions, sacrifices must be made. However, they also need to keep in mind that by trading away Marc Gasol, it would mean that they would need to find someone to score 19 points per game, too.