Griz add Gasol’s bro
Posted: Thursday, July 10, 2008 9:04 pm
MEMPHIS (AP) — The Memphis Grizzlies replaced one Gasol with another Wednesday, signing Spanish center Marc to a contract and finishing off the last piece of the trade that sent his older brother, All-Star Pau, to the Los Angeles Lakers back in February.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but general manager Chris Wallace said he had been scouting the 7-foot-1, 280-pound center playing in the Spanish ACB League.
“Marc is a very skilled center in terms of his shooting and passing, possesses outstanding toughness, and is a winning, team-oriented player,” Wallace said. “He has done a remarkable job transforming his body. Marc is one of the premier players in Europe.”
The Grizzlies obtained the draft rights to the younger Gasol in the trade that also gave them guard Jarvis Crittenton, forward Kwame Brown, guard Aaron McKie, cash and two first-round draft picks. Memphis used the No. 28 pick last month in a deal that landed Darrell Arthur.
The Lakers had drafted Marc Gasol with the 48th pick overall in 2007. Gasol played two seasons of high school basketball in Memphis while older brother, Pau, worked at becoming the Grizzlies’ all-time leading scorer. Their parents still have a house in Memphis where another brother is attending school.
Marc spent the past five seasons in the Spanish ACB League and was named the MVP last season.
He said his brother didn’t tell him anything negative about the Grizzlies. He also understands he will be following in his brother’s footsteps for a rebuilding franchise.
“It’s nothing new … That’s something that motivates me a lot. Motivation to prove to everybody I can play, but I know I can play,” Gasol said at a news conference.
Gasol, now 23, helped Spain win gold at the 2006 FIBA World Championships and the silver medal at the 2007 FIBA European Basketball Championships. He also will play for Spain in the Olympics in Beijing.
Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni said he was fond of older rookies and thinks Gasol has had a chance to mature. He intends to use Gasol in the post.
“He’ll have to do all the things we count on in the NBA for centers. Battle and rebound, and we also think he can be a great quarterback inside. As Chris mentioned, he’s a very good passer and he can score. I think that’s something every NBA team would like to have. We’re going to be very patient with his progress,” Iavaroni said.