Grizzlies waive Marc Gasol, paving way for 2019 Raptors champion to return to Spain

The Memphis Grizzlies have waived centre Marc Gasol days after acquiring his rights in a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Grizzlies announced the move Wednesday, clearing the way for Gasol to reportedly return to play in his home country of Spain for Girona.

They acquired Gasol from the Lakers along with a 2024 second round draft pick and cash for the draft rights to centre Wang Zhelin (57th overall in 2016) on Sept. 10. The move saved the Lakers about $10 million US against the salary cap and the league’s luxury tax.

The 36-year-old centre spent his first 11 NBA seasons with Memphis before being traded to Toronto in February 2019, where he won a championship ring later that season. Gasol also spent the following season with the Raptors before signing with the Lakers.

But he averaged a career-low 5.0 points and 4.1 rebounds per game last season in Los Angeles. The 7-foot-1 centre never found a regular role in the injury-plagued Lakers’ rotation while they lost in the first round of the postseason.

Gasol made three all-star teams during his career with the Grizzlies, who first acquired his rights from the Lakers in the trade sending his older brother, Pau, to the Lakers in November 2008. He won NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2013.

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