Memphis Grizzlies star Marc Gasol has insisted that he hasn’t thought about his free agency decision yet, but it sounds as though the Grizzlies are top of the list.
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Gasol insisted that he was still busy trying to figure out what went wrong for Memphis in their Western Conference semi-finals clash with the Golden State Warriors.
The Grizzlies led the series 2-1 after winning on the road at the Oracle Arena, but they went on to then lose three straight games to see their season end in disappointment.
Naturally, the focus quickly switched to the Spaniard’s future, as he is one of the top free agents to hit the market this summer when it opens for business on July 1.
While there will be plenty of interest in the talented big man, based on these comments it would appear that he has his heart set on staying at the ‘Grindhouse’.
“I think it’s going to be a well-thought decision, something you feel good about and you move forward with. I don’t see the future. I cannot imagine what it’s going to be like. But the ties to this city — to the people of this city — go beyond basketball with me. My whole family has been here since 2001,” Gasol said, as reported by ESPN.
“We’ve come a long way in the past couple of years; from where we were to where we’re at is great. But I’m never satisfied. There’s always room to grow and a lot of things you can do to get better. We have really good players. But nobody can take the team and put it on his back in a series and win four games. And I don’t think LeBron is coming through that door anytime soon or Kevin Durant or anyone of that caliber. So the players we have have got to get better.”
Gasol is in the final year of a contract extension that expires at the end of June, and it has already been suggested that the likes of the Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs and New York Knicks will all want to make a sales pitch to him to persuade him to join them ahead of next season.
The 30-year-old averaged 17.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.6 blocks per game while shooting 49.4 percent from the field in the most productive season of his NBA career so far, and so that will undoubtedly in turn raise his value even higher than it already was.
While Memphis hold the advantage in that they can offer him a max deal of $109m over five seasons, they could also offer a shorter deal in a bid to tie his future up for the time being before offering a larger deal when the new TV contract comes into effect in 2016.