The San Antonio Spurs could make Memphis Grizzlies star Marc Gasol their top free agency target if legends Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili retire this summer.
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While there has been no announcements from either Duncan or Ginobili yet, the pair are in the final years of their respective contracts and so there is a possibility that they will call time on the playing careers at the end of the season.
With Tony Parker continuing along with coach Gregg Popovich, the defending champions may need to make some adjustments and those reportedly start with signing Gasol in free agency.
“It depends on what Tim and Manu and everyone there does,” one Western Conference executive told Sporting News.
“But if they’re going, the Spurs are not going to step back and rebuild, no one thinks that. The understanding is Gasol would be their top target.”
Another general manager added while the Spurs tend to fly under the radar with their moves in the market, they haven’t gotten to where they are today without being prepared.
As a result, he expects them to either make a big move in free agency or trade for a Draft pick on Draft night and it will be someone that not many will expect.
However, Gasol is unlikely to leave Memphis as the Spaniard is already playing with a playoff-ready team and will be able to sign a more lucrative contract with the franchise at the end of the year.
In contrast, the Grizzlies have been struggling since the All-Star break with reports that Zach Randolph was furious with the team after a recent loss and so all may not be well within the camp as we reach a critical stage of the season.
Whether or not that is enough to push Gasol towards the exit door coupled with another potential failure in the post-season this year remains to be seen, but the Spurs may well be monitoring his situation closely.