Cleveland Cavaliers: If LeBron James Stays, Should Team Make A Trade For Marc Gasol?

The Cleveland Cavaliers have one main offseason goal and that is to keep LeBron James in a Cavs’ uniform. For that to happen, the Cavaliers must improve where it matters most. The roster is a who’s who of talent drafted by other teams and yet, they still made it to the NBA Finals for a fourth straight season. But still, something or someone was missing and the answer to that may be Marc Gasol.

Just this past season, the Memphis Grizzlies were shopping their start Center. Not because of declining play on Gasol’s part but due to high salary and the team in rebuild mode. If the Cavaliers can somehow offer a package the Grizzlies would be comfortable with, Gasol is easily the defensive anchor the Cavs been missing since LeBron came back home.

In 2017, Gasol averaged 17.2 points and 8.1 rebounds in 73 games while shooting 42 percent. What also hurt Gasol last year was the absence of Mike Conley and Zach Randolph. With Gasol left to fend for himself, the Grizzlies finished the season 22-60. But fear not Cavs fans, this was just Marc Gasol looking to do whatever he could to get his team wins. Over the course of his NBA career, Gasol stayed away from the three-point line. But with the team struggling, he was forced to take 4.4 shots from beyond the arc. That’s the reason for his dip in percentage.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Now, with the Cavs, he will not have to step beyond the three-point line. The Cavs are in desperate need of a solid rim protector as Kevin Love nor Tristan Thompson has provided such during their time manning the paint. This is what Gasol does almost as well as any post player. Not forgetting to mention, that he has a pretty decent offensive post game to boot.

What Cleveland has to think about is Gasol’s contract. He’s set to take home $24 million in 2018 but he has the option to opt-in for the 2019 season which could cost the Cavs an additional $25.5 million. With the Cavs’ cap already bloated, they may not want to spend more and this could be an issue depending on what type of deal LeBron decides to stay on.

The Cavs will have to offer up young players like Larry Nance and maybe Jordan Clarkson when they probably may want to include Thomspon and J.R. Smith in the deal. The Grizzlies may balk at that second package due to on and off-court baggage both players will bring with them.

However, with Marc Gasol being dangled, the Cleveland Cavaliers have no choice but to swing for the fences.

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