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Lakers trade Marc Gasol to the Grizzlies

 Lakers center Marc Gasol looks to pass while defended by Clippers forward Nicolas Batum.
Lakers center Marc Gasol looks to pass while defended by Clippers forward Nicolas Batum during a game last season.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

The Lakers have traded center Marc Gasol to Memphis, a move that will save them significant money and helps clear up the logjam the team created at center with the signings of Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan.

Gasol, an NBA champion with the Toronto Raptors, joined the Lakers in free agency before last season, but in his one year with the team, he struggled to fully integrate during the team’s injury-plagued season.

The Lakers traded a 2024 second-round pick along with Gasol to Memphis for the draft rights to Wang Zhelin, according to a person with knowledge of the deal who is not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. The move saves the Lakers more than $10 million in luxury-tax penalties and creates a roster spot.

Gasol averaged 5.0 points and 4.1 rebounds last season, eventually losing his starting spot to Andre Drummond. With the Lakers’ season on the line, the team started Gasol in Game 6 against Phoenix, and he dished out seven assists.

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According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Gasol will work with the Grizzlies on a release that will allow him to remain in Spain with his family.

Zhelin, a 27-year-old center from China, was a 2016 second-round pick. It’s the second time the Lakers have traded Marc Gasol to Memphis. The first time, they received his brother Pau in return.


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