2. Marc Gasol
Marc Gasol appears to be the antithesis of small ball due to his size and the fact that his running is best described as lumbering, but he is a capable three-point shooter and an incredibly good passer for a center. He shot 38.5 percent from three-point range and posted a 17.3 percent assist percentage, which would have been top-5 at the center position if he played enough minutes to qualify. Gasol’s game could fit into the Rockets’ small-ball style, but that’s only half of the equation.
Gasol has long been heralded as a defensive master. In coaching circles, his ability to coordinate a defense is legendary. The Rockets, by virtue of playing small, have asked players with limited experience at center to learn on the fly. Gasol’s knowledge could help speed up the learning curve for the Rockets’ new centers. When a team like the Lakers comes to town, the Rockets will have a traditional center to try and make life difficult for Anthony Davis.
Gasol will be coveted by every contender looking to add veteran frontcourt depth. The Rockets will have to hope that Gasol isn’t just looking for the most money and can be sold on a new basketball experience. After spending so many years with the grit and grind Grizzlies and then as the Raptors traditional center, maybe the option to play in a downsized sped-up offense would appeal to Gasol.
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