H: 7' 1"|
W: 265 lbs
(31 Years Old)
|Agent: Jason Ranne |
High School: Lausanne Collegiate School
Hometown: Barcelona, Spain
Drafted: Pick 48 in 2007 by Lakers
Best Case: Mehmet Okur
Worst Case: Marc Jackson
In this of edition of our ďRookie RetrospectivesĒ series, weíll be looking at our first European player from the 2008 draft class, Marc Gasol. After an impressive international stint playing for now-defunct Akasvayu Girona of his native Spain, Gasol decided to make the jump to the NBA. With his rights traded from the Lakers to the Grizzlies during the famous Pau Gasol deal, Marc was expected to bring frontcourt toughness and an inside scoring presence to Memphis' thin front line. Throughout his rookie campaign, Gasol proved his worth as an NBA starter and was named Second Team All-Rookie at season's end. Although he may not possess the star potential of some other rookies we've covered, the Grizzlies will expect Gasol to become a major cog during the next couple seasons as he continues to adapt to the NBA.
Rookie Retrospective: Courtney Lee
Rookie Retrospective: Eric Gordon
Rookie Retrospective, Kevin Love
Rookie Retrospective, Brook Lopez
Rookie Retrospective, Greg Oden
Rookie Retrospective, Russell Westbrook
Rookie Retrospective, D.J. Augustin
Rookie Retrospective, O.J. Mayo
Rookie Retrospective, Michael Beasley
Rookie Retrospective, Derrick Rose
The current leader in efficiency rating in the ACB League, Marc Gasol has built a pretty mistake-free style of game that helps him to emerge as a statistical standout. Heís long, very strong, nicely skilled, and very smart playing the game. A menace in the low post, he shows solid footwork, a decent jump-hook and a very nice turnaround jumper. Indeed his shooting range extends out to the three-point line, while he greatly combines his scoring power with his passing game, not really looking for definitive passes, but feeding his teamís offensive flow by distributing the ball from both the high and low post.
In spite of all that, his nice effort in the quarterfinal game wasn't enough for Akasvayu Girona to overcome an extremely solid Real Madrid team. Despite being regularly double-teamed, Gasol managed to amass 19 points, most of them coming off continuations towards the basket, and other off-ball stuff near the rim. The attention he delivered from Real Madrid defense didn't allow him to produce much in one-on-one plays in the low post, but he still connected on two thunderous one-handed dunks from there, one of them after capturing the baseline with an excellent spin move where he showed nice footspeed.
However, Gasol's great statistical production doesn't always necessarily reflect a dominating performance on the floor. Indeed, it didn't in this Copa. He wasn't really a go-to guy for Girona on the offensive end (mainly because of Real Madridís double-teaming defense, that's true), but especially he doesn't make a great impact on the defensive end. His limited mobility gets exploited in pick-and-roll situations that the opponents throw at him; he's not a great intimidator, he allows smaller opponents to shoot over him; and given his superb size, he's not the best rebounder around.
Still, Pau's younger brother is one of the most promising centers in Europe, and probably an underrated piece -by the American media- in the recent blockbuster trade that involved both brothers. Anyway, he doesn't seem to fit too well with the current Memphis Grizzlies game style, but he might be a nice asset to work in a trade in the near future.
Gasol on the other hand looks like an absolute steal for the Lakers, having drafted him in the late second round (#48) this past June. His skill level is looking better and better these days, knocking down a 3-pointer calmly, hitting a pretty turnaround jumper, and doing a terrific job moving off the ball and creating space for his post-mate Vroman to operate. Heís a team player who really knows how to pass the ball and is looking much more comfortable in his own skin than we ever remembered him. He also utilized his size very nicely both on the glass and inside the paint, making his presence felt here and altering quite a few Charleroi shots. In short, weíre talking about an absolute stud at this level. Itís still not 100% clear that heís athletic enough to play substantial minutes in todayís NBA, especially early on, but to land a player this big with this kind of skill level and basketball IQ is an absolute coup. He might be the best big man in the ACB these days, which is saying an awful lot.[Read Full Article]
As usual, he didnít make much noise, nor did he capture the headlines in his teamís victory in the FIBA EuroCup. But he was again an important foundation in Akasvayuís game. Gasol has emerged as a guy you can count on in every game, whether your routine regular season visit or a crucial appointment such as the EuroCup Final Four. He did well in the semifinal, with 9 points and 6 rebounds as his team routed MMT Estudiantes. Something more was needed in the final against Azovmash, and something more he delivered: 12 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists, scoring some clutch points in the final minutes of the game to build a decisive lead in the score.
Skill wise, Marc stuck to his usual repertoire. If anything, he surprised in the final putting the ball on the floor with his right hand to attack his rival, and eventually got a trip to the free-throw line. Obviously his limited quickness is what prevents Gasol from using this kind of option more often, as he enjoys nice ball-handling skills for a seven footer. On the negative side, this Final Four again exposed that he could certainly use a better left hand. He loses space and effectiveness going for an orthodox right-handed short shot instead of a left-handed jump-hook whenever he attacks a rival from the left. At least heís nicely developing the right-handed jumphook. He will certainly need it to overcome big athletic defenders at the next level while playing in the low post.
It wasnít a matter of this game alone, but Marc Gasol is a very reliable player with an excellent basketball IQ. Heís one of those guys who always seems to be in the right place and rarely forces plays. He will pull the trigger if he sees a clear option; otherwise, he prefers to pass the ball, which he does really well. It was pretty obvious in this game.
Standing over seven feet, Gasol displays an excellent combination of strength and aggressiveness to operate in the lane. As we saw against Tau, he establishes and holds his position on a regular basis, becoming a serious threat both in terms of scoring and passing, which often ultimately ends up unbalancing the entire opposing defensive scheme. Heís not the most skilled low post guy around, but he uses his body very well and stays physical on his match-up. Heís steadily gaining accuracy with his right-handed hook, although as he showed in this game, he doesnít seem to have much ability finishing with his left and prefers to go for the turnaround jumper. Indeed, he has some range and decent accuracy with his shot, even if he didnít put it on display in this game.
Sometimes he gives up a decent scoring option and prefers to pass the ball, usually looking for an open teammate on the perimeter. Gasol is not one of these impressive post passers a la Divac or Sabonis. You will rarely see him delivering flashy assists; indeed, despite his excellent passing performance against Tau, he only added one assist to his stat-sheet. Actually, thatís more or less his average. Heís more of a passer within the flow of the game, showing a quick mind, a good basketball IQ and very nice court awareness. His passes might result in open baskets, but not necessarily for the man receiving the ball, but perhaps after the next pass.
The downside of the aforementioned physical strength for Gasol is his well-known poor conditioning and lack of athleticism. Ever since he came back from Memphis almost four years ago (apparently the Tennessee diet wasnít too keen on him), he has steadily improved his conditioning, and even if he canít be considered an athletic player, his mobility has significantly improved, even exceeding some expectations. Still, his lack of quickness eventually gets exploited in extended half-court sets, when his opponent takes him out of the paint or in pick-and-roll situations. Gasol makes up as much as heís able to with very nice positioning and good use of his body. Despite the few rejections he had on Tau players, heís not much of a shot-blocker (averaging one per game) due to his limited athleticism. Still, his positioning, good hands and effort reaps a nice amount of rebounds for him every game
Will this make the cut in the NBA? It very well could, although on a nightly basis it would also depend on which particular rivals he faces. Anyway, this game has only solidified his draft stock, and the way heís playing in the worldís toughest domestic league outside the NBA could make teams take a long look at him at the late first round.
His team lost in quarterfinals, meaning he only played one game, where he was shorthanded by foul trouble, limiting his minutes to barely 22 before fouling out. Despite that, Marc Gasol still had a nice showing. We saw the same reliable guy that has been shining all season long for the successful Akasvayu Girona, an intimidating presence on the defensive end and a solid post threat on the offensive side. Teaming up with the rest of Gironaís inside game, Gasol did a nice job slowing down Joventutís big men, taking advantage of his big 7-1 body and nice positioning, while managing not to get exposed by his lack of athleticism. When it came to showing his offensive repertoire, we saw him overpowering a rival while banging in the low post to get two easy points, moving off the ball to get open looks in the paint (on pick and roll plays) or distributing the ball from the low post-- delivering two excellent assists to teammates placed close to the basket after reacting to a defensive rotation. He finished the game with 7 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals.
Marc doesnít impress with his potential; heís a below average athlete by NBA standards, lacking quickness and leaping ability. The guy is just a good player, plain and simple. Considering heís 7-1 and a very strong guy, to think about the possibility of him going undrafted is out of the picture, while the first round shouldnít be an impossible task, even if his most likely outcome at this point seems to be somewhere in the early second round.
Marc Gasolís surprising contribution off the bench for the Spanish squad. Felipe Reyesí injury forced coach HernŠndez to use him, and ďBig MarcĒ has answered with a very steady performance, displaying intensity, excellent defense (for example, he successfully battled Sofoklis Schortsianitis in the final) and nice fundamentals near the basket. He still shows a significant lack of athleticism NBA wise, but this is certainly an upgrade after spending an entire season sitting on F.C.Barcelonaís bench.[Read Full Article]
Just a few weeks ago, nobody would have expected that Marc Gasol could make the final roster of the Spanish squad. After all, he hasnít been anything else than a very marginal player at Winterthur F.C.Barcelona this last season. However, the injury of Fran VŠzquez opened a spot in the National Teamís roster that coach Pepu HernŠndez decided to fill with a big body that can add some size to the frontcourt.
If thereís one thing that Marc definitely has, its size. Heís not only big in height, but heís a strong guy who--why not come out and say it--is a bit overweight. Heís doing a good job trying to eliminate all the baby fat he gained when he joined his brother Pau in Memphis during his first two seasons with the Grizzlies (ĎBig Marcí, some fans joke). While he is improving his athleticism hand in hand with working on his conditioning, Marc will never be a very athletic player. Heís a bit slow and heavy footed, and thatís why his NBA potential is limited.
However, the young Gasol is a rather skilled player and delivers some nice intensity. He can play in the low post, although he could take better advantage of his big body and improve his jump-hook, he has a decent mid-range jumper, can pass the ball, understands the game and can even put the ball on the floor, although itís not that much of a help considering his limited quickness. Even if not the most aggressive guy around, heís rather tough. On defense, he lacks a bit of mobility, but he doesnít show bad positioning, has a good attitude, and can eventually provide excellent size down low if needed (only his brother Pau has center size in the Spanish squad).
Still, heís a bit immature, and needs some seasoning at the top level, something that he hasnít been able to get in Barcelona and will search for next season at Girona, where he has been loaned for two seasons. He will need to work hard to make his way into the rotation, though; we're talking about a team with high expectations, with Svetislav Pesic as head coach and Dalibor Bagaric already signed for the center position.
With the Spanish National Team, heís not expected to see a good deal of action. Indeed, with only three big men besides him in the roster (Pau Gasol, Jorge Garbajosa and Felipe Reyes), itís highly likely that Carlos Jimťnez, a small forward, will be moved to the power forward spot in the important games if necessary.
Marc Gasol, Pau's brother, is trying to make a name for himself in Barcelona. He's a very skilled big man with a nice stroke and some good post moves. When we say big, we fully mean it. This kid has really suffered from being overweight in the past, and although he has been working on improving his conditioning since he came back from Memphis one year ago (he spent there two useless seasons at an American high school, apparently more concerned about eating fast food than improving his game), he still has a long way to go. F.C.Barcelona's front office apparently trusts him a lot to give him the role of first center off the bench, especially considering how injury prone Roberto DueŮas is. So it's a wonderful chance for him to show his abilities in one of the main European powerhouses. Sadly, he will start the competition sidelined because of an injury in his right foot. The truth is that it remains to be seen if his underdeveloped body can deal with such a demanding level.[Read Full Article]