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NBA Trade Rumors: Kings have expressed interest in Marc Gasol

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Wait, what?

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Kimani Okearah

The Sacramento Kings have expressed interest in trading for Marc Gasol, according The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor. The Memphis Grizzlies finally made the decision to shop Gasol and Mike Conley as the league approaches the February 7th trade deadline. Nonetheless, this is a surprising rumor to see the Kings included in, for a variety of reasons.

So far, Gasol is generating more chatter on the market than Conley. The Kings and Pistons have expressed interest, according to multiple league sources. The Grizzlies are trying to make a deal including Chandler Parsons, who signed a four-year, $94.4 million contract with Memphis in 2016 and has managed to play only 73 games due to injuries. Gasol has a player option for next season worth $25.6 million, so including Parsons’s albatross contract will be complicated financially.

Marc Gasol is a still a very good NBA player, although not as good as he once was. He’s 33 years old and on a huge contract this year and next. Just from a fit standpoint, it doesn’t make sense that the Kings would add an aging, expensive big man that would presumably slow the development of Marvin Bagley III and Harry Giles.

It also doesn’t make sense from a trade standpoint. Everything we’ve heard reported is that the Kings aren’t trading their young core. The Grizzlies wouldn’t be getting De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Bagley, or Giles. Are they really going to trade Marc Gasol for expiring contracts and second round picks? It seems unlikely.

More than anything, this feels like agents using the Kings’ name for posturing. “Look, there’s interest!” As Sam Amick recently detailed for The Athletic, this is probably one of dozens of phone calls that happened but never went anywhere. Amick quotes Celtics assistant GM Mike Zarren:

I used to have a running joke with (Miami Heat senior vice president of basketball operations and general manager) Andy Elisburg, that every time I called them I would ask about LeBron (James), and he would say ‘No,’ and then I could say ‘Sources say Celtics and Heat have discussed LeBron.’ Which we did. I mean, clearly we discussed it. It was an instant no, but…

I imagine this is very similar. I’m sure the Kings have talked to the Grizzlies. I’m sure they’ve offered expiring contracts and second round picks. I’d be surprised if this ends up going anywhere.

The Kings will be mentioned in a lot of rumors over the next two weeks. Buckle up.