Ed. Note: Today we start our free agent profiles, looking at 20-25 likely free agents and how they might fit in Dallas leading up to July.
In all the hullabaloo surrounding the possibility of DeAndre Jordan landing in Dallas, it seems the spotlight has been taken off another, arguably better option at center for the Dallas Mavericks: Marc Gasol.
The 7'1 center has been incredible for the Memphis Grizzlies, helping lead the Grizz to three Western Conference semifinals in the past five years, something unheard of for the Memphis franchise. Playing alongside the likes of Zach Randolph and Mike Conley, Gasol and Co. have built the Grizzlies into a perennial top-5 scoring defense.
Despite averaging 17.4 points and 7.8 rebounds per game during the regular season, Gasol encountered some criticism from Memphis fans down the stretch as his production dipped slightly. He responded by averaging 19.7 points and 10.3 rebounds per game in two playoff series, including a 21-point, 15-rebound outing that helped Memphis gain a 2-1 lead on Golden State in the semifinals.
There's no doubt that Gasol will command a max contract wherever he goes, and he'll be well worth those dollars. And with reports circling last week that the Mavs were going to put together a max deal for the 30-year-old, there's a chance, however minimal, Gasol could wind up in Dallas.
Fit with the Mavericks
Gasol would be able to lock down the paint for Dallas in similar fashion to Tyson Chandler, but the real upgrade would come on the offensive end of the court. Gasol's ability to work off the post, creating shots for himself and teammates, would open up quite a few things for Dirk and Parsons. His range would also help spread the floor a bit.
However, I wonder about how well he would rebound with a team like Dallas, where he'd be the lone guy capable of pulling down boards. It's different than playing next to guys like Randolph, who have no issues with mixing things up in the paint.
Ultimately there's a reason the Mavs are focusing on Jordan and not Gasol, and that's because the likelihood of landing Jordan is exponentially higher. But, it's fun to dream, and there's no doubt I'd take Gasol over Jordan if given the chance.
Marc Gasol changed his diet last offseason, and it resulted in the best year of his career.
SB Nation looks at four possible Gasol destinations. Guess who isn't on the list!