LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Lakers are now cementing their defending championship run by putting an additional pillar in their roster as they added a versatile big man with championship experience and started his career as a member of the purple and gold squad.
Numerous sources shared to ESPN's Zach Lowe and Adrian Wojnarowski that the Defending Champs, LA Lakers, are now finalizing a two-year deal with center Marc Gasol.
The said free-agent signing will pry Gasol away from a number of other interested organizations as they offered a longer deal, which required Rob Pelinka, the Lakers Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager to do some maneuvering in managing the salary cap of the franchise, CBS Sports reported.
According to Bleacher Report, a source told Wojnarowski that the Lakers will be trading their center JaVale McGee and a future second-round pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers as a way to make some room for signing the versatile center.
The source also added that the Cavaliers will be sending Alfonzo McKinnie and Jordan Bell to the Lakers as part of the deal.
Based on the information given by Bobby Marks of ESPN, Gasol will be signing for the equivalent of the minimum salary of a veteran for a player with 10-plus years of service in the league with $2.56 million annually.
However, since the Big man will be signing a two-year deal, the Lakers will not be receiving the usual cap relief that comes from signing a player to the minimum veteran contract.
Based on the standard procedure, a veteran's minimum one-year contract counts as only $1,620,564 against the cap, along with the league footing the rest of the bill.
It is a way that allows cap-strapped contenders to continue to field competitive rosters on a yearly basis.
Franchises that are considered high-profile teams who are also signing veteran players compare to picking younger and cheaper but unproven talent in the league is also a healthy move for the NBA as it keeps the players in the NBA, a league that has invested a huge portion of their earnings in marketing to develop familiarity and connection with its fans not only in the United States but also worldwide.
Because the Lakers will be signing Gasol to a two-year deal, the contract will be ineligible from the approximate $1 million in cap relief from the league in every season.
According to Marks, both Bell and McKinnie will be receiving $1.8 million each but they will on a non-guaranteed contract for 2020-2021.
In order for the Lakers franchise to make the money between them and McGee, the Lakers-center who opted into his $4.2 million contract for the next season, based on the trade guidelines of the league, the Lakers will have to guarantee part of their contracts.
As one of the best passing and versatile big man on both ends of the floor in the league, Gasol will be a threat on offense and defense for other NBA teams and he will also cover for the center position for Anthony Davis to ensure that the 'Brow' will be healthy when the playoff comes and as a reliable center for the purple and gold squad due to the departure of Dwight Howard, who is now part of the Philadelphia 76ers and McGee.
The big man was initially drafted by the Lakers in 2007 but had his rights traded to Memphis before playing an NBA game, for his brother, Pau Gasol who had a successful career also as a Laker, Los Angeles Times reported.