It was an eventful free agency period for the Los Angeles Lakers as they bolstered the roster with a mix of young talent and veterans who should help them repeat as champions.
Looking to improve the center position, the Lakers traded away JaVale McGee to the Cleveland Cavaliers and agreed to terms on a two-year contract with Marc Gasol. Gasol figures to slot in as the starter which means he will often share the floor with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
“Just learning, being part of that and trying to add my experience to make the team a little better, if possible,” Gasol said of getting to play alongside James.
“The attributes that I have as a player, obviously there’s some things I don’t have. I don’t have above-the-rim lob threat all the time but I can do a lot of other stuff to help the team win and be better and help my teammates be better as well.”
The big man also outlined what he thinks he can do with Davis. “You can call him a big, but he’s so unique,” Gasol explained. “I can do different things around the court to create space for him, try to give him easy baskets — not only for him but any teammates.
“I always look to make their job easier on offense, try to have the defense chasing the ball a little bit and not knowing what’s going to happen.
Playing next to two stars will be new for Gasol, but there is not a better pair to do so with than James and Davis. At this point in his career, the Spaniard will not be asked to do much, but the skills he does bring should elevate the team as a whole.
Marc Gasol and LeBron James bring more passing ability to offense
Gasol is one of the best passing big men in the league, meaning the offense should flow much more smoothly when he and James are on the floor. It seems like a natural fit, but Gasol is waiting until they actually play together before making any declarations.
“We’re going to have to see it on the floor and see how it works,” he said. “Obviously I’m a pass first kind of guy, and he’s going to score too. Whenever he decides to score, he’s going to score. So at that point you try to give him space and create angles for him, keep your guy occupied as much as possible.
“It’s going to be a team thing more than anything. … Having him as a quick outlet and easy target or even Anthony Davis, when he contests the shot and runs, and the wings, it’s going to be fun. But it all starts with getting those stops.”
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