Let's be blunt, Toronto Raptors center Marc Gasol did not play well during the NBA playoffs.
The 35-year-old big man finished his run in the bubble in Orlando, Fla. averaging just about 21 minutes in 11 games. In those games, he averaged six points, on a poor 39 percent shooting, and a miserable 18.5 percent from deep.
Gasol also seemed slower on defense than we have come to expect from the three-time NBA All Star and former Defensive Player of the Year.
Despite his poor showing in Orlando, the Warriors should still focus on adding Gasol, if possible.
The Warriors are desperate for veteran leadership, and could use experienced anchors on defense. Gasol is a cerebral player, able to play captain in the front court, the same way Andrew Bogut once did for the team. While Gasol is not a high-flying shot blocker, or even an exceptional rebounder, he is a player that brings physicality and intelligent grit underneath the hoop.
Offensively, Gasol does everything that Warriors loved in Zaza Pachulia, but with more refined skills. He is a great screen setter, and perfectly comfortable with the ball in his hands, distributing the rock to all the open shooters or cutters.
Do not let the bad numbers from the bubble create the wrong impression for his shooting ability. Since joining the Raptors halfway through the 2018-19 season, Gasol has shot 40 percent from deep in the regular season.
His overall field goal percentage has dipped since his days in Memphis, but that is because Gasol is no longer trying to score with his back to the basket, and now is relegated to spacing the floor as a spot up jump shooter.
If anything, Gasol's poor performance in Orlando might be the best blessing the Warriors could have wished for. With the financial ramifications of the pandemic still unknown, but expected to be significant, teams will be less willing to throw money to players for the sake of it.
Gasol's track record and reputation surely will stop several teams from being dissuaded simply because of his last 11 games, but even the smallest decline in his price tag will make the Warriors feel like he could be attainable on the taxpayer mid level exception.
Adding Gasol, to go with the up and coming Marquese Chriss, and the steady (when healthy) Kevon Looney, would immediately solidify the Warriors front line to a contender level.