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Report: Lakers signing Marc Gasol, Raptors signing Aron Baynes and Chris Boucher

Raptors center Marc Gasol and Lakers center JaVale McGee

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 10: Toronto Raptors center Marc Gasol (33) guarded by Los Angeles Lakers center JaVale McGee (7) during a NBA game between the Toronto Raptors and the Los Angeles Lakers on November 10, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA.(Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Lakers added Gasol and won a championship.

Will it work again?

Twelve years after trading for Pau Gasol and winning the 2008 title, the Lakers are signing his brother Marc Gasol (who was drafted by the Lakers and sent to the Grizzlies in the Pau Gasol deal).

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

The Lakers already used their mid-level exception (Montrezl Harrell) and bi-annual exception (Wesley Matthews). On a two-year deal, Gasol can’t be signed-and-traded from the Raptors. Signed-and-traded players must be signed for at least three seasons.

That leaves a minimum salary for Gasol – $2,564,753 next season and (in what I wouldn’t be surprised follows a player option) $2,692,991 the following season.

Trading JaVale McGee to the Cavaliers for Alfonzo McKinnie and Jordan Bell gives the Lakers sufficient room beneath the hard cap. Re-signing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope put Los Angeles near that limit. McKinnie and Bell must have their unguaranteed salaries partially guaranteed to complete the trade, but at least one will likely be waived (or dumped elsewhere).

Gasol gives the Lakers a bigger option at center with Anthony Davis and Harrell already at the position. Gasol’s defense should help in many matchups, and the combination of Gasol’s and LeBron James’ passing ability could be special.

It’s unclear how much the 35-year-old Gasol still has in the tank, but his basketball intelligence outlasts his athleticism. H was mostly still effective for the Raptors last season. They wanted to keep him, which says something.

But Toronto is limited by its desire to preserve 2021 cap space for Giannis Antetokounmpo. That already cost the Raptors Serge Ibaka (who’s signing with the Clippers) and probably factored into Gasol’s departure.

Still, Toronto is trying to win with Pascal Siakam, Kyle Lowry, OG Anunoby and a re-signed Fred VanVleet (whom the Raptors valued enough to give a long-term deal).

So, Toronto will fill its need for bigs by signing Aron Baynes and re-signing Chris Boucher.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

Bobby Marks of ESPN:


Losing Ibaka and Gasol hurts, but Baynes (bigger, stronger) and Boucher (thinner, quicker) should form a nice 1-2 punch at center.

Presumably, Boucher – like Baynes – has a team option or unguaranteed salary on his second season.

The Suns lose Baynes after structuring the Chris Paul trade to maintain Baynes’ Bird Rights. That leaves a hole at backup center behind Deandre Ayton, one I’m not sure No. 10 pick Jalen Smith is ready to fill.

If kept, McGee adds depth behind Andre Drummond at center in Cleveland after Tristan Thompson left for the Celtics. But for the Cavs, this was mainly about adding a second-rounder.