The Toronto Raptors could look very different next season if Spanish big man Marc Gasol chooses to leave. In an interview with Raptors’ head coach Nick Nurse, Jackie MacMullan of ESPN breaks down the difficulties the Raptors face in the offseason, including the possibility of losing the veteran Gasol.
The future of his team is shrouded in some uncertainty. Nurse was given an extension by the Raptors at season’s end by team president Masai Ujiri, but Ujiri has yet to sign an extension of his own. Gasol is contemplating a return to Spain, and although a report he already has signed with Barcelona was erroneous, it might turn out to be simply premature. Nurse acknowledges that Gasol, who made $19.69 million this season, might move on. Toronto also has two key free agents in Fred VanVleet and Serge Ibaka, both of whom will draw interest in the open market.
In the interview, Nurse acknowledges the tough decision Gasol faced when Spain was locked down due to coronavirus, noting Gasol thought about sitting out of the bubble.
“It was tough for him,” Nurse said. “He operates a lot better with the ease of his family being around, and the knowledge they are doing fine. He didn’t have that comfort, and they were a long way away.”
While Gasol struggled in the bubble, the 35-year-old may still have some gas in the tank. You can read the entire interview with Nurse here.