In the modern era of the NBA, there is typically full transparency about a player’s free agency decisions. With the prevalence of social media, fans can find out at the snap of their fingers what song LeBron James is listening to while he works out, or what Jamal Murray is up to with his girlfriend.
So it comes as a surprise to many that there have been lingering questions in the air for several days now: is Marc Gasol really ready to retire from the NBA, and play out his final days of pro basketball with FC Barcelona? With a team as secretive as the Toronto Raptors, and a man as private as Gasol, a few contradicting reports from Twitter have yet to be confirmed.
On September 30th, Spanish reporter Sergi Carmona stated that Marc Gasol was finalizing a deal to go play with FC Barcelona in the EuroLeague, which was Gasol’s favourite team growng up.
Just a day later however, Barcelona’s head coach, Sarunas Jasikevecius, claimed that the team had not yet been involved in any discussions with Gasol, but that if they have a real chance at signing the three-time NBA All-Star, they’ll go for it.
TSN’s Josh Lewenberg also did his searching around league circles, adding that since Gasol is still under contract with the Raptors until the 2019-2020 season is over, he would be unable to discuss a new deal with any other team just yet. Lewenberg added that Gasol leaving Toronto for Spain is a probability, but that reporters have “jumped the gun” on affirming that it’s a done deal.
Ultimately, there are still unanswered questions regarding where Gasol will play next season. Carmona’s reporting on Gasol should not be taken for face value, because even if Gasol and Barcelona have had discussions under the table, nothing is official until the paperwork is signed. There’s a strong possibility that Gasol never plays another NBA game, but until he says so himself, or a more reliable NBA source confirms it, Marc is still a Raptor.