The Grizzlies plan to work on a waiver and release to allow Gasol to remain in Spain with his family, sources told ESPN.
The Lakers will save approximately $10 million in salary and luxury tax and acquire the draft rights to Memphis’ Wang Zhelin. The Lakers have 13 guaranteed contracts before the start of training camp this month.
After the tumult of the Orlando bubble in 2020 and the COVID-19 restrictions of the 2020-21 season, Gasol made a decision to remain with his family in Spain for the start of the 2021-22 season, sources said.
His professional career started in 2003 with FC Barcelona in Spain, and his NBA career started with Memphis in 2008. It was a Lakers-Grizzlies trade before his rookie season that included his older brother, Pau, that set the stage for a successful 11-year run with the Grizzlies.
Gasol, 36, has won an NBA championship, won two Olympic silver medals, made three All-Star teams and earned an NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award and All-NBA first-team honors. After the Lakers signed two former All-Star centers this summer — Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan — it appeared Gasol’s role would be increasingly limited.
Gasol had a $2.7 million deal for the 2021-22 season. The Lakers signed him to a two-year free-agent deal in 2020 after he spent a season-plus in Toronto Raptors, where he was part of a 2019 NBA championship team.