Marc Gasol was not considered to be a cannot-miss prospect when he first came into the NBA. He was viewed as a throw-in to the Pau Gasol trade that sent the star forward to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Memphis Grizzlies did not know necessarily what they were getting, but they sure got a prized prospect in the end.
Gasol has transformed into one of the best two-way big men in the NBA thanks to his diversity of skills on both ends of the floor. Offensively, Gasol is arguably the most skilled big man in the league next to Joakim Noah. Gasol is able to play both in the high and low post due to his high basketball IQ and passing skills. In the high post, Gasol is able to face-up his man and either take him to the rim, make the open pass to a teammate for an outside shot or cut to the basket, or hit the mid-range jump shot with consistency. Down low, Gasol has the strength to back his man deep into the post and hit shots with a variety of moves, including hooks over either shoulder and a fade-away shot. Gasol’s offensive repertoire is not to be taken lightly, as he has been a go-to guy for the offense many times over the past few years.
Defensively, Gasol is able to utilize his size and length to clog the lane and really be a problem whether it be changing shots, blocking shots or just being too big of a body for opposing players to run into. Gasol does not get himself into foul trouble because he is fundamentally sound, always keeping his arms up and his feet planted when trying to contest opposing drivers.
Gasol’s diverse range of skills make him one of the best big men in the NBA, but if Gasol could be even more consistent on the offensive end and take more of a charge, he could easily be considered the best big man in the league. His defensive game is already at the top along with Noah and Dwight Howard, and his offensive game is developed enough that he could really put points on the board if he had more shot attempts per game.
Gasol has the chance to truly be a superstar big man next season, as long as he can stay aggressive and look for his own shot more often, as well as continue to be the defensive presence he has proven himself to be over the years.