- Marc Gasol left the Toronto Raptors to sign a two-year deal with the LA Lakers.
- Jayson Tatum will sign a designated rookie max contract with the Celtics worth up to $195 million.
- Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz agreed to the same deal.
Gasol Jumps to LA
After a year and a half among the Raptors and a won title, Marc Gasol, who became a free agent, decided to join the LA Lakers and attack the title alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Gasol will ink a two-year deal for a veteran’s minimum salary, $2.56 million per year. The Lakers had to clear the cap space in order of doing so, and that is why they sent JaVale McGee and a future second-round pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Jordan Bell and Alfonzo McKinnie, who reportedly won’t stay in LA.
Gasol was one of the key additions last year during the Raptors’ championship run. The experienced big man who was the Defender of the Year and an All-NBA and an All-Star had a massive impact during the playoffs, helping the team with his defensive skills and being the guy for special assignments.
"Hi, I'm back."— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) March 9, 2020
– @MarcGasol pic.twitter.com/ahpKVNVzYc
After losing Serge Ibaka, who also landed in Los Angeles, but only among the Clippers, the Raptors would now have to look for new faces under the rim.
Tatum and Mitchell Staying Where They Are
Arguably the two biggest talents in the league are not leaving their respective teams for at least five more years. Both Jayson Tatum and Donovan Mitchell agreed to sign a five-year extension with the Celtics and the Jazz, respectively.
The designated rookie max contract has a guaranteed value of $163 million for these five years. That sum could jump up to $195 million if a player earns a place in one of three All-NBA teams during that tenure.
Tatum was already an All-NBA third team, in 2020, but that was before this extension was signed. The third pick from the 2017 NBA draft, became the best player of the Boston Celtics over the past three years, even though there were bigger stars on the roster beside him.
During his rookie year, Tatum exploded during the playoffs, breaking many records. In the absence of both Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving, he led the Celtics to a seven-game series in the East Finals against the Cavaliers.
During the 2020 season, Tatum recorded 23.4 points per game with 7 boards.
Mitchell also emerged as the leader of the franchise during his rookie season. The sharpshooting guard imposed himself as the first option in the Jazz’s offense, and as time went by, became the cornerstone of the team.
Mitchell became an All-Star this season and had an explosion during the playoffs when he averaged 36.3 points in a seven-game series against the Nuggets. In three years of playing for the Jazz, he posted 22.7 points and 4 assists, often creating spectacular plays. Mitchell was the winner of the NBA Slam Dunk contest in 2018, and he often makes highlight reels with his ferocious jams.