Grizzlies sign 2008 ACB Most Valuable Player Marc Gasol
Memphis, July 9, 2008 — The Memphis Grizzlies signed Spanish center and 2008 ACB Most Valuable Player Marc Gasol, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.
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The younger brother of the Grizzlies’ all-time leading scorer Pau Gasol, Marc has played the last five seasons (2003-08) in the Spanish ACB League, making his professional debut as an 18-year-old with F.C. Barcelona. Most recently, he was named the league MVP after averaging 16.2 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.8 blocks for Akasvayu Girona in 2007-08.
“The Grizzlies are pleased to be adding Marc Gasol to our team,” Wallace said. “He is a very dedicated player who made major progress over the past several years and is coming off a MVP season in the Spanish ACB League, which is the premier national league in Europe.
“Marc is a very skilled center in terms of his shooting and passing, possesses outstanding toughness, and is a winning, team-oriented player. He has done a remarkable job transforming his body. Marc is one of the premier players in Europe.”
The 7-1, 280-pound center was one of two ACB players to rank in the top five in scoring (5th), rebounding (3rd) and blocks (3rd), and his .653 field goal percentage was also second in the league.
Memphis acquired Gasol’s draft rights from the Los Angeles Lakers along with guard Javaris Crittenton, forward Kwame Brown, guard Aaron McKie, two first round draft picks (2008, 2010) and cash considerations in exchange for forward/center Pau Gasol and a 2010 second round pick on Feb. 1, 2008. The Lakers originally selected Marc with the 48th overall pick in the second round of the 2007 NBA Draft.
After the Grizzlies acquired Pau Gasol on draft night in 2001, Marc followed his family to Bluff City and played two seasons of high school basketball in Memphis at Lausanne High School from 2001-03.
The 23-year-old was a member of the Gold Medalist Spanish National Team in the 2006 FIBA World Championships and the Silver Medalist squad in the 2007 FIBA European Basketball Championships. Gasol will also compete for his homeland next month in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
Widely considered to be one of the best players in Europe, Gasol will be the third Spaniard to play for the Grizzlies, joining Pau (2001-08) and Juan Carlos Navarro (2007-08).