Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol left Saturday night’s pre-season game against the Houston Rockets and headed back to the locker room with a slight limp. Gasol is coming off a broken foot that required surgery and ended his season back in February. The injury kept him from playing for Spain during the 2016 Summer Olympics.
The team called it a ‘sore right ankle’ and that he wouldn’t return.
Gasol was coming off the best season of his career back in 2014-15, when he averaged a career-high 17.4 points and started all 81 games that he played in. That season earned him his first All-NBA First team selection and also saw him make his second All-Star Game (with the other coming in 2012).
There have been few players as consistent since entering the league as Gasol: he’s averaged no less than 11.7 points and no more than 17.4 points, no less than 7.0 rebounds and no more than 9.3 rebounds, in any given season. He has separated himself at the center position with a reputation for being one of the best passers in the league, averaging at least 3.6 assists per game each of the last four seasons.
Taken with the 48th overall pick of the 2007 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers, Gasol was then traded for his brother Pau, and has not left Memphis since. Prior to the start of last season, he inked a max contract with the Grizzlies, which would pay him $110 million over the following five seasons.
The Grizzlies managed to make the Postseason last year despite the absence of Gasol and point guard Mike Conley. But after being knocked out by the San Antonio Spurs, the Grizzlies re-tooled by hiring a new head coach in David Fizdale for the 2016-17 season.