Marc Gasol's decision to join the Los Angeles Lakers on a one-year deal was one of the less-heralded moves of the offseason. Which makes sense. Gasol is a few years past his prime at this point and will not appear on the court for the Lakers when the minutes matter most, given Anthony Davis' effectiveness as a small-ball five.
But the signing should have been more widely talked about, if only for entertainment purposes. Gasol is not going to make or break a championship for any team at this point in his career, but my god is the man still fun to watch. He's super-smart defensively and still possesses elite passing vision, able to make passes that few other players in the league can even recognize as possible, much less execute.
And where did he decide to sign? A team with another genius passer in LeBron James and two excellent defenders in James and Davis. Two preseason games in and Gasol's ability to move the basketball has been prominently on display.
Yeah, yeah, it's preseason, blah blah blah. Look at that wraparound pass just before the two-minute mark!
Passers the level of Gasol or James make everybody around them look much better. But when you pair such players with other cerebral talents, it's even better. Here's the AD Hail Mary that got everyone abuzz and inspired this here article from last night.
An entire season's worth of no-look dishes and behind-the-back assists and all the other basketball passes imaginable. Gasol and LeBron will be putting on a clinic. Davis will be feasting off the open space he'll find thanks to their vision and court manipulation.
Basketball is back and it is fun. Gasol is one of the players who makes it fun. And now, for the first time in his career, he's lining up next to another otherworldly passer. It's going to be awesome.