After watching Marc Gasol improve last season, Memphis guard Greivis Vasquez believes his teammate can become the NBA’s best center.
And after the first-round series against San Antonio last season, Gregg Popovich and the Spurs probably would agree.
Gasol ripped the Spurs for averages of 14.1 points and 12.3 rebounds in the Grizzlies’ stunning six-game series upset in the first round last season. The 7-foot-1 Spaniard shot 53.3 percent in the series from the field against San Antonio, including 67.6 percent in the four games that the Grizzlies won in the series.
Once the lockout is over, the Grizzlies biggest immediate priority will be to sign Gasol. Greivis calls him “a very key player on our team.”
“He’s one of the best centers in the league and will end up being the best center in the NBA in 2-3 years,” Vasquez told . “He has very good chemistry with Zach Randolph. Besides, Marc is a leader. He didn’t miss a single practice all year long. And that’s commendable. He’s a model to follow. I hope he stays with us for a long time.”
The Grizzlies won their first series in team history last season when they beat the Spurs. And if they can add Gasol to their developing core of players, the Spurs and the rest of the Southwest Division will face an emerging challenge from Coach Lionel Hollins’ team in future seasons.
“Having a center like that on our team is going to give us a lot of hope,” Vasquez said. “You can shoot for the Finals and be the champion. Why not? ”
Their playoff upset over the Spurs may be only the start of the fun in “Grind City.”