NBA rumors: Marc Gasol, Lakers agree to contract; JaVale McGee traded

Ali Thanawalla
·3 min read

Report: Gasol, Lakers agree to deal; JaVale traded to Cavs originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Los Angeles Lakers look like they are serious about defending their 2020 NBA championship.

The latest series of moves will further cement them as the favorites during the 2020-21 NBA season.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Sunday, citing sources, that the Lakers are trading center JaVale McGee and a future second-round draft pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers for two former Warriors -- Jordan Bell and Alfonzo McKinnie.

That trade reportedly was made as a precursor to another move: Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe reported moments later, citing sources, that free agent Marc Gasol has agreed to a two-year contract with the Lakers.

The Warriors reportedly were interested in Gasol, but instead, he decided to go to one of their biggest rivals. On Sunday, he reportedly ruled out Golden State, turning his focus to the Lakers and Toronto Raptors.

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Before all the offseason wheeling and dealing began, the Warriors thought they would be able to compete with the Lakers for the Western Conference crown.

After all, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson were supposed to be healthy for the 2020-21 season.

But then Thompson suffered a torn Achilles hours before the NBA draft Wednesday. That changed things a bit. The Warriors have added Kelly Oubre Jr., James Wiseman, Brad Wanamaker and Kent Bazemore, but the Lakers' moves might be more significant.

Before and after Thompson's injury, the Lakers have been hard at work to retool their roster. It started with the acquisition of Dennis Schroder, a replacement for Rajon Rondo.

Then the Lakers reportedly added Wesley Matthews and Montrezl Harrell in free agency, filling the voids left by Avery Bradley and Dwight Howard, who agreed to contracts elsewhere. They also reportedly brought back Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

Now, the Lakers reportedly are adding Gasol. And don't forget, they likely will come to terms on a new contract with Anthony Davis at some point this week.

The Lakers are going to be scary good and scary deep when the season opens Dec. 22.

RELATED: Bazemore reportedly turned down eight teams to join Warriors

Gasol is 35 years old and has lost a step, but he gives coach Frank Vogel another solid defender to put on the court. If Vogel chooses to do it, he could have Gasol, Harrell, Davis and LeBron James on the court at the same time, creating a formidable defensive lineup with whoever the fifth player is.

The Warriors knew they were going to have to go through the Lakers to get back to the top of the NBA mountain, but the Lakers just made the climb even harder.