MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Memphis Grizzlies have signed All-Star center Marc Gasol to a multi-year contract, fulfilling the team’s top priority this offseason.
The team announced Gasol’s signing Monday after scheduling a Tuesday news conference for a “major announcement.” Although the Grizzlies didn’t release terms of the deal, The Associated Press previously reported Gasol had agreed on a five-year maximum contract worth more than $100 million.
“For many years, Marc has been a pillar of our franchise and in a Memphis community that has watched him become one of the best basketball players in the world, so this is a great day for our team, our city and our fans across the Mid-South and worldwide,” general manager Chris Wallace said in a statement.
Gasol didn’t rush into free agency, meeting only with Grizzlies owner Robert Pera in Spain before agreeing to a new deal.
The 7-foot-1 Spaniard is coming off the best season of his career, earning a starting spot in the All-Star game. He also became the first Grizzlies player voted to the All-NBA first team.
Gasol averaged 17.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.62 blocks this past season. He set career highs for total points, scoring average, field goals made and attempted. He scored 30 or more points five times, something he did only once through his first six years combined.
Now 30, Gasol has teamed with Zach Randolph to give the Grizzlies a ferocious front line that endeared them to a city hungry for success. With Gasol leading the way, and maturing from a doughy youngster into a chiseled veteran, the Grizzlies have made a franchise-record five straight playoff appearances. They have reached the Western Conference semifinals three times and made a stirring run to the conference finals in 2013.
The Grizzlies also have won at least 50 games in each of the past three seasons.
Gasol already ranks second in franchise history with 517 career games played and 510 starts.
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