Denver Nuggets: Should the Nuggets target Marc Gasol this offseason?

 

Marc Gasol might be the right player to add to the Denver Nuggets this offseason

The Denver Nuggets’ 54-win season was an affirmation of the quality of players that Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray have developed into since being drafted by the Nuggets.

However, this offseason the Denver Nuggets to shake up their bench and Marc Gasol would be a great fit as a backup Center.

No bench player for the Nuggets had a positive plus/minus rating for the playoffs. Moreover, Monte Morris and Malika Beasley are the only players off the Nuggets bench that scored more than 10 PPG.

Marc Gasol could make a positive impact coming off of the bench for the Nuggets and be a valuable sixth man for the Nuggets. Gasol has been a fantastic center for the Toronto Raptors.

In the 2018-19 season, Gasol shot 44.2% from three-point range and averaged per 36 minutes of playing time nearly ten rebounds per game. Despite shooting more than ever before in his career, Gasol is playing the fewest number of minutes per game of his career. He will be one of the more popular free agents at the center position this summer.

Like Jokic, Gasol is one of the best passing centers in the NBA. Gasol is in the 95 percentile among NBA centers in his assist percentage.

Great players are not only able to be more involved in their team’s possessions, but also they can get teammates involved. Gasol’s assist to usage ratio is in the 97 percentile among NBA centers. Few centers can get other players involved each time they are included in a possession.

Gasol is an outstanding defensive player and is a former defensive player of the year. His defense was critical in helping the Raptors stop  Giannis Antetokounmpo, Stephen Curry, and Joel Embiid.

Gasol is also a better defender than Millsap. During the regular season, Gasol averaged a defensive win share of .127 per game. When the Raptors won during the regular season, Gasol was ranked 15th in the NBA in defensive win shares per game.

However, Gasol is currently on a lucrative contract with the Raptors. Gasol is under contract for the 2019-20 season and will make $25,595,700 if he stays with the Raptors. However, he does have a player option. The Nuggets can offer Gasol the opportunity to play with Jokic and to get a longterm contract for the rest of his NBA career.

For the 2019-2020 season, Millsap has a team option that the Nuggets can exercise that would free up nearly $30 million in additionally cap space to enable the Nuggets to sign Gasol.

His defense has been critical for the Raptors success this season. And this is definitely an area the Nuggets could use some help for the 2019-20 season.