Los Angeles Lakers were among the winners of free agency, adding several veteran players on cap-friendly deals. They also made the blockbuster trade of the summer by acquiring Russell Westbrook.
In an appearance on the Lowe Post podcast with Zach Lowe, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne revealed there was a potential sign-and-trade deal with Minnesota that included Marc Gasol and Alex Caruso.
“[Caruso] had a couple of deals, somewhere around the mid-level. One was a team that didn’t have to do a sign-and-trade, and that was the Bulls, and that was the one he preferred anyway. But I heard the Timberwolves were in on this. It would have been a sign-and-trade, and they actually would have taken back Marc Gasol.
Like that could have been salary cap relief for the Lakers, not just a trade exception. So we’ll see if they end up needing those exceptions, we’ll see if they end up needing those extra tools to build this roster out, but I think that’s really where we’re going to decide ‘was the Westbrook trade a success?’”
As Shelburne noted, this type of deal not only would it have given the team a trade exception that could have allowed them to trade for another player, it would have also created a little more salary-cap space that could have led them to another signing.
As of now, Gasol revealed he will be returning to the Lakers for the 2021-22 season campaign, but, with the additions the team has made this offseason, no one is sure exactly what his role will be.