L.A. Lakers move on from JaVale McGee, making room for Marc Gasol

Eric D. Williams

Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka continues to make moves to improve his team’s roster as they look to defend their NBA title for the upcoming season.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers have traded center JaVale McGee and his $4.5 million, expiring contract to the Cleveland Cavaliers, along with a future, second-round pick.

No word on what the Lakers will receive in return. However, with the cap space created by McGee’s absence on the roster, Wojnarowski is reporting the Lakers will sign center Marc Gasol to a two-year deal.

It’s a homecoming of sorts for Gasol, who was originally drafted by the Lakers in 2007. However, he had his rights traded to the Memphis Grizzlies for his brother, Pau Gasol, before he ever played a game in the NBA.

Gasol, 35, averaged 7.5 points and 6.3 rebounds in 44 games for the Toronto Raptors last season. Gasol has averaged 14.6 points and 7.6 rebounds over a 13-year career, including 11 seasons in Memphis and two with the Raptors.

Gasol gives the Lakers a big man who can act as a facilitator on offense, along with creating space by stretching the floor with a smooth shooting stroke. Gasol is a career 35.4 percent shooter from beyond the arc.

McGee, 32, averaged 6.6 points and 5.7 rebounds in 68 games played during the regular season for the Lakers this year. However, his minutes waned in the postseason as head coach Frank Vogel chose to play Dwight Howard over McGee in the playoffs.