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Marc Gasol exercises his option to return to Raptors for 2019/2020 season

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One of the key pieces to the Toronto Raptors’ championship run has opted to come back for another season.

Veteran center Marc Gasol officially exercised his $25.6 million on Wednesday, which signals he will return to the club for the final year of his contract in 2019/2020.

The 34-year old Spainiard, who was acquired in a midseason trade after spending his entire NBA career with the Memphis Grizzlies leading up to that point, averaged 9.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.9 assists with the Raptors in 26 games this past season, and 9.4 points and 6.4 rebounds in 24 postseason games.

His ability to switch on defence, and defend big bodies such as Joel Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and DeMarcus Cousins paid dividends for the Raptors in the 2019 playoffs, and ended up being one of the main reasons they won an NBA title for the first time in franchise history.

Gasol is entering the final season of the five-year, $110 million max contract he signed in July 2015, and will be eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer.

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Spurs are “pissed” at Marcus Morris for backing out of agreement

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First Kawhi, now this!

The San Antonio Spurs have now been screwed over for a second consecutive offseason.

In case you haven’t heard, free agent forward Marcus Morris initially agreed to a two-year, $20 million contract with the Spurs earlier this month, but backed out of that shortly after to ink a one-year, $15 million deal with the New York Knicks.

According to Frank Isola of The Athletic, another NBA GM believes the Spurs are extremely “pissed” at what he did to them in free agency.

To add salt to the wound, they apparently traded away forward Davis Bertans to the Washington Wizards in order to make room for Morris on the roster.

The team has yet to publicly comment on the situation.

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Oklahoma City Thunder anticipate Chris Paul will still be on team at start of next season

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Apparently there isn’t a lot of NBA teams interested in taking on Chris Paul’s bloated contract.

According to reports, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s attempts to trade All-Star point guard Chris Paul have stalled. It appears highly likely that the 34-year old will start the 2019/2020 season as a member of the Thunder.

Paul, who was officially acquired in a blockbuster deal that sent Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets, had been working alongside the Thunder organization to find a suitable trade partner that fits his needs.

However, teams are unwilling to take on his contract considering his injury history and decline in play, and the Thunder want to avoid attaching draft picks/future assets to entice teams to take on Paul’s contract at this point.

He still has three more years left on his contract that will pay him a whopping $124 million, which includes a player option in the final year of the deal worth $44.2 million.

Paul averaged 15.6 points, 8.2 assists and 4.6 rebounds in 58 games last season.

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Thunder and Rockets swap superstar point guards in blockbuster trade

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And just like that, the Oklahoma City Thunder managed to send their franchise player packing.

Just days after dealing Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Thunder completed a massive deal that sent former MVP Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets in exchange for All-Star point guard Chris Paul, two future first-round picks (2024 and 2026) and two pick swaps in 2021 and 2025.

The deal unites Westbrook with another MVP in James Harden. The two played together in the early stages of their career with OKC for three seasons from 2009-2012. Eventually Harden was dealt to the Rockets in a multiplayer trade

At 34 years of age and still without an NBA title, it is highly unlikely that Chris Paul is happy with joining a rebuilding Thunder team. The Thunder front office has already publicly stated that they will help Chris Paul find a new home if necessary, but it is not that simple.

The aging, injury prone star has three more years left on his contract that will pay him a whopping $15 million, which includes a player option in the final year of the deal worth $44 million. Not a lot of teams are in the position or would be willing participants to take on that large of a contract under these circumstances. The Thunder may have to sacrifice some of the many picks they’ve acquired in order to be able to unload Paul’s albatross contract.

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