We don’t yet know what Kawhi Leonard will decide, but at least one key member of the Toronto Raptors’ championship team has chosen to return next season.
Marc Gasol has exercised his $25.6 million player option for next year, rather than become a free agent. The 34-year-old is now scheduled to become a free agent in the summer of 2020.
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The 7-foot-1 big man from Barcelona was acquired in a three-for-one trade with the Memphis Grizzlies in February.
Gasol fit in perfectly with the Raptors, bringing tenacious defence, intelligent passing, and timely three-point shooting to their championship-winning team. He averaged 9.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.1 blocks per game during the postseason.
Two important Raptors players remain unsigned for next season, Leonard and Danny Green, who are both set to become unrestricted free agents. Leonard declined a $21.3 million option, and is in line for a hefty raise – rumoured to come from either the Los Angeles Clippers or a max deal from the Raptors. Green made $10 million last season.