Barcelona closed a brilliant Euroleague with the bad taste of the defeat in the final against Efes. After being leader of the regular phase, surpassing with much suffering Zenit in the quarterfinals and Armani Milan already in Cologne, in the semifinals, Barça played his first Euroleague final since he was proclaimed champion in Paris 2010. Since then, he had lost three times in the semifinals (2011, 2012 and 2014).
Barça has, it is obvious, one of the best teams in Europe. But, with the ACB playoffs already in the spotlight (debuts tomorrow against Joventut) so as not to close the season with no other prize than the Cup), in the offices they have to think about a next campaign in which they have to make the final leap, that of the final assault on European glory. It will be the first great challenge for Juan Carlos Navarro, who came from the hand of Joan Laporta to the sports management and who takes the place of Nacho Rodríguez, the builder of the current team that left in mid-April.
Barça needs, at least (and pending possible casualties) a guarantee base to relieve Nick Calathes (Bolmaro has all the ballots to go to the NBA) and one more pivot, something that also depends on the intentions of Pau Gasol, that when he landed in Barcelona with his sights set on the Tokyo Games, he did not close the door to continue at the Palau beyond this season. For the inner game it may be brewing another bomb: his brother Marc, who could make the path to Pau and return to Barça, maybe even to share a wardrobe with him.
That is at least the journalist Antoni Daimiel believes, who made it clear in the microphones of Cadena Ser: “I am clear that Juan Carlos Navarro is going to try by all means to convince Marc Gasol to return to Barcelona”.
Marc is 36 years old and has been in the NBA since 2008. At the end of last season, and after the glory of 2018-19 (NBA title and World Cup with Spain) he was released after closing a contract with the Toronto Raptors and decided sign with the Lakers from LeBron James and Anthony Davis. He did it for two years and the veteran minimum (about $ 2.5 million per season) to seek another title in LA, something that injuries are making it very difficult for Frank Vogel. Marc’s situation has been unstable: he started with very good feelings, he was later on sick leave due to COVID, which he recognized that it had affected him in a notable way, and he got angry (and made it clear in public) when Andre Drummond arrived and his role remained in question. Now He has minutes in the rotation but if he is not clear about his situation for next season, the door to return home could open. Or that is the option that, according to Daimiel, Juan Carlos Navarro wants to squeeze for his Barcelona 2021-22.