The Memphis Grizzlies on Friday reached a verbal agreement with the Washington Wizards to obtain the rights to Spanish guard Juan Carlos Navarro, reinforcing the notion that the Grizz have no intention of parting with Gasol.
The Grizzlies and Wizards, according to NBA front-office sources, have an agreement in principle that would send a future first-round pick -- likely a 2008 first-rounder -- to Washington in exchange for Navarro, who is considered one of Europe's top guards and, of greater importance to Memphis, one of Gasol's best friends.
Specifics about the draft pick and the lottery protection involved are still being finalized, sources said, but the Grizzlies are now exclusively negotiating a buyout of Navarro's contract with European club power FC Barcelona and operating as if he's their player.
According to a deadline established by Barcelona officials, Navarro had to be traded by the Wizards by Friday if he wanted to be in the NBA next season. This trade in principle appears to have satisfied the Spanish club, which originally set a deadline of July 25 and then extended it.