Free agent Pau Gasol opted out of his current deal, but ends up re-signing with the San Antonio Spurs for a three-year deal worth up to $48 million.
The San Antonio Spurs were looking to reload this offseason, after getting demolished by the eventual champion Golden State Warriors. Did they miss Kawhi Leonard in the final three-and-a-half games? Fact. Would they have still lost the series with a healthy Leonard? Also, fact.
So heading into the offseason, the Spurs needed some salary cap room to add some free agents. Gasol had a player option for next season that was worth up to $16.2 million. He exercised his player option, becoming a free agent, though he didn’t necessarily want to leave San Antonio.
R.C. Buford and the Spurs went on to re-sign Patty Mills and add Rudy Gay. The last thing to do was re-sign Pau Gasol and the Spurs did for another three seasons.
Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Spurs will give Gasol a three-year contract that could be worth up to $48 million.
As Wojnarowski notes in his tweet, the third and final season of the contract is only partially guaranteed, which means that Gasol may not see all of the $48 million. Still, it’s a steep, steep price for an aging center that’s likely going to be playing less minutes than last year.
Last season with San Antonio, Gasol averaged 12.4 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, making his appearance in 64 contests. He was fairly healthy all season long and was part of a deep front-court rotation that featured Dewayne Dedmon, David Lee and LaMarcus Aldridge.
Head coach Gregg Popovich liked the aspect of having depth in the front court, even if none of them were stars in particular. San Antonio lost Dedmon in free agency, but still brings back the other players. Let’s see if Gasol can help the Spurs compete in the West again this year.