NBA Rumor: Pau Gasol Free Agency

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Pau Gasol returns to Spain

Very happy to come back home. Força Barça! I’m very happy to announce that I’m coming home and that I’ll soon join the ranks of Barca’s basketball team. I want to put my skills and experience at the disposal of the dub at a key point in the season, while at the same time making progress in my physical condition and getting into the rhythm of competition. I’m happy to return to the club where I began, and I’m excited about this new opportunity I hope to contribute to the first team very soon. I want to thank Barca and its technical staff for making it possible to join them.

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Spanish national team head coach Sergio Scariolo said that Pau Gasol will need to spend a certain amount of period playing competitive basketball to be fully ready to participate in the 2021 Olympic Games. “Obviously, being in Tokyo involves playing a few months of competition in a team,” Scariolo said in an interview with AS after the completion of the 2022 EuroBasket Qualifiers. Spain closed the February window with two wins vs. Poland and Israel to finish the stage with a qualifying record 4-2 in Group A.

Pau Gasol has not appeared in a game since March 2019 and has undergone two surgeries since then to repair stress fractures in the navicular bone in his left foot, he told ESPN. Doctors first discovered the stress reaction in the fall of 2018, when Gasol was beginning his third season with the San Antonio Spurs, he said. Gasol and his agent recently discussed training camp deals with some NBA teams, but Gasol preferred to do more conditioning before seriously engaging in talks, he said. He has been training in Northern California, where he is living with his wife, Catherine McDonnell, and their 3-month-old daughter, as he hopes to play again in the NBA as more than a glorified coach.

The brothers discussed where Marc might sign during his recent free-agency period. “He had several teams that were interested,” Pau Gasol said of his brother. “What he valued most was the opportunity to win another championship. To play for the Lakers — it’s such a unique franchise. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime, and it’s very special for us to be the first brothers to play for the Lakers.” “It would be incredible if it ends up happening where I can join the team at some point,” Gasol added.

Pau Gasol eyeing Laker return?

Unfortunately, Marc didn’t have any breaking news regarding that prospect during his interview with Allie Cliffton of Spectrum SportsNet on Wednesday, but he did say that Pau would almost certainly welcome a reunion with the Lakers if the opportunity presented itself: “I’m not a very social media guy, but I know Pau loves L.A. and loves the Lakers. Obviously he feels like it’s home, so I’m sure that he would love to come back, but that’s question for Rob and ownership.”

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said that he’d “love” to see Pau Gasol wearing the team’s jersey once again. Gasol has mentioned that a return to Barcelona is an attractive option for him to spend what may be the last season of his career. “I would love for Pau Gasol to play for Barça. I never rule anything out, but European basketball doesn’t have the mechanisms or resources that the NBA has,” Bartomeu said to Catalan radio RAC 1, per Marc Mundet.

Sarunas Jasikevicius went through various topics during his official presentation by FC Barcelona on Monday. The recently-appointed head coach of the Spanish powerhouse answered questions about Pau Gasol, his playing memories from Barcelona, and more. “Many names are popping out but everybody understands we can only comment when a move is official,” he pointed out on incoming players and went on to his former Barca teammate Gasol who turned 40 today, “I am very close to Pau. Signing him wouldn’t hurt us.”

Gasol: Return to Lakers or Barcelona would be 'attractive'

Gasol won two NBA titles while playing for the Lakers, where he stayed from 2008-14. He started his professional career with his home team in Barcelona, where he played from 1998-2001. He also played for the Memphis Grizzlies, the Chicago Bulls, the San Antonio Spurs and the Milwaukee Bucks. “My intention is to play another season if the foot is OK, either in the NBA or in Europe,” he said. “A final season with the Lakers is attractive, finishing at Barça is attractive, but you have to see the real possibilities and see what situation would be best for the circumstances of the moment.”

But as the coronavirus pandemic spread around the world, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were postponed. Gasol, though, decided to keep pushing his body because he wants to compete in the Olympics, which are now set for July 23, 2021. In Gasol’s eyes, the best way to hone his skills for the Summer Games would be to play next season, his 20th in the NBA. “My plan initially was to get healthy, heal and be able to play in the Olympics,” Gasol said. “But the Olympics has officially been pushed to July 23, 2021. Now see what happens with professional sports, professional basketball in my case, and when things kind of resume. … Then if I can get healthy, we’ll see what’s next and we’ll see what that next looks like.”

1 year ago via ESPN

Pau Gasol finishing career in Spain?

I always wondered about both you and Mark when you reach the very end of your careers. Would you go back and play a year professionally in Spain, just to kind of round out your career start where you came from? Did that ever interest you? Pau Gasol: Yeah, yeah. No, it had appeal for sure. And interest but, and I said it since I kind of left Spain or FC Barcelona to come to the NBA. But I always kind of said, you know, the longer I play in the NBA, which I love, it’s going to be harder for me to go back and play one year in Spain. Marc [Gasol] has said this thing recently that he would love to play us last year in China that he played for before he came to the NBA and it means so much to him, just like Barcelona means to me, but, but we’ll see. Maybe works out maybe it’s in the books, maybe It’s not. Again, it has a certain appeal. But, but I still like to play in the best league with the best players.

Pau Gasol aiming for comeback

Gasol admitted that there are retirement thoughts circling in his mind. After all, he becomes 40 years old in July. “It’s a possibility that there is there too. I’ll have 40 springs this summer, which is not a small number. I understand that sooner or later, whether this summer, next season or another, my retirement is inevitable. I hope not already,” Gasol added. “I hope that the foot recovers so that it can allow me to play a little more. We will see how much more. Enjoy one last season.”

Pau Gasol: I’m very excited to announce that next season (my 19th in the @NBA) I’ll play for the @Portland Trail Blazers. ✍🏼😀 Ready and happy to join one of the best teams in the league! pic.twitter.com/NcE6UJbsZ4

Despite continuously battling injuries during his 18th NBA season, Pau Gasol hopes to continue playing at the highest possible level. He was drafted in 2001 and is a NBAer since, but talks about a potential return to FC Barcelona Lassa never ceased. Gasol, 38, talked about the issue with Movistar Plus. “This has been a topic of conversation since I left Barca in 2001. I’ve always said it would be nice, that I would be excited. However, as time goes by difficulty rises. Every time I move on it gets more complicated, I want and can continue playing in the NBA. I never say never, but the door is closing” he mentioned.

All that said, Gasol’s future with the Spurs beyond this season is a mystery. But no matter the outcome of his time in San Antonio, Gasol is not considering retirement. He still believes there is more basketball to be played and plans to do so until he feels ready to step away. “In two summers, I might think about it a little more,” Gasol said. “It might be an option then, maybe. And maybe not because I love what I do. I work my ass off to do what I do at this stage, to keep up with the pace of the game and the progress and the development of the game today. I take pride in that. That’s what makes me who I am.”

Spurs re-sign Pau Gasol

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have re-signed forward/center Pau Gasol. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not announced. During the 2016-17 season, Gasol appeared in 64 games in his first year with the Silver and Black, averaging 12.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.09 blocks in 25.4 minutes while shooting .502 (303-604) from the field, a career-best .538 (56-104) from beyond the arc and .707 (130-184) from the foul line. On April 12 at Utah he scored his 20,000th career point to become just the second European player to eclipse 20,000 points for their career, joining Dirk Nowitzki.

Gasol has decided to decline an option worth $16.2 million next season and become a free agent, league sources said Tuesday. His intention seems to be to negotiate a new long-term deal with the Spurs at a lower annual salary that could offer the team instant salary cap relief with which to lure additional free agents in July. Like the third-act plot twist of one of Gasol’s favorite operas, the decision comes as something as a surprise for a player set to turn 37 next month.
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September 19, 2021 | 7:06 am EDT Update
Lakers legend Pau Gasol, Marc’s older brother, recently sat down with Spanish newspaper Marca as he discussed the future of his sibling. Pau’s response was cryptic, but it is clear that he is hoping that Marc returns to Spain: “Marc has earned the freedom and flexibility to make his own decision and he will do so when he decides,” Pau said (h/t Sam Yip of Fan Nation). “I know he has a lot of enthusiasm for Basquet Girona, a club in which I am also involved as vice president. He is in a different situation, because he is five years younger than me. We will see what he decides to do this season and later, I am also waiting.”
“I’ve been on him about things I need from him,” Billups said. “I said, ‘Nurk, I know you are going to be a free agent, and I understand you have to have a great year. You need me for you to have a great year, and I need you for us to have a good year. We need each other, right?’ “I’m going to give him every opportunity to have a great year. Because if he has a great year, that means we are a pretty damn good team. Because he is a good player. But that means he has to be focused and be in shape. Because you are only going to play as many minutes as you are physically able. If you are out there tired, uh-uh, come on, gotta get you out. There are good players behind you.”
It is unclear exactly what Nurkic and his role will look like under Billups, but to hear Nurkic talk, Billups has given him a vision of being more involved on both ends. Billups has been careful not to publicly define roles, but in general, he has preached that the offense will include more ball movement. “I just want to feel wanted, and I think I just need more support, and what I mean by that is different playing style, more inside-out game, more chance,” Nurkic said. “More chance to be successful and the position where they put you in. It’s all about the coach and where they put you, and I think Chauncey has figured out that certain people are going to have one to three points less, but the team is going to be way more successful with ball movement and playing together and be more fun. Even at the defensive end.”
Virtus Bologna’s win over LBA newcomer Tortona in SuperCup Quarterfinal game yesterday night was overshadowed by a serious injury occurred to Nigerian center Ekpe Udoh, who appears to have injured his patellar tendon in a no-contact situation. Former Fenerbahce center was taken out of the court in a stretcher and after the game coach Sergio Scariolo confirmed the seriousness of the injury, adding that the team will look for a replacement in the market: “He’s our cornerstone, both on attack and on defense. It’s dramatic, I hope that it serves to understand that you need to respect the players. Here there are stickers on the court everywhere, in the NBA it’s not the case. We will look for a replacement”.
Storyline: Ekpe Udoh Injury