Kevin Durant choosing to play for the Golden State Warriors next season opened doors for other players, such as Paul Gasol, to earn a lucrative deal of two years worth $30 million from the San Antonio Spurs.
It was a situation worth the wait as sources told ESPN’s Marc Stein that the deal, which is in the finalizing stage, will include a player option for the second year. The deal also outscored other potential bidders such as the Portland Trail Blazers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Toronto Raptors, and even the Chicago Bulls.
It would be noted that in 2014 Gasol chose the sign with the Bulls over the Spurs with the hope of getting a championship ring. But expectations were not met with Gasol and Bulls falling out in the past two postseasons. Two years later, Gasol is in the same situation but this time, he is choosing to be with the Spurs not only of a hope to get a championship run but also with the possibility of Tim Duncan passing the torch if he decides to retire this season.
Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical first reported the deal and sources noted Gasol will have an option going into next season to either decline his option or sign into a longer tenure with the Spurs. The combination of the Spurs’ talent, history and his relationship with Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was tough to overcome, sources said.
With Gasol in their roster, the Spurs have added another firepower to their lineup as sources stated that Duncan is leaning towards retirement and will make his formal announcement in the near future. With his secure tenure, Gasol now shifts his focus on helping his country, Spain, in the upcoming Rio Olympics 2016 that will take place from Aug. 5 to 22 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Heading to the Spurs, Gasol brings in a solid performance with an average of 16.5 points, 11.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. Aside from that, the Spurs also got another leader on the floor who could well blend in with their pick-and-roll, and high-low plays. Aside from offense Gasol also runs on both ends of the floor, despite his age of 36, making him an effective addition to the Spurs.
Now that everyone has moved on after Durant made a decision, the Spurs manage to pull one of its great addition. Gasol will surely prove as a worthy addition to their lineup as well. Before playing for the Spurs, Gasol made his career stops with the Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Lakers and with the Bulls.
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