As Manu Ginobili returns to the San Antonio Spurs, the team is working on bringing Pau Gasol back.
On Tuesday afternoon, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the San Antonio Spurs were set to bring back Manu Ginobili for a 16th NBA season. Ginobili’s status was in doubt since the Western Conference Finals ended, where he wasn’t definitive about his status for the 2017-18 campaign.
Aside from Ginobili, the Spurs already brought back Patty Mills. He signed a four-year, $50 million deal. Free agents Dewayne Dedmon and Jonathon Simmons left, however, to go to the Atlanta Hawks and Orlando Magic, respectively.
Among the Spurs’ remaining free agents, is Pau Gasol who declined his player option for the 2017-18 season. It looked like he would re-sign with the team, which is still the case, as Wojnarowski also reported. The two sides are “working to finalize” a deal.
Gasol’s return adds depth to the power forward and center spots for San Antonio. They have LaMarcus Aldridge and Joffrey Lauvergne available, along with Davis Bertans’ ability to play the stretch four. That ends the team’s depth at these positions, something that could potentially be added to.
The contract will be something to watch for, along with the years the six-time NBA All-Star signs up for. His previous Spurs deal was for two years, but within an intention to stay longer, could it exceed and go for three?
In Gasol’s first season with the Spurs, he averaged 12.4 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. It came in 25.4 minutes, the lowest mark on his career. That’s along with the point-per-game total.
Prior to this, Gasol spent six-and-a-half years with the Memphis Grizzlies, six with the Los Angeles Lakers and two with the Chicago Bulls. He’s averaged 17.9 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks through these three teams and the Spurs, and will enter a 17th NBA season at age 37.