At training camp, San Antonio Spurs center Pau Gasol spoke about the contract he signed in the offseason.
Pau Gasol played his first season with the San Antonio Spurs in 2016-17, after he signed a two-year contract in the 2016 offseason. However, the second season had a player option for $16.2 million, which he used in July. The intent was to re-sign and ensure the team had enough cap space to bring new players in. They did so, with Rudy Gay, Joffrey Lauvergne and Brandon Paul added.
Eventually, Gasol received a three-year, $48 million contract. The third season was partially guaranteed.
At Day 1 of training camp, Gasol discussed his new deal, according to mysanantonio.com. He noted the intent of it, which was to open cap space for new players, and said the team “rewarded my patience and trust” with the fresh contract:
“I’m happy with the commitment of the team towards me and the trust for an extended period of time,” he said. “I hope I can be an even bigger tool for the team, contribute more and help the team be better.”
“The team rewarded my patience and my trust,” Gasol said of his new deal.
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Gasol opened cap space for a necessary amount of time to sign Gay, Lauvergne, and Paul. The Spurs were able to go over the salary cap, if needed, to re-sign the 37-year-old, so he was able to officially return on July 24.
He also discussed his offseason weight loss, which was done to stay afloat with the younger players that fly up and down the court. His weight went to “about 252, 253.”
At Gasol’s age, either way, it might be difficult to keep up with the younger, more athletic players in the NBA. However, the weight loss could always prove wonders for him. The first preseason game on Monday, Oct. 2 will be the first live test for this, at least in the NBA (he played for Team Span in EuroBasket 2017.
In Gasol’s first season for the Spurs, he averaged 12.4 points and 7.8 rebounds in 25.4 minutes per game. Across 16 seasons and four teams (Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies), he averaged 17.9 points and 9.4 rebounds per game.