San Antonio Spurs: Analyzing the implications of the Pau Gasol buyout
By Andrew Ites
After three seasons with the organization, Pau Gasol and the San Antonio Spurs have reached a buyout agreement that will make him a free agent.
Pau Gasol’s contract had become dead weight on the San Antonio Spurs’ books as his production has fallen off a cliff this season.
Gasol had been a positive player for the Spurs during his first two years in San Antonio where he averaged over 10 points and approximately 8 rebounds per game while shooting a high percentage from three-point land.
However, the 38-year-old has slowed down considerably this season.
After a stress fracture in his foot sidelined him for 26 games this year, Gasol hasn’t been able to re-enter Gregg Popovich’s rotation.
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Pau is averaging just 4.2 points and 4.7 rebounds in 12.2 minutes per game this year, and the emergence of Jakob Poeltl in Wednesday’s win over the Pistons may have given the Spurs the extra push to cut ties with Gasol entirely.
Gasol wasn’t on the market for long as Woj reported that the Bucks will sign Pau immediately after his buyout from San Antonio becomes official.
The Spurs were set to pay Gasol $16 million this season, but it’s unclear whether he will get all of that salary because we don’t know the terms of the buyout agreement yet.
What we do know is that Pau will be off the books next year as he had $6.7 million in guaranteed money on his contract for the 2019-20 season.
This buyout gives the Spurs some much-needed flexibility to continue to add pieces around their core of DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge.
It also ensures that Jakob Poeltl will soak up almost all of the backup center minutes this year, and it could allow G League players like Drew Eubanks and Chimezie Metu to possibly get a call up to San Antonio.
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This move was long overdue considering the money the Spurs were set to pay Pau over the next one-and-a-half seasons.
While Pau’s personality and leadership will be missed in San Antonio, this was a necessary move for the immediate future of the organization.