LOS ANGELES, USA – Spanish center Pau Gasol will decline a $16.2 million NBA contract option for next season but plans to re-sign with the San Antonio Spurs, the San Antonio Express-News reported Tuesday, June 20 (Wednesday in Manila).
The 36-year-old 7-footer (2.13m), who won two NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers, would become a free agent but hopes the move would help him obtain a longer-term contract.
Gasol taking a lower salary would enable the Spurs to spend more money to offer other free agents deals for next season, adding talent to a lineup that produced the second-best record in the NBA last season but was swept out of the Western Conference finals by eventual champion Golden State.
Gasol, a 6-time NBA All-Star taken with the third overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft, averaged a career-low 12.4 points with 7.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocked shots over 64 games in his first campaign with the Spurs last season.
His career averages over 16 seasons are 17.9 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 1,119 games with the Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies.
Former All-Star forward David, 34, is expected to opt out of a deal that would bring him $1.6 million next season in a similar move. Lee averaged 7.3 points and 5.6 rebounds over 79 games for the Spurs last season. – Rappler.com