US basketball

Bucks set to land Gasol after Spurs buyout

Agence France-Presse
Spanish center Pau Gasol is set to team up with Giannis Antetokounmpo and a Milwaukee squad that already boasts the NBA's best record



MAJOR ROLE. The Bucks expect the 18-year NBA veteran Pau Gasol to play a key role in their title bid. Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images/AFP

LOS ANGELES, USA – Spanish center Pau Gasol will join Greek star Giannis Antetokounmpo on the Milwaukee Bucks after agreeing to an NBA contract buyout with the San Antonio Spurs, ESPN reported Friday, March 1 (Saturday, March 2, Manila time).

The major move for the six-time NBA All-Star big man came just minutes before a league deadline to waive players in time for them to be eligible to participate in the NBA playoffs.

The 38-year-old Spaniard missed 26 games with a stress fracture in his right foot and had played a diminishing role with the Spurs this season, but the 7-footer could be a major player to aid in a title run for the Bucks.

Gasol joins a Milwaukee squad that boasts the NBA’s best record at 47-14, according to the report, which cited unnamed sources.

The Bucks have lost 8 consecutive playoff appearances since reaching the 2001 Eastern Conference final, where they lost to Philadelphia.

Milwaukee has not won an NBA title since 1971 when legend Lew Alcindor – who would change his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – won the NBA and NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Awards.

But this year’s Bucks have been a wonder squad powered by the “Greek Freak” Antetokounmpo, who is averaging team highs of 27.0 points, 12.6 rebounds and 5.9 assists.

ESPN reported the buyout will guarantee the 7-foot playmaker $6.7 million of his $16 million salary next season.

The six-time NBA All-Star and three time Olympic medalist is making $16 million this season but averaging career lows of 4.2 points and 4.7 rebounds in only 12.2 minutes a game.

Gasol’s 18-year NBA career includes helping the 2009 and 2010 Los Angeles Lakers to NBA titles. For his career, Gasol has NBA averages of 17.1 points and 9.2 rebounds. –