Pau Gasol, the former two-time NBA champion, has verbally agreed to a two-year $30 million contract with the San Antonio Spurs, according to several sources.
Gasol could essentially be replacing Tim Duncan, who has been rumored to retire this offseason. On Monday, The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Duncan is ‘leaning strongly’ toward hanging the sneakers.
“Duncan has left team officials, close associates and friends with a strong belief he’s preparing to make an announcement in the near future on his departure, sources said,” Wojnarowski reported.
Pau Gasol chooses Spurs over Raptors, Blazers
Gasol has reportedly picked the Spurs against other free agency suitors such as Toronto Raptors and Portland Trail Blazers. “The Raptors and Blazers both made strong impressions on Gasol, but the combination of the Spurs’ talent, history and his relationship with Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was tough to overcome, sources said,” read a separate Wojnarowski report about Gasol’s decision.
This is an intriguing development since Gasol spoke about the possibility of replacing Duncan a few weeks ago. “There’s talk about passing of the torch with San Antonio and a hypothetical passing of the torch with Duncan. I have to admit the Spurs would be an interesting option for me. I recognize I’m a fan of the way the franchise has done things over the years and the way they play basketball on the court,” said Gasol, who nearly joined San Antonio in the summer of 2014 before committing to the Chicago Bulls.
Tim Duncan’s replacement…
Wojnarowski also hinted that Gregg Popovich is viewing Gasol as Duncan’s replacement. “Gasol’s decision (to join San Antonio) will help solidify the frontline of the Spurs, who are expected to lose Tim Duncan to retirement. Team officials and close associates of Duncan believe he is leaning strongly toward retiring and that he could make an announcement in the near future.”
Pau Gasol, the former six-time All-Star, averaged 16.5 points, 11 rebounds and 2 blocks for the Bulls last season. Chicago missed the playoffs in the first year of post-Tom Thibodeau era.