Veteran big man Pau Gasol is on the verge of rejoining FC Barcelona for the final chapter of his pro career.
According to published reports, Gasol plans to agree to a one-year deal with the Spanish club in his hometown. The 213-cm star has said he wants to compete for the Spain men’s national team at the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics and then retire.
In June, Gasol also said he’s considering wrapping up his career with the Los Angeles Lakers.
My intention is to play another season if the foot is OK, either in the NBA or in Europe,” Gasol said, according to CBSSports.com. “A final season with the Lakers is attractive, finishing at Barca is attractive, but you have to see the real possibilities and see what situation would be best for the circumstances of the moment.”
Recovery from ankle surgery
Pau Gasol underwent surgery on his left ankle in May 2019 while with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Due to surgery, Gasol sat out the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China.
Gasol, who turned 40 earlier this week, is a six-time NBA All-Star. He won back-to-back championships with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009 and ’10.
He’s also played for the Memphis Grizzlies, Chicago Bulls, and San Antonio Spurs before signing with Milwaukee.
The Portland Trail Blazers added Pau Gasol to their roster before the current season, but the Blazers parted ways with him in November.
“I underwent surgery in hopes that it would expedite my return, but unfortunately in the last few days we have assessed that my recovery is going to take longer than we had originally hoped for,” Gasol said at the time.
Pau Gasol’s successful career
Gasol began playing for Barcelona’s youth team at age 16, then launched his pro career with the Catalan franchise. While with Barcelona, Gasol was named Spanish League Finals MVP in 2001.
In more than 1,200 NBA games, Gasol has averaged 17.0 points and 9.2 rebounds. What’s more, he helped guide Spain to the 2006 FIBA World Basketball Championship title and back-to-back silver medals at the 2008 Beijing Games and 2012 London Games, then a bronze at Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
Pau Gasol is one of the greatest European basketball players of all time, checking in at No. 5 on Court Side’s list.