Pau Gasol Reportedly Will Decline Spurs Contract Option, Re-Sign with Team

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 20, 2017

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MAY 20:  Pau Gasol#16 of the San Antonio Spurs is seen before the game against the Golden State Warriors in Game Three of the Western Conference Finals of the 2017 NBA Playoffs on May 20, 2017 AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)
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San Antonio Spurs center Pau Gasol is reportedly planning to decline the $16.2 million player option in his contract for the 2017-18 NBA season, but he is expected to re-sign with the organization.        

Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported Tuesday that Gasol and the Spurs are focused on reaching a longer-term agreement to keep him in San Antonio.

The 36-year-old six-time All-Star signed a two-year deal with the team last July to help fill the void left by retired legend Tim Duncan. 

Last season, Gasol averaged a career-low 12.4 points to go along with 7.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.1 blocks across 64 games as he took on more of a complementary role with the Spurs. He still ranked 15th among qualified centers in player efficiency rating, though, according to ESPN's Hollinger Stats.

In May, the former member of the Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls revealed it wasn't easy to accept lesser involvement, per Melissa Rohlin of the San Antonio Express-News.

"It's been a little bit of a challenge," Gasol said. "I knew it was going to take some time to adjust to a new situation, find out what my role was going to be. And I just tried to follow the lead and the direction of the coaching staff. And I tried to fit in at first, right? You just try to fit in, try not to be disruptive, and do your best at the same time, and be yourself. It was a little bit of an adjustment for me, changing roles."

The Spurs could look to make at least one significant change to the roster before next season after getting swept by the eventual champion Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. On June 2, ESPN.com's Marc Stein reported point guard Chris Paul is one possible option.

Whether or not San Antonio is able to find the missing piece to keep pace with the star-studded Dubs, it sounds like Gasol will remain in the fold, barring a late change of heart from either side.