Pau Gasol to Spurs: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist

Chicago Bulls center Pau Gasol coaches guard Aaron Brooks during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat Monday, Jan. 25, 2016, in Chicago. The Heat won 89-84. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

Perhaps signing his last NBA contract, Pau Gasol has decided to join the San Antonio Spurs.

Gasol reportedly agreed to a two-year deal worth over $30 million on July 4. Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical and Marc Stein of ESPN reported the news, and both noted Gasol will have a player option for 2017-18.

Gasol confirmed the signing on his Twitter account on July 5, and the Spurs made it official on Thursday morning:

The 35-year-old spent the last two seasons with the Chicago Bulls before declining his $7.77 million player option for 2016-17.

Still a double-double machine entering his late 30s, Gasol averaged 16.5 points, 11.0 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game last season. While he's a liability on defense, particularly in pick-and-roll situations, he averaged a pair of blocks per game last year and can play one-on-one matchups just fine.

He is the latest in a series of departures from Chicago, which traded Derrick Rose before the draft and lost Joakim Noah in free agency. It wasn't long after the season that Gasol began looking to move on, expressing interest in going to San Antonio. 

In April, Gasol said the following in an article for Spanish newspaper Marca (via HoopsHype): "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."

Both former Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau and replacement Fred Hoiberg struggled to split time between Gasol, Taj Gibson and Noah. The defense struggled with nearly every Gasol-helmed lineup, as his loss of lateral quickness made him a liability despite his continued offensive production.

For lack of a better term, Gasol is the NBA's version of a designated hitter at this point.

That may present problems in San Antonio. The more athletic Oklahoma City Thunder also ran the Spurs off the court in the playoffs—something Gasol will decidedly not fix.

Gasol has long been a steadying presence wherever he's been, so the trade-off shouldn't be so bad. He remains a nightly double-double threat even with his defensive deficiencies, and he can open things up on offense with his passing out of the high post.

Perhaps most importantly for the Spurs, Gasol will help to fill the void left by Tim Duncan's retirement.

Follow Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) on Twitter.

Related

    Don't Sleep on These Contenders 🏆

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Don't Sleep on These Contenders 🏆

    Dan Favale
    via Bleacher Report

    Who Will Survive the LAbron Era?

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Who Will Survive the LAbron Era?

    Sean Highkin
    via Bleacher Report

    Rockets Would Be a Better Fit for Melo Than OKC

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Rockets Would Be a Better Fit for Melo Than OKC

    Kelly Scaletta
    via Bleacher Report

    LeBron and Tyronn Lue Hang Out at NBA SL

    NBA logo
    NBA

    LeBron and Tyronn Lue Hang Out at NBA SL

    Scott Polacek
    via Bleacher Report