RUMOR: Pau Gasol finalizing deal with FC Barcelona
Gasol, who celebrated his 40th birthday on Monday, last played in the NBA in 2019 during a brief stint with the Milwaukee Bucks. He hasn’t played competitive basketball for nearly a year due to a prolonged foot injury.
The deal shouldn’t come as a total surprise, though. One month ago, Gasol expressed his desire to return to play in the NBA, but he didn’t rule out finishing his prolific hoops career in Europe, either.
“My intention is to play another season if the foot is OK, either in the NBA or in Europe,” the six-time All Star told ESPN. “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.”
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeau recently said he “would love for Pau Gasol to play for Barca.”
On June 3rd, new Barcelona coach Sarunas Jasikevicius said the acquisition of Gasol “wouldn’t hurt us.” Jasikevicius played alongside the Lakers icon for Barcelona in 2000-2001, and he noted that he is “very close to him.”
For what it’s worth, Gasol noted previously that he has to play professional basketball somewhere this season in order to prepare for the (now) 2021 Olympic games in Tokyo.
“I’m feeling good. I’ve had more time to recover,” Pau Gasol told Spanish media. “When I can start running and jumping, I will have a lot more information to know for sure if the foot and the bone are consolidated for me to be playing professional basketball again.”