Pau Gasol intends to return for 19th NBA season

Los Angeles Lakers rumors: Pau Gasol
Mar 9, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks center Pau Gasol (17) applauds his team against the Charlotte Hornets during the first half at Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

While Pau Gasol will turn 39 in July and is coming off of a season-ending injury, his NBA career is not over. Not if he gets his way.

On Monday, Gasol, who last played with the Milwaukee Bucks, noted that his recovery from surgery on his foot is going well and that he plans to return for a 19th NBA season.

Gasol struggled through an injury plagued 2018-19 season. Nine games in, he suffered a stress fracture on his right foot. He returned to the San Antonio Spurs but was bought out and released in March after playing only 27 games. From there, he signed with the Bucks but played in only three games before suffering the left foot injury. From there, he missed the remainder of the season, including the playoffs.

Over those 30 games, Gasol averaged 3.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in only 12 minutes a game. He shot 44.7% from the field, 46.2% on threes, and 70% on free throws.

While Gasol is nowhere near the player that he once was, it’s pretty easy to imagine some team taking a chance on him providing valuable bench minutes next season.