After one season with the San Antonio Spurs, future Hall of Fame center Pau Gasol has decided to opt out of his contract. He was originally slated to be paid $16.2 million for the 2017-18 campaign. Instead of locking into that payday, Paul is expected to take a longer-term deal with San Antonio as a way to give the team more flexibility in free agency.
“Gasol’s opt-out delivers San Antonio salary cap relief for next season, which could ultimately assist in maneuvering to become involved in free agency,” The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Tuesday.
Gasol averaged 12.4 points and 7.8 rebounds while shooting at a 50 percent clip from the field in his first season with the Spurs. He did struggle to the tune of 9.5 points per game in the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors.
This lent credence to the idea that San Antonio needs to build up its roster to compete with Golden State next season. At the very least, Gasol’s decision to opt out gives the team that ability. Remember, the Spurs have been linked to Chris Paul in free agency. This move could free up enough room to bring him on as a catalyst on offense.