The Milwaukee Bucks are thinking NBA Finals — as they should, they have been the best team in the East all season — but for a team that hasn’t done it before, it never hurts to add a guy with a couple of rings to the locker room.
Enter Pau Gasol.
He had fallen out of favor in San Antonio, so the Spurs agreed to waive him just in time for the March 1 deadline (allowing he to sign with another team for the playoffs), and the Bucks lept at the chance. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN broke the story.
The San Antonio Spurs and center Pau Gasol have agreed on a contract buyout, clearing the way for the six-time All-Star to join the Milwaukee Bucks, league sources told ESPN…
Gasol, 38, has seen his role diminished with the Spurs this season, partly due to him missing 26 games with a stress fracture in his foot. Gasol was guaranteed $6.7 million of his $16 million salary in 2019-20. He is earning $16 million this season.
Gasol himself has confirmed it.
What the Spurs do is save some money, and they open a roster spot to add someone who likely would play more for them than Gasol.
With the Bucks, Gasol will not see the court that much. Brook Lopez and Ersan Ilyasova split the minutes at the five, while the four spot is Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Mirotic. Gasol can get some scattered minutes behind them, but he’s not going to be a significant contributor on the court because that’s not who he is anymore. Gasol is smart and can still be efficient, but father time is winning the race with the 38-year-old. He gets 45 percent of his shots around the rim, but is hitting just 53 percent of them, according to Cleaning The Glass.
What he brings to an inexperienced team is a guy who has titles and the Kobe Bryant stamp of approval. While the Bucks are loaded with talent and there are veterans on the roster, nobody has a ring. Nobody has been on a team that has faced the kind of pressure Gasol has in his career. That’s the kind of voice teams want for the playoffs.
We’ll see if this pays off for the Bucks.