Pau Gasol, who just turned 40 this week, has said he wants to play one more season to give himself a chance of making the Spanish Olympic team next summer. He mentioned the Lakers or Barcelona as a preferred destination.
It looks like Gasol is headed back to where it all started for him, in Barcelona.
Nikos Varlas at eurohoops.net confirmed a rumor that had been floating around for a few days, that Gasol and Barcelona were near a deal.
The long-awaited return of the 40-year-old Spanish legend in Pau Gasol to the European basketball is very close to happening as the player is near an agreement in principle for a one-year deal with Barcelona. The deal is expected to get finalized later in the summer…
The ideal unfolding of Pau Gasol’s story would be that the Spaniard completes a full circle in his career with one year at Barca and then retire after one final Olympic run with the national team in Tokyo.
We have to start with the caveat: In these uncertain times, nothing is guaranteed until Gasol puts pen to paper, and that has yet to happen. This could all fall apart.
Gasol has to prove to Barca he can stay healthy — he only played 30 games in 2018-19, then signed with Portland for this season but never saw the court due to a foot injury and was waived. Add to that his age and, understandably, Barcelona will want their medical people to get a good look at Gasol before agreeing to anything.
It would be a great story if it did come together, even if Gasol’s role is limited. One of the great players ever out of Europe, he would return to the club of his youth for one more season in the Spanish league, then end his career on the international stage at the Olympics. After that, the Hall of Fame is waiting.