This is not surprising. In fact, it was predictable. Gasol started the season as a sub and eventually lost his place in the rotation after suffering a stress fracture in his left foot. The Spurs tried to showcase him prior to the trade deadline, but they didn’t find a buyer. Since then, he has been playing scrap minutes behind Jakob Poeltl when he got to see the court at all, and he’s been also getting some DNPs.
He was clearly the third-string center in San Antonio — averaging just 4.2 points and 4.7 rebounds in 12.2 minutes over 27 games — so it’s not a shock that he was amenable to being bought out. By going through with it before March 1 deadline (11:59 PM ET), he’ll be eligible to suit up for the playoffs with a new team. He’ll definitely have suitors (most signs are pointing to the Milwaukee Bucks), as he can still contribute on offense and near the rim on defense and brings championship experience and leadership to the locker room.
Correction: A previous version of this article said the Spurs are free of Gasol’s contract from their cap space this summer. That’s actually not true since a player who is waived with seasons remaining on his contract can still take up cap space, even if he signs elsewhere. We won’t know for sure until the details of his buyout are released. Apologies — Marilyn
We’ll have more on what this means for the Spurs soon, so stick around.