The Portland Trail Blazers have waived Pau Gasol.
Gasol, a six-time All-Star and two-time NBA champion, was waived after failing to successfully rehab from left foot surgery, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. At 39 years old, Gasol’s playing career is likely over, but the team is planning on working out the details regarding moving Gasol into a coaching capacity.
Injuries Have Likely Ended Pau Gasol’s Career
The 18-year NBA veteran signed a deal with the Blazers in the offseason and never appeared in a single game with the franchise. The former No. 3 overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft had spent last season with the San Antonio Spurs and Milwaukee Bucks, appearing in just 30 games. The 7-foot big man almost immediately struggled with injuries to his left foot after signing a deal with the Bucks in March, appearing in just three games with the franchise.
Gasol is an obvious future Hall-of-Famer who is best known for his tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers from 2008 until 2014. It was with the Lakers that Gasol teamed up with Kobe Bryant to win two NBA titles. He was named to three consecutive All-Star squads from 2009 until 2011 and he notched his first-ever All-NBA selection in 2011 as a member of the Purple and Gold.
The Spaniard holds career averages of 17.0 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game in 1,226 appearances and 1,150 starts in his playing career. Gasol began his career with the Memphis Grizzlies and also played for the Chicago Bulls.
Terry Stotts Encouraged by Carmelo Anthony’s Debut
The Blazers may have lost to the lowly New Orleans Pelicans and Carmelo Anthony may have been inefficient, but head coach Terry Stotts still felt pretty encouraged by Melo’s debut with Portland on Tuesday night.
Via Andrew Lopez of ESPN:
“To be honest, I thought he looked good,” Stotts said. “I thought offensively he got looks, he got good looks at the basket. I thought he got fouled at least two or three times taking it strong to the basket. He then came away empty, so that kind of affected his [stat] line. But I thought, for having a morning shootaround, I thought it was pretty good.”
Anthony finished with a team-worst plus/minus rating of -20 and was 4-of-14 from the field. He also committed five turnovers and had five personal fouls in just 24 minutes of playing time. Despite the discouraging stat line, Stotts deflected any blame from his 35-year-old veteran, who was playing in his first NBA game in more than a calendar year.
“Look, as a group, we weren’t very good,” Stotts said. “We had a lot of miscommunications, so I don’t know. When we were as poor as we were defensively in spots, I think it’s hard to really look at any one guy.”
After appearing in the Western Conference Finals last season, the Blazers have sputtered to a 5-10 record — the second-worst mark in the Western Conference. Portland is hoping that Anthony can give them some sort of a boost moving forward as they look to compete in the rugged Western Conference.
As much of a feel-good story as this is, the Blazers will have their work cut out for them if they’re hoping Anthony can be the spark plug that gives them the jolt they desperately need.