The seven-foot Gasol, is a 15-year veteran and a four-time All-NBA selection who has won two NBA Championships. The six-time All-Star was named to the All-NBA Second Team in 2010-11 and 2014-15 while earning All-NBA Third Team honors in 2008-09 and 2009-10.
Like Duncan, he is a versatile and skilled big man who can post, hit face-up jumpers, and pass the ball.
The Gasol signing keeps San Antonio in the hunt for a ring next season, as he will pair with forward LaMarcus Aldridge to give the Spurs a distinct advantage over most teams in the paint.
Last season, Gasol was the only player in the NBA to average at least 15.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists. In 72 games with the Chicago Bulls, he averaged 16.5 points, 11.0 rebounds and 4.1 assists while shooting .469 (467-995) from the field and .792 (229-289) from the foul line in 31.8 minutes.
In 1,055 career NBA games (1,042 starts), Gasol has averaged 18.2 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.68 blocks while shooting .510 (7,348-14,404) from the floor and .755 (4,439-5,878) from the free throw line in 35.3 minutes. He has appeared in 115 career playoffs games, averaging 16.9 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 38.0 minutes.
The Catalonia native has also played for the Spanish Senior National Team since 2001, including appearances in the last three Summer Olympic Games (2004, 2008, 2012), helping Spain capture silver medals in both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
The 2002 Rookie of the Year was originally drafted with the third overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks before being dealt on draft night to the Grizzlies, where he spent his first six-plus seasons (2001-2008) and averaged 18.8 points, 8.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 476 games. Gasol remains the all-time leading scorer in Grizzlies franchise history.
After being acquired in the middle of the 2007-08 season by the Lakers, Gasol spent the next six-plus seasons (2008-2014) with Los Angeles, where he won titles in 2009 and 2010. The NBA’s 2012 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award winner averaged 17.7 points, 9.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 429 games with the Lakers. Gasol then signed with the Bulls in the summer of 2014 and spent the last two seasons in Chicago (2014-16), where he averaged 17.6 points, 11.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 150 total games.
Gasol is one of six players in NBA history to reach 19,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, 3,000 assists and 1,500 blocks in his career, along with and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O’Neal, Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan.
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services