Free agent big man Gasol nearing one-year deal in Spain

Sam Amico

Free agent forward/center Pau Gasol is closing in on a one-year contract agreement with Spanish club Barcelona, according to Nikos Varlas of

Gasol, 40, is 7-foot-0 and a native of Barcelona. He played with the club from 1998-2001, before being selected by the Atlanta Hawks with the No. 3 overall pick. He was quickly traded to the Memphis Grizzlies, the team with which he spent seven seasons.

"If a deal happens, Pau would return to his roots as he was born in Barcelona and that’s where he made the first basketball steps," Varlas wrote. "He started off in Barca’s junior selection and played for three years in the pros before moving on to a successful two-decade-long NBA career."

The six-time All-Star was named NBA Rookie of the Year in 2002 and won championships as a member of the Kobe Bryant-led Los Angeles Lakers (2009, '10). He also spent time with the Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs.

Gasol appeared in three games with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2019, before being sidelined with a left ankle injury that required surgery. Gasol then signed with the Portland Trail Blazers last July. He was waived in November.

Gasol carries career averages of 17.0 points on 51 percent shooting and 9.2 rebounds. He has won 11 medals as a member of Spain's national team in international competitions.