Trail Blazers Sign Pau Gasol, Roster Now Stands At 14 Players

by Casey Holdahl
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Trail Blazers president of basketball operations Neil Olshey continues to fill out the roster for the 2019-20 season with players the team has long had interest in acquiring.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Trail Blazers have signed veteran forward/center and future Hall of Famer Pau Gasol to a one-year contract, presumably at the veteran's minimum. The 2019-20 season will be the 19th for the 39 year-old Spaniard, who has career averages of 17.0 points on 51 percent shooting from the field, 9.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.6 blocks over the course of 1,226 games with five different teams. The six-time All-Star, who won back-to-back championships with the Lakers, has played in 60 games over the last two seasons, the most recent with the Milwaukee Bucks. 

Gasol joins a rotation in the post that includes Jusuf Nurkić, Hassan Whiteside, Zach Collins and Skal Labissiere, giving Portland a veteran big with championship experiance to fill in until Nurkić returns from injury. Gasol, the leader of Spanish basketball's "Golden Age", is also a well-regarded locker-room presence and one of the league's most recognized ambassadors. 

As previously noted, this is not the first time the Trail Blazers have tried to sign Gasol, as the team attempted to sign the veteran big back in 2016. He opted to sign with San Antonio and stayed there for the better part of two seasons before being waived in March. Gasol joins Kent Bazemore, Hassan Whiteside and Mario Hezonja as players the Trail Blazers' acquired this offseason who they had previously tried to sign. 

Assuming the report is true (and there's no reason to beleive it isn't), the Trail Blazers now have 14 players, out of a maximum 15, under contract for the 2019-20 season. 

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