Pau waived, may take off-court role

AP Sports Writer

Pau Gasol waived by Blazers but may have new role with teamBy ANNE M. PETERSON

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) The Portland Trail Blazers have waived center Pau Gasol but his career with the team may not be over.

Gasol, who never played in a game with the Blazers, announced on social media Wednesday that the team had released him. In a video he posted, Gasol said he is still recovering from surgery on his left foot in May.

”I underwent surgery in hopes that it would expedite my return, but unfortunately in the last few days we have assessed that my recovery is going to take longer than we had originally hoped for,” he said.

Gasol said he plans to remain in Portland to continue his rehabilitation, and he is discussing a new role with the Trail Blazers.

”I have the same excitement and passion for the game of basketball that I had when I first started playing, and I will work as hard as I can on my recovery with a clear goal in mind: To get healthy in order to continue to play the game that I love,” Gasol said.

Gasol signed with the Blazers in the offseason as a free agent.

He played in three games for the Milwaukee Bucks last season before undergoing surgery for the stress fracture. The Bucks had signed him in March after he reached a buyout agreement with the San Antonio Spurs. In total, he played in just 30 games last season, averaging 3.8 points and 4.6 rebounds.

A six-time All Star and 18-season NBA veteran, Gasol is among just four players with over 20,000 points, 11,000 rebounds, 3,500 assists and 1,500 blocks in his career, along with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett. He has a pair of NBA championship rings from a stint with the Lakers.

Gasol’s signing was meant to shore up the Blazers at center while the team awaits the return of Jusuf Nurkic, who broke his leg during a game in March. Portland is also depleted at the forward position after Zach Collins underwent shoulder surgery.

The Trail Blazers this week signed 10-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony, who made his debut with the team on Tuesday night against New Orleans.

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