Free agent center/forward Pau Gasol has rejoined Spanish club Barcelona, where his professional career began.
“I’m back home,” Gasol said in a video released on social media.
There had been some back and forth between Gasol and Barcelona for most of the offseason — with reports surfacing that Gasol had intended to join the team as early as July.
Gasol later denied that he was going to join, and Barcelona’s owner diplomatically said the team could not afford the former All-Star and NBA champion.
“I’m happy to return to the club where I began, and I’m excited about this new opportunity,” Gasol said. “I hope to contribute to the first team very soon.”
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.
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.