Milwaukee Bucks reportedly signing veteran center Pau Gasol

SACRAMENTO, CA - FEBRUARY 4: (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
SACRAMENTO, CA - FEBRUARY 4: (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Bucks have reportedly struck a deal to sign veteran center Pau Gasol after he clears waivers with the San Antonio Spurs.

The Milwaukee Bucks have reportedly injected a major dose of experience into their roster heading in to the stretch run.

Prior to Friday’s game with the Los Angeles Lakers, the Bucks are said to have come to terms on a deal with Pau Gasol, one of that franchise’s many legends.

The news was first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who detailed Gasol’s agreement on a buyout with the San Antonio Spurs, and subsequent deal with the Bucks in quick succession.

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The deal will likely lead to the end of Isaiah Canaan‘s short tenure with the Bucks in the very near future, as Milwaukee will be required to open a roster spot to finalize their deal with Gasol.

Considering Gasol will have to clear waivers first, Canaan may not be waived immediately as the Bucks could retain him for their back-to-back with the Lakers and Jazz, in order to provide cover for the injured George Hill.

For Gasol, the chance to start afresh will be a welcome one. The 38-year-old has played in just 27 games so far this season, and he most recently logged four DNPs in San Antonio’s last five games.

Gasol will likely be aware that minutes are going to be equally tough to come by in Milwaukee, with Brook Lopez locked in at the starting center spot, and forwards Giannis Antetokounmpo, Ersan Ilyasova, Nikola Mirotic and D.J. Wilson all capable of logging minutes at the 5 spot in small-ball lineups too.

Still, Gasol will give the Bucks another legitimate center on the roster, which is something that is not insignificant considering the considerable size boasted by Eastern Conference rivals such as the Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers.

Beyond that, Gasol adds incredible playoff experience to a squad that is notably lacking in that department. The Spaniard is a two-time NBA champion with 136 playoff games to his name already.

Not to be overlooked either is how the Bucks represent a genuine opportunity for Gasol to chase a third ring before calling time on a remarkably illustrious career. Minutes may still be at a premium as a Buck, but Gasol is sage enough to appreciate Milwaukee offers a much better chance at a deep run in the postseason than he would have been afforded in San Antonio.

In a buyout market that has proved much quieter than most anticipated, Gasol represents one of the most high profile players to become available. Without a better alternative presenting at a position of greater need (i.e. point guard), there was no reason for the Bucks not to bring Gasol into the mix. If they hadn’t, one of their competitors undoubtedly would have.

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Now, the Bucks’ roster looks  set for what could be the most important few months the franchise has seen for 45 years. What role, if any, Gasol can play in that will be revealed in due course.