Gasol, Lee to opt out of deals with Spurs

Rumblings already exist that the San Antonio Spurs could be in the market for a significant splash in 2017 National Basketball Association free agency and, on Tuesday, things reportedly became easier for Gregg Popovich, R.C. Buford and company if they want to make that happen. It wasn't exactly the easiest adjustment for the 7-foot forward, either, considering he notched a career-low 12.4 points per contest with 7.8 rebounds over a limited 25.4 minutes.

Lee averaged 7.3 points and 5.6 rebounds in 18.7 minutes per game this season, and his 5.4 nERD ranked 41st in the National Basketball Association and 4th among Spurs players.

While Gasol will likely remain in San Antonio on a cheaper deal, it looks like Lee will be searching for a new team. He signed a 2-year $3.2 million deal with the Spurs this past offseason, with a player option in the second year.

Yahoo Sports first reported Gasol's move. The team is expected to have a significant amount of cap space following the upcoming season.

The former All-Star will turn 37 in July and, while he remains an effective player in certain roles, locking up guaranteed salary in the future makes a great deal of sense for Gasol. However, he played 73 regular season games and 15 playoff games for the Spurs, proving to be a serviceable bench veteran when healthy.

His career averages over 16 seasons are 17.9 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 1,119 games with the Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies.

  • Julie Sanders