Lakers sign Pau Gasol to contract extension

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed forward/center Pau Gasol to a multi-year contract extension, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

According to the Los Angeles Times, “Gasol officially signed a three-year extension worth up to $64.7 million, depending on the NBA salary-cap figures to be determined in 2011.”

According to ESPN.com, “The year-by-year breakdown of the extension: $18,714,150 in 2011-12, $19,000,000 in 2012-13 and $19,285,850 in 2013-14.”

Since being acquired by the Lakers on February 1, 2008 as part of a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies, Gasol has helped Los Angeles to a 101-23 (.815) regular season record in games he has appeared in.  In the postseason, the Lakers have posted a 30-14 (.682) record with Gasol, winning the Western Conference in both trips to the playoffs since he joined the team as well as the franchise’s 15th NBA Championship in 2009.

Gasol, currently a reigning NBA Champion, FIBA World Champion (Tournament MVP) and European Champion (Tournament MVP), earned a silver medal with Spain at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, falling just shy of the gold against the United States.  Named the 2008 European Player of the Year, he earned All-NBA Third Team honors in 2009 as well as his second trip to the NBA All-Star game (2006, 2009).

“Over the past year and a half, Pau has quickly developed into one of the best all-around players in the NBA,” said Kupchak.  “The impact he has had on and off the court for the Lakers is significant, and we look forward to watching Pau continue as one of the best players in the league for years to come.”

“Coming to terms on an extension for Pau is another step for the organization in its goal of trying to keep the core of this team together for the foreseeable future,” continued Kupchak.  “The Buss family recognizes this opportunity and will continue to do whatever is possible to put the organization in position to contend for NBA championships.”

The fourth player in NBA history to go straight from Europe to the NBA and score 10,000 career points, Gasol concluded the 2008-09 season ranked among league leaders in points (25th/18.9), rebounds (8th/9.6), field goal percentage (5th/.567) and blocks (27th/1.00) while appearing in 81 games.

In 16 games this season, Gasol is averaging 17.0 points on .543 shooting from the field, 12.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.75 blocked shots in 36.1 minutes.

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