Spurs’ Gasol denies he requested trade, but wants to play

Veteran Spurs center Pau Gasol could be on the move before the start of next season.

San Antonio Spurs center/forward Pau Gasol denied an ESPN Deportes story that he requested a trade.

“What’s the source?” Gasol asked reporters. “What’s the validity of that story? I don’t know. I didn’t request to be traded. It’s not that I want to comment so much on it because it is what it is. I think people understand or can figure out that my situation is not what was expected for me. My only wish and desire is to be able to contribute to the team and be able to be on the floor and do what I am supposed to do and do what I signed here to do, and kind of live up to what I am paid for.

“I’m waiting and hoping that that will happen. I’m staying positive. But don’t believe everything that is out there.”

Despite Gasol’s feelings, the Spurs were said to be working hard to trade the fading big man ahead of last week’s deadline.

Gasol, 38, is having far and away his worst season, with career-low averages of 4.5 points and 4.9 rebounds. This is the first time in his career that he’s averaged less than 10.1 points (last season).

He has spent some time on the injured list, but has overall appeared in just 24 game. The 7-footer did not much interest on the trade market.

Gasol is making $16.8 million this season and is due $16 million next. The Spurs could look to reach a buyout agreement before next season.