Rudy, Siskauskas, Spanoulis, Pekovic, Batiste, Bourousis, Maric, McIntyre, Sato… What do all these names have in common? Well, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Panathinaikos, Olympiacos and CSKA of course.
Rudy Fernandez has been linked to all five teams throughout the last month, with the player himself stating that he prefers to stay in the NBA, but with a bigger role. He was not traded by the Blazers last night so his future remains uncertain, although there are rumours he could land in Europe-oriented Toronto Raptors.
Ramunas Siskauskas has been reported to stay with CSKA, while he is wanted by Ettore Messina in Real Madrid, and as of today, if Ivkovic signs for Olympiacos (matter of hours really), he wants to bring him to the port according to Greek media. No wonder, he is still arguably the best SF in Europe.
Vassilis Spanoulis… Spanoulis… A lot has been said and tons of keyboard strokes and ink wasted on his case. Olympiacos offers 2.7 million euros per year (for a 3 seasons deal) and if Ivkovic signs he is supposed to be a done deal as they also share the same agent. Panathinaikos are offering some 2 millions (for the same duration) and won’t go higher, while Real Madrid are reported to be matching Oly’s offer. The player himself is taking his time…
Nikola Pekovic has the NBA clause in his contract with Panathinaikos. If he goes he will be earning substantially less than in Panathinaikos though. And as if this wasn’t enough Real Madrid are also in the game of getting him. How exactly since Pekovic is under contract with Pana who will surely not let him go to another European team, is unknown.
Mike Batiste is turning 33 this fall and is looking at his last big contract. He was getting about 1.8 million at Pana, who is not willing to offer more and is proposing a 1+1 deal. Competition of course comes from no other than Real Madrid who is reported to offer 4 millions for a 2 years closed contract. And as if this wasn’t enough, Efes Pilsen joined the race and is willing to match Real’s offer!
Yannis Bourousis is getting steam by the red management for a salary reduction. He is earning about 1.7 million and has a contract for three more years. Of course he doesn’t like that, so he may be going to the NBA. But guess who comes in the picture once again and tries to “steal” the player: Real Madrid. Mercy… Oh! Barcelona also interested. Of course. But why did they let him in summer of 2006 then?
Aleks Maric. Vujosevic supposedly agreed with CSKA and is taking a Partizan player with him. It is rumoured that this will be Maric and Partizan will receive 1million euros as buy-out. The red bros however are also in the game as they are seeing their frontline disappearing if Bouroussis and Big Sofo leave. And would anyone be surprised if Panathinaikos makes an effort as well, upon the possible departure of Pekovic? Of course not. And Barcelona are lined up too. Why they want to reinforce their frontline is not clear yet.
McIntyre has travelled from Athens to Malaga, then to Piraeus and from there to Los Angeles and their Lakers through all the rumours. A real Magellan. If Spanoulis lands in Oly, Pana will probably try to sign him. If not, Olympiacos has the initiative. Spanoulis the puppet master.
And finally Romain Sato. Lega MVP last season with an expiring contract. Nothing official yet, but the rumours involve both the Greek and the Spanish powerhouses. Real Madrid if they don’t get Rudy or Siska, Barca if Mickeal leaves, Pana looking for a starter SF, Oly looking at everything that has two legs and an orange ball in their hands…
To wrap it up, all those cases are still open and promise one of the most interesting summers of the last years.