A lot has been written in Greek media (and not only) since yesterday about Panathinaikos being interested in Luis Scola, Andres Nocioni and Rudy Fernandez. As it is always the case not even half of it seems to be true.
Let’s take Scola first of all. Yes, he is a free agent, but his only desire is to stay in the NBA, where he averaged 16.2 points and 8.6 rebounds, being the starting center of the Houston Rockets (as Yao Ming missed the whole season). Of course he didn’t earn accordingly and the only way his name being linked to Panathinaikos should be viewed at right now is as an agent spin in order for his player to get a bigger contract.
Andres Nocioni recently stated that he wishes to return to Europe as he prefers the lifestyle and the European type of game. He didn’t specify when however. He was recently traded to the Philadelfia 76ers where he will be earning about 7mil dollars gross (3-3.5 mil euro net) for each of the two upcoming seasons with a team option for a third year. No team in Europe can offer that money right now, including Panathinaikos.
The only truth that may be lying in all those reports is the interest in Rudy Fernandez. Rudy does not want to stay in Portland and a possible return to Europe will depend on the team he will go to if he is traded. The player himself is seeking more playing time. His salary shouldn’t be regarded as a very big problem for a European team as it is about 1.2mil dollars gross (about 500-600k net euros) for the upcoming season. He would definately be earning way more with a possible move back to Europe. According to Russian media, Panathinaikos is offering 3mil euro net per season, which is more than 5 times what he earns in the NBA, and the two Spanish powerhouses, Barcelona and Real Madrid are reported to be offering 2mil per season. Rudy himself stated that if he is to return to Europe he would prefer to play for Barcelona, alongside Ricky Rubio.
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