Raptors rookie prospect Lucas Nogueira was recently acquired in a trade with the Hawks and has been playing on Toronto’s Summer League team in Las Vegas, however, the young center was still under contract with Asefa Estudiantes in Spain for one more season at the time of the trade and there was always a risk that his 600,000 € buyout would get in the way of his coming to the NBA this season.
After Summer League wrapped up, Nogueira sent out a disturbing tweet to those who had hopes of seeing him in a Raptors uniform anytime soon.
I wanted to thank the Toronto Raptors for this wonderful opportunity #SummerLeague
— Lucas Riva (@Lucasriva_bebe) July 19, 2014
That opportunity was supposed to be in October, not in July and DefensaCentral.com has reported that all may not be going well with the Raptors anticipated buyout of Nogueira’s contract.
— Defensacentral.com (@defcentral) July 18, 2014
“Real Madrid has been heavily involved in the bid for Lucas Nogueira, (a young center) that is challenging the NBA summer league with the Toronto Raptors. The franchise will not pay the player (buyout) clause at the moment and there are three Spanish clubs who bid for his talent Real Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia.” (translated)
It was expected that the Raptors would buyout Nogueira’s contract as the reported amount is well within the usual range of transactions that get completed, however, it was reported Asefa Estudiantes had interest in Nogueira’s contract from Euroleague teams after their season ended and returning to play another season in Spain was always a possibility.
There has been nothing official from the Raptors on this topic other than an earlier confirmation that a deal with Nogueira had not been completed prior to the start of Summer League.
Nogueira only averaged 16.6 minutes per game last season with Asefa Estudiantes and another year in Spain with more playing time on a better club team would undoubtedly help improve his skills and play.
There will certainly be more news on this situation in the near future.