In a press conference, Gustavo Ayon confirmed that he is leaving Baloncesto Fuenlabrada and will sign a contract in NBA with New Orleans Hornets. The buyout of the player is $1.5M. New Orleans Hornets will pay $525.000 while the Mexican big man will pay the difference by his own.
The Bobcats spared no effort trying to resolve this. Aside from their in-house attorney, Andre Walters, and general manager Rich Cho (who has a law degree) the team retained a New York law firm and a local attorney fluent in Spanish to aid in the talks. Negotiating on Biyombo’s behalf, they made one last offer of about $1.5 million — $525,000 to be paid by the Bobcats and the rest by Biyombo. That offer was rejected as the meetings with Fuenlabrada broke up Thursday. Biyombo kept sitting out practice, looking more glum by the day. Higgins began seriously considering the possibility the No. 7 pick might never play this season.”I was so afraid for the kid,” Higgins said. “Every time we felt like there was a clear-cut resolution, something would change. Always a different speed bump along the road.”
So Wednesday and Thursday of last week, Bobcats and Fuenlabrada management huddled. What Higgins first heard was stunning: Fuenlabrada expected 4 million Euros – about $5.2 million – to permit Biyombo to sign with the Bobcats. “I couldn’t believe it,” Higgins recalled. “They were steadfast on the 4 million. At that point, talks basically broke down. We knew what we could do,” and that wasn’t doable.
The basic facts: Biyombo had signed a contract that would have paid him about $100,000 had he played for Fuenlabrada this season. The team clamed Biyombo owed Fuenlabrada 80 percent of his earnings, world-wide, for the foreseeable future. Bell understandably was looking to minimize what Biyombo would have to pay. So he offered a $400,000 settlement, according to a source privy to the negotiations. That only stiffened Fuenlabrada’s resolve, and there was concern whether Biyombo – the No. 7 overall pick in the draft – would play for the Bobcats at this season. That’s when Higgins, backed by a half-dozen attorneys, interceded. “After communicating with the agent and seeing nothing was getting done, we felt we had to take control of this process,” Higgins told the Observer on Monday. “We invited (Fuenlabrada management) to come talk with us. We initially said we would come over there and they insisted on coming to the States, which was fine with us.”
Forward Bismack Biyombo is free to join the Charlotte Bobcats after agreeing to pay the buyout clause to release him from his contract with Spanish club Fuenlabrada. Fuenlabrada said on Monday that Biyombo had agreed to pay the 1.2 million euros (US$1.5 million) clause that will free him from the remaining two years of his contract.
Fuenlabrada valued the player €4M: 1.2M as buyout, plus the federal rights until December 2014, plus a fine for having missed 4 games and 64 practices last season before ACB playoffs when Biyombo left to have some workouts in the States. The Spanish team is ready to negotiate a buyout to help Biyombo to leave but the NBA team are allowed to pay maximum $500.000 as buyout and the difference, in this case, should be paid by the young player.
The future of Bismack Biyombo is up in the air. The young player, picked by Charlotte Bobcats in the last NBA draft is taken hostage by Fuenlabrada who is asking €4M as buyout to let him leave for the States.
Today is the first day NBA players are welcome back in team training facilities. It’s unclear how many Bobcats are back in Charlotte, but Higgins said Biyombo might be here soon, despite him still being under contract to a Spanish team. The Observer reported Tuesday that Biyombo is suing that team in Spain for breach of contract. The trial is set to begin Dec,. 19, and presumably if Biyombo wins, he would be free to sign with the Bobcats. His Spanish team wants a seven-figure transfer fee before Biyombo is allowed to sign with the Bobcats. Higgins described the Biyombo contract situation as “forever evolving.” NBA rules allow the Bobcats to pay up to $500,000 toward a transfer fee. Any more would be Biyombo’s responsibility. Biyombo has said repeatedly and emphatically that he’ll play for the Bobcats this season.
Some of you have been asking about Charlotte Bobcats rookie Bismack Biyombo and his contract complications in Spain. I just had a brief conversation with Biyombo’s USA-based agent, Joel Bell. He said there’s a civil trial scheduled for Dec. 19 in Spain. Biyombo is suing Fuenlabrada, the team Biyombo played for last season, for breach of contract. If Biyombo won that suit, he’d lkely be free of that contract and able to sign with the Bobcats. This has now become a more pressing issue, with the lockout likely to end in time for training camps and free-agency to start Dec. 9.
In an email reply to an Observer inquiry, FIBA spokesman Andrew Robotham wrote: “The NBA has indeed requested a Letter of Clearance (LoC) for the Player Bismack Biyombo. In accordance with the NBA/FIBA Agreement, FIBA has contacted the Spanish Federation in order to obtain the LoC. “However, the Spanish Basketball Federation refused to issue the LoC in view of the fact that the Player is still under contract with a team in Spain.”
The NBA lockout isn’t the only thing keeping the Charlotte Bobcats from signing their top draft pick. FIBA, basketball’s international governing body, recently declined to provide the NBA clearance to sign forward Bismack Biyombo, the Observer has learned. Biyombo, drafted seventh overall in June, is still under contract to a Spanish team and the Spanish Federation is enforcing that contract.
However, TUBASKET.com knows after speaking with Biyombo’s agent, Igor Crespo, that the Friday mediation session will be useless because both sides are as far apart as the first day the conflict started. So their differences will be resolved by a judge in the court to determine how much the player has to pay for the buyout -if there’s one-.
Charlotte Bobcats draft pick Bismack Biyombo and his Spanish club have scheduled a mediation session Friday in hopes of settling a dispute over the contract buyout required before he’d be allowed to play in the NBA. Jorge Sanz, spokesman for the Madrid-based team Fuenlabrada, said Biyombo has two seasons left on his deal and his buyout clause is more than $1.4 million. NBA rules say the Bobcats can’t pay more than $500,000 toward a buyout. While Sanz said the team has accepted and won’t fight the 18-year-old Congo native’s desire to leave, it expects to receive the buyout. “We have to reach an agreement over the compensation for the club,” Sanz said. “On July 1 there is a mediation session. We are asking for the million euros that is stated in his contract. If we don’t reach an agreement, it will go to court and a judge will decide.”
Biyombo, who is in Charlotte working out this week, told reporters Friday he was a “free agent” and the buyout wasn’t a concern. “I’m going to play in the NBA next season, for sure, 100 percent,” Biyombo said. Biyombo’s agent, Igor Crespo, and Bobcats general manager Rich Cho didn’t immediately return messages Tuesday morning seeking comment. Cho said after the draft last week he expected the issue to be resolved before next season. “He’s got a dispute with his Spanish team,” Cho said. “It’s something we’re going to have to address. It’s a little bit complicated.”
Charlotte Bobcats draft pick Bismack Biyombo and his Spanish club have scheduled a mediation session Friday in hopes of settling a dispute over the contract buyout required before he’d be allowed to play in the NBA. Jorge Sanz, spokesman for the Madrid-based team Fuenlabrada, said Biyombo has two seasons left on his deal and his buyout clause is more than $1.4 million. NBA rules say the Bobcats can’t pay more than $500,000 toward a buyout.
Salva Maldonado, head coach of Baloncesto Fuenlabrada, told EFE that “if Bismack Biyombo takes a flight to play an exhibition match (Nike Hoop Summit), he can forget about playing with the first team of Fuenlabrada.”