NBA Rumor: Nando De Colo Free Agency

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Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul strengthened its backcourt by signing one of the premier guards in Europe, Nando De Colo, on a multiyear deal. De Colo (1.96 meters, 32 years old) has been among the most dominant players in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague over the past five seasons, which he played with CSKA Moscow. De Colo led CSKA to EuroLeague titles in 2016 and 2019, reached the Final Four five times and earned All-EuroLeague team honors in each those five seasons – first team in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and second in 2015 and 2019.

In case the right NBA offer doesn’t come along, De Colo could return to Europe and among a large number of interested clubs, he is expected to get calls from Spain as well, primarily Real Madrid. However, Valencia Basket holds his rights in Spain and the club director Paco Raga noted they don’t rule out anything and might try to equal the offer: “We have the rights of De Colo in the ACB and if we can assume Real Madrid offer, we don’t rule out to equal it. Why not. We don’t rule out any scenario and of course, we are not going to renounce the rights that remain belonging to us since he moved to the NBA in 2012. We will always defend the interests of the club. He is a top player, one of the best in Europe”, Raga told Las Provincias.

While speaking to Spanish media outlet Farhampton Magazine, De Colo is not ruling out a potential move back to the NBA. “The truth is that going to San Antonio was a somewhat complicated decision because I knew I could continue in Europe,” De Colo said. “I had contacts with Barcelona, for example. On the other hand, I wanted to go to the NBA and see how it was. In the Spurs, I didn’t have the opportunities I expected. I think that is a part of life that you can’t control.”

Perhaps it’s a statement that also vindicates De Colo’s decision to sign a new, multi-year contract with the Russian powerhouse and not pursue a possible return to USA. “Well, I had already made my decision so it doesn’t matter. I really wanted to sign again with CSKA Moscow. I feel really great in the team right now. It was important to renew with them because I got all the responsibilities I want in the team. CSKA wants to go until the end every season, to win every single title there is. And this means a lot to me.”

“I am very happy to continue playing for CSKA”, De Colo said in the team’s official website after the renewal of his contract was announced. “It wasn’t a tough decision to take. I came back to Europe to play, to use the opportunities and carry more responsibility day-by-day. This is what I did, what I had here with the club. This year we had an amazing season. And this is what I want: to play, to do it for the best team in Europe and to be one of the leaders of this team. This is what is the most important for me, this is why I signed with CSKA”.

CSKA Moscow is the most succesful club in Europe when they sign the players they want, but De Colo is free agent and there’s no extension of his contract yet. How hard will be to keep the French star in Europe and keep him from returning to the NBA? Vatutin’s answer was honest: “We have said that we will talk with Nando de Colo after the end of the season. He knows how much we want to keep him in Europe and in Moscow and we will do what we must. Beyond that the point is 100% what he thinks and what feels more like a challenge. The answer to this question belongs to the player. He will decide and we will do what we must towards him. However, Nando is a player who wants to enjoy basketball”.

He did all this in the present of longtime CSKA Moscow contributor and Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov and when Eurohoops had the chance after the game to speak with CSKA Moscow’s president Andrey Vatutin the question was simple: Over the years, CSKA Moscow is the most succesful club in Europe when they sign the players they want, but De Colo is free agent and there’s no extension of his contract yet. How hard will be to keep the French star in Europe and keep him from returning to the NBA? Andrey Vatutin: “We have said that we will talk with Nando de Colo after the end of the season. He knows how much we want to keep him in Europe and in Moscow and we will do what we must. Beyond that the point is 100% what he thinks and what feels more like a challenge. The answer to this question belongs to the player. He will decide and we will what we must towards him. However, Nando is a player who wants to enjoy basketball”.
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Rockets re-sign Dante Exum, waive Tyler Bey

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