Owning the draft rights to Sergio Llull, the Houston Rockets are interested in finally bringing in the Spanish guard who plays for Real Madrid, although it’s not going to be cheap bringing him over.
Llull, 27, was a second round, 34th overall pick in 2009 by the Denver Nuggets. The Rockets paid them $2.25 million for the draft rights, making him the most expensive player ever to be purchased during the draft’s second round. Beginning his career with Manresa, he has been playing for Real Madrid since 2007.
A two-time European champion with the national team and Silver medalist from the London Olympics, Llull has won everything possible with Real Madrid. He has two league championships, the Copa Del Rey and now, finally, the Euroleague title, beating Olympiacos in the final. Llull scored 12 points and averaged 10.4 per game in the Euroleague this season, with 5.8 assists a night.
While he can play both guard positions, Llull is mainly a shooting guard. The Rockets, according to Marca at least, a media outlet heavily connected with Real Madrid, are offering Llull $21 million for the next three seasons. He also has a buyout worth $5.6 million, which means it’s going to be quite a cap hit to sign him, although not all the contract is guaranteed.
While the money at clubs like Real Madrid is often equal or even better for some players, moving to the NBA is always about more than just the finances. It’s often a dream of most basketball players to be in the best league in the world. Whether Llull has had enough of European basketball and wants to give it a go in the best league in the world, it’s probably one of his last opportunities to do so. He isn’t getting any younger and teams often prefer guys they can develop. Llull is the complete deal, more or less, and turning it down now would mean possibly giving up on playing in the league forever.