David Pick, the European hoops writer who first reported the Nets interest in Sergio Rodriguez, tweeted Wednesday that Real Madrid, Rodriguez's Spanish team, may be hinting that the free agent point guard may no longer be with the European powerhouse.
The failure to include Rodriguez on the team roster for its high profile exhibition game with the Thunder could indicate Real Madrid knows --or believes-- its point guard will not be available, Pick suggests.
Pick reported over the weekend that Rodriguez is headed to the NBA and that the Nets "are favorites to score deal" with Rodriguez who is one of Europe's top point guards and Euroleague Player of the Year in 2014 and 2015.
He returned to Europe in 2011 after knocking around the NBA, playing with the Blazers, Kings and Knicks over four years, the last year being tutored by Kenny Atkinson, then the Knicks player development coach.. He played in 285 games, starting 22. He averaged 4.3 points and 3.9 assists in limited minutes as an NBA player.
Meanwhile, in yet another indication of how the Nets are interested in cementing their ties to European basketball, a French newspaper reports that Julien Espinosa, a highly regarded 32-year-old French league coach will join the Nets summer league coaching staff.
"I think it will be a very rewarding experience for me and for the club of Antibes," Espinosa told Nice Matin. "I hope I can contribute to the proper preparation of their team. "
NBA teams have in the past used summer league coaching gigs to help develop young European coaches with a possible eye to bringing them over at a later point. Espinosa, who coaches the Antibes Sharks, is credited with developing two French players drafted last week, Timothe Luwawu and Isaia Cordinier,.
Kenny Atkinson, who played much of his 14-year overseas career in France, will coach the Nets summer league team in Las Vegas, starting July 9.