The former [Orlando] Magic first-round draft pick on Tuesday extended his contract with Regal FC Barçelona by one year to run through the 2011-12 season, ending the Magic’s immediate hopes of adding [Fran] Vázquez to their roster.
But Vázquez’s Spain-based agent, José Cobelo, said in a phone interview with the Orlando Sentinel on Tuesday that his client would be interested in joining the Magic after his contract with Barçelona ends — assuming the NBA’s labor woes are cleared up by that time.
“Of course Fran would give serious consideration to the Magic,” Cobelo said. “That has been his intention all of these years. He signed with Barçelona for a year to keep that door open. Once we get a tangible offer we will evaluate it. Unfortunately, we can’t do that now with the potential of a lockout lurking.”
Indeed, the NBA’s current collective bargaining agreement with its players is set to expire on July 1, and a lockout seems all but inevitable.
If there is a truncated season or if the season must be scuttled altogether, players will not get paid for missed games.
“The Magic, with the potential of a lockout, weren’t a viable option for Fran,” Cobelo said. “We don’t know with any degree of certainty what the conditions would be or whether he’d get to play [any games because of the labor situation].”
Regal FC Barçelona announced Vázquez’s extension on its English-language website, and Cobelo confirmed the length of the extension.
It looks like the Orlando Magic will have to wait longer to bring Fran Vazquez over from Spain, a player that could step in and fill a need at back-up center with skills similar to Marcin Gortat, with uncertainty surrounding the new collective bargaining being the deterrent.
The question is whether or not, with the franchise’s future in the balance with Dwight Howard‘s impending decision to stay or leave in 2012, it’ll make any difference for Vazquez to come over in hopes of helping the Magic win games.
Vazquez’s value would only be maximized if Orlando is still in contention to win titles.