Mavs’ Rudy Fernandez Could Be Next NBA Defector

As if the upcoming season wasn’t enough to think about, Dallas Mavericks guard Rudy Fernandez is taking it one step further and thinking about the following season.

Fernandez signed a contract to play with Real Madrid during the lockout. Playing with the Spanish team will serve as research for Fernandez.

After playing in Spain and then joining the Mavericks after the lockout, Fernandez will decide if the NBA is still where he wants to spend the remainder of his career.

Fernandez is no stranger to the Spanish ACB league after playing for DKV Joventut for six years before entering the NBA Draft in 2007.

Playing for the NBA Champions could change Fernandez’ mind, but last offseason, he was practically begging and pleading with the Portland Trailblazers to release him so he could return to Europe. At one time, his agent said, Fernandez would be willing to sit out of the next two years of his contract if he was not released or traded.

If Fernandez chose Spain over the Mavs next season, he wouldn’t be the first to spurn the NBA for greener pastures overseas.

After one season with the Memphis Grizzlies, Fernandez’ Spanish teammate Juan Carlos Navarro chose to return to Spain to play for FC Barcelona, choosing the club’s lucrative 5-year contract over the Grizzlies’ qualifying offer.

If it comes down to money with Fernandez, Real Madrid will be the clear winner. They are in a position to more than double Fernandez’ current contract.

Inconsistent playing time lead to Fernandez wanting out of Portland. If the Mavs want to keep him in Big D, they’ll likely have to give Fernandez a defined role on the team, which could be tough considering the minutes Caron Butler, Jason Terry and DeShawn Stevenson will be commanding at shooting guard.

About Michael A. De Leon

Michael founded Project Spurs in 2004. He started The Spurscast, the first Spurs podcast on the Internet, in 2005. Michael has been interviewed by the BBC, SportTalk, the Sports Reporters Radio Show, MemphisSportLive, OKC Sports Wrap and ESPN radio among others. He is a credentialed member of the media for the San Antonio Spurs and Austin Toros. He is also the founder of Project Spurs' sister sites, Toros Nation and Stars Hoops.